Written by Pearl Fils-Aime

I’m from Philly, Philly is a boxing town. It’s our number one sport. Heck, our wineos know how to box better than the average man, says Biggs.

Xavier Biggs is the owner and operator of the soulful and authentic Decatur Boxing Club, a fitness and boxing center located in Atlanta, GA. And I must say I am a proud member!

Biggs trained superstar singer, dancer and now actor Usher Raymond for the role of Sugar Ray in “Hands of Stone”. Biggs continues as Usher’s private trainer keeping him in peak condition for concert performances. Moreover, he trained Usher and his dancers for their World Tour, and Usher’s team on the popular NBC reality television singing competition, ‘The Voice’.

Usher and Biggs at Hands of Stone movie premiere.

My uncle was a boxer. He influenced my father to become a boxer in the Army. As a toddler, I can remember seeing gloves and a speed bag in the basement.

As kids, we would body box all day, then, late into the night, under the streetlamp. “You want a fair one” a kid would yell out, which indicated a street fight with boxing rules and an imaginary referee. Nowadays kids pull out guns.

I did not take boxing seriously early on. It wasn’t until my late teens, that I began training regularly with some of the best trainers a fighter could have: Jimmy Arthur, Qunizell McCall and Georgie Benton. Arthur and McCall were beloved by many of their fighters, and Benton went on to train Evander Holyfield, Joe Frazier and many more notable fighters.

Biggs amateur career was brief and he turned professional in the late 70’s. However, in the mid-1980s, Xavier traded a frustrating professional boxing career without a promoter for a once in a lifetime opportunity to assist his youngest brother, three-time world amateur boxing champion Tyrell, in his quest to be the first to receive the Olympic gold medal in boxing in the newly established superheavyweight division. That dream manifested at the 23rd Olympiad, 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.


1984 Olympic Boxing Team

As I progressed as a boxer, I learned that my real calling wasn’t fighting in the ring, yet, serving as a trainer. Everything I learned with Arthur, McCall and Benton, became the foundation of who I am today as a trainer.

Biggs training regime at Decatur Boxing Club include but not limited to Sugar Ray Rope Slap, shadowboxing, medicine ball work, bicycle crunch, reverse crunch, and bag work.

Boxing is a gentlemen’s sport.  The reason why they call it a gentlemen’s sport is because, it requires you to have real character to box someone.

Sugar Ray Robinson is the epitome of a gentleman. He was a fighter that possessed class, grace, and style. It was like watching a ballerina in the ring. I opened Decatur Boxing Club 14 years ago, and my training is based on Sugar Ray Robinson’s methodology.

I like training boxers that possess a beautiful spirit, and that want to be a positive example. I am not interested in training negative spirits, that are in it, just be a brutal ass kicker.

Jabs & Abs w/ DJ Nabs

Biggs also trains legendary DJ Nabs, who has recent started his own class at Decatur Boxing Club, entitled Jabs & Abs w/ DJ Nabs”.

What made you start your own class?

Well I’ve been promoting the boxing lifestyle since, I’ve been doing it, which has been about 7 years now. People would always ask me do I teach? And I would always say no, come to the gym. So eventually, there was an opening and I talked to Xavier Biggs, the owner, about doing the 11am class, and he allowed me to do it.

I am still a trainer in training, I consider myself, more of a person that inspires others, a motivator. I like to motivate people in the boxing ring, to be the best that they can be.

Have you grown in this new role?

Oh yes, definitely, because I think I am a really good student, in particular, anything that I love. And I have loved boxing since the moment I met Biggs here at 9pm at night, and he told me I had natural abilities. So when I watch others, I put myself in their shoes, I see the pain, the aggression, the struggle in their face, or I see confusion, and I try to alleviate that by giving them something to hold on to, whether it’s a story, a personal experience, or I tell them what I see in them, and I try to pull it out of them.

Producer/Recording Artist Sleepy Brown on Jabs & Abs with DJ Nabs

What brought you into the class?

I used to box in Las Vegas, and was looking for a new boxing home. Nabs and I worked in the music industry for years, and I saw that he was boxing.

How do you feel about the class?

I like the class. It’s not just boxing, we do a little some of everything. Nabs is a great instructor, shouts out to him. It is a challenge, otherwise, I would not be there. I most certainly recommend the class.

Producer/Recording Artist/Lecturer/Martial Artists Professor Griff on Jabs & Abs with DJ Nabs

What brought you into the class?

First of all, Nabs and I go way back. I got into a car accident in 2015 and damaged the nerves in my leg, subsequently it affected different parts of my body. I did acupuncture, reiki, I did all kinds of things, then I sat around trying to heal. I did aqua therapy, and some others things. I’ve always been a martial artist, so I told myself, I just got to work through the pain.

Then I saw “Jabs & Abs with DJ Nabs”, and I said what is Nabs doing, I never known him to be a boxer, I’ve always known him to be a DJ. So I ran into him, based on a post about a film we were in together. When I saw him, I said man, I need to get back in the gym, and he said, you know what I’m doing, and I said yes.

How do you feel about the class?

Surprisingly enough, I now understand what I put my students through. Nabs is a great instructor. He is very detailed oriented. He’s cool with it, he’s not over the top. He’s confident and wants to pass the information on to others.

Graduates of Jabs &Abs w/Nabs

A Lady Named Pearl on Boxing

I began training with Biggs in 2014. I came into the gym to improve my fitness, and gained an appreciation for the art of boxing, not to mention the wonderful Jazz music Biggs plays while working out. It is the best conditioning I have received, since becoming an athlete.

Moreover, I am thankful to DJ Nabs for improving my skills, while attending his class.

Boxing has tested my will, improved my cardio and rhythm, and has increased my self-confidence. The environment of the gym is amazing and has a very authentic feel. – A Lady Named Pearl

Check out more of this story in Pearl Magazine Winter Issue.

Photos of Pearl are courtesy of Anthony Gary.

Pearls of Wisdom available at Shrine of Black Madonna

Excited about signing a contract today for the “Shrine of Black Madonna” to carry my book “Pearls of Wisdom for Teenage Girls”! Stop by and get yours today at 946 Ralph David Abernathy, Atlanta, GA.

Books and apparel are also available online at
Moods Music (Atlanta, GA)
Greenbriar Mall – Medu Bookstore (Atlanta, GA)
Sacred Waters Wellness Spa (Fayetteville, GA)


Pearl School of Modeling will be participating in the Green Party Fashion Show on June 10th! Come and celebrate at the 6th Annual IWI Fresh Green Party with us.

IWI Fresh, 341 Nelson St, Atlanta, GA 30313

Get your very own Green Party Pearl Tee!




Student Name(s) & Size(s)


On Saturday, June 17, a group of Atlanta children will hold a fashion show in which they will model “Kindness Rules” shirts as part of a growing local anti-bullying campaign started by middle-schooler Jamison Scout.


Jamison, 11, received notoriety in July 2016 when she courageously stood up at a crowded Chris Tucker leadership symposium in DeKalb County and asked a panel of celebrities, “How do you achieve your goals when you’re being bullied?” Earlier that month Jamison revealed details of her bullying to her mother and others, and will tell her story again at the June 17th event that seeks to encourage children to “Speak Up! Speak Out!” about bullying.


Jamison’s comments and those by other children who’ve suffered from bullying will be followed by a panel discussion with Esta Burke-Reid, whose 10-year-old granddaughter committed suicide after being bullied, family counselor Erica James, and Atlanta edutainer Lee Fuller.


Afterward, 20 children ages 7-14 – including runway model Jamison – will model their “Kindness Rules” shirts and enjoy an evening of music.

RSVP for tickets at


Pearl School of Modeling was a proud sponsor of the Marietta-Roswell Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Chapter.

Here are some highlights from event!

Student Reagan Parks interning for celebrity stylist Erica Benoit (Photo courtesy of Amelia Jackson)

“The Pearls” of Pearl School of Modeling making an appearance at the Marietta-Roswell Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Xperience Fashion Show.

Student Sunjori Chambers modeling black wedding gown for Bridal Impressions.

Pearl School of Modeling awarded by the Marietta-Roswell Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.




Pearls of Wisdom for Teenage Girls

Pearls of Wisdom for Teenage Girls is a leadership workbook designed to help young girls with confidence, goal setting, poise and much more. Pre Sale! Order today at

Author Pearl Fils-Aime is a former Ebony Fashion Fair Model and an adjunct professor at Clark Atlanta University teaching leadership and professional development.
Moreover, Ms. Pearl is the founder of Pearl School of Modeling, where its mission is to shape the confidence of young girls to become future leaders through modeling, leadership and entrepreneurship.

Join us for a book signing in Atlanta, GA which will include a leadership workshop for girls ages 9 to 17.
Location: Phillip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave, Atlanta, GA (Annex located behind main building)
Free Admission.


A Lady Named Pearl is awarded as a “Notable Citizen” of Georgia on Haiti Day for her contributions to the state of Georgia through her work with entertainment and our youth. A special thank you to State Representative Erica Thomas and members who made this day possible. Photos by Terrell Clark.

Pearl – Unsung Heroine Awardee

Saving Our Children and Families, (SOCAF), Inc honored A Lady Named Pearl with the 2017 “Humanitarian Award” at the 9th Annual Unsung Heroine Luncheon held on April 8th, 2017.

A Lady Named Pearl was awarded for her work with the youth through Pearl School of Modeling, and her fundraising efforts for Haiti.


Big Success! 2Yr Anniversary Celebration, ALNP Leadership Academy!

Thank you for attending our 2 Year Anniversary of A Lady Named Pearl Leadership Academy! We sincerely appreciate your support!

A Lady Named Pearl Leadership Academy, 2 Year Anniversary was held at the prestigious Jon’Ric Luxury Salon & Wellness Spa in the heart of downtown Atlanta.

The event featured presentations by the students of the academy, a Mommy Model Battle and Beauty & Wellness Scavenger Hunt!

Special thanks to our keynote speaker Terri J Vaughn (award winning actress, director, producer), and our sponsors Jon’Ric Luxury Salon & Wellness Spa, National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, Andre Walker Hair and Wilbourn Sisters.

Interested in registering your daughter for our upcoming semester (youth division), visit

Photos by Maurice Bush.


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Join us in celebrating the 2 Year Anniversary of A Lady Named Pearl Leadership Academy! Keynote speaker: Terri J Vaughn (award winning actress, director, producer).
This will be a fun-filled day, which will include a Beauty & Wellness Scavenger Hunt, Mommy Model Battle, giveaways and much more! Bring your daughter! This event is open to the public! Free admission, family friendly.