It’s easy to earn a nickname like “Heavy Metal” when you work in your dad’s scrap yard. And it’s easy to set up the TV and watch some of history’s greatest boxers slug it out. But what’s hard is earning a place among those same fighters.
That’s where middleweight Aaron Coley is headed.
For Coley, tossing brake rotors and carrying transmissions helps develop physical toughness. However, the 26-year- old southpaw from Hayward, California also studies the great ones. He has sparred with some of the best in the business en route to developing a dazzling 15-1-1 record with 7 knockouts on his chart.
A basketball player until he was 17, boxing was always in the background. His dad used to host watch parties for big pay-per- view boxing events. Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, James Toney and Felix Trinidad were among a few of the notables they watched slug it out on their home screen.
These are the fighters who inspired Coley to shed the basketball shorts for boxing trunks. He stepped into the Stockton Police Youth Activity (S.P.Y.A.) gym and found he had a knack for the sport. His coaches tried to position him as an orthodox-style fighter. A right-hander at most everything else, Coley kept slipping into southpaw mode and found a fluid, more comfortable style there.
He compiled a 40-7 amateur record and collected regional Golden Gloves three times eventually being ranked as the #6 amateur middleweight in the country when he competed for a spot on the 2012 Olympic team.
He didn’t waste time turning pro. He told his dad he wanted to take the next step into the pro ranks. His father chuckled and said, “Don’t get hit too much.”
Coley replied, “They CAN’T hit me.”
And that has been the crux of his boxing career. Coley relies on stiff defense mixed with a crushing left hook to the body that has become his bread and butter.
He made his pro debut on April 20 of 2012, earning a unanimous decision against Jason Gonzalez. A student of the sweet science, he has learned from some of the better fighters on the planet. Living and training in Northern California has positioned him to spar with the likes of Amir Kahn, J’Leon Love, Miguel Cotto, and Andre Ward among others.
He says the experience has been invaluable and he takes a little something away from each boxer he faces in camp. That experience has paid dividends. He fought for the California State super welterweight title against John Hays in 2014 which ended in a draw. Then, in his only loss, he battled Ievgen Khytrov on a Showtime fight with Coley dropping a decision to the eventual NABF champion.
Shortly after decisioning Dashon Johnson in March of 2017, Coley caught the eye of Liveco Founder and CEO, Ron Sanderson. By June, Coley had signed an exclusive promotional contract with Liveco and also signed with CB Boxing Management. He is trained by Chris “Lightning” Lopez.
He says he’s always felt alone in the ring, but now with the support of Liveco and new management from CB Boxing, everything is coming together and he’s ready to step up to another level.