Ashley Theophane Interviews prospect Jamal Morrison
Jamal Morrison has dreams of one day fighting for a European or World Title one day. Anything is possible when you work hard and stay focused on your goals. He is still undefeated as a professional boxer and he travelled to America as an amateur and came back to Britain with a win. So talent is there.
There are fighters in his weight division that I feel he should be aiming to fight for 2010. Southern Area champion Lee Purdy is very basic, Mark Douglas is limited but game, Pat McAleese is aggressive but has no defence so these fighters would be decent names for Jamal after he fights Denton Vassell this Friday and I would see him beating all three of them. Those fights can be easily made and should be. Jamal took time out from his training schedule to speak to me and tell us a bit about himself.
Jamal how you doing? I see you have an important fight this Friday against Denton Vassell. Somebodies 0 has got to go. What do you know about him?
I'm doing good. Just putting the finishing touches on my preparations for this coming Friday. I first saw Vassel fight in the ABA finals, which he won in 2006, he's a strong, fit, come-forward fighter. He likes to throw hooks to the head and body, and he has a couple of decent wins on his record already.
What made you get into boxing?
I've always been interested in boxing, but football was my sport of choice growing up. I first went to a boxing gym in my school days at fourteen or fifteen, but that was only a couple of times and i didn't stick with it. Then at seventeen I went down to the All stars gym with my friend and I haven't looked back since!
You train at Johnny Eames TKO gym. How do you find it there?
I've been at the TKO gym for six months now, and I have really enjoyed and appreciated my time there. there's top quality sparring all the time, which has helped me get my sharpness and fight fitness up to where I need it. Also I have to thank my trainer Derek Grainger for the work hes put in with me in the gym and Johnny for getting me regular fights. this would be my third fight in eight weeks, so my career is moving in the right direction.
What’s been the most memorable fight in your career so far?
I'd say for the atmosphere alone my first Pro fight. I had 140 people there supporting me and it was an overwhelming feeling in there. Not a great performance, but a great night! Also my return after 31 months out, cause it was a relief to see the inside of a professional ring again.
Sports nutrition is very important. I know you have recently started using HIGH5, Wellman and For Goodness shakes. How are you finding them?
I've only started using them, but I definitely feel the benefits already. I have it all planned out before training. I have my Wellman's energy tablet to start the day, my High5 energy gel just before sparring and my For Goodness Shakes! drink after training along with a High5 Protein bar, so that by the time I get home, instead of feeling tired and lethargic, I genuinely feel a significant recovery from my session.
Who is your favourite boxer of all time and you’re current favourite one?
I have many boxers that I like, past and present, but for me Roy Jones was the first boxer that I saw do things in the ring that I never thought were possible. It was when I first saw Roy, that my interest in boxing went global! Currently I like, Floyd, Manny, Marquez and Paul Williams, but I have just finished watching Andre Ward beat Kessler and what a classic boxer he is. So you could throw him in that bracket, too. On a side note the former Cuban amateur great Guillermo Rigondeaux has just turned over and I loved watching him in the Amateurs. I believe he was the best amateur ever, so there's one to watch out for!!
Are you sponsored by any companies and if so have you found it hard to gain support from companies in the past?
No, I sponsor myself! I haven't tried to get much sponsorship up to this point. I always wanted to build up a little run of fights before seeking sponsorship. Now that that is happening, we'll see how things develop.
Tell us something people in the Boxing business do not know about you?
Nothing to reveal at this time!
What do you think you can realistically achieve in Boxing?
At the moment I'm not looking too far into the future, I just want to keep fit and keep fighting. If, as a boxer, you can stay dedicated and focused there is no limits. I'm going to take it one title at a time, starting with the southern area and the English and hope full ending up with a European or World!
If you could fight anyone in the World, who would it be?
De la Hoya, cause he's past it and it'll be a big pay day!! Nah, seriously, it's too early to start challenging the elite in the world, but hopefully when I get up there fighters like Berto and Bradley are around, cause they're tough without being spectacular and they'll make for good fights.
What was the cause of your 20 month break from the ring?
It was actually a 31 months break, but it was never intended to be that long. I went to college in Oxford for a year, and it was while I was there I had my last fight before the break. The pressures of doing both were too great, so I planned to resume my career once I had passed my course. i was over 13 stone when I left college, and my plan was to start shifting the weight. Then I started to work and before i knew it two years had passed. I'm now floating around the 11 stone mark and feeling nice and strong with it. But it was exceptionally hard work to shift the weight, properly!
Will you know when its time to hang up your gloves?
I believe so. I know boxers always say that, but for me you have to be true to yourself. When I can't put the hard graft in the gym anymore that is when I will Know. I think that I can find other interests to occupy me once the curtain closes!
I wish you the best for the future. Is there anything you wish to say before we wrap this up?
Thanks, I've enjoyed this interview. I'd just like to say that 2010 is going to be a big year for me and I know some major moves will be made. I'd like to thank everyone that has supported me up to now, and those who showed interest and support during my long lay-off. It is with your support that I'm still alive in this sport. I'm back, fully focused and determined to win titles. Wish you all the best! Peace. Love. Respect, and all that good stuff!!!!