In time when professional Boxing needs good guys to help turn around the sport, from fight fixing, boxers refusing to box other boxers, performance enhancing drugs. We need role models in this great sport!
I stumbled across a man who turned his life around through boxing! I’d like to introduce you to Maurenzo “T. Diddy” Smith. Who has a heartwarming story he share with me on Friday August 3rd, 2012. I hope our younger readers will read this two or more times. Maurenzo Smith is living proof that you can turn your life around in and out of the ring.
Ringnews24.com: Good afternoon Mr. Smith thank-you for taking the time to speak with me today, must be a bit tired after just coming from training.
Maurenzo Smith: Thank-you! It’s my pleasure to speak with you as many boxing fans don’t know about me outside of the state of Texas, and please call me Maurenzo or T. Diddy.
Ringnews24.com: - When did you start boxing? And did anyone have an influence you to start boxing.
Maurenzo Smith: I had never been inside a boxing club till I was 21. I was in a foul moody one day, after my father had made some bad business decisions and our whole family lost a lot of money including myself. So instead of doing something wrong I decided to go down to the local boxing club in Houston, as I thought maybe hitting a heavy bag would help me get my anger out.
Ringnews24.com: What kept you going back to the boxing club Maurenzo, as you’re an athletic man where you into another sports?
Maurenzo Smith: It really helped with my anger. I was attending a small collage in Houston studying accounting and Spanish. I was playing basketball but after hanging around the boxing club I started too really enjoy boxing, I was meeting other boxers like Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz who I got too sparred with. One day I overheard the other boxers talking about their futures in boxing, and that if you where good enough you could make a lot of money in boxing. That’s how little I knew about boxing! I quit basketball after my first year and focused on boxing. I did finish college with a degree in accounting and Spanish. I was starting to become a better boxer the more I trained! Then I was approached to turn pro, and I took the bout against a boxer named Arthur Pugh who had 1 bout on his record a loss. So I went up to Waterloo, Iowa and fought in the cruiserweight division. It was a scheduled 4 round bout, but I went into the ring that night to do what I knew I could do and that was to move fast and hit hard. The match only lasted 2 minutes and 58 seconds I won by TKO in the 1st round. My pro boxing career was under way. I had rattled off 5 straight wins, and in my 6th bout I lost a close 4 round Unanimous Decision loss to Eric Lindsey. I bounced back with a 3rd round TKO win over Richard Gaeto 5 months later. Then came my big break a 8 round bout on April 21st, 2007 against Robbie McClimans for the Texas State Cruiserweight Title. I came close, but came up short losing a 8 round Majority Decision. That’s when life started to change for me; I started to hang around the wrong people. And it reflected in the ring I had 3 more bouts and had 1 win and 2 draws. Life was going downhill for me, and finally I got in trouble with the law. That resulted in a 3 year prison term. I served 1 year and 1 more year under house arrest. To be honest it was 1 of the best things to happen to me. It gave me time to think all about the good thinks I had in life, boxing and good honest friends.
Ringnews24.com: I’m glad you brought that up and came clean; as we talked beforehand I look for the positive. You did your time it’s over. Let’s talk about today and what the future holds for Maurenzo “T. Diddy” Smith.
Maurenzo Smith: Thanks very kind of you Richard, most times people just want to talk about those dark days I had. I’ve been out of close to 2 years now and I’ve had 4 bouts and I’m 4-0. The first 3 were all 4 round bouts and the last 1 was a 8 round bout which I pulled out a Split Decision win. I’m now fighting in the heavyweight division. That 1st fight was scary, it was against Christopher Jones I won by 1st round TKO, but Jones had to be taken out on a stretcher! I was truly worried about him, but later heard he was doing well. Over the last 2 years I’ve been to 4 training camps to improve my skills and get sparring time with high ranked heavyweights. 2 that really stood out were the camps run by B J Flores and Cedric Boswell, both are former world champions. I learn a tremendous amount when I attend those camps.
Ringnews24.com: How would you describe yourself as a boxer?
Maurenzo Smith: I box intelligent using my hand and foot speed, my skills are best suited to box out of the orthodox stance but I’ve learned to switch to southpaw to catch an opponent or get out of a tough spot. But my greatest asset is I’m considered sneaky, I’ll do not the unexpected! And I have learned quickly how to capitalize on an opponent’s mistake. At 6’2” I’m look at as a small heavyweight, but so where Tyson and Holyfield were also considered small as well.
Ringnews24.com: At the age of 34 you’ve made it clear you want to fight for a world title, how long do you feel your career will last and any plans after your hang up the gloves?
Maurenzo Smith: I’m in the best shape of my life; and I’ve got lots left in the tank. And I’ve already decided my not going to box beyond my skills will allow me. Once I know I’m slowing down I’ll hang up the gloves. After boxing in the ring has ended I’d love to get into broadcasting as a commentator. Recently one of my bouts was a Don King Promotion, I was told after the press conference I was told I had stolen the show with my personality. And I was just being myself! I’m a boxing guru, I love to watch and read all boxers from different eras. So I can see myself becoming a commentator.
Ringnews24.com: Any upcoming bouts you’d like to share with the readers?
Maurenzo Smith: I’ve been told I’ll be facing up and comer Andy Ruiz Jr. on September 13th of this, to be use as a measuring stick and stepping stone for the kid; good luck with that folks. I might not yet have an agent or a deal with a promotional company. I’m hoping this interview with you can change that.
Ringnews24.com: Maurenzo you’re a great inspiration to young boxers by sharing your story today. I wish you all the best in your quest for a title, i9t was truly a pleasure talking with you today. I’d like to give you the opportunity to give anyone a shout-out!
Maurenzo Smith: My #1 fan my Mom, and my good friend Hylon Williams Jr., my Trainer Aaron Navarro, Euguene Hill, and Bj Flores.
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