Shortly after finding out he’d officially become an Olympic athlete, bantamweight boxer Shakur Stevenson huddled for a photo with coaches and friends at the Alexandria Boxing Club, in the Charles Houston Recreation Center. Founded in 1980 to keep local kids off the street, the club now attracts fighters from across the country to train with coaches Kay Koroma and Dennis Porter. Two years ago, Stevenson—who began boxing with his grandfather Willie Moses’s gym in Newark, New Jersey, at age five—moved south to work with Koroma, living in his coach’s home in Burke between international bouts. Now 18, Stevenson—named for the late rapper Tupac Shakur—is 23–0 and headed for Rio with Koroma. “With him and my granddad in my corner,” he says, “I know nothing can stop me.”
This article appears in our July 2016 issue of Washingtonian.