|A Star on the Horizon: Donyil “The Boxing Poet” Livingston's Time is Now!
Interview by Jason Petock, DoghouseBoxing (Sept 29, 2009)
To state that twenty five year old amateur Super Middleweight fighter and true practitioner of the sport, Donyil “The Boxing Poet” Livingston (178- 23 / 83 T.K.O.s) of Palmdale, California is nothing short of an anomaly would be a huge understatement. Having first stepped into a boxing gym back in August of 1995, Donyil has embarked on a long and amazing journey, having fought as an amateur successfully ever since then. In the early stages of his illustrious amateur career, it was more than obvious that Donyil Livingston was someone special when he captured his first National Silver Gloves Championship after having only fought for 6 months at the tender age of ten. This experience would become a motivating one for Donyil, as it was a prelude to the numerous other accomplishments and continual victories and Championships that he would capture along the way. What makes Donyil such a compelling character outside of the ring is that he lives his life in a rare state of humility, while when he is in the ring he is dominant and focused, a consummate tactician whose time has come to make his mark in the ranks of professional boxing. His fighting resume speaks for itself and reads of so many accomplishments and Championships over the years that for anyone not to give this man a chance would be a mistake.
Boxing needs new faces and a fresh, young talent like Donyil Livingston, who has arrived on the scene with the experience and motivation required and expected of a boxer to make the successful transition as a pro. Following the interview is a list of what Donyil has achieved in his boxing career up to this point, as it is a true testament of his ability as well as a precursor to what he will be capable of and what more he will bring to the sport upon his emergence as a professional boxer. Also included at the end of the interview along with Donyil Livingston's fight resume is his contact information so that those interested in speaking to Donyil about his becoming a professional prize fighter can do so. All he needs is an opportunity. His talent is already there, now it is up to those who can do something about it to do what's right by Donyil Livingston and give him a chance to continue to follow his dreams. My interview with this insightful and charismatic fighter begins below, and it was a true honor for me to interview him. This was an extremely rare chance for me to get valuable insight into the career and life of a true star in the making. I would like to thank Donyil Livingston for facilitating this interview and providing me with the enormous cooperation and patience it took to make it all happen.
JP: Having boxed for literally 15 years now as an amateur, and pretty much accomplishing all that there is to do at this level in the sport, what would you like to accomplish as a professional fighter? Do you have any specific goals that you want to focus on at this point?
DL: At this point and stage of my career I know that I am the new guy coming into the prize fighting aspect of the sport. However, I'm no stranger to the sport of boxing (laughs). I would love to be very active my first year out fighting once or twice a month. Being able to have at least 12 fights my first year out would be astonishing. I don't over look anyone, but I do believe that with my skills, talent, work ethic and the Lord behind me I can capture my first world title as a middleweight.
JP: Your accomplishments in amateur boxing are truly amazing. You've won the Silver Gloves, National Junior Golden Gloves, International and National Blue and Gold Championships and the National and International Jr. Olympic Championships, among others titles over the years. Do you think that your vast experience and dominance as an amateur fighter is going to give you a definite edge as a professional?
DL: Yes I do. There's a lot of good talent in the pro's as well as a lot of hungry fighters. When you put two fighters in the ring that match up evenly as far as talent, skills, and determination at that point someone has to win. So what edge is left in order to have a fighter's qualities outweigh their opponents? Experience! So being that I have over 200 fights as an amateur, I believe that I'm blessed with a slight edge over various fighters that have already embarked as a professional prize fighter.
JP: I read that you were taking classes at California State Northridge in pursuit of a degree in Biochemistry in the biography that you sent me prior to this interview. That's impressive to say the least. What intelligence do you feel you bring into the ring with you and what are your strongest attributes as a fighter?
DL: The art of boxing is a mind sport. Many people forget about the true art of boxing and just look forward to the physical aspect of the game. Many of my fights I have been the smaller person. However, what lead me to victory was my way of thinking ahead of the next person. I don't throw punches waiting to see what my opponent will do or react to. I throw punches because I know what I'm looking to set up within four to five combinations down the line. At the end of the day boxing isn't a life long profession and I want to complete my career with the ability and knowledge to pursue other life long goals.
JP: How would you describe your style in the ring and what do you think are your strengths as a fighter?
DL: It's hard to describe my style. I would say a boxer/ puncher. I have great ring generalship as well as hand speed followed by power. I don't like to sit in the pocket and trade punches, however if it came down to it I can sit in the pocket and do just that. I truly believe my greatest asset in and out of the ring is my way of thinking.
JP: Is there anything you think that you need to improve on as a fighter, or is there something that you would like to build upon or develop more?
DL: I'm a prodigious critic of myself. There's a tremendous amount of the game that I believe I can learn and am willing to learn. I know boxing is an evolving sport and there's always something to learn. So when I feel that I've learned it all, that's when I'll walk away from the sport because at that stage is when you can begin to get hurt.
JP: Where do you see yourself in regard to being a professional boxer in the next five years? If you had your choice who would you like to fight if given the chance?
DL: In the next two and half years I see myself as the Middleweight Champion of the World. I know that everyone may say that coming out. However, I believe that I actually have the recipe to do so. Many in the pro game have lost or got away from vital parts of the game. For example, the basics of boxing. To truly answer your question in regards to choosing someone that I would like to fight, it's hard for me to say at this point in my career because I don't want to overlook anyone. Everyone has earned whatever position that they're in at this point in their career. However, at due time I will call out whoever they believe is the best at middleweight and test their knowledge.
JP: What would you like to say to the promoters and managers who are hopefully reading this interview and could very well take you to the next level in your career by helping you transition into becoming a professional boxer at this point? What do they need to know about Donyil Livingston the fighter?
DL: I've been told that 25 years old is up in age at making my professional debut. I've been blessed to never have taken any type of punishment in or out of the ring. I don't drink, smoke, party or anything in that rim of life. I'm 25 years young true enough, but the problems that managers/ promoters have to worry about from young fighters, I'm out of that stage. I'm a "gym rat" and a family man. I wake up, go running then it's back home to be with the family. Go to the gym to workout then it's back home with the family. Going into the professionals I'm not asking anyone to sign me or give me a handout. I'm telling you to let my talent, skills and determination speak for me. I'm as hungry as a lion and whoever happens to be in the ring with me will be treated like a fawn.
JP: What could fans and the boxing public expect to see in a Donyil Livingston fight as a professional?
DL: They don't have to expect anything. They will see a young hungry, talented and gifted fighter with the ability to bring the art of boxing back from the roots.
JP: What would your opponent be up against when facing you in the ring as a professional?
DL: They would be up against a fighter that's making a statement. Sadly to say it would be at their expense. I've been waiting so long for this opportunity and I feel that, "If they're not ready it's too late and if they are ready it's too bad..."
JP: We've reached a point in this interview where I think it is very important that those in control of boxing who can assist you in becoming a professional hear from you as far as what you are expecting and what you want in terms of being a pro. What would you like to tell them?
DL: Like I said before, I'm not asking anyone to sign me based on what someone may have said about my talent or off reading this interview. I'm asking for the opportunity to display my skills and talent that the Lord has blessed me with. I'm very excited and looking forward to not only continuing my boxing success, but taking the professional boxing world by storm.
JP: Is there anything else that you would like to say to the readers, media, your fans, family, friends, promoters, managers, or anyone else out there who might be reading your interview at this time?
DL: Please stay turned and continue to look forward to hearing more about Donyil Livingston as I will be the Middle weight Champion of the World. You can also get up to date info on me at http://www.myspace.com/4donyil or on Facebook and follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/DonyilLivingsto.
JP: I'd like to thank you for giving me this rare opportunity to interview you Donyil, as it has been both a pleasure and an honor for me personally. Thank you very much.
DL: I'm not only privileged to have you interview me I'm also gratified. It has truly been an outstanding opportunity as well as an experience to talk with you. I definitely look forward to speaking with you again in the near future.
NAME: DONYIL “THE BOXING POET” LIVINGSTON
BIRTH DATE: JULY 03, 1984
BIRTHPLACE: TULSA, OKLAHOMA
RESIDENCE: PALMDALE, CALIFORNIA
HEIGHT: 5' 9"
WEIGHT: 168 LBS
RECORD: 178- 23 (83 T.K.O)
HEAD TRAINER: FELIPE AVALOS
CO-TRAINER: DON LIVINGSTON
NATIONAL SILVER GLOVES CHAMPION (1996, 1998, 2000)
NATIONAL JR. GOLDEN GLOVES CHAMPION (1995-2000)
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL BLUE &GOLD CHAMPION (1997-2003)
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL JR. OLYMPIC CHAMPION (2000)
NATIONAL UNDER 19 CHAMPION (2001)
BOXERS FOR CHRIST CHAMPION (1997-2003)
CALIFORNIA PAL CHAMPION (2003)
NATIONAL PAL SILVER MEDALIST (2003)
RINGSIDE WORLD CHAMPION (2004)
CURTIS STEVENS (W-NATIONAL SILVER GLOVES 98 SCORE 3-0)
ANDRE DIRRELL (L- US NATIONALS SCORE 13-6)
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