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was born and raised in Florida. Despite himself, David was an outstanding amateur, winning two national silver medals and a national bronze medal. His final amateur record was 108 wins and only 7 losses. He won numerous Florida State and Regional titles, and outstanding boxer awards. He accomplished this mostly on natural ability, mental toughness and heart because he was never 100% committed to the sport. He spent his time on the streets.
He finally decided to turn professional and made his debut in the Bahamas on November 23, 1994. Although a lightweight, his opponent Israel Brown, weighed 148 lbs. David completely outboxed his bigger foe and swept all four rounds on the judges’ scorecards. When the decision was announced, in a Bahamian accent, “the winner by unimous decision, David Armstrong,” David looked at his trainer and said, “What does that mean?” He said, “I think it means you won.” He never was paid for his debut fight, and wondered why he turned pro; at least in the amateurs you get a trophy.
Four months later, out of shape, he decided to take a last minute fight at the weigh-in of the Roy Jones vs. Antoine Byrd HBO show in Pensacola, Florida. George Troy Crain, a big punching local fighter was scheduled to fight on the undercard, but his opponent was a no show. David had dominated every second of the four round bout until dropped by a big left hook in round three. After he got up and caught Crain with a good combination, he was hit with a half right hand and half push and went through the very loose ring ropes, hitting his head on the ringside table. The referee stopped the fight.
This is the fight that made David Armstrong a great fighter. It showed him that it takes dedication and desire to be great, not just natural ability. His attitude totally changed toward his career and he has become one of the most dedicated and hard working fighters in the gym. He is intelligent and listens extremely well. He has since built up a nice record and a great reputation against some very good opposition.
With only a 3-1 record (all four rounders), he fought the Cuban Reidel Chipi, who had nine wins with seven K.O.’s, in David’s first six round fight. He floored Chipi in the first round and swept the unanimous decision. He followed that with a controversial draw against prospect Hilven Florentino. David had been sick in bed with the flu prior to the fight and was not 100%, but most people thought he did enough to earn the decision. In the rematch, although cut severely in the first round by a head butt (he received 11 stitches in the left eyelid), he won all eight rounds on all three judges scorecards. He also beat undefeated Jose “Cacique” Rodriguez by a unanimous eight round decision. Rodriguez was being considered for an NABO rating at that time and is currently a fecarbox champion and rated by the WBC. Armstrong then stopped tough Lou Martinez in round six.
David next got a call and accepted a last minute fight against Tanveer Ahmed for the WBO Intercontinental Lightweight Championship, on April 4, 1997, in Glasgow, Scotland. Tanveer is a tall southpaw and had a 15-1 record with 7 K.O.’s. He was rated the number one lightweight in the U.K. Armstrong had never fought a southpaw, had never been beyond eight rounds, and was extremely tired from jet lag, and still dominated the bout. He scored a knockdown in round four, had a 10-8 round twelve and had total control of most of the fight. After a long delay, the bout was announced a draw.
On May 23, 1997 David won a dramatic fourth round knockout over Cuban Alexis Barcelay, from “Team Freedom,” to capture the NABU lightweight title. He looked sensational in dominating the very tough and determined Barcelay. In the span of two months, David had, in reality, won the WBO Intercontinental title (even though it was changed to a draw) and the World Boxing Union North American Lightweight title.
On August 23, 1997, David went to Stuttgart, Germany to fight an undefeated German by the name of Thomas Seiler. This was for the same WBO Intercontinental Title that he fought for against Tanveer Ahmed. This time David was not to be denied as he stopped Thomas Seiler in round ten. On October 11, 1997, with a four day notice, David again went to Germany and fought undefeated WBO World Lightweight Champion Artur Grigorian. David lost a twelve round decision, losing most of the rounds, however, each round was close and competitive, with David landing the harder shots and Grigorian more. With adequate time to prepare, David could have won.
On December 20, 1997, in Miami, Florida, Armstrong stopped journeyman Billy Wooten in round three. This was a nice comeback fight after the Grigorian bout. On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1998, Armstrong captured the NBA world lightweight title by stopping “Rude” Rudy Lunsford in round nine. It was an exciting fight, dominated by Armstrong. In June 1998 Armstrong went to Australia, where he lost a close ten round decision to world class, Lovemore Ndou. It was called “One of the most exciting bouts of the last decade in Australian boxing,” by the local media. Armstrong quickly rebounded with a first round K.O. over undefeated Chad Lawshe, in the Texas Miller-Lite Tournament, in Houston, Texas. He came back, in a quarterfinal bout against Tomas Barrientes, and won a decision, in Corpus Christi, Texas and then defeated Octavio Suarez, by unanimous decision, on October 16, 1998, in the semi-finals. He fought for the Texas Miller Lite title on November 17, 1998, in San Antonio, Texas. That bout is chronicled in “STEVE’S CORNER,” elsewhere on this web page.
David Armstrong’s record stands at 18-7-2 with 10 knockouts. The quality of the opposition against whom he has built this record is outstanding. Only three of his twenty seven opponents had losing records. The other twenty four opponents have a combined record of 249-38-16, (seven were undefeated). Armstrong has become the victim of some horrible decisions with a loss to Steve Forbes, now the IBF World Jr. Lightweight Champion, (most observers felt that there should have been no question that Armstrong won), and a stoppage to undefeated Michael Stewart (in a bout that Armstrong was ahead and on his way to winning when it was stopped only to protect Stewart from defeat, not because Armstrong was hurt). However, maybe because of his deceptive record he was given an opportunity to fight Lemuel Nelson for the NBA World and IBO Intercontinental lightweight titles. Armstrong responded by knocking out Nelson to win these title, taking it out of the hands of the judges. With this win Armstrong hopes that he can get back into another major opportunity.