If you were born in Youngstown then chances are the love of boxing should be in your blood as the city boasts five world champions as well as a handful of world title challengers.
For one Ohio man the love of boxing runs deeper than his blood.
For 35-year-old Columbus native by way of Youngstown Marcus Nall, boxing has become a way of life, a lifestyle he is now passing off to his young son.
Nall, who graduated from Independence High School in Columbus literally wears his love for boxing, which he can trace back to his younger days, on his head with his now famous Ohio Runs Boxing kasa hat.
"When I was 9 years old my father used to play Hagler versus Hearns on VHS all the time so I always watched boxing," said Nall. "But Prince Naseem Hamed is the fighter who made me fall in love with the sport".
As Nall's love for the sport grew, so did his appreciation for a particular group of fighters.
Those from the Buckeye State, which led Nall to start his Ohio Runs Boxing social media.
"The idea for Ohio Runs Boxing came from a fight I attended in Cincinnati back in 2012 or 2013," said Nall. "I remember seeing some fighters from Ohio I like like Robert Easter Jr from Toledo, Rau'Shee Warren from Cincinnati, and Terrell Gausha from Cleveland all fighting on the undercard and I seen all these great fighters with Al Haymon being the mystery man who is also from Ohio putting these great fights together. I went home later that night and started looking up all the fighters from Ohio and BANG!! it clicked and Ohio Runs Boxing was born".
With the birth of Ohio Runs Boxing, Nall knew he had something special that would draw the people in like Haymon was doing with his fights.
"I knew I would create a little controversy with this title as well and let's be honest, controversy sales but Ohio Runs Boxing is more about pride and supporting one another and trying to bring everybody together as a state instead of individual cities' '
Though the controversial name is a selling point, he will always maintain that the name is justified.
"Ohio Runs Boxing is not just based on us having the best fighters but having the best in everything from boxing journalists, managers and promoters, advisers, boxing clothes designers, and the list goes on and I try my best to cover those areas on my platform," explained Nall. "Just look at the historical history behind Ohio boxing. Boxing statistics will show you why I think Ohio has been running boxing for years".
So with all his Buckeye State pride can Nall narrow down his love to one favorite fighter to ever represent the state of Ohio.
"I have grown to love a lot of these fighters from Ohio from present and the legends from the past covering them and following their careers but if I had to pick one it would be Kelly Pavlik because for one he brought back a world title to my hometown of Youngstown and I wasn't old enough to experiences Ray Boom Boom Mancini, Jeff Lampkin, Harry Arroyo, or Greg Richardson being world champions but Kelly gave me that experience".
While Nall now has a product that sticks out on the internet, the one fixture that you will always see on him when he's out covering a fight is the Japanese style kasa hat.
"The hat was a great idea to stand out from everybody and it also helps people discover who was behind the social media "Ohio Runs Boxing" page". "I was a big fan of OutKast, a hip hop group and I also loved the game Mortal Kombat and Andre 3000 who is one of the artists in the group had a unique style about him and he wore things many people wouldn't dare and one night I was playing Mortal Kombat with my favorite character Raiden and it clicked in my mind, the Raiden hat is going to do it and rest is history".
Nall knows that even though many in the sport love his social media and his style that he is not immune to those waiting to jump down his neck every time an Ohio fighter he was backing takes a loss.
"Credibility is everything to me so I always have to be careful who I'm backing from Ohio because let's be real, every fighter from Ohio is not good or elite so I'm real careful on who I'm boasting about coming from Ohio so if I'm not boasting loud about one guy my silence will give it away leading up to fight".
All his work is for nothing as Nall hopes one day his work will play a part in helping the sport of boxing reach the pinnacle of popularity that it once had.
"I hope my opinion on boxing will one day be appreciated on the biggest levels and more people will take notice of what our state has to offer and hopefully more fans from Ohio will start supporting the small and local guys".
Q and A with Nall:
Who is Ohio's biggest boxing rival?
This is a tough question but it has to be between Detroit and Philadelphia.
Favorite Non-Ohio based fighters?
Lightweight Sean Mason who's 4-0 with 3 KO's and welterweight Michael Williams Jr. who's 12-0 with 8 KO's are two great fighters I love watching. I also like the Montgomery Brothers from Macon, GA.
Favorite big name fighters?
Terrence Crawford, Canelo, GGG, Wilder, and Josh Taylor.
Top prospects to keep an eye out for Ohio?
1. Charles Conwell - Super welterweight 12-0 9 KO’s (Cleveland,Ohio)
2. Albert Bell - Lightweight 18-0-5 KO’s (Toledo,Ohio)
3. Isaiah Steen - Middleweight 14-0 -11 KO’s (Cleveland,Ohio
4. Jared Anderson Heavyweight 3-0 -3 KO’s. (Toledo,Ohio)
5. Montana Love - Welterweight 12-0-6-K0’s. ( Cleveland,Ohio )
6. Rodney Hines - Heavyweight 8-0-5 KO’s ( Cleveland, Ohio )
7. Boubacar Sylla - Welterweight 11-0 7 KO’s ( Cincinnati, Ohio )
8. Alante Green - Cruiserweight 7-0-5 KO’s. ( Cleveland,Ohio )
9. Otha Jones - Lightweight 5-0 2 KO’s ( Toledo, Ohio )
10. Ryizeemmion Ford - Lightweight 4-0-3 KO’s. ( Alliance,Ohio)
11.Ramiro Hernandez - Featherweight 16-0 10 KO’s. (Cleveland,Ohio
12.Raymond Castaneda - Super lightweight 6-0-2 KO’s (Defiance,Ohio)
Hottest boxing city(s) in Ohio?