Mark Breland

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Mark Breland
Mark Breland and Serik Konakbayev.jpg
Breland (left) and Serik Konakbayev (right) in 2010
Personal information
Full nameMark Anthony Breland
BornMay 11, 1963 (1963-05-11) (age 57)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Medal record

Mark Anthony Breland (born May 11, 1963) is an American retired world champion boxer who won five New York Golden Gloves titles, surpassing Sugar Ray Robinson for the most wins in the history of the Golden Gloves. He is currently in 6 Halls of Fame: The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Hame, The New York State Boxing Hall of Hame, The New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, The Golden Gloves Hall of Fame, The African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame, and The USA Boxing Olympics Alumni Association Hall of Fame. Additionally, Breland received The 2018 Emanuel Steward Trainer of the Year Award. Breland is notably the only amateur boxer to have ever graced the cover of Ring magazine, and the only amateur whose picture hangs in Colorado Springs U.S. Olympic Training Center. The Smithsonian Museum for African American History and Culture in Washington, DC displays an honorary picture of Mark Breland in recognition of his achievements.

Mark Breland won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, was awarded the 1982 Boxer of the Year by USAABF,[1] and rated #1 amateur welterweight in the world by AIBA in 1984.[2] He later became an actor with a wide range of movie and television credits, having made his debut in The Lords of Discipline, and also appeared in the music video for The Pointer Sisters' 1985 hit single, "Dare Me." At 6' and 3 inches tall, Breland is one of the tallest World Welterweight champions of all time.

Amateur career[edit]

Breland, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, began fighting when he was 9 years old, taking on challengers in the lobby and hallways of the housing project which happened to be his home. At 13, he entered the gym and embraced boxing as a way of life.[3] He is a five-time New York Golden Gloves Champion (1980–84), his record in this competition was 21–0 (19 KO's), with 14 knockouts coming in the 1st round.

Breland made an acting appearance in the movie The Lords of Discipline.

Breland was so exceptional, that he has been having trouble getting sparring partners in the Bedford-Stuyvesant Boxing Association Gym. In June 1984, when he was preparing himself for the forthcoming National Olympic Trials, he went to Grossinger, New York, to train with the Kronks, there he sparred with the WBC Super Welterweight Champion Thomas Hearns, who in turn was preparing to fight Roberto Durán. At that time Breland was being trained by Emanuel Steward.[4] At that time he narrowly escaped bigger troubles, falling under destructive influence of his teammate Ricky Womack, who happened to be an authoritative figure for Breland, eventually was sentenced and jailed.[5]


Already in 1981, age 18, professional boxing promoters and managers have offered him huge sums up to $300,000 to sign a professional contract. But Breland has turned down these offers, partly by anticipating the 1984 Olympics, and in part because due to the promoters' neglect: "It's not 'cause I need the money. It's 'cause they need the money. Hey, I can get hurt." Planning his professional career, he planned to leave the ring before he's 30.[3]

Breland compiled an impressive amateur record of 110–1 (with 73 knockouts,[6] plus one unaccounted loss by medical disqualification,[7] due to withdrawal because of toxic poisioning, spent most of the week in a New York hospital.[1])

Professional career[edit]

Breland turned professional in 1984. In 1987, Breland won the vacant WBA welterweight title by defeating Harold Volbrecht by seventh round TKO. He lost it in his first defense to Marlon Starling. In 1989, Breland again won the vacant WBA Welterweight Title. He made three successful title defenses before losing it to Aaron Davis in a back-and-forth 9-round contest that was nearly called off twice because of injuries to Davis' eye before Breland was caught and knocked out knocked out in round 9.

In 1997, Breland retired with a professional record of 35–3–1 (25 KOs). His record blemishes were a draw with Marlon Starling and losses to Jorge Vaca, Aaron David and Marlon Starling..

Breland is currently a boxing trainer, having trained Vernon Forrest and former WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder among other notable boxers.

Professional boxing record[edit]

35 Wins (25 knockouts, 10 decisions), 3 Losses (3 knockouts), 1 Draw [8]
Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
Win 35–3–1 United States Rick Haynes UD 10 1997-03-21 United States Jacksonville, Florida
Win 34–3–1 United States Bobby Butters TKO 2 (10) 1997-01-10 United States Riverfront Sports Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
Win 33–3–1 United States Darryl Lattimore UD 10 1996-06-07 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City
Win 32–3–1 United States Buck Smith KO 3 (10) 1996-05-19 United States The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Win 31–3–1 United States Ricardo Smith TKO 3 (10) 1996-01-27 United States Schwartz Athletic Center, Brooklyn, New York
Loss 30–3–1 Mexico Jorge Vaca TKO 6 (10) 1991-09-13 United States ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California
Win 30–2–1 Mexico Julian Samaha TKO 1 (10) 1991-07-12 United States Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada
Win 29–2–1 United States Henry Anaya Jr. UD 10 1991-06-10 United States Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, New Jersey
Win 28–2–1 Mexico Ariel Conde KO 1 (10) 1991-04-09 United States The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Loss 27–2–1 United States Aaron Davis KO 9 (12) 1990-07-08 United States Harrah's Reno, Reno, Nevada Lost WBA welterweight title
Win 27–1–1 United Kingdom Lloyd Honeyghan TKO 3 (12) 1990-03-03 United Kingdom Wembley Arena, Wembley, London Retained WBA welterweight title
Win 26–1–1 Japan Fujio Ozaki TKO 4 (12) 1989-12-10 Japan Korakuen Hall, Tokyo Retained WBA welterweight title
Win 25–1–1 Switzerland Mauro Martelli TKO 2 (12) 1989-10-13 Switzerland Patinoire des Vernets, Geneva Retained WBA welterweight title
Win 24–1–1 Colombia Rafael Pineda TKO 5 (12) 1989-04-22 United States Trump Castle, Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained WBA welterweight title
Win 23–1–1 South Korea Seung-Soon Lee TKO 1 (12) 1989-02-04 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada Won vacant WBA welterweight title
Win 22–1–1 United States Ozzie O'Neal KO 1 (10) 1988-10-07 United States The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Win 21–1–1 Dominican Republic Pablo Baez KO 1 (10) 1988-08-11 United States DiVinci Manor, Chicago, Illinois
Draw 20–1–1 United States Marlon Starling PTS 12 1988-04-16 United States Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, Nevada For WBA welterweight title
Win 20–1 United States Juan Antonio Villa TKO 3 (10) 1988-02-05 United States Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 19–1 United States Javier Suazo UD 10 1987-12-05 United States Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Loss 18–1 United States Marlon Starling TKO 11 (15) 1987-08-22 United States Township Auditorium, Columbia, South Carolina Lost WBA welterweight title
Win 18–0 Venezuela Juan Bautista Rondon PTS 10 1987-07-10 Italy Forte Village Resort, Sardinia
Win 17–0 South Africa Harold Volbrecht TKO 7 (15) 1987-02-06 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey Won vacant WBA welterweight title
Win 16–0 Venezuela Orlando Orozco TKO 2 (10) 1986-11-13 United States Felt Forum, New York City
Win 15–0 United States Ralph Twinning KO 1 (10) 1986-10-15 United States Columbia, South Carolina
Win 14–0 United States Reggie Miller KO 2 (10) 1986-09-14 United States Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 13–0 Uganda John Munduga TKO 6 (10) 1986-06-21 United States The Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 12–0 United States Ricky Avendano KO 1 (10) 1986-05-15 United States Felt Forum, New York City
Win 11–0 United States Darryl Anthony TKO 3 (10), 2:14 1986-04-12 United States Ice World, Totowa, New Jersey Avenged the earlier amateur loss[9]
Win 10–0 United States Richard Aguirre KO 1 (10) 1986-03-02 United States Americana Host Farm, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Win 9–0 United States Troy Wortham UD 10 1986-01-25 United States Americana Host Farm, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Win 8–0 United States Hedgemon Robertson UD 8 1985-12-21 United States Virginia Beach Pavilion, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Win 7–0 United States Donald Gwinn KO 2 (8) 1985-10-18 United States Felt Forum, New York City
Win 6–0 United States Don Shiver TKO 1 (8) 1985-07-20 United States Norfolk Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
Win 5–0 Dominican Republic Dario DeJesus KO 2 (6) 1985-06-19 United States Ice World, Totowa, New Jersey
Win 4–0 United States Vince Dunfee KO 2 (6) 1985-05-17 United States Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada
Win 3–0 United States Steve "Lightning" Little UD 6 1985-04-06 United States San Angelo, Texas
Win 2–0 United States Marlon Palmer UD 6 1985-01-05 United States Harrah's Marina, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 1–0 United States Dwight Williams UD 6 1984-11-15 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City Pro debut


  1. ^ a b Essett advances to USABC finals by David Knight, The Indianapolis Star, December 17, 1982, p. 68.
  2. ^ Boxing Ratings, UPI, February 27, 1984.
  3. ^ a b Norman, Michael (December 13, 1981). "Golden Boys Of The Ghetto". The New York Times. p. 55. Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  4. ^ 1984 Olympic Boxing Trials in Fort Worth, Texas, hosted by Howard Cosell.
  5. ^ Becoming Holyfield: A Fighter's Journey, 2008, pp. 41-42.
  6. ^ Boxers Chase Olympic Berth, by Ed Schuyler Jr. AP Sports Writer, Wilson Daily Times, July 6, 1984, p. 11.
  7. ^ Boxing, U.S. Amateur (UPI,) European Stars And Stripes, December 14, 1982, p. 25.
  8. ^ Boxing record for Mark Breland.
  9. ^ Breland avenges only career loss by Ed Schuyler Jr. (Associated Press,) The Atlanta Constitution, April 13, 1986, p. 73.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Lloyd Honeyghan
WBA Welterweight Champion
6 February 1987 – 22 August 1987
Succeeded by
Marlon Starling
Preceded by
Tomás Molinares
WBA Welterweight Champion
4 February 1989 – 8 July 1990
Succeeded by
Aaron Davis
Preceded by
Kenny Baysmore
The Ring Prospect of the Year
Succeeded by
Mike Tyson