Mike Marshall sits down to talk with SylvanaBoxing.com about his amateur
career so far, his plans for the future and his life outside the ring!
like other fighters, but I have no problem fighting with you if I need to.
I have fast hands also which is a very good thing. My
will is so strong that I will take your will to fight from you. I don't like
quitting at all.”
SA: Mike, thanks for talking to SylvanaBoxing today. How
MM: I want to
thank you for the opportunity to be featured on your website. I'm fine,
staying in the gym, and staying out of trouble.
SA: During your amateur career, you made it to the final
of the Empire State Games as well as the final of the Golden Gloves. What
would you say has been your proudest moment to date?
MM: Actually, I
just made it to the finals in the Empire State games, when I fought Earl
Newman Jr. My proudest moments happen every time I step into the ring.
Whether it's sparring or a fight, I just want to perform and stay out of the
SA: What is your overall amateur record to date?
MM: My amateur
record is 6-7, a lot of my losses where robberies. Hey, it's the amateurs so
as long as I make sure it doesn't happen in the pros. See, I started late in
boxing at 18, so I'm still learning on the job. Never the less I got to
knock people out and not leave it to these blind judges!
SA: Was there a person that inspired you to get you into
the sport or was it just something that happened?
What got me into the sport
was a street fight in high school. I got jumped by a local Bloods gang in my
old neighborhood in New Jersey. It was 12 against 1. I couldn't run. My
pride and heart wouldn't allow me to, so I fought. I stood my ground because
I was hard headed and still am somewhat. I took and gave an ass whooping,
and just walked home like nothing happened. My grandmother called the cops,
and they suggested that I look into the sport.
SA: Let’s talk about your fight experiences to date...
what is going through your mind when you enter the ring? Can you use the
atmosphere from the crowd to motivate you or are you that “zoned in” that
you can’t feel it?
MM: My fight
experience is quite extensive including sparring pros, contenders,
Olympians, and champions. So I get a lot of experience in the gym. They
don't take it easy on me and I don't take it easy on them. When it's fight
time I don't even hear the crowd, because I'm so menacing they usually cheer
for the other guy, until they actually see me fight. I usually win over the
audience at the end of my fights because I show great will and heart.
SA: What would you say are your best assets that you
develop in training and use to your advantage in the ring?
MM: I would say
my best assets are my jab and my crafty style. I'm not like other fighters,
but I have no problem fighting with you if I need to. I usually just rely on
my skills and box. I have fast hands also which is a very good thing. My
will is so strong that I will take your will to fight from you. I don't like
quitting at all.
SA: Has there been a fight which you have found
Yes, the 2010 Golden Gloves. I lost a decision to some guy from Queens. It
was my first fight as a Middleweight. Actually, it was my first time in life
being 165 pounds. I fought all three rounds and the kid was running around
like a chicken with his head cut off. I hate chasing fighters around the
ring. My previous fight was at Super-Heavyweight, but I will not use weight
loss as an excuse. It was a learning experience for me. Nevertheless, I put
on a good fight.
SA: What are your thoughts on turning pro at the minute,
is it something that you will be looking at soon or have you got more to
achieve in the amateurs?
MM: If I had the
opportunity, I'd turn pro tomorrow, but I learned that boxing is not about
who's the best fighter anymore. It's a business, so I'll stay in the
amateurs until I find investors or a decent promoter who will put me on
their card. You got guys running around here with 12-0 records and they
can't fight at all. I beat up a pro with that record the other day in the
gym. So I just wait until I shine a bit more in the amateurs. People in New
York City are talking about me anyway, so I guess that's a good thing.
SA: How important do you feel it is to have a decent
MM: The amateurs
is where you learn. Some guys just have 5 fights turn pro and become
champion. I have more experience than that but I'm just playing my cards
right. The amateurs is where you get your schooling. Some people catch on
quick, some catch on slow, but at the end of the day, I get it.
SA: Do you think that a boxer can be at the top of his
game in the amateurs, but then fall short in the pros?
MM: Of course,
just because you’re a good amateur doesn't mean you'll be a good
professional. It happens. You can be a top amateur and fall short in the
pros. I see it all the time. Also, some of the worst amateurs become
excellent pros...that's funny to me. This whole boxing game is funny.
SA: What is your best punch?
MM: My best punch
is my jab. I started out with a hate for using my jab, but in the long run I
appreciate it for opening up so many doors. I broke my last opponent's nose
with the jab. So I'm in love with it now.
SA: Is there a pro boxer that you can maybe liken
yourself to in terms of ability and style?
My boxing style is unique, I
take from everybody in the sport. James Toney, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Kid
Chocolate, Joe Louis. I just steal from everybody and come into my own.
Sitting down on my shots is important to me also, I gotta knock people out
now. The amateur boxing scoring is the
SA: What would a typical day look
like for you in training and how often do you train and for how long each
MM: I sleep in the gym. I wake up
when sparring comes. I spar about 7 to 8 rounds a day. Last week I boxed 27
rounds all with professionals and maybe another amateur that's still in the
Golden Gloves. I go running at night before bed. I’d rather spar than do
anything else. You got guys that hit the bag all day but not me. I like to
hit people all day. When I sleep I dream about hitting people.
SA: Where and
who do you train with?
I train in Starrett City Boxing Gym
in East New York, Brooklyn. Right next to Brownsville. Former World Champion
Luis Callazo trains there too, along with me, title contender Danny Jacobs,
Middleweight Champion Curtis Stevens, Heavyweight contender Vinny Maddalone,
and Jr. Middleweight Dushane "Tyson" Crooks. I box with all of those guys
before their fights. I'm also in camp with Light-Heavyweight prospect Travis
Peterkin. I give all these guys work, whatever they need - 7, 9 rounds,
whatever. I just want to box.
SA: So how
important is sparring as a part of your preparation?
MM: Sparring is very important to me.
It allows me to see and visualize what I am actually capable of in the ring.
I treat an actual boxing match differently but in sparring, I work on
technique. Sometimes you have guys that want to go to war in the gym. I take
advantage of those guys because they are animals that are afraid to use
their skill. I usually make guys like that quit after the 3rd round. I spar
with everyone, it doesn't matter to me. When I step in the gym I yell out "LET
THE BEATINGS BEGIN!" That lets everyone know I'm ready to work. Whatever,
whoever, whenever. I take em all from Flyweight to their Momma's Weight!
SA: Also, how
important is mental preparation for you before a fight?
MM: My mental preparation before a
fight is important. I stay cool, calm, focused and ready to work. There was
a point where these robberies where messing with my head, but I told myself
“forget the judges and just do my job”. I'm not one of their favorites; they
must think I'm just a kid off the street or something until they see me
fight. I come to hurt, so that's all that’s on my mind before a fight. I’m
gonna break something or die trying. Like I said before, the last guy I
fought, I broke his nose.
SA: Let’s talk a bit more about that last fight you refer
to. What are your thoughts on it?
MM: My last fight
was complete trash, even though I was the main event. I was sharp, knocked
the guy down, and broke his nose. The last round they took a point away from
my opponent for holding and he still won a 3-2 decision. It was so bad that
the guy running the golden gloves told me it was complete B.S.! I was in the
guy's hometown and the crowd booed him after they heard the decision. People
were running up to me like I was famous or something and they were really
angry at the judges. Them telling me “you’re the winner” - that was a great
feeling. Still, all in all, I wish these judges would do the right thing.
SA: Do you think boxing is a fair game?
MM: Absolutely not! A lot of the top
guys are at the top because someone rich put them there. When you have money
you can put judges in your back pocket. It's very crooked, but like I said
if you’re fighting me, then I'm gonna make it my business to break a bone on
you by any means. Win, lose, or draw.
SA: When will
you be back in action and what can we expect to see from you next?
MM: Right now I'm just in camp with
pro boxers. Now that I'm out of the Golden Gloves, I'm waiting for the next
tournament or show fight. I'm hearing they’re getting rid of headgear and
bringing the 10 point must system into the amateurs. I can't wait till that
SA: Who would
you say are your favourite current and all-time boxers?
MM: James Toney is my favorite
fighter. I have a lot but he's the cream of the crop. I like his crafty
slipping and old school style of fighting.
SA: As a
boxing fan, is there a fight that you are particularly looking forward to
MM: Lamont Peterson vs. Lucas
Matthysse is a fight that I'm looking forward to on May 18th (a day before
my birthday). Very tough fight.
SA: Who is
Mike without the gloves? What do you like to do for fun?
MM: My life outside the ring is
simple. I work also so that keeps me out of trouble. I'm a real laid back,
funny guy. If I wasn't a fighter, I would be a comedian, because life is
funny. The way things play out is funny, so I just sit back and enjoy the
show. I grew up in the hood in New York and New Jersey. Irvington, New
Jersey is one of the worst parts of New Jersey. I fought almost everyday.
I’m glad I got out of there.
SA: So how
does boxing affect your life? How does your family feel about you fighting?
MM: Boxing changed my life for the
better. It keeps me in shape and gave me a different outlook on life. Boxing
actually made me smarter than any school ever would. It prepared me for the
tough world and to face my fears head on. My family is supportive,
especially my grandmother. She believes I can do it, so I make it happen
everyday that I'm breathing. It’s all for her.
that you would have liked to have achieved by the year end?
MM: I just want more fights. More
experience to prepare me for anyone or anything.
SA: Is there
anything that you would like to share with the fans/supporters/readers
MM: To the fans of the sport of
boxing - Don't believe the HYPE because that's all it is... hype! Read
between the lines, support real fighters. Not just fighters with "undefeated"
records, because there is someone for everybody. These guys are running and
ducking from real fights. Me, personally I show up and show out when it's
time to fight. God bless and continue to support real fighters with actual
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