Fields brothers pack 1-2 punch in singular runs to ring heights

Unbeaten Landover pair on same Glen Burnie card

January 27, 1999|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

Professional boxing has boasted several famous brother acts over the years.

In the late '30s, Baltimore's Fighting Dundees, Joe and Vince, went on to win the welterweight and middleweight titles, respectively.

Some 40 years later, the Spinks brothers, Leon and Michael of St. Louis, made ring history as both reigned briefly as heavyweight champion.

Presently, the unbeaten Fields brothers of Landover -- Anthony, a junior middleweight, and Jermaine, a junior lightweight -- are trying to make history of their own.

"We both believe we're capable of becoming world champions if we keep on doing what we've been accomplishing the past two years," said Anthony, at 24 a year younger than his brother.

For the first time since they turned pro, the brothers will be appearing on the same card -- at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie tomorrow night.

Anthony (10-0, seven KOs) will appear in an eight-rounder against Anthony Perry (8-6) of Virginia Beach, and Jermaine (12-0, nine KOs), who had a celebrated amateur career, will face Fidelio Morel (2-6) of the Dominican Republic in a six-round bout.

The brothers cannot remember a time when they were not fighting. Their father, William Fields Sr., had them swinging 12-ounce gloves when they were barely out of diapers.

Anthony recalls competing in tournaments when he was 6, following the example of older brothers William Jr., Leonard and Jermaine.

Determined to keep his sons out of harm's way on the neighborhood streets, the senior Fields built a gym in his garage, complete with a ring, heavy bags and speed bags, wall-length mirrors for shadow boxing and weights.

By the late '80s, the garage was filled with close to 200 amateur trophies. All four boys displayed an aptitude for boxing, but William, 22, was killed on the street five years ago. Leonard, the second oldest, ultimately found trouble on every corner and fell by the wayside.

Anthony and Jermaine persevered and became regulars at the Hillcrest Heights gym, where they received professional tutoring.

Jermaine suffered burnout in 1989 and stayed out of the ring for three years. But the layoff ended up fueling his appetite and ambition to make a name for himself.

He reached the quarterfinals of the 1992 Olympic trials, but remained an amateur. Four years later, he gained the Olympic finals, earning a spot as an alternate.

By then, he had caught the eye of legendary trainer Eddie Futch and turned pro in California in 1997. After registering six quick knockouts, Jermaine severed his ties with promoter Dan Goosen. The split was a combination of believing he was being pushed too fast into tough matches, and also missing his wife and two children back East.

He returned to the Washington area, hooked up with trainer Al Scott and signed with Kelly Swanson, one of a handful of women fight managers.

Anthony has kept a lower profile while enjoying equal success.

"Jermaine and I may have taken different paths," said Anthony, "but I'm predicting we'll both end up in the same place one day as world champions."

Pub Date: 1/27/99

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