Some Olympic boxers, such as Sugar Ray Leonard, burst into the professional ranks and go right to the top. Others, such as middleweight Michael Nunn, an alternate on the 1984 U.S. Olympic squad, take an alternate route hoping to reach the same destination.
It's been nearly two years since Nunn turned professional under the Ten Goose Boxing Club of North Hollywood. He started modestly, fighting some opponents few had ever heard of while learning how to increase his punching power and become more aggressive. He concludes his daily workouts at the Ten Goose gym by chopping wood, which helps him to get more of his body into his punches.
But the days of lowered expectations may be over. Nunn (15-0, 11 knockouts) is ready to give up his alternate route and try the fast lane on the road to the top.
His next two fights were announced Wednesday and they include his first meeting with a fighter ranked in the top 10. Charlie Boston (14-2) of Trenton, N.J., rated fifth last month by the World Boxing Assn., will meet Nunn on July 25 in the 10-round main event at Las Vegas' Showboat Hotel. Boston has since lost to sixth-ranked Doug DeWitt, so his rating will be lower the night he steps in against Nunn.
Nunn, whose last fight was a knockout victory over Felipe Vaca a month ago, has another bout ahead of him before he can even think about Boston. Nunn will face Ramon Perez (19-4, 15 knockouts) of Miami on June 25 in a 10-rounder at the Forum.
"This is his big break," Mel Grubb of the Top Rank boxing organization said of Nunn's meeting with Boston. "We know that."
Top Rank is now co-managing Nunn's career, along with Ten Goose. And looking for a direct route to the top.