This week continues our set of conversations with Valrice “Whop” Cooper, the legendary cornerman who learned his craft training prisoners in the Louisiana DOC’s boxing program. For this episode, we discuss how he got into the game, the politics behind such programs as the PAL, or Police Athletic League, and what it takes to succeed as a trainer, and as a fighter – both inside and outside of prison. This conversation took place in December 2019 at Uppercutz, a Boxing Gym and Barbershop in Harvey, Louisiana.
The interviewer is Trey Sterling, whose recent article “Combat and Incarceration” in Commune Magazine focuses on the history of prison boxing. You can read it here, and listen to the previous episode with Trey and Whop here.