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Mazion Could Have the Magic



By Bill Tibbs


Austin, Texas lightweight Travell “Black Magic” Mazion looks like he might have the goods to make some serious noise among the 135-pounders as he moves along nicely in a career barely a year old. Already at 8-0 (8) since turning pro in April of last year, the 18-year-old is showing some serious pop in his punches. The unbeaten prospect is showing great reach working off a strong jab to set up his knockout power, right hands.
 
Trained by former world champion Ann Wolfe, the Texas banger moved to 8-0 on April 18th with a clean, first round knockout in a scheduled six-round bout over tough, underrated Antonio Sanchez at the Illusions Theater in San Antonio, Texas. Despite the fact that he didn’t have an extensive amateur career, only 35 bouts, he has adjusted well to the pro game. At times, he has the look of a young Thomas Hearns, standing at over 6’ tall and weighing in the 135-to-140-pound range. Maxboxing caught up with trainer Ann Wolfe for a chat after his most recent win and the highly respected trainer seemed pleased with her young charge.

“Travell is only 18,” she said, “but I’ve been shaping him since he was a young boy for this, age seven.” Mazion, who returned to boxing after a three-year illness in his teens, really started to work at his craft at age 16. After deciding the USA Nationals wasn’t the route for him, Wolfe decided to turn him pro. “People always make comparisons to Tommy Hearns because of the height but really, I try to bring as much Ray Robinson to his game as I can,” she said. “I know there will only ever be one Ray Robinson but that is the style who we try to learn from.”
 
At such a tender age now, Mazion could easily end up in the middleweight range after his body stops growing. He is developing nicely under the guidance of Wolfe, considered one of the strictest disciplinarians in the game, who also trains junior middleweight contender James Kirkland out of her Austin-based gym. But don’t try and sell her on the idea that Mazion can get burned out from the grueling pace she puts her unbeaten prospect through, which includes multiple rounds of sparring and daily eight-to-ten mile runs.
 
“Did the old fighters burn out? Did the old-school fighters who fought every few every few weeks get burned out?” she asked. “You know when you get burned out? When you try to party and live the crazy life and try to be an athlete. That is when you get burned out. You don’t get burned out from what you do for boxing. You get burned out from what you do away from boxing. Travell eats good, sleeps good, lives good, he’s doing it right.”
 
The young Mazion has also attracted the attention of former multiple world champion superstar Oscar De la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, who will be representing the undefeated boxer. While Travell is being good to the game as an exciting up-and-coming prospect, the game has also been good to him. In interviews, he has revealed that he may well have been swallowed up by the streets had it not been for boxing and Ann Wolfe. Regarding Wolfe, he says he “probably would be in jail right now if she wasn’t here, considering where I came from.” And while the strict, no-nonsense Wolfe knows there is a long way to go, she likes what she sees in the lightweight prospect.
 
“He’s learning to settle down,” she said. “He can take a punch and I mean, he spars with James Kirkland and other 154-pound fighters regularly. He gets hit by a 135-pound fighter and it is nothing to him.”
 
Mazion, who is scheduled to fight again May 17th, can’t be too busy for Wolfe’s liking. “If he isn’t cut, I’d like to see him fight every two weeks but we’ll have to see what Golden Boy has mapped out for us,” Wolfe said. “Best thing for a young fighter is to keep him busy. If we can keep him busy and he keeps developing, he could fight for a title in 18 months and be the youngest lightweight world champion ever. If he stays the course, he’ll be a world champion.”
 
It looks like the “Lone Star State,” with its long history of great boxers, has another star on the rise.
 
Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at hwtibbs@shaw.ca.
 
 
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