Rey Tiburon Wilson, MMRC Haiti Bids Farewell…
July 25, 2011 By
I met Wilson in the Dominican Republic when he was introduced to me through Marc Lubin to pull security detail while helping me find a truck for MMRC.
Right away it was comedy with Wilson speaking only Creole and Spanish, a Haitian translator that spoke Creole and rough English, and a Spanish speaking D.R driver. From the start and for the days we were there he made sure Rodney and I were taken care of, had what we needed – constantly asking if we comfortable. When we were headed back to Haiti he ask to ride along with us. Of course he did and what a ride it was. We picked up two D.R military guys needing a ride to the border and laughed the whole trip.
At the Haiti/D.R. border he helped us acquire our papers to cross over. While waiting two boys came to the door of our truck asking for money. Wilson waved them over to him, opened the door and started talking to them like an older brother would. I just watched and listened, picking up on little bits. He got out of the car and played around with ‘em (showing them some of his boxing moves). Before pulling away I saw him hand them money. Knowing he had no money other than what I had gave him I knew he’d given them nearly all he had. I already liked him but that sealed the deal.
I knew he was going to be part of MMRC Haiti.
He stayed with us at the MMRC compound on and off, for a few days here and there. One day we were headed out to Orphanage Foyer d’Orelph and I asked him to join the work crew. When we arrived it was no surprise to see him interacting with those kids just as he had done at the border. It was obvious he had a genuine connection and love for children. Along with a real talent and passion for boxing that he would show them all.
Then came the day I was arrested. When everyone at the compound was told about my arrest and the danger for those that knew me, he didn’t think twice – jumped in the truck and rushed up to see me. Just for being associated with me he was arrested along with Junior Duliepre and Paul Sebring. It didn’t phase him a bit. He was shoved in the cell, walked right over to me, gave me a hug and apologized for what was happening to me.
With his boxing jacket on he got instant respect.
Another inmate and I had gotten in a fight when I was first put in. Wilson heard this and confronted him. Scared as hell, the other inmate apologized. Wilson just talked to him. A few hours later, Junior, Big Paul, and Wilson were released. Before leaving Wilson gave the same guy his jacket. I don’t know if it was to keep me protected or because he saw something in the guy.
What I do know is he didn’t have to get in that truck to come make sure I was okay but he did. He could have avoided me like many did after that but he came right back every chance he could.
Wilson told me one day he liked what we did for his people and he wanted to be a part of it. Well, he was, and always will be in spirit. He never asked for money and even turned it down from me on more than a few occasions.
He was the definition of a man that would give you the shirt off his back.
He did it for me. While in Haiti this last trip I was blessed to spend some time with him. He had just landed a great promoter and had been training hard in Cite Soleil, Haiti. Arriving just before I left for the U.S., he was wearing the t-shirt of a mutual friend’s night club. When I told him I had never received one, he took his off and handed it to me. I had him sign it telling him he’d make it big one day and I’d be ringside rep’n him. Hours after his death I dug it out of my bag, as of yet unwashed – his black jiffy marker handwriting scrawled across the back.
At some point during the week of July 18th, Wilson was walking in traffic, stepped back to avoid a moto taxi, and fell into an uncovered manhole. He died Sunday, July 24, 2011 at home with his family.
MMRC Haiti will carry on with the values inspired by Wilson and we will work hard to honor his memory.
God knows, he has set the bar high.