Troy Isley Aims to Become a Breakout Star of 2024

After just one performance in 2024, middleweight Troy Isley already has people talking.

Isley 12-0 (5 KOs), who stopped tough veteran Marcos Hernandez in the seventh round of their ESPN+ middleweight bout on March 2, is now eyeing much bigger things for his future – especially given that he has beaten two fringe contenders, Marcos Hernandez and Vladimir Hernandez, in each of his last two fights.

Isley is still competing in preliminary fights, but he is conducting himself like a main-card fighter.

“This new team is bringing out a new me,” Isley told Boxing Scene. “I feel that Troy you used to hear about in the amateurs has come out [in the pros]. I am looking to take over.” 

The 2020 U.S. Olympian is now training with “the three-headed monster,” led by Brian “BoMac” McIntyre and including Red Spikes and Esau Dominguez in key roles on his team. 

The group is unique in that it behaves similar to the way coaching staffs in professional team sports operates, delegating authority and breaking off tasks into concentrated units. McIntyre has a selfless nature in which he entrusts his coaches, not unlike NFL head coaches who put a lot of faith in their coordinators. 

But in order to join this team, Isley had to bid farewell to his childhood coach, Kay Koroma, and it was not an easy decision. 

“That was my day-one coach that started me from the beginning,” Isley said. “I wanted to be his first world champion; it was tough.”

Isley wanted to be loyal to his longtime coach, but he felt he needed a change. The toughest fight of his career – the Vladimir Hernandez bout – was on the horizon, and he heard the doubts surrounding him. Hernandez, a high-volume puncher, had already beaten former world champions Julian Williams and Alfredo Angulo, and had just upset promising prospect Lorenzo “Truck” Simpson

“I felt stagnant as a fighter, and I was 10-0 and it was crunch time,” said Isley, who points to a lot of commenters on social media predicting before the Vladimir Hernandez bout that Isley would lose a step-up fight. “That is why I took it so seriously. I [treated it] like it was my title fight.

“So I got off social media, so I don’t see any of that,” Isley said. “I locked in for that fight.”

Isley knew McIntyre’s crew from past camps he had participated in. He was in the Colorado Springs camp for Shakur Stevenson when he fought Jeremia Nakathila. Isley worked with the group and built a bond with his future coaches – especially with Spikes. 

“Me and Red have always been cool since I started going to Terence Crawford camps,” Isley said. “We would always be working the pads and stuff like that. He’d be helping me out on the side and stuff like that when Kay wasn’t around. We just built a bond, and we worked one camp together.

“Honestly, when I spar, I did a lot of [the stuff we worked on],” Isley said. “I feel like we are a family. We were already cool. It felt new, but it didn’t feel brand-new, as opposed to if I went to a coach and we didn’t know each other personally.”

Now, with two notable wins, Isley is aiming to become a breakout star for Top Rank. Given that his division needs new talent, Isley could be the next fighter to elevate himself from the undercard to marquee spots at the top of the bill.

“When you bring out the better competition,” Isley said, “that is what is going to bring out the better [me].”

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