By Robert Coster
When promoter Lou DiBella decided to sign light heavyweight prospect Mark “TNT” Tucker (13-0, 7 KOs) in March of this year, he had this to say about his 22-year-old recruit: “I have been following Mark since he was 17 and I immediately knew he was a talented young fighter with a bright future.” Based in Maryland where he has fought 11 of his 13 bouts, Tucker made great strides in 2009, beating experienced, competitive opponents like Rubin Williams (29-7-1, Contender Series boxer), veteran Ross Thompson (27-12-2), winning the USBO 175lb belt against Jim Strohl (27-7) and Jesse Armenta (13-4) last December. Victories which have established him as a bona fide prospect in the light heavyweight division.
Inactive so far this year, Tucker will be returning to ring action on June 9th on the undercard of the Andre Ward-Allan Green bout, his first fight for DiBella Entertainment.
Tucker turned pro in 2008 after a brillant (140-22) amateur career that saw him win the Maryland, Pensylvannia, Ohio and Washington DC Golden Gloves titles as well as the NY Junior Olympics.
Mark Tucker Sr. who is father/trainer/manager to Mark, now expects him to move beyond his home base of Maryland and get national TV exposure. “We hope in the next 10 months, with DiBella Entertainment, to bring Mark to 20-0 and fight a bunch of twelve-rounders,” he said.
Those who have had the opportunity to watch Tucker in action point out his assets: his ambidextrous stance, his excellent jab and all-around skills. “All he needs,” jokes Tucker Sr. “is to be a little meaner and show no mercy to his opponents.”
In Maryland fans just love Mark, a quintessential rural, blue-collar hero who when he doesn’t box, has to work hard for a living, doing land-clearing or demolition work. “I come from a hard working family and I think I carry this work ethic in the gym and into the ring,” says the younger Tucker.
Part Choctaw American Indian (through his father), Mark also distinguishes himself by sporting a colorful Mohawk haircut which he says was a choice he made before his first pro fight — “It was out of pride and something of a statement – a warrior brave going into battle.”