Emanuel Augustus

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Emanuel Ya'Kov Augustus
Real name Emanuel Burton (birth name)
Nickname(s) YA
The Drunken Master
Weight(s) Light welterweight
Height 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
Reach 68 in (173 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1975-01-02) January 2, 1975 (age 42)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 78
Wins 38
Wins by KO 20
Losses 34
Draws 6

Emanuel Augustus (born Emanuel Ya'kov Burton, January 2, 1975), is an American former professional boxer who fought out of Brownsville, Texas. He faced top level competition throughout his career, winning the IBA light welterweight title in 2004.


Born in Chicago, Illinois, Augustus grew up in Louisiana and boxed out of Baton Rouge. He recently resided in Brownsville, Texas, and boxed at Grechy's Pound 4 Pound Gym located in Sydney, Australia for a brief period of time. Currently, after getting shot in a random shooting and recovering, Augustus lives with his sister in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Professional career[edit]

Augustus began his boxing career under his birth name Emanuel Burton. However, in 2001, when his parents married, Burton adopted his father's last name of Augustus. He retained the nickname "YA", short for his middle name Ya'kov. Emanuel has frequently appeared on ESPN2's boxing programs Tuesday Night Fights and its counterpart Friday Night Fights.

Augustus's televised bouts have garnered him a cult following in part due to his unique style and flair in the ring and his willingness to take on all comers, sometimes taking fights on short notice as a last minute replacement, even in his opponents' hometowns. Augustus frequently clowns in the ring, engaging in his trademark "string-puppet dance." As a result, Augustus is also known for losing close or controversial decisions.

He achieved a measure of fame after his bout against Courtney Burton on July 6, 2004, which he lost by an extremely controversial decision. The state of Michigan investigated the verdict but did not overturn it. Augustus avenged that loss September 1, 2006, when he stopped Burton in the 8th round on ESPN with the help of a left hook to the body. This was symbolic because Augustus was disallowed a knock down from left hook to the body in their first fight after referee Dan Kelley claimed it was a low blow. The punch actually landed on Burton's beltline.

The best win of Augustus' career ratings wise was against Carlos Wilfredo Vilches on July 19, 2002. Augustus took the fight on just 2 days' notice after Vilches' original opponent, Vince Phillips, pulled out due to injury. Vilches was 37-1-2 at the time and was a ranked fighter. During the bout Vilches wanted to keep Augustus at bay with a stiff jab but Augustus continued to pressure Vilches and began to land counter right hands over the top of Vilches' jab. A cut opened up near the left eye of Vilches, which eventually resulted in a stoppage in the 8th round. The win vaulted Augustus to #2 in the IBF Light-Welterweight division; however, he followed it up with 4 decision losses and 1 controversial draw to tough opponents including Omar Gabriel Weis, over whom Vilches already held a victory.

Notable opponents[edit]

As a journeyman Augustus faced top talent his whole career and has an outstanding resume when it comes to experiencing the best the sport has to offer.

  • In just his 10th professional fight faced Jesus Chavez and was TKO'd in the 7th round.
  • Lost a 10 round UD against Pete Taliaferro.
  • Took a short notice fight against Ivan Robinson and almost threw off Robinson's title aspirations (L10).
  • Won a tight MD over Wilfredo Negron.
  • Fought Diosbelys Hurtado on short notice (L10).
  • TKO'd England's Jon Thaxton after taking the fight on short notice.
  • Lost a 12-round decision to Antonio Diaz.
  • Lost a controversial 12-round decision to Teddy Reid.
  • Fought John John Molina (L10).
  • TKO'd by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the 9th round after his corner threw in the towel. Mayweather maintains to this day that Augustus was one of his toughest opponents.[citation needed]
  • Took part in 2001's fight of the year against Micky Ward (L10). Ward maintains that Augustus, along with Arturo Gatti, was one of the toughest men he ever fought.
  • Fought Romania's Leonard Doroftei (aka Leo Dorin, L10).
  • Drew with the late Leavander Johnson.
  • Upset Carlos Wilfredo Vilches with a TKO win.
  • Lost a 10-round decision to Omar Weis.
  • Lost a 10-round decision to Kelson Pinto on short notice.
  • Lost an 8-round decision to David Diaz.
  • Dominated in a 12-round win over Alex Trujillo.
  • Stopped Ray Oliveira in 8 rounds.
  • Lost an exciting 12-round UD to Herman Ngoudjo.
  • Took a short notice fight against hard hitting prospect Ruslan Provodnikov and was TKO'd in the 9th round.
  • Lost to Vernon Paris (L8) in his last ever fight.


On April 2, 2004, Augustus became the IBA light welterweight champion defeating Alex Trujillo by unanimous decision.

On December 9, 2006, he became the WBC Continental Americas light welterweight champion by defeating Russell Stoner Jones.

On July 4, 2008, he knocked out Jakkirt Suwunnalirt in Sydney, Australia, to win the WBO Oriental welterweight title.

Controversial disqualification[edit]

Augustus was the IBA light welterweight champion between April 2, 2004, and June 18 of that year. Augustus lost his title when referee Laurence Cole disqualified him in his first title defense against Tomas Barrientes. At the time of disqualification, Augustus was ahead on all three judges' scorecards. He was disqualified for talking back to the referee and not looking into his eyes when asked to.

Other achievements[edit]

His fight against "Irish" Micky Ward on July 13, 2001, was voted 2001 ESPN "Fight of the Year." as well as 2001 Ring magazine Fight of the Year. In June 2008 ESPN announced that this fight had been nominated for ESPN "Fight of the Decade" award. Augustus was also named "ESPN's Most Memorable Fighter".[when?]

Outside the ring[edit]

In 2006, Augustus was the subject of a documentary film entitled The Journeyman filmed in Brownsville, Texas. Documentary filmmaker Sean Lynn followed the career of Augustus to that point.[citation needed]

During a 2012 interview with boxing expert Dan Rafael, Floyd Mayweather Jr. stated Augustus was the toughest opponent he had faced in his career.

On the night of October 13, 2014, Augustus was critically wounded after being shot in the back of the head from a random gunshot and was on life support.[1] Baton Rouge Police named 21-year-old Christopher Stills as a suspect in the crime, but subsequently dropped charges due to lack of witnesses or evidence of intent, as Stills was alleged to have fired a gun several times in the air but not at a target.[2] Augustus is now doing better, and is living with his sister in Baton Rouge. As of April 2016, Augustus is engaged to be married, in improved health and spirits, and remains in training for a possible comeback in the ring[3]


External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Title last held by
Jon Thaxton
WBO Inter-Continental Light Welterweight Champion
September 26, 1998 – May 29, 1999
Title next held by
Ricky Hatton
Title last held by
Jon Thaxton
IBF Inter-Continental Light Welterweight Champion
September 26, 1998 – June 25, 1999
Succeeded by
Allan Vester
Title last held by
Alex Trujillo
IBA Light Welterweight Champion
April 2, 2004 – June 18, 2004
Succeeded by
Tomas Barrientes
Title last held by
Paulie Malignaggi
WBC Continental Americas Light Welterweight Champion
December 9, 2006 – October 5, 2007
Title next held by
Michel Rosales
Preceded by
WBO Oriental Welterweight Champion
July 4, 2008 – May 17, 2009
Title next held by
Samuel Colomban