Today we’d like to introduce you to Davarion Johnson.
Davarion, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in Barbara Jordan projects in the Oakcliff area. I was always the active kid, and my older brother and the older kids would always make me fight. It seemed almost every week I was fighting or someone around me was. We would go to the boys and girls club and get jumped by the West Dallas kids. The grown-ups would stop us from being jumped and made us fight one on one. Fighting was in my household, family reputation, and was the only way I seen people get respect coming up.
Boxing in the gloves was a major thing in the apartments. We got evicted from the apartments because my older brother who was 14 years old at the time shot at someone who tried to bully him over a basketball game. That eviction was probably the thing that saved our lives. We eventually moved to The Woodz. A neighborhood right on the border of Duncanville. It was my first time seeing a set of diversed people. Asians, whites, blacks, and Mexicans. It felt like the only time I’ve ever seen these type of people was when I watched tv. My first introduction to the suburbs; however, I met a lot of people who grew up like me there and at school, and it seemed like we were the misfits of the area. It wasn’t as fast-paced as what I was use to, but a lot of the same fighting and violence went on there too. I met some of my dearest friends there. What made us so close is that we shared the same stories of moving from the hood to the Woodz.
In the Woodz we had to fight other neighborhoods constantly because of the suburbs are weak stigma. We would fight surrounding cities and neighborhoods, put on strong, and have to fight them again. It almost seemed like we were protectors of Duncanville showing other areas there’s nothing sweet over here. Eventually, I would be kicked out of Duncanville Highschool from constantly fighting and doing misguided things. Then at 19 years old, I had a Daughter. Less than a year later I joined the military at age twenty. I had no ged or high school diploma. In the military. I went around fighting people in the gloves and earned respect there. I got deployed to Iraq and would box out there for fun and win all the time.
At one point my Sgts. tried to get me to go box for the Army but all I wanted to do was go home to my daughter. I came home to my Daughter and for the most part, she’s been living with me. I ended up getting my Ged, then associates degree in business. I attend UTD, and I’m working on my bachelor’s in finance. The WHOLELOTTAWOODZSHIT was birth because I was trying to figure out what I was good at and passionate about. One thing I’ve always been good at is bringing people together, instigating, and fighting. I turned all this into promoting positive events in the community.
Giving people an outlet to have a fun time with hip hop events and boxing. No real drama is supported, only friendly competition is. The reason I feel like this is working is because its love, respect, and a voice to be heard. I believe I understand the value of controlled chaos. What makes a person tick, and what can calm a person down. Also what a person is lacking. When you can identify these things you can control and set the mood.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Some of the struggles along the way are finding the fighters to box, fighters not showing up, fightees wanting to get paid, people not holding up to there end of the deal, and going broke putting all of my money behind this. It’s also very time consuming
Tell us more about your work.
WHOLELOTTAWOODZSHIT is about people coming together and feeling united by boxing and hip hop. What I do is instigate and promote the fighters to box. I do it in a comical way that keeps the real street beef down. Anybody wouldn’t be able to bring strangers together the way I do, but it’s something that I was trained for my whole life. My name has always been associated with some form of fighting and art. I think it’s an art to the way I put the videos together, and also dress up with the Don King persona, with a dab of clownish, and pimpish visuals.
I’m most proud of bringing hundreds of black people together watching organized boxing matches, with no real fights. What sets me apart is the safety I have for the fighters by providing headgear, and the unity I encourage amongst my people. All while fighting in my own events. I get to fight and promote.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Uniting hundreds of people. I love seeing the unity from the older and younger people. United we stand and divided we fall.
- Instagram: davarionjohnson
- Facebook: WHOLELOTTAWOODZSHIT
- Twitter: WHOLELOTTAWOODZ