By Ray Wheatley–World of Boxing
Former Australian world title challenger Jeff “the Flash” Malcolm (100-27-11, 36 KOs) talks to Fightnews and tells how he boxed as a professional from 1971 to 2002 and clashed with several outstanding Australian boxers including Barry Michael, Hector Thompson, Baby Cassius Austin and Russell Sands, Jr. He also tells how he boxed in the USA where he easily defeated Bobby Joe Young who later defeated boxing legend Arron Pryor. Malcolm enjoys good health today and works as a trainer to former WBA super middleweight champion Anthony “Choc” Mundine and WBA light heavyweight contender Tim Bell.
You scored 100 wins in a 138 fight career, what age did you start boxing and when did you have your last fight?
I started as an amateur at the age of eleven years and first boxed at the Glebe police Boys Club in Sydney. I had seven amateur fights. I turned professional at the age of 15 years. I had my last fight at the age of 45 years.
You boxed several outstanding Australian boxers including IBF world champion Barry Michael; Hector Thompson, who challenged Roberto Duran for the world lightweight title; Lawrence Baby Cassius Austin, and Russell Sands, Jr. Who do you regard as the best?
Baby Cassius was the best. He could do anything in the boxing ring but, he could not handle a southpaw (Malcolm is a southpaw) I defeated him twice. Hector Thompson was a good fighter, he was very strong (Roberto Duran said Thompson was one of the strongest lightweights he boxed) but if you could move you could give him problems. (Malcolm lost a split fifteen round decision to Thompson) Hector could hurt you if he only hit you on the arm. But I was very agile and could move all the time. Barry Michael was good but I just kept him at range on the end of my jab and won a clear decision. One judge gave it to me by seven points and I boxed Barry in his hometown of Melbourne. I boxed a good fight against Barry. Russell Sands was one of the strongest boxers I’ve ever fought. I had sparred Russell several times at your gym Ray, but never realized how strong he was until I boxed him. The night we fought I wanted to box him and use the ring, but Russell kept the pressure on me and I had to fight his fight. (Malcolm outpointed Sands)
In 1983 you easily outscored classy American Bobby Joe Young who had won 20 of his 23 fights over ten rounds at the Richfield Coliseum in Ohio, USA. Young later defeated boxing legend Arron Pryor in 1987. Tell me about the fight with Young.
The night I boxed Bobby Joe Young I did everything right in the ring. I was fit and had great preparation. I had Azumah Nelson as the trainer in my corner. I had Young down and outboxed him in every round. I was pleased with my performance. Tough sparring sessions with Azumah Nelson and Leroy Haley had me in the best shape of my career.
You challenged Manning Galloway for the WBO welterweight crown in 1991 and you were outpointed over twelve rounds. Give me your thoughts on the bout with Galloway.
I had defeated American Tim Rabon over twelve rounds in Louisiana also in 1991 and he had won twelve of his nineteen fights. I was told by everyone who had seen me beat Rabon that I would beat Galloway. The mistake I made against Galloway was that I over trained for the fight. My trainer was Dana Goodson from Hawaii. I was four pounds under the weight limit the day before the fight. I did too much roadwork. I make no apologies. It was my mistake.
You train former WBA super middleweight champion Anthony Mundine who is now rated WBA #2 junior middleweight. Can Mundine defeat champion Miguel Cotto and hard punching Mexican Antonio Margarito?
Anthony will win the world junior middleweight title. He will defeat Cotto and Margarito. I have known Anthony since he was first born. I was friends with his father, Tony. I am friends with his uncles and his aunts, his whole family. I watched him grow up. He was always a beautiful kid. His father, Tony, was a great middleweight and light heavyweight during the 1970s and 80s. He was great fighter and tremendous puncher. Anthony is blessed with great skills. He does not have the power of his father Tony, but skill wise he is more gifted. The more time I spend with Anthony, the more I am amazed with the natural skills he has. I want Anthony to fight Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. He will easily defeat them both. Anthony can not afford to lose now. He is 35 years of age but I think he has several years left in the ring. “Choc” is boxing better since I have been part of the team and I see him go onto big things as a 154 pounder.
You are training WBA #4 light heavyweight Tim Bell. Can he defeat the WBA 175 pound champion Beibut Shumenov who trains in Las Vegas under the guidance of former New Zealand Olympic representative Kevin Barry?
Tim can beat Shumenov. I am 100% confident he will do that as soon as he gets his world title opportunity. Tim is rated with WBO and WBC also, but Shumenov looks to be the champion we will go after. Tim is improving with every fight and will have the skills to beat Shumenov who has only had ten professional fights. I also have WBO #7 122 pounder Daniel Iannazzo who will be boxing soon after a recent set back. The future looks good!