Buffalo boxer overcomes odds, gets his shot with Vegas-based Mayweather Promotions

Local News

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (WIVB) — Superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. added Buffalo boxer Lionell Thompson to his “Money Team,” making Thompson the first boxer from western New York to sign with the infamous Mayweather Promotions based out of Las Vegas, NV.

Thompson, who also goes by his ring name “Lonnie B,” began his journey at a local church, where he went to escape his absentee parents. Determined to not be another inner city statistic, Thompson focused on his studies and stayed out of trouble — citing that he has never had any drug or criminal history. Thompson attributed his positive lifestyle, strength and faith from that choice.

A graduate of Burgard High School, Thompson went on to enroll and complete four years at Buffalo State College. Thompson completed his boxing training at the Northwest Community Center, where he trained under Don Patterson.

After graduation, “Lonnie B” took a leap of faith when he left his hometown gym in Buffalo to follow his aspirations of being a big time boxer in Las Vegas. Gathering ever bit of the savings that he put together, Thompson stayed in a budget motel for over a month and sparred at every local gym in Las Vegas looking to get noticed. One gym in particular took notice to his skillset and determination — a gym that just so happened to be one owned by none other than boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Mayweather offered Thompson a contract to fight under Mayweather Promotions and the Money Team, Thompson gladly accepted.

“Floyd did everything he said he was going to do for me & has given me the opportunity of a lifetime.” Thompson stated, “My dream is to deliver a world title to my hometown of Buffalo, New York.”

The dream continues for Thompson, who is set to step into the ring as the co-main event on Premier Boxing Champions in Las Vegas on February 16. The bout will be broadcasted live on Fox Sports.

“Lionell is the true American underdog story”, his advisor Amer Abdallah stated. “He had all of the chances & exposure to become another unfortunate statistic, but he made a choice to be somebody. He’s a hero even without his boxing accomplishments.”

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