Heavyweight prospect Malcolm Tann says the best is yet to come for the boxing fans. The 11-1 (5) fighter wants the fans to get ready for bigger fights and more entertaining wins. Tann served six years in the Air Force and he is veteran of 'Operation Enduring Freedom' in which he was a Senior Airman in Afghanistan. He was also the Super Heavyweight 2002 National Golden Gloves Champion. But now the former Staff Sergeant wants a piece of the heavyweight division. His only blemish on his record was a split decision loss to Willie Chapman back in November of 2003. In June, Tann avenged that loss in an eight round unanimous decision over Chapmen. But the 'Show Stopper' is just getting started. In an exclusive Doghouse interview with Malcolm, he talked about what the future will hold for him, the division and the fans.
Photo © Mary Ann Owen
Benny Henderson Jr.: Hey Malcolm, what are you up too?
Malcolm Tann: I was on my way to talk to some youth at a Boy’s Club.
BH: Well, I want to thank you for taking time out for Doghouse and the fans.
MT: Hey man, not a problem. Anything for the fans, man.
BH: Well Malcolm, what’s next for you?
MT: My next fight should be around August 7th maybe in the Houston area. It will be basically a fight to get me back in the ring and to get things going. Because three days before my last fight I fractured my ribs. They say you should at least take a week off before a fight. But I went against the rules and sucked it up because I really needed that one back. I knew I could beat that guy.
BH: What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?
MT: I’m not looking to get into the top ten right now. What I’m looking to do is to get experience and to hone my skills. Because I am not a bigheaded person, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’m a great fighter and I’m looking to fight Chris Byrd or Vitali Klitschko at this point. Right now I’m looking to learn from those guys. I’ll maybe go to there camp and spar with them. Right now they are on a different level than I am and I know that. So in 2006 I’m making my push for my own heavyweight belt.
BH: How did you get the nickname 'Show Stopper'?
MT: I was at my first fight and I was signing autographs. This guy came up to me and said why should I watch you fight? I told him all my accolades in the amateurs. He started to walk off. I was like “Hey, my fight is going to be a show stopper! I’m going to be a fight that you’re going to want to see!” And then somebody said Malcolm, that’s a great name for you. It’s really my style so I stuck with it.
BH: What happened in the Cliff Couser fight, and do you harbor any hard feelings?
MT: I was a young guy and he was thinking that he could come in and intimidate me right off the bat and get me out of there early. But I wasn’t a hyped up person like he thought I was. He came out there and hit me with his best shot and I just busted off. I was ready to go to battle with him and that took his heart immediately. So he was looking for a way out. We tangled up and then we broke. I threw a right hand and he slipped and bent over and I grazed him on the back of his shoulder. He said that he said in an interview that if I tried to hit him in the back of the head he would go off. But that was an excuse to get out of the ring. I have no hard feelings for the guy.
BH: Would you fight him again?
MT: Me fighting him again wouldn’t prove anything. People can already tell that I have better skills than him.
BH: How important was it for you to avenge the loss to Willie Chapman?
MT: Ah man, it was very important to me. Mentally because I wanted to see if this was the sport that I needed to be in. I wanted to know if I could compete with these guys and Chapman has beat a lot of undefeated guys. Some take a loss and go on and do pretty well in the sport. But for me personally I thought that I have always worked harder than the average guy. For me to go in there and lose the first fight was really depressing for me. I lost in November so I went to Kirk Johnson’s training camp. I left that camp and went to Wladimir Klitschko’s camp in December. January I was in James Toney’s camp and then I went to Chris Byrd’s camp. I went with a lot of guys to see if this is what I wanted to do, and I passed every test. That loss wasn’t really the way it should have went down, but I learned form it.
BH: What has been your hardest fight so far?
MT: Actually my hardest fight to date has been in the gym. In the gym with James Toney, that has been my hardest fight. [Laughing] Just sparring with this guy is like ten times the pressure and skill level than any fighter I have faced yet. He comes in the gym and he makes it a spectacle. He talking junk and it’s almost like a real fight. He’s something else [Laughing]
BH: What inspired you to want to box?
MT: This is how it went down. I was in the Air Force and a couple of guys and I was in the community room. This guy had some boxing gloves and we put them on and went to swinging. I dropped everybody in there. Everybody said that I should take up boxing, so I did. And hey, look what it has blossomed too. [Laughing]
BH: What are your hobbies out of them ring?
MT: I like to spend time with my wife, and I love to fish and play cards.
BH: What is your best quality as a fighter?
MT: I would have to say my work ethic. Because I know that I work so hard in the gym so I won’t get tired in the ring. So I can throw as many punches as I want to throw. I can throw any combination of punches or I can just throw jabs. I can throw them all day in the ring because if how I train.
BH: Who are your favorite fighters of all time?
MT: I would say Roy Jones Jr., Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard.
BH: What would you like to say to the fans?
MT: To any fan out there that has seen me fight or has followed me. I want to say to them that there is so much more to come. You haven’t seen 70% of what Malcolm Tann can really do. And in the following years I am going to really evolve and show them how I really fight. As the time goes on and the experience gets better, the shows are going to be more entertaining and the fans will love me more.
BH: Once again Malcolm I thank you for your time, God Bless and I hope to talk to you again, later.
MT: Cool man, anytime. Be safe and God Bless.
I would like to thank Malcolm’s manger Steve Munisteri for setting up this interview for me. I would also like to thank Malcolm Tann for taking the time out. It was a great conversation and I had a great time doing this one. Malcolm Tann fights for Goossen Tutor Promotions.
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