By Robert Hough
Photos: Tri Nguyen/TriNguyenPhotography.com
Karim Mayfield (18-0-1, 11 KOs), who faces Thomas Dulorme (20-1, 14 KOs) on March 29 talked Thursday of being unconventional in the ring and in life – and backed it up with a high-energy press conference that included a spiritual, rousing introduction by his mother; the junior welterweight calling fans to the stage for a push-up contest after rapping a little; singing the praises of yoga; and working out to the swift, percussive beats of seven drummers.
While there should be joy and style in living, Mayfield believes, the HBO-televised fight at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ will remind people that he grew up in a tough, violent part of San Francisco, Calif.
“There will be some street-fighting,” he said in front of a raucous, supportive crowd of about 150 supporters at San Francisco City Hall. “I’m from the streets, right?”
“I said, ‘Ali, Bruce Lee and me’ during the press conference and c’mon; I know I’m not at those sorts of levels, but why not try to learn from the best, from the real masters?,” he said after the event. “Bruce Lee was a martial artist, but he always said that you can be broken down if you’re too technical and I believe that applies to boxing, that you have to have that creative flow while you’re fighting. I’ll dance some when I’m working out to keep my creativity up and keep my body loose.”
The technical side’s been improving a lot, too, the 33-year-old was quick to point out.
“That’s huge,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot from training with Virgil Hunter so I feel like I have the right balance between creativity and technique.”