By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing: NABO junior welterweight champion Karim Mayfield (15-0, 9 KOs) makes his second appearance on ESPN’S Friday Night Fights May 18 when he defends his title against fellow undefeated fighter Raymond Serrano (18-0, 8 KOs) at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York. Mayfield, 31, is aware of Serrano’s boxing ability.
“He’s fast. I’ve watched some tape of his fights,“ Mayfield said during
my visit to Andre Ward's gym a few weeks ago.“He’s definitely a good
opponent. I’ve never really had bad opponents. I never take anyone
lightly, he said. "I’m going in there thinking I’m fighting Floyd
Marlon Sullivan, Mayfield's manager, agreed.
"Raymond is a good young prospect with a solid jab, technically sound
and goes to the body well, "said Sullivan who was also at the
gym.”Obviously, he's going to be tough coming out of Philadelphia."
Mayfield ventured to Mississippi last October and captured the NABO
title. He punished Patrick Lopez over 10 one-sided rounds. The victory
was a special one for the native San Franciscan. When he began to box
over ten years ago, virtually no one predicted he would be successful. A
few months ago, he made the decision to hook up with trainer Virgil
“For the most part the biggest reason was the camp setting," Mayfield
said who has worked with Hunter in the past. "I’ve been able to focus on
fighting and not running here and there. Plus, being on this side of
the bridge is where I do my hypoxia training.
"I’m also enjoying being around a bunch of professionals. That
definitely has helped a lot. But for the most part we just added to the
Sullivan has been observing the Mayfield/Hunter pairing. He likes what he sees.
"The addition of Virgil Hunter to 'Team Mayfield' has been nothing short
of spectacular," said Sullivan. "Karim is becoming a complete fighter
right before our eyes."
Sparring mate and hot prospect Stan "The Man" Martyniouk (10-1, 1 KO) has also been impressed by Mayfield.
"Karim is really sharp," said Martyniouk by phone. "I think this is the fastest I've ever seen him."
Mayfield can feel his body getting ready for fight night.
“I’ve always had a tremendous right hand," said Mayfield. "For the most
part we’ve been working on my left. Also, I’m working on being in great
condition, he said."Virgil really emphasizes having bottled up energy.
I’m not running around in the city that much. I’m going home and
resting. He’s serious about focusing.”
A little over a year ago Mayfield began to work with controversial
strength training guru Victor Conte. He's a believer in Conte's method.
“Yes, I feel that it works," Mayfield said. "The science doesn’t lie. You can tell by your numbers when you’re doing well."
Serrano is nine years younger than Mayfield. Is the hard-hitting contender concerned about the age difference?
"I haven’t had any wars," Mayfield said. "I feel great, real strong.
The older guys are doing real well. So, yeah I feel great."
Mayfield hopes one day to defend his title in San Francisco.
“It’s one hundred percent guaranteed this summer. My brothers
promotional company would be promoting,” said Mayfield. "The card would
be all local guys.”
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