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New Heavy: Tor Hamer

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Harlem-bred Tor Hamer didn’t set out to be America’s best hope for heavyweight champion of the world. “Not even a year ago, I was thinking, Why would I box pro?” says the 25-year-old, who graduated from Penn State with a degree in business science. “Then,” he says, “I weighed the options. It was the onset of our economy going down the tubes.” He thought about going to grad school. “Then I compared that with being heavyweight champion. You can’t compare the two.” His parents—his father a Harvard-educated school superintendent, his mother a Villanova-educated consultant—were surprised by his choice. Boxing had been just a hobby—although one at which Hamer excelled. His cumulative amateur record is an impressive 34-1. He’s a two-time New York Golden Gloves champion, and in 2008, he won the national title. After that win, he was approached by Lou DiBella, the boxing promoter with a long list of world champions to his credit, including Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor. Hamer has had two professional bouts so far (both of which he won) and a has third coming up, at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, in Biloxi, Mississippi, on January 17. Even though his eye is on the top prize eventually, Hamer is in no hurry to step into the ring with current world champ Vitali Klitschko. “That man is so, so strong. And I have to be so, so good to beat him.” But impossible? “No.”


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