Patrick “The Machine” Majewski: The Accidental Middleweight By Gabriel Montoya, MaxBoxing (Nov 5, 2011) Doghouse Boxing - Tweet
time I interview a boxer, I always begin with “Take me to the beginning. How
did you first get into boxing?” The general answer is a father or cousin, or
brother took the fighter in question to a gym and it all went from there. For
undefeated WBO NABO middleweight titleholder Przemek (Patrick) “The Machine”
Majewski, 17-0 with 11 knockouts, who fights this Saturday at the Mohegan Sun
Casino in Uncansville, Conn, becoming a boxer was a random event. A native of
Radom, Poland who now lives in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Majewski grew up
something of a combat sport enthusiast. He learned karate and wrestled at an
early age but it was not until years later, that he would find the sport that
he would make his career.
time I stepped into a boxing gym back in Poland, I was 18 years old,” Majewski
told me over the phone Wednesday evening from Mississippi. “Before that I was
always in sports. I was a wrestler for seven years. In high school I was a
wrestler. From high school, I went to college to get an education to be a
teacher. There was no wrestling. My
friend did boxing so I went to a boxing gym [with him]. I was like 18, 19 years
old. Then in Poland, the coaches said ‘Ah, you are too old for boxing.”
Majewski, who was adept in Karate as well as wrestling, began learning the
basics and training in the art of hit and not be hit. In 2001, he would move to
the US, staying in New York for two years until finally settling in Atlantic
City. Following a chance meeting with a fellow boxing enthusiast at a gym, Patrick
went to just “lift weights” led him to a nearby boxing gym. It was there he met
his next boxing coach, former boxer, now trainer James “Rocky’ McRae.
“He worked me
so hard that I almost throw up and I fell in love with it. I keep coming back
and coming back to train with everyone,” said Majewski. “There were some pro
fighters there, black people, white people, old people, everybody.”
would train with McRae for months until finally in 2004, it was time to compete
in a real (if amateur) fight.
“I was not
sure about it,” admitted Majewski.
urged him on; sure that the potential he saw in Majewski was real. The only way
to find out was in a fight. Majewski relented and the two men travelled to
Pennsylvania where Patrick competed in the 165 lb Novice Division of the 2004
Pennsylvania Golden Gloves. Not only did Majewski win his first fight, he won
the title in his division. From there he amassed an 11-2 amateur record.
By this point,
Majewski was 27 and the time to turn pro was clearly now. If he was going to do
anything as a professional boxer, he had to get moving. But even now, some 5
years later, Majewski, who first came to the US on a student visa exchange
program just to briefly check out the US, can’t believe how things have turned
out for him.
“I turned pro
in 2006 and so far I am 17-0 with 11 knockouts. I never thought I would be a
pro fighter,” said Majewski. “It just kind of happened. All these journeys,
before you realize you are just too far to stop. Sometimes I think, ‘Man, if I
knew how hard it would be, I’d probably never try it. But now I just love it.”
I asked him
why fighting and what does he love about it?
is a one on one sport. It is only you against your opponent. For many it is
just the punching. For me, it is boxing. It is a lot of thinking. There are
many things to put together,” Majewski said. “Your hands, head movement, there
is all the tricks. Boxing is like a science. I am starting to get better.”
Majewski is a
born athlete. He loves competing in sports, loves training no matter sport it
was growing or to now. It is from this work ethic that his nickname was born.
see me training hard in the gym and say] He’s the machine, He never stops; All
the time working, all the time training. He’s like The Machine,” Majewski
explained. “For a long time I was without a nickname. I was looking for a
nickname. I was thinking ‘maybe this, maybe that.’ But then I figured ‘Why come
up with something else when the people are calling me ‘The Machine.’ So I’m The
turned pro, Majewski hooked up with Bill Johnson, father of the late
lightweight titleholder Leavander Johnson and is now training out of the Global
Boxing Gym in New Jersey.
“The head of
Global Boxing Gym Mariusz Kolodziej, is a great guy,” said Majewski. ‘”He has
helped me with so much. With my life, with everything. Thanks to him, very good
things happened to me.”
New Jersey is
home to one of the largest Polish populations in US and as such is a great
place for Majewski to be building a fanbase in the sport. Up to now, though he
says he is just beginning that process.
“My name is
starting to exist in the Polish community thanks to Global Boxing getting me on
the undercard of Tomasz Adamek fights,” he explained. “I know I am an upcoming
fighter. I know I have a long way to go in a short amount of time because of my
age. I feel good but I am 31. Right now I have to keep stepping up. There is
not time to waste. I feel like a young 31. I started late. I didn’t get hurt so
much. I take care of my body and so my body takes care of me.”
Majewski to describe who he is as a boxer. I was impressed by the self-aware
“If I start
describing myself, it will be more like I want it to be,” said Majewski. “I try
to be a boxer. I am trying to be puncher. I try to move. I can move and box and
I can counter punch. The more you can do in the ring, it is better for you. But
people who see my fights, they say I am an exciting fighter.
Though he has
11 knockouts in 17 fights, his opponents thus far have been of the development
variety. Majewski remains very honest about this stage of his career when
describing if his power is real or the result of good matchmaking.
what? Sometimes I start watching TV and listen to the commentators and
sometimes they say ‘This guy has 17 fights with 15 knockouts. But sometimes
those 15 knockouts depends on who they were fighting with,” explained Majewski.
“I think I am strong and I wear those guys down. I like to go to the body. I have
a couple stoppages by body shots. So I don’t really know honestly for that
question. I let somebody else answer this question about my boxing power. I
believe in my power. I think I have some power.”
the learning process is never ending. He is always adding new tools to his
game. The way he describes it, the more he leanrs, the more he realizes he
knows very little.
“When I was
an amateur fighter and winning I was thinking ‘Oh I’m good. I’m good,” he said
with a laugh. “Now I am thinking ‘Man I have so much things to improve. I have
so much things to learn. The long I box, the more I think I have to learn.”
credits his understanding of himself with his age. A twenty-something or a teen
fighter might think he is better than he is. A fighter or man in his thirties
begins to understand his mortality and the value of hard work. For Majewski,
nothing can be taken for granted and nothing will be given for free.
“As a younger
man in my twenties,] I often was living in a dream world,” he said. “I wanted
to do this, I wanted to do that. But never did I start dreaming and thinking
about this. Now that I am boxing, my dreams are to keep winning and to get to a
championship and I am really going for it but you know? It is a long way to go,
it is a hard way to go to make these dreams come true.”
June, Majewski took a step up in class when he faced Marcus Upshaw at the
DeSoto Civic Center, Southaven, Mississippi for the vacant WBO NABO middleweight
titles. The win gave him a higher ranking within the burgeoning middleweight
division. It also helped Majewski begin to further understand who he is as a
fighter and enter a contender phase of his career as opposed to the prospect
waters he now swims in.
“When I won
the title from Upshaw, it put my name up in the rankings,” said Majewski. “When
I saw my name next to all those big names in the rankings, I was like ‘WOW.’ So
I started working out harder and harder.
I [stayed] in the gym. And now I get the chance to fight again November 5 and
continue pushing forward.”
Majewski will once again get the chance to move further up the ranks when he
puts his title on the line against Jose Miguel Torres, 22-5 with 19 knockouts.
The bout will be for the vacant NABF middleweight title as well. Torres is a
late replacement and so Majewski has not had quite the look he would like to
heading into such an important fight. But it’s just as well. While he looks at
tape of opponents, it is not one of his favorite things in the world.
“I don’t like
to watch my opponent [on tape] but I know I have to and I do it,” said Majewski
who expected a tough fight from Marcus Upshaw. “I try watching how they do
things. But it is the same with me. I am still in the learning process. I’m not
coming [to every fight] totally different but I try things, you know? That is
what we are training, to try to evolve. I think every fighter tries to do
something new. Watching my opponent, I try to see what most often they do. Then
my coaches prepare me for what may happen in this fight. But no matter what you
have to be in great shape to execute your game plan.”
Majewski pushes forward into a career he had never planned on but one that is
looking more and more like one he was born to pursue.
“It may be my
toughest fight in my career. There is always some pressure before the fight,”
Majewski continued. “But every fight I treat like a championship. I am ready
for everything. I try not to control it. The more relaxed I am, the better I
can do in the fight. Normally, I make some prediction for what I am going to
but it is also what is your opponent going to do? You may get caught with some
punches, too. The thing is if I have to
box, I am ready to do it. If I have to go to war, I am ready for war.”
. You can email Gabriel
at email@example.com, follow him on
Twitter at www.twitter.com/gabriel_montoya and catch
him on each Monday’s episode of “The Next Round” with Steve Kim. You can
also tune in to hear him and co-host David Duenez live on the
BlogTalk radio show Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com,
Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST. Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers
Association of America.