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Cincinnati Boxer Aaron Pryor Remembered

Former Pryor trainer Frankie Sims
Aaron Pryor's hero was Muhammad Ali.

Former trainers, family, friends and fans came together Thursday to remember two-time light welterweight champion boxer Aaron Pryor, a native Cincinnatian, who died October 9 at age 60 from heart disease.

Credit Frankie Sims
(from left seated) Rahman Ali, Mohammad Ali and Ken Blackwell. (standing) trainer Frankie Sims, Aaron Pryor, and trainer Frankie Williams Jr.

On his way to Pryor's public memorial service at the Duke Energy Convention Center, Pryor's assistant professional trainer Frankie Sims, said he knew he had somebody special in Pryor. "He was relentless. He was fearless and he fought with a desire."

According to Sims, what made Pryor so fearless was when he lost in the Olympic trials to Howard Davis and had to take a couple hundred dollars a fight instead of the hundreds of thousands others were making.

Some estimate Pryor went on to make as much as $5 million in the five years he was world champion.

Reverend Michael Howard grew up with Pryor in Over-the-Rhine. He was also a boxer and the youngest person in Ohio to win the state Golden Glove Championship. Remembering his friend he said, "Aaron came from a community that was challenged but he stepped up to the challenge and invested in himself and became somebody famous."

Howard said great people made Pryor great by investing their time in him. He would like to see others step up at community centers to help at-risk youth.

Also at the funeral was Demetri Mason. He didn't know Pryor personally, but as a boxer said he was inspired by him. "So I feel like I should show my respect."

During his lifetime Pryor beat a cocaine addiction, campaigned against drugs and became a minister. His hero was Muhammad Ali.