BY AMANDA FARINACCI
Brooklyn Boxer Makes a Statement In and Out of the Ring
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - With his baby face and boyish charm you wouldn't know Chris Colbert of Brooklyn makes a living throwing and absorbing punches. The 22-year-old southpaw is undefeated in 10 matches, building a name for himself since he began fighting professionally in the featherweight class four years ago.
"I’ll fight anybody. And when I say anybody, I mean anybody," Colbert said.
Aficionados of the sweet science consider Colbert the most likely boxing prospect in the city these days to win a world title one day. Growing up in East Flatbush, he was constantly in trouble with the law and often settled disputes by fighting in the street. One day, a friend suggested they take their beef to the NYPD's Cops and Kids Boxing Club. For Colbert, it was a game changer.
"There were so many times I was close to going to jail. I just feel like if it wasn’t for this, I would be, I don’t know where I would be, to be honest. But this definitely change my life," Colbert said.
At the gym, he learned discipline and hard work and how to be a better man. He also learned how to box. The sport has kept him out of trouble and given him an outlet to shine.
"I like to fight. I like to be in the lights. I don’t get shy. I don’t get nervous. To be honest, the lights don’t phase me. I knew I was meant for the lights since I was born," Colbert said.
Colbert has since moved from this East Flatbush neighborhood, but he still travels more than an hour from his new home in New Jersey to train here at his childhood gym. After being featured in a Netflix documentary, "Counter Punch," Colbert began building a following, which he has carefully grown by using social media to document his life. Colbert uses his platform to raise awareness for causes dear to him. Dying his hair green for cerebral palsy or pink for breast cancer. His boisterous personality has helped earn him the nickname Little B Hopp.
It's a nod to boxing great Bernard Hopkins, who retired in 2016 but was best known for his quick feet, his counter punch and his larger-than-life persona. Colbert now counts Hopkins as a mentor. He says having that boxing great in his corner has only inspired him to be better.