Introducing Qa’id Muhammad

By Kirk Lang


Introducing Qa’id Muhammad

Teenager impresses in pro debut

Last Friday, in the final fight of the final night of boxing at Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Fox Theatre - the casino is opening the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in May -- Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Qa’id Muhammad demonstrated both speed and power against Mario Gaxiola (now 0-3). The teenage super flyweight dropped Gaxiola with a left hook at the end of the opening round, floored him again in the second - this time with a left uppercut - and rendered the judges' scorcards irrelevant by taking out Gaxiola with a huge left hook in the final round. The bout was waved off with a single second left in the frame. The knockdown was so scary, medical personnel rushed to Gaxiola’s aid. He was subsequently taken out on a stretcher and transported to a local hospital as a precautionary measure. Muhammad (1-0) had turned pro in style.

While you can never be sure how good someone is when they’re  facing lower level opposition early on in their career, this performance made Muhammad look like a future champion, reminding writers in press row of Andre Berto or the young Zab Judah.

Muhammad is busy with his mitts. Super flyweights, small as they are, tend to have fast hands but Muhammad's hand speed needs to be seen to be comprehended. Describing it wouldn’t do it justice.

And it isn’t just the speed of his punches that impresses. It’s the power as well. Fighters sometimes sacrifice power when trying to throw quick punches. Nothing gets sacrificed with Muhammad. When he wasn’t sending Gaxiola to the canvas, he was dominating him with leap-in left hooks, lead right hands and rapid-fire combinations. Muhammad seemed to favor the hook more so than all the other tools in his arsenal. Why not? It was responsible for two of the bout’s three knockdowns.

However, when Muhammad’s father and trainer, Abdur Muhammad, was asked what punch will be his son’s speciality shot in the future, he didn’t mention the left hook. He pointed out his son’s nickname is "Kid Dynamite."

"He’s got dynamite in both hands, you know? It’s not going to be any one punch," said Abdur. "Today, he opened up an uppercut. That’s a punch that we really never even wanted him to use, but he dropped the guy with an uppercut, so I can’t say any one punch."

Muhammad, at 18 years of age, has plenty of time to get even better. He’s a product of the Atlantic City PAL, and used to train along side former IBF world champion Leavander Johnson, who died in September 2005 as a result of injuries sustained in a title defense against Jesus Chavez. Shamone Alvarez, a welterweight southpaw who lost to tough Joshua Clottey in an IBF title eliminator back in December, is also a product of the PAL gym. Alvarez and a half-dozen or more of his gym mates made the trek to Foxwoods in Connecticut to root on Muhammad in his pro debut.

Abdur Muhammad was pleased with his son’s performance. "I was real proud of him," he said. "He executed everything that we asked him to do. He listened. That’s what developed everything."
Abdur said one thing in particular will carry his son far in this boxing game. "He’s going to listen. That’s what’s going to carry him real far. Discipline. Discipline."

Qa’id Muhammad, who won the 2006 Under 19 National Championships, came in second in the National Golden Gloves last year, and finished his amateur career with a 76-6 record, thought his entry into the pro ranks would be a little tougher than it was.
"I came in there and scored a first round knockdown and it made me feel good. It was a good start," said Muhammad, who cited Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Meldrick Taylor and Terry Norris as a few of his all-time favorite  fighters.

Muhammad is anxious to become a world champion like them.
"Hopefully by my 8th or 9th fight I’ll be fighting for a title," he said. That sounds overly ambitious but for anyone who Muhammad in action Friday night, it doesn’t sound so crazy.


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