EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: KARIM MAYFIELD
By John McCormick
JM: Karim, on May 18th you will be facing Raymond Serrano (18-0 with 8 KOs) in a junior welterweight bout. What are you hoping to show the boxing world against Serrano on the 18th?
Karim Mayfield: "Serrano is a good fighter. He has some good skills and decent power. I just want to show the world that I am an elite fighter and that Serrano isnít on my level. He is a good fighter but I am definitely on a different level and I am going to prove that on May 18th."
JM: Often in a young prospectís career, they are put against another young, undefeated prospect. Usually it is a ďmake you or break youĒ type of fight, do you view this fight being that way for your career?
KM: Yes, for sure, but I have already fought four undefeated guys at this point in my career [Mario Alberto Lozano, Francisco Santana, Rahman Yusubov, Alejo Sepulveda]. Iím prepared and looking back in hindsight, those fights prepared me for this fight. I am looking to do the same thing in this fight and repeat the past.
JM: Now you brought up those four undefeated fighters. Lozano, who was 8-0 at the time that you fought him. During that fight, he scored a knockdown in the second round and you came back to win a unanimous decision. What did you learn from getting up off the canvas to win?
KM: I had taken a knee but I swear that I got hit with an elbow. I got up and dropped him twice after that. I learned that I have to be in top shape for a fight and I wasnít in great shape for that fight. They gave me a few weeks and I wasnít fully prepared for that fight. It showed me that I can get up after an elbow or a punch, whatever you want to call it. Nevertheless I have the warrior in me to carry on and walk through adversity.
JM: At this point in your career, the most impressive name on your resume is Steve Forbes, who you stopped in the tenth round last June. Tell us about how it felt to stop Forbes for the first time in his career?
KM: I felt great because I had all my components in place for that fight. I had been off for about a year going into that fight but I was mentally prepared and I had a great camp for that fight. Just fighting a slick veteran like that and stopping him was a great feeling. The fight was going into the tenth round and I knew I could stop him so I put my foot on the gas and took care of business and did what I had to do.
JM: For the majority of your career you have fought welterweight. Recently, you have fought at junior welterweight. Are you looking to stay at junior welterweight for a while?
KM: Yeah, as for right now I want stay at 140 pounds. If a fight pops up at 147 pounds for me then of course Iíll take it. But as for right now I am looking to stay at 140 pounds and clear that division out, and then move on to 147 pounds.
JM: Now there are a lot of great fighters campaigning at junior welterweight right now. Are there any specific fighters that you are hoping to lure into a fight?
KM: Well, I am not ducking anybody. I want to fight anybody in the top ten or anybody that the fans want to see that can bring in a good pay day.
JM: Now, I have been made aware that you have started working with Virgil Hunter for this upcoming fight. Is that correct?
KM: Yes I will be training with Virgil Hunter for this fight. Iíve known Virgil Hunter for a while so it is a great look for me to start working with him now that Andre Ward isnít fighting as often as he used to. Not to mention I have a new nutritionist in Victor Conte. I am feeling good, my numbers are up, and I look forward to putting on a great show on May 18th.
JM: Any closing thoughts for the fans?
Karim Mayfield: Donít miss out on May 18th because itíll be a great fight and Karim Mayfield will have his hand raised at the end of the night.
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