The Eclectic Mind of Ed Latimore

Ed Latimore is a man in his early 30’s with a profound interest in mathematics and chess. He attends the Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA that is not too far from where he grew up and spent the better part of his adulthood. There he is grinding toward a dual degree in Physics and Electrical Engineering. If you did not know already, Mr. Latimore is a professional boxer. He has taken time off to focus on school, as he was once part of Roc Nation Sports. He is not what you would think when someone merely uttered the word boxer. Ed is active on Twitter as he drops mind-blowing quotes, he writes, and he just genuinely likes connecting with people. Those are characteristics that make him unique.

Latimore struggled early on in his life at 19, like many young adults, as he lacked discipline. He had just dropped out of college, was gaining weight, drank a lot, chased women, and worked dead end jobs. Ed might have been someone we all know or knew at some point in our own life that did not capitalize on their youth. Suddenly, he had an epiphany as he joined Americorps, then volunteered for the Army National Guard, and boxed as an amateur.

Latimore talked about becoming a boxer. He said, “I didn’t start until I was 22. It was something I had always been interested and I knew it could help me with my weight. I was 255 pounds from all of the late night eating and thought enough is enough. So I said, “Let’s just try it out.”

lat3Latimore shed weight fast as he went from 255 to 220 pounds. He reflected on a younger version of himself as having a lack of discipline and self-control. Those are a few words he values the most. He adjusted his mind and started to make educated and controlled decisions. In the ring, he lacks size, but he packs powerful blows with good technique. He anticipates punches and moves his feet well defensively, which is why he has been successful. Latimore was basking in the glory of amateur boxing, as he was a state and national champion in the heavyweight division. He also made it to the Olympic qualifier before turning pro.

lat4A typical day in the life of Ed starts off at about five o’clock in the morning. He focuses on tasks such as: academics, marketing, blogging, or connecting with the universe on Twitter. Following the miscellaneous tasks, Ed hits the gym where he bulks up and hits the treadmill before heading to class. After class, he helps kids out by tutoring them before finally heading home. Latimore helps them with schoolwork, but he plants seeds of wisdom in the back of their mind.

“Discipline and dedication to something is all you need. You can make a life for yourself that people can learn from,” Latimore referenced as things he says to the younger generation.

Currently, the heavyweight boxer is currently 13-1 with seven knockouts to his name. The loss he took was eye opening and gut wrenching, but he learned to live with it. Latimore is 6’1 and generally fights at 220 pounds or lower so he is often at a disadvantage. He learned the importance of having a strong base.

“I got hit and I realized I was not as balanced as I should have been,” stated the Pittsburgh native. “I need to keep my hands up.”

Latimore, in a matter of fact tone, talked about how the fight bothered him for about a week or two. However, he realized life goes on and there are global issues in the world that are worth being mad about.

The Pittsburgh brawler credits two people as his mentors in life. His boxing coach has been great to him and helped shape him into the man he is today. He helped Latimore be a pro and develop as a fighter. Out of the ring, Jack Murphy has helped him capitalize on having a fanbase. Latimore has developed better over the years as a writer as his confidence has grown.

lat6The former amateur national champ is a writer and recently published “Not Caring What Other People Think is a Superpower: Insights From a Heavyweight Boxer.” The book is a collection of essays on pillars of life people should know including: hard work, self-control, relationships, and sobriety. The book has been his main focus as he continues to focus on earning a dual degree. After dropping out at 19, Latimore understands the importance of school.

He said, “The most important thing is not school itself because school is just an instrument. What is important is what you do with it. For me, people can appreciate the work being done in the field I am in.”

Boxing has gotten a bad wrap amongst fans as a “dying sport.” Is it dying though? Latimore believes the sport is in a renaissance with it being on more networks than in the last 20 years. He noted PBC, Spike, ESPN, HBO, Showtime, and Pay-Per-View as the bigger platforms for a fight. It is big overseas as there is usually a fight on every weekend. He respects what Floyd Mayweather has done for the sport in terms of glamorizing and popularizing the sport. His success in the ring helps too. The answer to that question is an emphatic no.

At 32, Latimore is not sure when his next fight will be, but acknowledged the fact that he is not done. This is a man with a lot of wisdom and is extremely intelligent. He tweets brainteasers, is improving as a writer, and has launched a book. Latimore answers questions with well thought out responses and is articulate. These qualities translate to his writing. He is a motivated fighter with his hands in different fields thanks to his growing fanbase. He continues to supersede the idea of a typical boxer and get as much out of the sport as the sport gets out of him.

Underdog Turned All-Pro

Chris Harris Jr. has epitomized the phrase “shutdown corner.” He can go up top and fight for the ball with the likes of AJ Green, Mike Evans, or Julio Jones. He can cover smaller wideouts or slot receivers like Julian Edelman, Antonio Brown, or Jarvis Landry. No matter the assignment, CHJ will be on his man’s hip like they are conjoined twins and frustrate opposing quarterbacks. Heck, he might pick that same quarterback off and smile as he takes it to the house. No matter the opposition or level of competition, Harris Jr. has been a consistent football player.

talibThe three-time Pro Bowler was undrafted out of Kansas in 2011. Denver signed him and he has morphed into one of the premiere corners the league has to offer. His technique is sound, as he never bites on the eye candy receivers try to seduce him with in the early part of their routes. Harris Jr. shows great anticipation on routes, which has made him one of the most feared corners. In his career, he has posted 66 pass deflections, 14 interceptions, and three touchdowns. He reflected on his early years on guys that served as mentors to him.

“I would say Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins. Those guys are for sure Hall of Famers,” said the Bronco corner.

champBailey and Dawkins were cerebral athletes in their prime, but were known for their anticipation, preparation, and knowledge of the game. These are two reasons why they were able to extend their prime. Harris Jr. has those same qualities, but the best part of his game is his consistency. If you have ever turned on a Broncos game, you might not hear his name often. This is a good thing because it means Harris Jr. is locking his man up. He talked about what makes him a steady contributor.

“Just being consistent every year I think comes with my preparation. I think I prepare hard for the season every year,” stated Harris Jr. “Where I separate myself from a lot of corners is that I try to play good every week.”

NFL: Oct 11  Denver at OaklandHis dominance at his position is directly correlated to his team’s success on the field. He along with TJ Ward, Darian Stewart, Bradley Roby, and Aqib Talib has formed quite the secondary. The Broncos have finished in the top five in total defense since 2014. They won a Super Bowl last year as they frustrated Tom Brady and Cam Newton on their way to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Denver missed the playoffs this year, but the defense was still Fort Knox-esque. They finished fourth in total yards and points per game and finished first in passing yards allowed.

Part of the reason why the Broncos missed the playoffs can be attributed to the strength of the reinvigorated AFC West. The Sheriff, Peyton Manning, left town and the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs jumped at the opportunity to compete for the division crown. The San Diego Chargers only won five games, but they welcomed the challenge against their divisional foes. Harris Jr. loves the competition in the division and highlighted a few marquee matchups.

Harris Jr. said, “You got great quarterbacks in there [the AFC West] and great receivers. It challenges me every year to be able to guard Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, and Keenan Allen.”

foundationOn the field, Harris Jr. is a top ten corner and is certainly in the top five discussions. He has been an All-Pro player since 2014 and was named a first-team selection this past season. Off the field, he has been the ultimate humanitarian. The Chris Harris Jr. Foundation was founded in 2013 and was made to help children in need. Harris spoke glowingly on his efforts with his foundation.

“Being able to find underdogs, like me, and give them a head start in life. That’s the main goal and trying to reach as many kids and touch as many kids as possible,” said CHJ.

The foundation has a football camp every year, works with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the Salvation Army. Harris has also been outspoken against domestic violence. He continues to win on the field, but his greatest efforts come when he is off the field.

Prince Amukamara: Football and Unwavering Faith

Prince Amukamara of the Jacksonville Jaguars is a good cornerback, but an even better person. He signed with the Jags last offseason after starting his career with the New York Giants. He helped stabilized the secondary, brought championship experience, and a calming presence to a very young core. Going back to his days at Nebraska, Amukamara has never been one to get rattled easily. This characteristic can be attributed to the veterans that helped cultivate his game to go along with his unwavering faith.

Of course, the former Cornhusker was disappointed with how the season turned out as the Jags finished with just three wins. There is always some glimmer of hope in every situation and Amukamara found that as he talked about the season.

prince“We [the defense] were ranked 30th last year and then went up to 6th. I feel like next year we can continue to build on that,” said the optimistic corner.

The final score of Jacksonville’s games could be a bit misleading, but their performance on the gridiron says otherwise. This is a good group with seasoned veterans peppered with young guys. Jalen Ramsey, Yannick Ngakoue, Myles Jack, Telvin Smith, and Dante Fowler Jr. will grow together and help usher in a new era of Jags football. They finished sixth in total yards allowed and frustrated quarterbacks as they ranked fifth in passing yards allowed.

antrelAmukamara’s job is to help nourish them and spread the wisdom he absorbed from players like Aaron Ross, Terrell Thomas, Corey Webster, and Antrel Rolle.

“I would say those four guys groomed me and really showed me how a pro should act, eat, train, and play,” said Amukamara.

Football is merely a blip on the radar for Prince as his philanthropic work means the most to him. He credited players like Vernon Davis, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora for using the NFL’s shield to their advantage when they orchestrated off the field events. The Jags corner talked about one of the things he likes to do in his time away from the game of football.

“I like to give to mission trips so they can go and spread the word overseas,” stated an insightful Amukamara. That was just the tip of the iceberg.

kidsAmukamara’s belief in God extends well beyond the football field. Spreading the word is big to him, but he wants to help make a difference in the lives of the youth. First off, he genuinely loves kids and enjoys building connections with them. He and his wife are in the early stages of creating a scholarship to help students go through college.

Amukamara wants kids to go to school, but maximize their time there. Networking and being cost efficient are two things he thinks they should focus on. He is hoping to encourage kids to find themselves before college because college is a bit overpriced. In other words, the more time they spend trying to figure out what they want to do the more expensive school becomes. Make no mistake; Amukamara is not trying to disparage the idea of higher education. He just wants to make a difference.