Boxing is a sport in which diligence is not always rewarded fairly. Some pugilists amass an undefeated record against lesser opposition, are given a title shot against a less-than-worthy adversary, get spoon fed a belt, and proceed to hop on social media acting as if they accomplished something great. They are not Champions, they are entertainers. Other fighters give it their all in the gym every day, take bouts on short notice, grit through the tough weight loss regimen and win, only to be put on the back burner until another prospect needs a short notice opponent. Demond Nicholson(18-2-1 17KO) doesn’t fall into either category, but rather in the category of the hopeful, hard working prospect. He’s had much success in the ring, scoring 17 knockouts throughout his 18 wins. He’s also tasted the bitter side of the sport with both a controversial draw and defeat on his record. It’s boxing; these things happen, and the story goes on. It would be easy to give up there, but “quit” isn’t in Nicholson’s vocabulary. He instead grinded out a victory and found himself in this position, a bout against former World Title challenger Jesse Hart(23-1 19KO) on April 28th (watch on ESPN). I had an opportunity to ask Demond a few questions ahead of his bout with Hart to see how his preparation was going.
Todd: Tell me a little about your upbringing, has boxing always been a part of your life, or did you find it by accident?
Demond: Well I was born & raised in Laurel, MD and started boxing at the age of 6 because at those time 6 year olds could not play football with pads. My parents asked if I wanted to try boxing instead. I remember it like it was yesterday. You can say boxing has been a part of my entire life.
Todd: Your fights against Aleem and Rolls were competitive bouts that ended with you on the wrong end. What have you and your team changed since then to separate yourself next time?
Demond: The fight with Aleem definitely was a competitive fight, but I didn’t execute exactly how I should have. I fought the wrong fight. All I had to do with Aleem is use my advantages, which I didn’t. I gave up my height & reach allowing Aleem to capitalize on mistakes. Steve Rolls, that fight really to me was just one of those nights I didn’t get a fair shake, I could have did a few things different, but hey it’s boxing you live & you learn. Since those fights me and my team have gotten back to the basics nothing special just basic boxing, everything off of my jab and work from there.
Todd: You have a high knockout ratio, but often times fighters fall in love with their power, and get picked apart defensively and technically. How do you rate yourself from a technical and defensive area?
Demond: Yes my KO ratio is very high, of course I love the KO’s, and I feel like I can KO anyone it’s all in how you execute your game plan & listen to your corner. My defense is great! Actually I haven’t really gotten the chance to show my natural skills, but this fight with Jesse I plan to show them.
Todd: Your started your career off at Middleweight, but have now moved to Super Middleweight for this fight. I personally noticed in the past the effects of the weight drain on you against Aleem and Rolls. Do you think the increase in weight limit will help in the stamina department if the fight goes into the later rounds?
Demond: I started out at Middleweight. [Since] I was fighting every other month starting out it was easy to make 160, but as the years went on & breaks [grew] in between fights I started to grow more. My body added a lot of muscle mass which makes it harder to get those last extra pounds off for 160. It’s only right for me to move up to 168 where I’ll be much stronger in the fight period, not only the later rounds.
Todd: Hart’s last fight was against Awimbono, a strong fighter, but he’s past his prime and has limitations. You’re still young and building towards your peak. How do you think you, as the younger, fresher fighter, will complicate Hart’s game plan?
Demond: Hart’s last fight was a fight to help his confidence off of the loss against Gilberto Ramirez. Of course I’m young & hungry so to throw off Hart’s game plan I’m going to apply a lot of pressure. It’s evident Jesse hates pressure, so that’s what we must do [to get the victory].
Todd: Do you have any shout-outs or people you’d like to thank?
Demond: I would like to shout-out my manager Thomas Williams Jr. & my Promoter Lou Dibella and Dibella Entertainment for setting this fight up for me, and putting me in the best position to conquer my dreams.
Thanks to Mr. Nicholson for taking the time out of his day to answer some of my questions, and I wish him the best of luck in his bout. DMV is behind you!
What are your predictions for the fight? Let me know in the comments below, via Email PugilistsParadise@columnist.com, or on Twitter @TheGreatToddMan