Blood, Boxing, Corps: Father, Son Bound by More than Family
DVIDS | May 02 2016
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (April 21, 2016) – For Teddy Randolph Sr. and his son Teddy Randolph Jr., bloodlines are not the only thing that binds them together. Both men are also bound by the title ‘Marine' and the love they share for boxing.
"In 1987, I was ranked as the 7th best high school boxer for the 125lb weight class in the nation," said Randolph Sr. "Although I was physically ready to become a professional boxer, I wasn't mentally prepared. One day, the Marine recruiter came to my school and I knew I didn't want to be a sailor or soldier - I wanted to be a Marine and I was up for the challenge."
Randolph Sr. enlisted into the Marine Corps in 1987 and earned his spot on the boxing team in 1988.
"When I found out I would be able to continue boxing in the Corps, I made it a point to join the team as soon as I could," said Randolph, Sr. "When I was on the team, I worked and fought hard to not only remain on the team, but to excel."
During his time as a boxer, Randolph Sr. fought boxers such as Olympic gold medalist Oscar De La Hoya and served as the representative for the United States Olympic Boxing Committee.
"He was a great boxer and an even better Marine," said retired MSgt Roosevelt Sanders, former coach for the All-Marine Boxing Team from 1975-78 and 1988-2000. "He had heart for the sport, trained hard and always worked to better himself in and out of the ring. It was his dedication and discipline that opened the doors to many of his accomplishments."
Randolph Sr. had to leave the Marine Corps and the team in 1992, being medically retired as a corporal after tearing a rotator cuff.
After hanging up his uniform 24 years ago, Randolph Sr. alongside approximately 50 fellow boxers from various periods of the team's existence, were inducted into the All-Marine Boxing Hall of Fame. An induction ceremony was held to recognize them aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 16, 2016.
"Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is surreal," said Randolph Sr. "When I retired I didn't want to leave the Marine Corps or the team, but I kept my head up knowing I was able to accomplish so many things and that I had a son to raise. Even after all this time I am honored to have been recognized for the blood and sweat I left in the ring."
Before Randolph Sr. retired, his life changed on October 25, 1992 when he became a father to his son, Randolph Jr., who would also grow up to become a Marine and boxer.
"I grew up surrounded by boxing and the Marine Corps" said Sgt Teddy Randolph Jr., an administration clerk with Marine Corps Individual Reserve Support Activity in New Orleans, La. "I began learning the sport as soon as I could put gloves on my hands."
Following in his father's yellow footprints, Randolph Jr. arrived at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, Feb. 14, 2011. Shortly after completing training and reporting to Marine Corps Individual Reserve Support Activity, he joined the All-Marine Boxing Team in March 2012.
"I decided to pursue the same path as my dad after seeing what he was able to accomplish through boxing and the Marine Corps," said Randolph Jr. "I wanted to have the same opportunities as him and a chance to accomplish even more than he did."
After budget cuts and members of the team sustained injuries, the All-Marine Boxing Team was disbanded in October 2012. Despite this, Marines like Randolph Jr. are still working to make a name for themselves in the sport.
"I have seen Randolph Jr. practice before and can tell that he has a lot of potential," said Sanders. "Watching him reminds me of when I coached his father back in the day. It's disappointing he won't be able to fight on the All-Marine team anymore, but if he keeps training and fighting he can join the team again if the Marine Corps brings it back or he could work toward becoming a professional boxer if he wanted to."
Currently, there is a movement from All-Marine Boxing Team alumni and Marine leaders to reestablish the team. Many installations across the Corps still feature boxing and mixed martial arts classes or groups.
"I accredit many of my professional and personal successes to what I learned in the ring and as a Marine," said Randolph Sr. "Being a Marine and an athlete go hand in hand. Both aspects instill discipline in you and give you traits to be successful in every aspect of your life. That is why so many of us want to bring it back. I wouldn't be half the man or father I am without the Corps or the All-Marine Boxing team."
"I would recommend joining an All-Marine sports team to any Marine or person interested in joining that wants to compete and better themselves athletically," said Randolph Jr. "No matter what sport, joining opens doors to compete in several national and international championships, to include the Olympics. Even if you are not at the level to compete for an All-Marine Team, many Marines elect to play on intramural sports programs which provide many of the same benefits."
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