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Mayfield looks to rebound after first loss


By John J. Raspanti

It’s the nature of the game nowadays.


One loss and a career is in jeopardy.   


Karim Mayfield was riding high when he faced Thomas Dulorme last March in a match-up televised on cable channel HBO.


He entered the bout ranked number four by the WBA and number two by the WBO. A win would position him for a shot at a world championship.


He exited the squared circle 45 minutes later a first-time loser.  A few months ago, Top Rank Boxing, who had signed Mayfield (18-1, 11 KOs) to an exclusive promotional contract in 2013, dropped him.  

That’s boxing.


Being released by Top Rank surprised Mayfield, who’s returning to the ring July 18 to face Emmanuel Brown (17-2, 11 KOs) on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.


“I thought they’d give me another chance,” Mayfield told this writer on the phone a few days ago. “They saw that I put a lot into the (Thomas) Dulorme fight. I didn’t get beat up. The commentators said the fight was close. And with all the circumstances, I would have thought they would have some understanding, so to speak, but for the most part I’ve moved on."


Some of the circumstances that Mayfield was referring to include the arrest of his manger Marlon Sullivan a few days before the Dulorme fight, and a disappointing training camp.


 Shaking off the loss, and deciding he needed to make a change, Mayfield, 33, metwith trainer Brian Schwartz.


Nothing about his eight year professional career had been easy. His success has been achieved through hard work and dedication, but most of all, faith in his own abilities. 


“I’d been seeing him (Schwartz) training guys,” Mayfield said. “One day we started working mitts. So I worked with him for a month. Things went good. We were working on the strengths I have, and some of the weaknesses that I needed to sharpen up on. I felt like we achieved some real progress.”


Altering his routine also meant that Mayfield wouldn’t be working with noted trainer, Virgil Hunter.


“Virgil is a great trainer,” said Mayfield. “At this point I just felt like he was a little too busy for me. Sometimes you need a tune-up. Virgil has really helped me during my career.”


After completing his time with Schwartz, Mayfield moved temporarily to Las Vegas to get in some sparring under the deft eye of Ben Bautista.


“The last two weeks before the fight I’ve been out here (Las Vegas) working with Ben. He’s my head trainer. He’s been there from the beginning.” 


Mayfield has revisited the Duolorme fight many times in his mind. He refuses to allow the bout to define him. He understands what happened that night.


“I didn’t have a game plan for that fight,” Mayfield said. “I stayed outside too much. It’s on me. Not only that, he had a good game plan. He grabbed me like fifty-two times during the fight. They were deliberate grabs. His grip was a death grip.


“I was happy that referee Steve Smoger was working the bout. He’s known for letting guys fight. I just thought he could have warned Dulorme and taken away some points. It was a very unclassy fight. As I said, he had a good game plan.”


Mayfield feels he learned a lot from the loss.     


“We weren’t prepared for his holding,” said Mayfield. “Now we are. In hindsight, I would have complained to the referee more about his holding. People asked me why I didn’t attack more. I did try to scrap it up and punch.


 “With that being said--we’ve worked on a lot of things to counter that,” he said. "Some might think that’s a key with me, to grab me on the inside.”


Mayfield likes how he matches up with his upcoming opponent.


“We’ve got the same opponent in common, Raymond Serrano. He stopped Serrano also,” Mayfield said. “He’s got some knockouts on his record and looks strong. I feel I’m a little trickier than he thinks. I’m sure he’s coming to fight."


“It’s like preparing for war,” added Mayfield.

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