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Blair Cobbs works to keep family ties strong rebuilds as father exits prison system

Photo by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy
02
Sep

Blair Cobbs has been hammering out a pathway for himself, and with action-packed fights, and showy demeanor owing heavily to the pro wrestling influence of self hyping, the prospect has carved out a wider niche as he seeks to elevate in the 147 class.

“I am the most exciting prospect out there, hands down,” said the fighter promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. “I look forward to putting on a tremendous show every time out.”

It is clear – he seeks to give bang for the buck, wants to entertain, leave you talking about him minutes, hours and days after he fights. He said he has been a fan of entertainment of all sort, and yes, he digs WWE.  But, regarding his showmanship, “it just happens…it’s who I am.”

Cobbs (12-0-1, 8 knockouts) said that in his last outing, “it was like a day at theater.” There were twists and turns, including himself getting dropped from an overhand right delivered by Steve Villalobos on Aug. 22, in California. “It won’t happen again,” he said, promising that he’s improving leaps and bounds all the time.

And did his upbringing form his public persona? Born in Philly, he moved around a ton. “My upbringing was so rocky, so unstable, it had led me to Mexico,” he shared.

Bit of an understatement there. It’s not like his dad decided to roll the dice, try a new culture. Mexico was for Blair a place to run to, hide in…and also an arena in which he dropped ample sweat and blood…and where he put in the hard work which leads him to getting that much closer to getting ranked and having fighting pay off monetarily.

His father, he admitted, was living recklessly back in the day. Indeed; dad was working an “unconventional job,” and in 2004, he was running a load of cocaine, $24 million worth, in a small plane in West Virginia, the plane crashed, and the authorities were looking for Blair’s dad.

Blair’s dad wasn’t into that – he scooped up Blair and his sis from their opulent living situation in Cali and they jetted to Mexico.

“That also made me a fugitive,” the fighter, managed by Greg Hannley’s Prince Ranch and advised by Shahid Malik,  said. He had to tell people he was not who he was, and fabricate a personality. And there were some upsides..In Mexico, he found a boxing gym, and boxing infected his soul, in a good way.

“I was going to be an architect, or something like that…then everything just changed,” he said. It was “grab a bag, let’s go,” the fighter said.

The culture shock in Mexico was immense for a kid who’d been grooving on seeing new Lambos or what have you in the driveway in Beverly Hills. “Now I can’t even speak my own language now….You take like going to jail, and you times that by two or three.”

He was 15 years old when his world exploded. “I really didn’t know anything until I was on the run,” Cobbs said. He didn’t know what his dad Eugene Cobbs was into, he said, and then it was explained to him why the little family scooted to Mexico.

I write “exploded”…he had already had to trek down rocky paths as a youth.

“My mother passed away in a really strange event,” he said to Rafe Bartholomew of The Athletic. “There was a party on a yacht, and a few people passed away when they fell asleep and because the yacht was leaking carbon monoxide. Shortly after that,” Cobbs continued, “my grandmother had cancer, and she didn’t make it. That was the nail in the coffin, as far as me and my sister’s existence, because she knew and maybe one or two other people knew that my father was living a very fast life. If anything was to go wrong, and he still had kids that needed to be raised, my grandmother was that person. She got us.”

“You live as a person that’s not real,” he said, as he went back mentally to that trying time living as fugitive semi-person. “I could die today, die tomorrow, nobody would care, I’m already considered dead. Once we fled the country it really didn’t even matter.” And so how did he cope? “I coped with it by accepting that I didn’t have anything,” he said. And it left the door open to boxing. He had one friend in Mexico, Rodney, and he took Blair to the gym for the first time.

To the present…Eugene, who was arrested in 2008, was at the time of taping due to be released from a halfway house, and is eager to get that second chance. “He’s paid for his crime,” the son said, and dad has told him how proud he is that Blair has persevered. The fighter said his dad is now a different person, is very intelligent, and he believes the old man can use the brain for gain, and make ends meet in a lawful fashion. “I truly believe that this time is going to be the best time in our life,” he said.

We discussed that there is a reason for delving deeper into sensational stories like the Eugene and Blair Cobbs story. Not just to marvel and wrong doing and dark-side matters…but to honor the people who were affected by it, and soldiered on. Blair, now living and training in Las Vegas, said that “the strongest weapon that I have is perseverance. Now it’s like a rebuilding stage, and we have to do it all ourselves.”

And the ring work will continue…Where does he see himself in 1-2 years? “I’m not going to stop until I take over completely the 147 pound division,” he said, with a clash against Canelo on his wish list. “It’s a long wayyyy to the top when you wanna rock and roll,” he sang, and then chuckled. There was time to plug his website, BlairTheFlair.com, and he capped it with a Ric Flair “Wooooooo.”

END NOTE: Happy news, from a familial relations standpoint. “My dad just got out the halfway house yesterday (Sunday),” Blair Cobbs told me on Monday, Labor Day mid-afternoon. “He is still on a probation but now he can come home after work instead of going to the halfway house. It’s here in Vegas. We had him move to Vegas to be close to me. And bring our family back together!”