Whatever happened to Tyrell Biggs?

Tyrell Biggs now trains kids in boxing at Shepherd Recreation Center in West Philadelphia. Credit: Lunchbox Communications, Photographer: Robert Carter
Tyrell Biggs now trains kids in boxing at Shepherd Recreation Center in West Philadelphia. Credit: Lunchbox Communications, Photographer: Robert Carter

Tyrell Biggs isn’t missing. We know where he is. He’s teaching boxing to kids whose parents remember the former boxer as the gold medal winner in the 1984 Olympics.

They remember him beating Mike Evans after turning pro following the Games.

But they also remember his fall from grace — his drug and alcohol addiction and his first professional loss to Mike Tyson for Tyson’s world heavyweight title in 1987.

He had a smattering of wins and losses after that but admittedly, it was never the same for him.

“I was just trying to rebound and continue fighting and continue to win and go back up and get back into championship contention,” Biggs said. “It didn’t work out that.”

But the Philadelphia native is still doing what he loves and a local film production company is trying to bring forth a documentary about his life. Dafna Yachin, chief creative officer at Lunchbox Communications in Manayunk and Trinity Greer are co-directing the documentary, which needs about $30,000 more to go in less than two weeks of its Kickstarter campaign.

“We were fascinated with [Biggs’] story,” Yachin said. “I was quite surprised that half the people in the community didn’t know who he was.”

Documentary filmmakers are trying to get the life story of boxer Tyrell Biggs made into a film. Credit: Lunchbox Communications, Photographer: Robert Carter
Documentary filmmakers are trying to get the life story of boxer Tyrell Biggs made into a film. Credit: Lunchbox Communications, Photographer: Robert Carter

The money would help the production team complete the documentary and share the film. Boxers Eugene Hart and his son Jesse are interviewed, as well as trainers Lou Duva and Tommy Brooks. The team hopes to get his 1984 boxing team members on the film — Pernell Whitaker, Mark Breland and Evander Holyfield.

Mike Tyson is also slated to be interviewed regarding the October 1987 fight in Atlantic City for Tyson to defend his World Heavyweight Title. The referee had called the bout with just about three minutes left in the seventh round.

“I did some things wrong and I underestimated his speed,” Biggs said. “He’s a pretty big puncher. The thing that made it that much more effective, he had the speed. And I kind of fell short. I was looking forward to trying to win the championship for the world. How many people get the opportunity to do that? I was just overwhelmed by the feeling of being able to go to the championship.”

Yachin’s documentary will not only focus on Biggs life as a boxer but his start as a basketball player at his West Philadelphia high school. And of course, it will focus on the work he’s doing at Mitchell Allen Gym at Shepherd Recreation Center on 57th Street and Haveford Avenue.

“Most of us will never experience the highs and lows Tyrell has experienced,” Yachin said. “It was the story that drew us in. Nobody was telling it.”

After the noble art

Tyrell Biggs started out at the Joe Frazier gym on North Broad Street.

He now trains kids, aged 10 to 15, in the boxing gym downstairs at Shepherd Rec Center.

He said the kids have an idea of who he is through their parents. “They can always pull me up on the Internet.”

He still trains in a way; he holds the pads and jumps rope with the kids. “It’s a good thing. It’s good to be able to try to see these kids progress and do things positive instead of all the negative things going on.”

Crowd-funding push

Filmmakers are still a good amount away from their goal of $35,000. With 13 days left in the campaign, only about $4,300 has been raised. To read about the campaign and to learn how to donate, click here.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…

National

The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.

Local

Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…

National

Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.

Television

'How to Get Away with' mischaracterizing Shondra Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes read Alessandra Stanley's New York Times piece about her being "an angry black woman" and "a romance writer" and it did not sit well with her.

Gossip

New nude celebrity selfies leak … and Clay…

A new batch of nude selfies of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Lake Bell and Avril Lavigne hit the web and Clay Aiken has something to say!

Television

James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…

Television

True Detective

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

NFL

Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…

NFL

Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.

NFL

3 things we learned as Giants pick up…

The Giants picked up their first win of the season over the Texans.

Career

Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…

Education

Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…

Parenting

How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.