Atif Oberlton looks to impress on ShoBox Tripleheader

Atif Oberlton looks to continue his undefeated record against Artem Brusov on ShoBox: the Next Generation on Friday night.

ShoBox: The Next Generation returns to Bethlehem, Pa., as they kick off the new year with a tripleheader filled with undefeated fighters. The way ShoBox sets up its cards is why it’s one of the more popular shows to watch amongst the purist of the sweet science. In the co-main, 24-year-old undefeated light heavyweight prospect Atif Oberlton (7-0) faces Artem Brusov (12-0) in a scheduled eight-round fight.

Oberlton, who grew up in West Philadelphia, P.A., has an intriguing story as he is not only a fighter but also has dreams of being heavily involved in the fashion world. It doesn’t stop there as his trainer, Shar’ron Baker, is the first female boxing coach in Philly, and she wants to become the first female to lead a fighter to a world title as a head trainer. Together they form this inspiring team that looks to strike gold in the future.

When you speak to Oberlton, the first reaction is that he is years more mature than his age on BoxRec. Growing up wasn’t exactly easy, and if you ask him, he’s been molded throughout his life to become the person he is today.

Oberlton told FanSided, “Growing up in West Philly was like a tough inner-city thing, but I always stood out as a kid because my parents were different. My mother worked two jobs to put my sister through college, so I started to move with my dad. At first, I was in between houses, then I moved with my father, and he pretty much raised me the whole time until I was a young man. I would still see my mother, and she would always help put money for tournaments or anytime we needed her financially; she was always there to help.”

Atif Oberlton vs. Artem Brusov will stream live, this Friday on the Showtime App.

Oberlton continued, “I was mature for my age because I hung out with older people and listened to them talk. When it came to people in my age group, I realized they still had a childish mindset. I kept a small circle of friends, so I didn’t get into too much trouble. The smaller your circle, the better, and no one can come and infiltrate that. I pretty much did my own thing in a big city where you can get into a lot of trouble.”

While a young boy, Oberlton saw a pair of boxing gloves that his uncle had lying around and kept asking his mother to box, but she would not have any of that. Instead, his parents started to look for something he could do, like basketball or football. They would take him to practice and sign him up for different sports, but he would never return. Oberlton was playing football, and one day, another player pushed him down to the ground, and Oberlton started to swing at him.

Oberlton told FanSided, “Afterwards, my dad said, ‘you want to do that? They have a basement right here’. He took me to the basement at the recreation center, and since then, my love for boxing began. That was when I was around eight or nine as I was in and out of the gym for months, and I finally stayed at the age of fourteen and never left.”

When having a discussion with an up-and-coming fighter, it’s always interesting to hear about their first fight and if they had any moments that they chuckle at when looking back at it. When asked about it, Oberlton said, “When I hit him, he was screaming ‘owwww’ (laughs).” It was a funny comment, but he also realized he had come a long way since that first fight. Now he is on a ShoBox card and facing an undefeated fighter for the second consecutive time.

Oberlton, with extreme confidence, said, “Them having no losses yet is good for them. I have been challenged my whole life, both in and out of the ring, so I embrace those things. I’m not afraid of hot water.”

His opponent Brusov has shared the ring with some decorated opponents, so this is by no means a walk in the park for Oberlton.

“I take no fighter for granted. I always pay close attention and ensure my trainer is on point and I stay in shape. I’m 100 percent prepared for this fight. I will not take no for an answer and will win this fight,” said the southpaw prospect from West Philly. With that, he had a brief but confident message for those tuning in.

Oberlton told FanSided, “It’s going to be fun, and watch the guy that is going to save boxing. You can call me a superhero.”