few weeks ago it was announced that former WBO and IBF
Inter-Continental Light Heavyweight Champion, and World title
challenger, Mark Prince is set to make his return to competitive action,
on the Dave Murphy Acourtier Events promoted NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS at York
Hall, in London, on Friday 4th October.
this week I was lucky enough to catch up with the man known simply as
The Prince, but before we get the interview I think a bit of scene
setting would be in order, for those that have not had the pleasure of
seeing Mark in action the first time around, with an abridged version of
Marks excellent career.
On the 4th April 1993, Mark made short work of his first pro opponent, Birminghams
Bobby Mack, by stopping him in the second round, early baths followed
for both his next pair of opponents, John Kaighin and Art Stacey,
Kaighin only made it to the third and Mark knocked out Stacey in the
fourth opponent, Simon McDougall, did manage to go the distance but it
was to be eight bouts later until the next opponent, American Lenzie
Morgan, went the distance with The Prince.
John Pierre also went the distance in Marks next fight, but after that
it was almost two years before any opponent made it to the final bell.
Maurice Hard Core lasted seven rounds, Leeds based Welshman Michael
Gale lasted six rounds before Mark hit the Championship trail.
On the 11th September 1997 Mark faced American Bruce Rumbolz, for the WBO
Inter-Continental title. Once again Mark made short work of things,
stopping Rumbolz after just one minute and fifty one seconds of the
December Mark made his first defense, against Chicagos USAs Wayne
Hankins, of his newly acquired title, Hankins faired only slightly
better than Rumbolz, well lasted forty two seconds longer.
Mark then faced seriously tough American
Kenny Whack, for the IBF Inter-Continental title. After twelve hard
fought rounds The Prince added the prestigious IBF belt to his
On the 19th September 1998 Mark challenged long time WBO World Light Heavyweight
King Dariusz Michalczewski. at the Arena Oberhausen in Germany, for his
was a cracking very close all action bout, that was until with just ten
seconds to go in the eighth round Michalczewski landed a short sharp
left hook to send Mark crashing to the canvas.
months later Mark returned to action, against Kevin Mitchell no not
Dagenhams Mighty Kevin Mitchell, but the Greenwich Cruiserweight who
Mark summarily dispatched in just forty three seconds of the first
Mark retired from the sport shortly after with a 19 win (15 by way of KO) and just the single loss.
Post boxing Mark dedicated himself to helping disadvantaged youngsters, by coaching and mentoring them.
just a few short years later Marks life changed dramatically, following
the murder of his son Kiyan, a prodigious young footballer who played
for Queens Park Rangers.
This personal tragedy spurred Mark to create the Kiyan Prince Foundation, www.kiyan.org - a not-for-profit
organization that is committed to creating a legacy for Kiyan, by the
combating of knife crime and other forms of youth violence.
creating the Kiyan Prince Foundation Mark has further dedicated his
life to educating youngsters and campaigning for legislation on the
carrying of knives. Mark was instrumental, along with then Mayor of
London Ken Livingstone, in the lobbying for knife crime to be introduced
into the Violent Crime Reduction act that went before Parliament and
received Royal assent in November 2006.
Monday I caught up with Mark at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning
Town, where he was one of various well known boxers that were being
interviewed, by BT Sport www.btsport.com - for a special feature that will be aired this evening, Wednesday 4th September.
Rio:So Mark, youre making a comeback on October 4th, why now?
Mark:Yeah I make my comeback on October 4th.
Basically lifes been a fight, so I figured that why not fight in the ring again.
Im fighting everyday, after my son was killed, mentally, emotionally.
Im fighting to help other parents kids to
recognize that putting knives and guns down is the way forward, so that
they can be setting up a future for themselves and myself for the pain I
Im fighting for a different cause, before
when I was fighting it was about taking me from a kid that was going
nowhere, I was on the streets, hustling, doing criminal activities to
make money and its taken me from there to box to raise my game and
Now my focus and purpose is different,
the focus and the purpose is about inspiration, firstly to inspire
myself to know that from this terrible incident that something great can
come from it.
can dig deep, build something strong and positive, while youre doing
that other people can be impacted by that and it will affect the
community in a positive way.
hoping that me coming back is going to affect my community, and show
young people that this kid from the streets made himself into a world
class fighter and after the tragedy happened that I can come straight
back again, with determination, focus, sacrifice and continue my
lot of people reading this may not know what had happened to your son,
so please tell us more and about the charity you set up.
Mark:On the 18th May 2006 my son Kiyan Prince, who was fifteen years old, was a top
striker in the youth team for Queens Park Rangers and he was destined
for great things, they had plans to put him into the first team and he
was doing so well, great potential and he was stabbed outside his school
trying to stop a fight, he went over to break it up and the boy pulled a
knife out and stabbed him in the heart.
then theres been a huge amount of media attention around it, because my
son was a top striker and obviously Ive been a world class fighter and
Ive continued to help the young people on the streets.
taken a while, working doing the campaign to put the guns and knives
down, working with the newspapers and many other things, its not stopped
Ive continued doing things since then to create a legacy for my son and
to provide young people the opportunities, inspire them and educate
them that this isnt the way forward.
people are made for great purpose and they just need to be able to see
that and build their self-esteem, thats whats happening with the Kiyan
know that was painful for you and appreciate you speaking about it with
me. Now to the boxing, British Champion, Inter-Continental Champion and
World title challenger, you had a great career the first time around.
Mark:Yeah IBF and WBO Inter-Continental Champion, former #1 in Britain, former #1 WBO and mandatory challenger for the title.
fought a guy called Dariusz Michalczewski, my only loss on a twenty
fight record, 15 knockouts, I was 18-0 at the time and he was 38-0 at
the time, the odds were against me and nobody thought I could win, I put
up a great fight, showed the warrior in me and went out with my shield.
return, its not just about coming back for the odd fight, I understand
youre coming back looking for Championship honours, is that right?
Im coming back looking for Championships, thats who I am, Im a warrior
at the highest level, the worse thing that can happen is that I lose, no
big deal Ive lost a lot more than a fight in my life, this is nothing
to me, this is the easy part of my life.
first time I boxed, I thought boxing was the toughest thing anyone could
go through, obviously Ive learned differently and now its a pleasure to
put the gloves back on and train hard.
motto is Its only pain, so what the hell its served me well and I think
Im going to surprise a lot of people, Im in wonderful condition and the
power never goes anywhere, fifteen guys of the nineteen wins never saw
the end of the bout so whoever is in my category is in a lot of trouble.
Rio:I understand youre coming back at Cruiserweight?
I spent too much time struggling with weight last time, that
contributed, although Im not taking anything away from the guy that beat
me, but it contributed in my condition on the night.
would never advise any boxer to struggle to make weight, just to fight
comfortable is right, dont kill yourself, go in comfortable as its good
for your health and less blood clots on the brain and other damage.
a valid point as not a lot of people realize the damage making weight
has on the body and more importantly the loss of fluids that protect the
no way you can rehydrate in time, its about understanding the game,
understanding what you need to do to safeguard yourself and coming in at
a weight you can manage and thats comfortable for you to lessen the
degree of damage that can happen.
You need the fluid around the brain, you
need the fluid in your body and the last thing you need to do is dry
yourself out, because thats your defense mechanism in the fight.
You lose a number of pounds in the fight, so if youve already drained yourself of fluid you suddenly find yourself in problems.
Theres been calls for rehydration fluids to be used, but the BBBofC and others in control will not allow it.
Its not that youll become a superman and
the next round youll be amazing, its the rehydration could help,
whatever help the fighters can get to improve that part of their safety,
not boxing but the chances of any damage being greatly reduced and I
think that this should be put in place.
Rio:I couldnt agree more my next question is sparring, who have you been sparring?
most of the sparring I called for myself, including Nathan Cleverly
early this year, Don Charles had been nice enough to ask him for me.
It was wonderful, I have great respect
for Nathan Cleverly, hes a great individual, he was nice enough to let
me come in and spar with him and it was good.
I needed to know what I had left and I
hadnt had any real competitive sparring for over ten years, but if I
have anything then I can prove it at the time or would Nathan Cleverly
totally outclass me, I needed to know if I could compete still compete
at anywhere around that level and what I had left.
The sparring allowed to see where I was
and I was really pleased, obviously I didnt dominate or anything, lets
be realistic this guys been fighting all the time, I havent been at
world level for a while so I wasnt going to do Nathan any damage, but
what I did find out is that I can see punches, slip, move nicely.
told me how he found it in there with me, he said to me himself my
friend you could go back in at Cruiser and do a lot of damage, so I
think you should go back and make a come back. We filmed it, I think you
can find that on You Tube, so thats there.
From there I went on to help Wadi
Camacho, who was mixing with Don Charles and some of the guys in his
camp, worked with Frank Buglioni, here at the TRAD TKO gym, wonderful
young prospect and a really nice guy is Frank, I really wish him all the
I think all this kind of work has only
helped for me to understand where I am in the game, show me how much
knowledge I do have and how sharp I still am, so all Ive done is improve
over the past nine months.
Every single time I spar, whenever I go
in I help Wadi, I helped him prepare for his Prizefighter, I personally
would like to think that I was partially responsible for his success, he
has said so himself that I was responsible by helping him to prepare
and win Prizefighter, hes the one fighting but its really important who
you working with, to prepare for that fight
The quality he got from me was top class,
I say that without trying to blow my own trumpet, Wadi got quality
sparring and everyone could see it on the day, his family could see his
Im intelligent about the work I am doing
and its about the things I am doing, how much sparring Im doing, how
much running, so I think Im a different man, obviously because of what
Ive been through.
the time Ive been out Ive always focused on being fit, Ive never lived
bad, Ive trained, I use my training skills to help young people, from
2002, before my son was killed I was into youth work, I was using my
boxing to help motivate kids, to do boxing classes and training them up
I was always working and was sharp, I just wasnt at world class boxing level, thats all, but my body was always in good nick.
Rio: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Mark: Dont forget its at York Hall on October 4th, so lets ram out the place for the return of the Prince.
Watch this space, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@markno1prince) for more news.
Prince, against a yet to be named opponent, with feature on the
undercard of the double World Title headed Dave Murphys Acourtier
Events, promoted NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS event, which takes place at York
Hall in Bethnal Green, London, on Friday 4th October 2013.
online to www.Acourtier.com for additional information on the NIGHT OF
CHAMPIONS event or the Acourtier stable of boxers. Follow Acourtier
Events on Twitter @AcourtierEvents - friend us at
Facebook.com/AcourtierEvents - and on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/acourtier-events
For further information on the Kiyan Prince Foundation please go to www.kiyan.org
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