Famed boxing coach Calvin Ford, who built a career training Baltimore youths like Gervonta Davis into champion athletes, is in police custody this week awaiting transfer to Nevada on felony assault charges.
Baltimore Police on Dec. 29 arrested the 58-year-old as he was leaving the popular Upton gym where he trains. He is wanted in Nevada on two charges of assault with a deadly weapon following an incident in Las Vegas. Authorities there issued a warrant for his arrest on Oct. 16.
Further details of the incident in Las Vegas were not immediately available Thursday morning. Ford did not have an attorney listed in court records as representing him. He is being held without bail at Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center.
In a New Year’s Eve interview with Fannon International Boxing Channel, Ford’s coaching partner Kenny Ellis said the allegations against Ford were false. Ellis did not describe the nature of the incident but said he was with Ford and others when it took place.
“Coach Calvin ain’t the type of guy that out here getting in a bunch of drama,” Ellis said during the interview. “I can’t stress it enough, Calvin is innocent. He didn’t do nothing wrong.”
Ford’s rise to prominence in the national boxing scene began in the 1990s following a decadelong stint in federal prison for racketeering and conspiracy convictions.
He began coaching the city’s young people in boxing and helped cultivate Gervonta Davis’ career from the Upton Boxing Center on Pennsylvania Avenue. When Davis pleaded guilty earlier this summer to being involved in a 2020 hit-and-run crash, a judge ordered the boxer to serve his home detention sentence at Ford’s residence. Davis was later sent to prison when it was discovered he had spent time at the Four Seasons and his own residence.
Ford’s story loosely inspired the character Dennis “Cutty” Wise on the HBO’s television series “The Wire.”
This story may be updated.
Correction: This story’s photo caption has been updated with the correct spelling of Rafiullah Yari’s first name and the position of Calvin Ford in the photo.