Kenneth Baysmore came from cooking class by way of sewing class to win the 119-pound division title in the national Golden Gloves tournament Saturday in Indianapolis.
The 17-year old Cardozo High School student now thinks he has "a good shot" at representing te United States in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.
"I made a few casseroles in a junior high class," Baysmore said, "but some of us raised a little mischief and the teacher sent us downstairs where there was a sewing class, and I liked it.
"I want to be a tailor and I'm going to the Margaret Washington vocational school classes in the morning and to Cardozo classes in the afternoon. I'm a B student."
He has made himself five pairs of pants and a three-piece suit.
"I wore the pants home from Indianapolis, but they gave us Golden Gloves sports jackets so I wore one which said '1979 bantamweight champion" on it.
"I will think about turning pro if I get on the Olympic team and win a gold medal. But I want to be a tailor. I train hard because boxing is a very dangerous sport. You can get hurt if you goof off.
"I box because I like to be in the sport. I played basketball, but I never was interested in making a career of it," the 5-foot-7 native of Southeast Washington said.
Baysmore said he has had about 45 amateur bouts, losing five and scoring about "19 or 20" knockouts. He began at Police Boys Club No. 11, "because lots of neighbourhood guys got into boxing there."
Baysmore's decision over Jackie Beard of Jackson, Tenn., for the Golden Gloves title automatically qualified him for the Pan-American Games trials this summer.
He made it to the semifinals of the National AAU tournament last year at Biloxi, Miss., but lost a split decision to Beard.
Dave Jacobs, trainer of former Olympic champion Sugar Ray Leonard, said Baysmore performed "beautifully" in winning the Golden Gloves championship and gives him a "solid chance" of making the games in Moscow.
"He is real slim," Jacobs said, "and he doesn't look like a hitter, but he is a combination straight-up boxer and puncher."
Baysmore's coach is John Sneed, who instructs youngsters at Police Boys Club No. 3 and is mail room supervisor at the Veterans Administration.
Sneed recalled that he took Baysmore to Africa with other U.S. boxers on a goodwill tour, during which he had four bouts.
"We couldn't put him in World Games competition because he was not yet 16 years old," Sneed said, "but he's ready now and he'll be 18 June 1." CAPTION: Picture, Kenneth Baysmore