SBCC student is amateur boxer

Christopher Sugarman

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When City College student Brent Hermann is not pulverizing bodies and bashing heads he’s doing what any ordinary student would do-studying, going to work, and sharing a bachelor-pad style apartment.

The 22-year-old, 178-pound Hermann is an amateur boxer who will fight in his first boxing competition on March 20. He has been training for combat everyday for the last three years while studying to earn a biology degree.

“Everyday, every single day. If I’m not running then I am at the gym. If I am not at the gym then I’m sparring,” Hermann said. “I put in something like 50 hours a week training.”

His rigorous exercise ritual includes sparring and running in addition to working out every day. Sparring is different than a boxing competition in only that it is not scored and is used as a training tool.

“Thinking is his main strength,” David Grinvald, one of Hermann’s sparring partners, said. “He is a smart guy and he uses that in a fight. You also do not want anything to do with his body shots.”

Hermann was born in Vancouver, Wash. and moved to Walnut Creek, Calif. where he attended Campolindo High School. Hermann grew up playing physical sports and wrestled in high school.

“Wrestling got me started,” he said. “I have always liked competitive sports, especially one-on-one sports,” Hermann said. “I heard boxing was always challenging and the idea of it was really cool. I really like a challenge and boxing is definitely one of the hardest workout sports there are.”

Hermann credits his passion for adrenaline-driven sports to his father. In high school, his dad was a standout wrestler.

“I have always had him to look up to,” he said. “My dad is glad that I do it, but my mom doesn’t want to hear about it. She hates it when I break my nose.”

Hermann spends his free time on another canvas – he’s an artist.

The artwork on his room walls double as an art gallery and Hermann plans to open an online store to display his work.

“The art is my soft side,” Hermann said.

When he steps into the ring, his opponents find it hard to believe that there is a soft side of him.

“He is the best boxer in the gym. He is in great shape, smart, confident, and has all the skills,” Grinvald said. “His left sends to the hospital, his right sends you to the graveyard.”

The right-handed Hermann boxes in the Light Heavyweight class, a category for fighters weighing between 168 and 178 pounds. This is an advantage for Hermann, who weighed as much as 200 pounds a year ago.

“I’m large for that weight class. I have a lot of reach for that class than what is typically in there,” Hermann said. “Dropping weight has been really useful. I would like to conquer this weight class and then see what I can do.”

What goes through Hermann’s head when he steps into the ring against the next human punching bag might surprise you.

“It’s fun, you’re there to have fun. A lot of guys get really nervous and I can’t lie, I did to when I first started,” Hermann said. “But over time you gain confidence with it and you’re choosing to put yourself in the ring.”

His favorite boxer is retired Pernell Whitaker. During his career he was regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter and deviated from most professional boxers by fighting in more than 500 amateur bouts.

Hermann is not boxing for the money or the recognition. He fights to keep the competitive juices flowing through his veins.

“I am not in it for money, I’m not trying to become a professional fighter, it’s not my goal,” he said. “I think I will always be involved with bag work and always be boxing of some sort. I would like to get to a point where I feel I proved I could box and once I’m there, that’s it.”

What Hermann does want to do in the future is to use his biology background.

“Ideally, I would like to get into veterinary science and work with horses and other large animals,” He said. “But I could see myself getting into research for medicine.”

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