The life of a fighter is not easy. The idea of surviving the struggle to become an elite level fighter seems almost insurmountable. For Arena Pro Boxer Stephan “Big Shot” Shaw that path has been walked with the full support of his father Brian Shaw. Mr. Shaw’s love and determination to help his son fulfill his dreams is the kind of family bond that fighters need when they walk through the darkness. When Big Shot finally puts that belt around his waist as heavyweight champion of the world it will be with his father in his corner.
Stephan is the youngest of my two children. This one here said a long time ago he wanted to be a heavyweight champion and here we are. We live in St. Louis, Missouri. Stephan’s been coming out here for the last four years, here at the arena, training with coach, Basheer Abdullah.
Basheer Abdullah, I’ve been knowing him for a long time. We growed up as elementary kids. We was always rivals when we were younger, but as we got older we became real good friends, especially once he told he got into boxing, because I come from a history of boxing. My dad has been a coach in the City of St. Louis for over 40 years.
Stephan’s been interested in boxing since he was four years old. He first came to the gym and wanted to put on every pair of gloves, and before you know it he wanted to get in there and box.
I finally told him, “Okay, I’ll let you box. All I ask is that you be a winner.” And he said, “No problem, Dad.” First time he laced them up was almost 20 years ago. He wind up stopping the kid in the third round, his first match. My dad was like, he was almost in shock, because he hadn’t even seen him being that aggressive before. So, I kind of knew that he really liked this and he really wanted to box.
Well, I’ve taken on the full-time role as his personal assistant and he has Basheer Abdullah as his coach and that balances off, because it’s hard to be your son’s coach and his father at the same time, because you tend to take one back with the other.
My dad coached me, and the biggest thing I found is that we never left the issues at the gym, at the gym. We brought them home. So I made a vow that if I did ever work with this guy, would not be as head coach.
I enjoy this because I get a chance to work with him and really see him manifest his dreams. I mean, this is something that he really wanted to do all his life. He’s been thinking about this moment and seeing himself in this position a very long time.
This guy is real. He wants to be a world champion, and I think that after April 22nd, you’re going to do a lot more of Stephan Big Shot Shaw.