Gerald “G-5” Sherrell’s journey in boxing began at the age of 10, sparring against a kid seven years older than he was because they weighed the same, ninety-five pounds. He had been around boxing gyms since he was seven, but this was his first-ever sparring session.
“I knew I had to put in the extra effort to be the best,” said Sherrell. “In boxing, nothing is given to you. I will always continue to work as hard as I can.”
The now 26-year-old middleweight is 10-1 in his professional career and going for his eleventh victory against Utah’s Clay Collard (2-1-3), September 21st at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington, PA.
If you see him train at the Third Avenue Boxing Gym, you’d think he was the underdog. Every training session he works until he’s a puddle of sweat.
“There’s a puddle of water everywhere I work,” joked Sherrell. “I probably slip at least once a day.”
The hard work in the gym follows to the ring. Five of his ten victories have come by knockout.
“I tell him all the time you have that superstar mentality, with the boy next door attitude,” said Caitlin McKelvey, an adviser to Sherrell. “He is as sweet as can be, but he has that light switch that he will turn on and just be a dog in the ring.”
This will be Sherrell’s first fight since November 2018. He faced fellow Pittsburgh native Morgan Fitch in the undercard for “The Contender” a boxing reality show.
He got the chance to learn from boxing legends and personalities like Freddie Roach, “Brother” Nazim Richardson and Andre Ward.
“It was a blessing. It moved me up the rankings, said Sherrell. “There were a lot of experienced guys there, and I didn’t let that deter my focus.”
Among the sixteen competitors, he had the least number of professional fights with eight. He became a fan favorite for his skill and determination.
“He always had to fight his way up, against experienced guys,” said Darren Dolby, his boxing coach. “He always proved himself in time.”
Dolby had five professional fights himself and was the person who set up Gerald’s first sparring session. He remembers when Sherrell’s sparring opponent hit him with a body shot, and he was impressed by his determination.
“He wasn’t being still on the ground, he kept trying to get up [despite telling him to relax and take his time],” said Dolby. “I talked to his father about getting him to box and guaranteeing him the Olympics and other places because of his determination.”
Dolby knows what it’s like to be fighting above your experience level. As a kid, he would put on boxing gloves and spar against his older brother after Muhammad Ali fights. They’ve been mistaken for being father and son many times.
“He’s my boxing son, could never take it away from his father,” said Dolby. “[Gerald]’s growing up and taking care of his family too.
The ten-month wait is the longest of his career. He’s anxious to get back in the ring, and the wait for him is “like a bull behind a cage.”
“I’m ready to get in there ready to get dirty,” said Sherrell. “I’m ready to put on a show, man.”
It’s a new chapter for Sherrell since The Contender; he’s focusing on taking the next step in his career. He’s looking for more televised fights and opportunities to win championships.
“I want to make Westgate proud,” said Sherrell. “I want to make my family proud, and bring a championship back to Pittsburgh.”