Punching from the corner: The rise of Karim Mayfield
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Oct 26, 2012)
Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield
Every fight is an important one for Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield.

Last night I spoke to Mayfield before he boarded an airplane to fly east. As always, he was polite, informative and confident.

The San Francisco native has built his career on moxie and determination.

A few years ago, Mayfield, 31, picked up some extra cash by sparring with the likes of Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao. Mayfield was in camp to impersonate Sugar Shane Mosley. Inwardly, he burned to show what he could do in the ring. Sure, he could fight like Mosley, but he also had his own style and talent.

In 2010, Mayfield battered Sergio Joel De La Torre. The venue was Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco, a rocks throw away from the site of the famous Rocky Marciano vs. Don Cockell bout held at Kezar Stadium in 1955. The Marciano fight drew a reported twenty two thousand boxing fans.

Mayfield fought in front of close to a thousand. Poor old De La Torre had maybe three people cheering him on that night, and they were all in his corner. For Mayfield the question after his destruction of De La Torre was obvious.

Would he ever get the chance to show the boxing world how good he is was?

It took a while, but a little over a year later Mayfield was back in the ring. His opponent was former IBF champion Steve Forbes. That bout would be televised on ESPN’S Friday Night Fights Series. The fight was called a "make it or break it".

Mayfield broke Forbes down in 10 rounds.

Four months later, Mayfield traveled to Mississippi to face tough Patrick Lopez for the vacant NABO junior welterweight title. He knocked Lopez down twice en route to a unanimous decision victory.

In May of this year, Mayfield was back on ESPN against undefeated Raymond Serrano. Many pundits wondered if this could be the end of the meteoric rise of the “Hard Hitta.”

A devastating Mayfield right hand ended Serrano’s night in five rounds.

Karim Mayfield was earning his respect the old-fashioned way.

He was knocking down whatever anybody put in front of him.

This Saturday night Mayfield (16-0, 10 KOs) fights Mauricio Herrera (18-2, 7 KOs) at the Turning Court Resort Casino in Verona, New York. His bout (along with two others) will be shown on HBO’s Boxing After Dark series.

It’s a long way from a damp old building in San Francisco.

Northern California favorites Joe “The Punisher” Gumina and Stan “The Man” Matrtyniouk posted victories last weekend at the Thunder Bay Casino in Lincoln, CA.

Gumina wasn’t very impressed with his victory.

“I was sloppy,” said Gumina (4-1, 2 KOs) “I fought like I was in a bar. He (Payton Boyea) was in there to survive, not fight.”

Martyniouk sustained a cut on his eyelid. The experience was a new one for the 27-year-old.

“The guy (Johnny Frazier) was very awkward,” said Martyniouk (12-1, 2 KOs). “He head-butted me in the first round. I couldn’t see anything. That was a first.”

Gumina and Martyniouk hope to be back in the ring very soon.

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