Nijee the Future is the professional name of eight-year-old Nijee Witcher of Pittsville, who will make his amateur boxing debut June 3 in Winchester.
The Gretna Elementary second grader has been training for the event since he was two years old.
His father, Randy Witcher, who used to box but not professionally, is his trainer.
“I took him to the gym when he was two years old,” he said. “He had a look in his eyes like ‘Dad, I want to learn.’”
He said he also had a dream one night about thousands of people cheering for his son and when he woke up, his son was shadow boxing by his bed.
Witcher said he decided to train his son at home.
“I didn’t want other people’s opinion to cloud his mind,” he explained.
He is still looking for an opponent for the June 3 event and said that Nijee is training hard and getting ready.
“He’s the youngest boxer I have ever seen with that skill set,” he said.
Nijee has participated in mitt work shows up and down the East Coast, and when he turned seven he sparred with a nine-year old, knocking him out.
Following that event, he was featured on Fox Sports as a boxing prodigy and was interviewed by TMZ in December 2015.
A video of Nijee the Future posted on YouTube in 2013 went viral, logging more than a million views and over 100 million on Facebook.
Former NBA star and boxing enthusiast Shaquille O’Neal tweeted that “this kid will be a champion.”
He has yet to meet his idol, Floyd Mayweather Jr., but recently met Hall of Fame Boxer Roy Jones and had his picture taken with him (see photo).
For ticket information to the Winchester fight, call 434-420-5991.
SOURCE: Chatham Star Tribune