Lawrence Clay-Bey

SUNDAY, JULY 14, 1996


Lawrence Clay-Bey, U.S. super heavyweight boxer, never had the Olympics in mind when he took up boxing four years ago. He just wanted to lose weight.

“I’m not one for lifting weights, or aerobics,” said Clay-Bey, a 30-year-old prison guard and father of three. “So I decided to see if I could lose weight in a sport I loved to watch.”

Clay-Bey dropped 30 pounds off his 275-pound frame, and discovered he not only loved to watch boxing, but enjoyed being a participant.

He obviously has a feel for boxing. He won U.S. titles in 1995 and this year got a bronze medal at the 1995 world championships. Then, in a World Championships Challenge, he outpointed champion Alexei Lezin of Russia. It may be a springboard to a pro career for Clay-Bey, who makes $40,000 a year at the Manson Youth Institute in Chelshire, Conn.

“Everyone is talking pros, pros, pros,” said Clay-Bey, who has caught the attention of the managers looking for pro prospects after he won the U.S. boxing trials in April. “All I’m gunning for now is the Olympics. We’ll talk about the rest afterwards.”

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