Andre “Trouble Man” Harris Using Professional Boxing To Be A Better Father
MADISON- The sport of boxing can at times be a brutal exhibition of physical activity that inflicts pain on the participants and challenges even the best athletes to the core of their own mental and physical toughness. Andre Harris, Jr. is utilizing his life experiences combined with sure will and determination to be both a better boxer and father through the hellish physical endeavor of being a professional boxer.
On Saturday, April 23, Harris will step into the ring for his fourth pro fight when he’ll tangle with Dowen Pugh of Florida in a card of fights that’s being touted the “Rumble by The River V.” He’ll step into the ring utilizing the nickname “Trouble Man.”
“When I step into the ring, somebody’s in trouble,” said Harris in between his workouts that usually come at the end of the day after putting in a good eight hours at his fulltime job in the delivery department of A-Z Resources of Huntsville.
Harris grew up among the projects of Tuscaloosa where his father, Andre Sr., was incarcerated prior to Harris’ birth and his mother, Joyce, somehow raised her family of four children mostly on her own. Harris was an A-B honor roll student who had a passion for boxing and loved watching the sport on television. His favorite fighter was the Hall of Fame boxer Sugar Ray Leonard. Like many who grew up among the tough neighborhoods near his high school of Central High he was challenged at a young age.
“I had to defend myself and my siblings as I always hated watching others be bullied, so many times I stepped in and took care of situations many times others shied away from,” said Harris. His love for the sport of boxing and the reality check of his environment began to really take off in his teen years and soon led him to a gymnasium. He first stepped into the ring was in 2014 in nearby Northport and he began to get the feel for what he wanted to pursue in life. Within two years he was consistent in his training and soon became connected with a longtime boxing coach Damarius Hill.
“He knew my family and I approached him he soon figured out he knew me when I was a young boy,” said Harris. “Boxing, I love the contact and for many of those in the gym getting into boxing was a life-or-death situation with nowhere to go.”
His skill set advanced quickly mainly because he always trained with the professional fighters and not the amateurs. He knew deep inside he had pursue the sport not just for himself.
“I see it as a way out for my kids as I don’t want them to live that projects life,” said Harris, who has two daughters, ages 10 and seven, and one son, age 4. “I’m just a fighter who wants to be a great dad.”
The 28-year-old Harris has three pro bouts under his belt all ending with the 5-foot-9, 175-pound cruiserweight scoring knockouts. His first fight was in November 2019, when he scored a first-round knockout at the 1:45 minute mark. He took some time away from arranging bouts to take care of his three children, but returned to the ring one year later when he scored another knockout. It took him just 1:18 to send his opponent to the canvass. In his third fight in May of 2021, Harris scored a TKO as his opponent retired on his stool after the third round.
“I feel I make great adjustments once in the ring against an opponent,” said Harris. “Others see me as a knockout artist, but I see my talents as a great boxer. I have a great right hand and can follow that with numerous punches.”
In August of 2020 Harris made the move from Tuscaloosa to the immediate Huntsville area to focus on his boxing career and his former management company was located nearby, but Harris has expanded his horizons opening his own Andre Harris Promotions business adventure. He trains in a boxing gym in Decatur where he does Facetime segments with Hill and they both view sparring sessions through video. He does much of his roadwork in and around the Huntsville-Madison area and can be spotted many times before dawn on the local roads before he preps for his job.
Harris never dealt directly into the regular sports scene like many of his friends and at one time was hospitalized for a month at Birmingham’s UAB for a blood condition where his platelet levels dropped below dangerous levels causing his nose and sometimes ears to bleed as his blood would not clot properly. He spent weeks of rehabilitation after leaving the confines of the highly regarded health facility in Birmingham.
While in high school he took creative writing classes as he loves to write poetry, some of which won awards for his creative talents. He loves to play chess and in his little spare time is a personal trainer.
At age 16 Harris told his mother he would never move back home as he wanted out of the projects and wanted to change his life. His father is now out of prison and back home as Harris gets along with both of his parents. He wants more in life. He wants to excel as a father and a man.
“I want to be better for my kids as my mother raised us by herself and I saw how tough that was on everyone,” said Harris. “I have shed blood and tears and like my mother I never gave up. I’m determined to finish what I started.”
The next step into the ring in Gadsden will be another step forward for the Trouble Man.