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Fighter Scouting Report

Najai "Nitro" Turpin

Najai "Nitro" Turpin stands 5 feet 5 inches tall and reportedly weighs 152lbs. He is currently registered in the Middleweight division. He fights for U.S. East and is managed by Stykey

has has a rating of 2, a status of 7 and record of 16-14-1 (12/10) and is currently M .  His record in world title fights is 0-0-0 (0/0)

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Fighter Description

2 Time US East Middleweight Champion

Age: 23..... Hometown: Philadelphia, PA..... Occupation: Boxer/road and restaurant worker..... Family: Kids: Anyae..... On Monday, February 14, 2005 the boxing world was deeply saddened by the suicide of one of our own, Najai Turpin..... If you wish to donate to a fund for Najai's daughter, make all checks payable to the Anyae Chapple Trust:...J.P. Morgan Trust Company, N.A.... 1999 Avenue of the Stars,...26th Floor ... Los Angeles, CA 90067... Attn: Fiduciary Services Dept. Donations made to the trust are not tax deductible donations as this is not a 501(c3) entity..... Born and raised in a tough neighborhood in Philadelphia, Najai came from humble beginnings. From an early age, the soft spoken Najai saw boxing as an alternative to poverty and hardship. By becoming a successful boxing champion, Najai hoped he could provide a better life for himself, his family and especially his pride and joy, daughter Anyae. At the young age of eighteen, Najai suddenly became the man of the house, when his mother passed away. He then had the additional responsibility of taking care of his younger siblings. In order to provide for his family, he not only juggled several jobs at once but with fierce determination, also managed to squeeze in time to train at his neighborhood gym. The mean streets of his Philly neighborhood had recently dealt Najai another obstacle when he was carjacked at gunpoint and robbed of several hundred dollars in cash. Frustrated and thinking of revenge, he suddenly had a change of heart when the acceptance package from The Contender arrived at his door. Seeing his participation in the show as an opportunity to prove himself, Najai strongly believed it was a sign from God and "He was letting me know he had my back the whole time." Against what seemed like insurmountable odds, Najai persevered and at the age of 23, had risen to prominence as a promising young fighter with a 13-1-0 record, that included 9 knock outs. Often called the "total package" he was respected by his peers for his dignity, his dedication to his family and his deep passion for the sport of boxing. "Najai embodied the "Rocky" spirit as a Philly fighter from humble beginnings. In addition to being a phenomenal fighter in the ring, he was a beautiful person outside the ring. My thoughts are with his loved ones." -Sly Stallone "My heart goes out to Najai's family in this time of tragedy. Najai was a wonderful kid with a lot of heart. He was a softspoken young man who was both a talented boxer and also respected by his peers on the show. Everyone is highly distraught over this loss - he will be missed." -Sugar Ray Leonard "All of us at Contender mourn the loss of a great fighter with tremendous heart and courage. His death comes as a shock to all of us. We all came to love Najai and the episode in which he was most depicted will stand as a wonderful testament to who he was - it will not be changed. The Contender is about giving young men a chance to make a better life for themselves and their families. Our hearts go out to Najai's family in this time of tragedy." -Mark Burnett.

March 25, 2005..... A Tribute To Najai Turpin: How NBC's The Contender Destroyed A Good Man!......... By Brian Sutcliffe as told to Scott Shaffer.......... Brian Sutcliffe is a 38 year-old vice president at Merrill Lynch in Bala Cynyd, Pennsylvania. A self-described upper-middle class white guy, Brian works out at the James Shuler Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia where he befriended a young middleweight named Najai Turpin. Last year, Turpin was selected to participate in NBC's boxing reality show, The Contender. It seemed like the chance of a lifetime for Turpin, but it turned out to be the end of his lifetime. Turpin lost his bout during the taping of The Contender and apparently took his own life shortly before the first epsiode aired. Sutcliffe reached out to Boxingtalk, and with a little encouragement, he turned his thoughts and memories into this article. Boxingtalk is proud to present Brian's story in his own words as a tribute to the late Najai Turpin. My story starts with Robert Hines, who was the IBF junior middleweight champion back in the late 1980s I met him in 1996 and asked him to teach me how to box. He introduced me to the James Shuler Memorial Gym in West Philly and I found a beautiful place there with great people. It really is everything you would never expect from a boxing gym and it is a center of the community. I met first Najai Turpin seven years ago when I stumbled onto this gym where he trained. I was working out with Robert Hines, who brought me into Shuler's. That neighborhood is full of drug dealers and gangs. The kids who train there, all they know growing up is death. I am an upper middle class white guy, an investment professional. I can't tell you how wrong I was to be scared. The people at this gym are so warm and caring. They are all so beautiful in such a bad place. I was taken with the way these kids are helped through this place. A lot of them are troubled youths who don't have families. This gym is a brotherhood and it teaches them not to steal, not to deal, not to join a gang. These kids are taught humility and respect. These are tough kids who never complain and sh