50 Gunshots To Redemption: Boxer Paul Kroll Philadelphia Story
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
*Photo Credit: Darryl Cobb Jr.
Rising welterweight and super welterweight prospect Paul Kroll of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, age 24, is 4-0 with four knockouts. On August 10, 2019, Kroll will face his first six-round ‘test’ against 2-0 prospect Shinard Bunch of Trenton, New Jersey, at Temple University’s Liacouras Center on a Top Rank and Peltz Promotions ESPN undercard. With an amateur record of 123 wins and 17 losses, Kroll’s voyage as a member of the United States Olympic team ended when he lost in the International Trials in 2016, and the team went to the Olympics without a boxer in his weight class.
Kroll, got charged with attempted murder in 2016, though he fired no weapon. One night, Kroll had a really bad night. Kroll and three friends had a confrontation altercation over an ex-girlfriend. Over 50 gunshots were fired at Kroll and his friends evening, Kroll did not fire any weapon, but was charged with attempted murder anyway. As the case played out in court, Paul was placed on probation for his role in the shootout. Many in the boxing world wondered what would happen to the amateur boxer. Fortunately, Kroll has put his environment and the mean childhood streets of Rocky Balboa’s Philadelphia behind him.
Kroll, grew up in the now non-existent North Philadelphia Blumberg Projects, a rough tough area known for drive-by-shootings, assaults and drug dealing, before the projects were eventually demolished in 2016. During this time Kroll began fighting Roberto Duran style on the mean streets of his childhood. Kroll also has a trade. At eight years old, Kroll began apprenticing his father in the general contracting business, and grew up learning the carpentry, electrical, and flooring trade. When Kroll was 14 years old, his father bought a house near 29th Street and Lehigh. Now safely away from the projects of violence and conflict, Kroll was drawn to the local boxing gym when he was 15, and began to learn how to box. Beyond dedicating his free time to his daughter, Kroll’s goals are now very focused.
According to Paul, “I want to unify (the world title) belts in three different weight classes: 140, 147 and 154 (junior welterweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight). I want to go down in history as one of the best defensive boxers to ever step into the ring. I want to make my family proud. I want to make enough money so I can build houses. I have knowledge of the construction field and would love to reinvest in the new North (section of) Philadelphia. I would (also) like to invest in a gym to give younger kids a place to go rather than drugs and violence. I would also try to get a soup kitchen going out of the gym. Many young kids are walking around hungry every day.”