Tri-Star Boxing returns to Memphis, TN on May 21 to once again put the spotlight on local talent. This installation of the Memphis Boxing Series presents an eight-bout card headlined by Dedrick “Damage” Bell.
This “Memphis Bell” has over sixty ring missions on his dossier. The journeyman junior middleweight is riding a seven-fight winning streak and won a six-round unanimous decision on February 26 to help open this series at Beast Mode Fitness at 199 Cumberland Street, Memphis, TN.
Bell isn’t your typical headliner in the sport of boxing. His introduction of him to the sport is nothing short of hilarious. With no amateur experience to speak of and not even much interest as a fan, Bell stepped into a boxing gym for the first time almost as a challenge or dare.
“It sounds crazy,” Bell stated. “An ex-girlfriend of mine loved boxing and she thought that I should give it a try.”
Athletically, Bell felt he stood out in most of the sports he played, but found great challenges in the sport of boxing as a professional with no background and limited preparations.
However, he won his professional debut back in 2009. It wasn’t long before he found himself overmatched against opponents with deeper boxing backgrounds. His first time being stopped came in his ninth professional bout when he met Mason Menard, then 13-1. Having fought only four-rounders, Bell lasted into the seventh of his first eight-round affair.
“I will be 38 on May 14th; the best day of the year besides Mother’s Day,” Bell shared. “I was born in Memphis, TN and will live here probably forever. I have three beautiful daughters. Them and all my clients are stars in my eyes. I’m all about the future of boxing in Memphis, so building a youth program that can compete world wide is what I am trying to accomplish most in the sport.”
Coaching youth and fitness-minded adults out of “Damageville” inside the Beast Mode Fitness complex is truly at the heart of Bell’s very being. He leads by example in terms of working hard and bringing it in the gym. Memphis is his world and that’s the only place he seeks to be a champion.
“Dedrick is one of the most professional people you will meet in pro boxing,” Matt Young, Tri-Star Boxing CEO, stated. “I have seen it all. Dedrick set out on a mission several years ago to get his record right side up; since 2016 he is 15-3. Dedrick wants to help the next generation of Memphis boxers not have to go through all the tough roads he had to. He is a great mentor to these younger fighters.”
Bell is modest about his ring experience, but he’s fought numerous world class and fringe contenders such as Brandon Bennett, Jake Giurico, Jose Benavidez Jr., Haskell Rhodes, Ivan Redkach, Yordenis Ugas, Charles Hatley, and Adrian Granados. Most of them were undefeated at the time they stepped into the ring with Bell. Most of them eventually fought world champions. Ugas went on to retire Manny Pacquiao before challenging Errol Spence Jr.
“It depends on my mood throughout the fight,” Bell explained. “[But inside the ropes], I can do a lot. I never quit and work harder. It was a short fight, but when I fought in California against Petr Petrov, a top ten guy from Russia, I learned that I can’t let the moment beat me. I know now, that no matter the stage, to be myself. everyone is [human].
Bell rarely shows signs of regret or remorse over the course of his career as he focuses on a greater purpose, but he still feels the sting from his most recent loss eight bouts back. Bell faced then unbeaten Jerrico Walton and lost a competitive decision after eight rounds.
“My best performance? Honestly, it was my last loss,” Bell asserted. “I felt I got robbed, but it was a great eight-round performance. I haven’t reached that point yet, but building Memphis into a boxing capitol would be nice. I want fighters to travel to Memphis for camps or sparring, so I like to build at home.”
Memphis has recent history with the sport of boxing, hosting two of Mike Tyson’s latter bouts against Lennox Lewis and Clifford Etienne, but it’s current state of the game greatly benefits from grass-root efforts like the Memphis Boxing Series. The last time Tri-Star Boxing promoted an event here the main event saw undefeated cruiserweight DeAngelo Leachman score a brutal third-round stoppage in the main event. The first thing the ecstatic fans sitting ringside asked was “When are you coming back?”
Bell aims to keep his stride going on May 21 as he prepares for a six-rounder in front of his local community. A full-card of boxing action is scheduled. VIP Ringside and VIP tables are still available. Food and beverage tokens come with VIP tables. General admission ticket options are also available.
Tickets may be purchased at the door as long as supplies last. Advanced purchase tickets can be made through www.vagaro.com/beastmodefitness1 or at Beast Mode Fitness at 199 Cumberland Street, Memphis, TN.