Black man in blue t-shirt standing next to a boxing ring

“First Person Singular” is an occasional column that focuses on impactful personalities in Central Ohio. 

It is written by JP Marat, a DJ and Producer for WCRS FM Community Radio in Columbus.

Super Heroes

When I was a kid my idols were super heroes like The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Luke Cage. When I got a bit older, I gravitated towards military commanders (oh youth!). It’s only as an adult that I’ve come to appreciate the last great hero of our age . . . a Columbus Parks and Recreation Department staff worker.

Everett Smith

In preparation for a radio show on WCRS FM, I sat with Everett Smith, Boxing Coach of the Barack Recreation Center (located at 580 East Woodrow Ave, just off Parsons Avenue). I’ve trained at Barack on and off for the last few years so I’ve known Everett for a while. He helped smooth out my speed bag technique (control your power, find the rhythm) and showed me a better way to hit the heavy bag (stick & move). He is focused, calm and “in the moment” . . . character traits shared by the best corner men.

Everett grew up on the South Side of Columbus. He spent many safe, happy and productive hours at the Barack Recreation Center logging quality time in the ring. As an adult he has taken on the role of coach and mentor . . . and the South Side is better for it.


Columbus Boxing Legends Exhibition at Barack – Saturday, February 18th

We discussed the upcoming Columbus Boxing Legends exhibition coming to Barack on Saturday Feb 18th starting at 5pm. In addition to 14 bouts of Golden Gloves greatness (all weight classes and both sexes), joining the crowd will be Columbus Boxing luminaries like James “Buster” Douglas (who beat Mike Tyson for the world heavy weight championship), Olympic Boxing Gold medalist Jerry Page, Manning Galloway, Mike Johnson, Vonzell Johnson, Marvin Green and Chuck and Steve Gregory. All are well respected veterans of the Boxing World and extraordinary men in their own right.

Tickets are $10 and benefit the Boxing program at Barack. You can buy them at Barack or online.

Jab, Cross, Hook

I’m impressed by the Boxing facilities at Barack. The equipment is excellent quality, clean and well maintained. The coaches are knowledgeable. The boxing crowd is diverse. Everett knows he runs a great program.

So . . . if you know . . . a good hearted girl or boy who wants to get in shape and learn the “sweet science” . . . or if you are an adult like me, trying to stay sharp and in shape, then drop by The Barack Recreation Center located at 580 East Woodrow Avenue and ask for Everett Smith or any of the Barack Staff.

They’ll set ya straight. . . Jab, Cross, Hook . . . Repeat as Necessary.

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