Junious Hinton trained and fought professionally in New York for 18 years without getting a chance at a boxing title. Today, his sons Bandele and Jemal are trying to fulfill their father's dream by making a name for themselves in the ring.
"My sons were born into a boxing family," said Junious Hinton, 43, of New Carrollton. "I don't have much of an education to speak of, so it would be foolish to try to teach them about things I don't know. But I can teach them boxing, something I know well."
Both sons have been trained by their father and have done well. Each is ranked No. 1 in his weight class in the Potomac Valley Boxing Association (PVA), a well-regarded boxing organization.
Each has his eyes on Seoul and the 1988 Summer Olympics.
His sons spend nearly two hours a day with Hinton at the Sugar Ray Leonard Amateur Boxing Center in Palmer Park near Glenarden, sweating to the pounding rhythm of the speed bag, then jumping rope, shadow-boxing and battling formidable sparring partners. Bandele has been doing that since he was 8 years old, Jemal since he was 10. At home, their father lectures them, even across the dinner table, on ring savvy, getting a good education and staying away from drugs.
In March, during the regional tournament held at Kenilworth Parkside Center in Northeast Washington, Bandele won a decision against Anthony Jones of Southeast Washington and Jemal outscored defending PVA bantamweight champion Frank Payne, also from Southeast D.C. Their performance at Kenilworth qualified them to compete in last month's national tournament at Beaumont, Tex.
Bandele, 17, a senior at Eleanor Roosevelt High in Greenbelt, whose record is 115 wins and 10 defeats, has won boxing tournaments in Cuba, Sweden, Denmark and Romania. He is ranked seventh nationally by the American Boxing Federation in the 132-pound division.
Jemal, with a 69-10 record, is a 16-year-old, 119-pound junior at Eleanor Roosevelt. He met top-ranked 22-year-old Michael Collins (308-12) of La Porte, Tex., for the bantamweight crown in Beaumont. He lost a 4-1 decision.
Each weekend this month, Impact Boxing Team and the Kenilworth Parkside Center in Northeast Washington has been hosting a qualifying tournament, with the winners representing Region II (District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia and New York) in the Olympic Festival to be held in Lake Placid, N.Y., in June. The winners in New York will go to Houston in July for title bouts in the National ABF competition.
Because Jemal's second place in Beaumont qualifies him for the nationals, he has withdrawn from the local qualifying tournament. Bandele also recently withdrew from the tournament after learning he could not take time off from his Air Force boot camp in early June to compete in Lake Placid or Houston. He hopes to qualify for the Olympics through the service.
Jose Correa, trainer for Maurice Blocker, a boxer from the District who is the North American Boxing Federation welterweight champion, said he has followed the young Hintons since the beginning of their amateur careers.
"I am very impressed by these two boys and I expect them to go a long way in boxing," said Correa. "You can't talk about the boys without talking about the father. I have never seen a father-son team click so well. Usually they don't click at all."