Wyclef Jean tips cap to Maine boxing champ

On Sunday morning, local boxing star Russell Lamour Jr. received a surprising video message from a friend in California. The sender had met hip hop recording artist, musician, actor, and politician, Wyclef Jean.

Wyclef Jean.

Wyclef Jean.

During the conversation, Lamour was mentioned, and Jean said that he had heard of the newly crowned International Boxing Association North American middleweight champ.

Lamour, who won the title at the Portland Expo on Nov. 15, goes by the nickname, “The Haitian Sensation,” and Jean is a native Haitian and outspoken activist for the country.

To watch the video, click here.

It’s only nine seconds long, and Jean is speaking in Creole, but Lamour was nice enough to translate it for me.

Roughly translated, Jean said, “What’s up Russell, it’s Wyclef, we see what you’re doing, keep up the good work.”

When asked for his reaction to the video, Lamour explained, “I was shocked. To know that someone so successful, who’s also Haitian, is supporting me, it really means a lot.”

Insisting on including his hometown in his journey to greatness, he has resurrected the sport of boxing in Portland, which was once “one of the world’s great fight towns,” according to Lamour’s legendary trainer, Bobby Russo of the iconic Portland Boxing Club.

Lamour after winning the IBA North American title at the Portland Expo.

Lamour after winning the IBA North American title at the Portland Expo.

Now, with the attention of one of Haiti’s most prominent social leaders in Jean, it would appear as if “The Haitian Sensation” is really starting to expand his reach- a frightening thought for his opponents, but an exciting thought for Lamour, and his rapidly growing fan base.

Check out Lamour’s Facebook fan page here.

Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.