Prince Badi Ajamu
Born: January 24, 1972
Town: Camden, New Jersey
Prince Badi Ajamu was born January 24, 1972 in Camden. His father named him. Prince first picked up the gloves at age 11 and learned to fight at the local Boys Club. He was “discovered” by Jimmy Forchion, when he broke up a street fight in front of his barber shop. Prince continued to fight (inside and outside the ring) after enrolling at Woodrow Wilson High and at Highland High in Blackwood, where his father lived. His remarkable hand speed had the local boxing community predicting great things for him.
At 15, Prince’s career might easily have ended when he fell off a motorcycle and sheared a large part of his calf muscle off the bone. At 17, it looked like he would never achieve his dream to be a boxing champion when he was arrested on drug charges and was incarcerated until age 25. Fortunately, when he got out, he had a day job that enabled him to pick up where he left off—a beauty supply company in Camden he ran with his cousin. A good student during his school days, he also found work as a paralegal. He split his training between gyms in Camden and Philadelphia,
Prince found success as an amateur, winning the Pennsylvania Golden Gloves at 178 pounds. He turned pro in 2001 with a 32–3 amateur record, but without a promoter in his corner he took fights on short notice for small paydays. Even so, he just kept winning.
Prince was crowned IBA light heavyweight champ after defeating Sam Hill in Philadelphia in the fall of 2003. After four years, Prince’s record stood at 21–2–1 against mostly second-rate opponents. He was living in Camden, training in Philly, but going nowhere.
Prince seemed doomed to journeyman status when he began training with Buddy McGirt. Then, at age 34, he got a fight in 2006 with the great Roy Jones Jr., who was on the downside of a brilliant career. Ironically, Prince had been called a Poor Man’s Roy Jones earlier in his career. After losing the first round, Jones took him apart and won a unanimous 12-round decision.
Six months later, Prince returned to the ring against Craig Cummings in a bout for the vacated WBF light heavyweight crown. He won the fight in the second round. In the summer of 2007, Prince fought his final fight, taking a unanimous decision over DeAndrey Abron in Atlantic City to finish his career 27–3–1.