Troy “The Transformer” Isley was welcomed home to cheering supporters in Old Town Thursday, as the Olympic fighter signed autographs and talked about future bouts.
Isley got back to Alexandria from Tokyo last week, and says folks are treating him a little differently.
“I’ll call my friends, and their parents will be like, ‘Is that the Olympian on the phone?'” Isley said. “It’s like a dream come true. I fulfilled my dream.”
Isley, a middleweight, won in his Olympic debut against Vitali Bandarenka of Belarus on July 26. He lost his second fight against Russian Gleb Bakshi on July 29, which knocked him out of the tournament.
He has a 2-0 record since turning pro in February, and is a graduate of T.C. Williams High School. Isley is also one of three Titans competing in the Olympics, along with bronze medalist sprinter Noah Lyles and high jumper Tynita Butts-Townsend.
The 22-year-old started boxing with the Alexandria Boxing Club at an early age, and says he will get back to working out on Monday. After all, he just booked his next professional bout on October 23 in Atlanta, Georgia, and hopes to fight again in December.
“I’m pretty much on vacation now,” Isley said. “I’m definitely ready to get back in the ring.”
Isley’s father, Kevin Isley, said that his son’s performance at the games was inspiring.
“It was humbling for my family and me to see him live out his childhood dream,” Kevin Isley said. “Troy just stuck with it, stayed focused and all of his dreams have come through so far. The Olympics was fantastic, but he’s going to do a whole lot better now because he’s got a professional style.”
There were a bunch of young fighters in attendance at Charles Houston, including 12-year-old Mark Cates, who won a regional Golden Gloves tournament in 2019.
“I love hitting people in the face,” Cates said. “My plan is to go to Nationals, the Olympics and then go pro.”
Terriel Cooke, Sr. brought his son to meet Isley. His son won the 10 and under category at the U.S. Nationals last year.
“It’s great to see someone who started off here in Alexandria make it,” said the elder Cooke. “We’re so proud of Troy here. We were just stuck to the TV watching him the whole time. It’s amazing to see how he grew up to give back to his community.”
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