By John J. Raspanti
Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield, who fights October 21 at the Armory in San Francisco, CA, has had 23 professional fights. He’s won 19 of them, with 11 knockouts but many have been on the road where getting a fair shake by the judges can be difficult.
Case in point was Mayfield’s last fight against undefeated Bakhtiyar Eyubov in Rochester, NY. Eyubov was heavily favored, but Mayfield had a plan. He was more active than he normally is, throwing between 50 and 60 punches each round. After 10 rounds the bout appeared to be his.
“All three commentators thought I won,” Mayfield told this writer during a video interview last week in San Francisco. “The Facebook and Twitter polls had me winning.”
The three ringside judges didn’t see that way. Two judges gave Eyubov the fight by a point. Mayfield, wo had trained very hard for the fight, was stunned.
“It’s hard when you give up so much time and energy to prepare for a fight only to lose, when everyone thought you won,” said Mayfield. “It’s hard to realize that you fought an opponent that was more than opponent—you also had to fight the judges and the referee. It’s certainly not a good thing. And not a good feeling.”
A professional for eleven years, Mayfield’s career began by accident. He wandered into a gym one day and ended up knocking out a local amateur. Inspired, he decided to take up the sport. He won 60 of 65 amateur bouts, culminating in winning the San Francisco Golden Gloves tournament in 2006.
Mayfield turned pro soon after. Success came quickly. He brought the intensity of Mike Tyson into the ring, but he loved reading about Muhammad Ali.
“Man, Ali’s personality and talent,“ Mayfield told me at the time. “He combined the two. I really liked how he worked with the poor.”
Around this time, Mayfield began working with Virgil Hunter. The future trainer of the year taught Mayfield some things about defense. Hunter, though was impressed with Mayfield’s power.
“The kid can knock you dead with once punch” said Hunter. “He can throw punches from odd angles and still knock guys out. Karim is strong.”
Mayfield’s career got off to a strong start. He reeled off 18 consecutive victories—defeating former champions Steve Forbes and Mauricio Herrera, and capturing the WBO and NABO welterweight titles by decisioning Patrick Lopez. He also scored a highlight reel knockout over hotshot at the time, Raymond Serrano.
But in boxing, as in life, things can change quickly. Four years ago, he lost his first fight to Thomas Dulorme on HBO. A few months later, he was on the wrong side of a disputed decision against Emmanuel Taylor. Unable to get fights, he laid off for a year, came back and fought in Canada. That didn’t go very well. Then came his last go around against Eyubov.
Through it all, the bad decisions, management issues, and lack of proper notice for fights, Mayfield has remained optimistic. Fighting in San Francisco has reignited his passion.
“I’ve been off for a year,” said Mayfield. ”I love fighting in the Bay Area. Fighting in front of my hometown fans is a beautiful thing. I’m ready to go. “
His opponent on October 21 at the Armory is no pushover. He’s undefeated, and hungry. Mayfield wanted to be challenged.
“I could have, for the most part, picked who I wanted too,” Mayfield said of his opponent, Miguel Dumas.”He’s ten and zero, with seven knockouts. People asked me why I didn’t pick a guy with seven losses. I want to show the world and my fans that I haven’t lost a step. I want to show that I’m still up there.”
Tickets can be purchased by going to www.everbrite.com.
Karim Mayfield vs. Miguel Dumas
WBU Welterweight Americas Belt
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Madison Square Garden of the West at The Armory, bringing back title boxing to San Francisco for the first time since 1929.
San Francisco’s #1 homegrown boxer KARIM MAYFIELD fighting undefeated MIGUEL DUMAS, for WBU Welterweight Belt.
Undefeated women’s boxing champ RAQUEL MILLER, will defend her ranking against SYDNEY LE BLANC.
A total of seven action packed professional bouts, including San Francisco’s finest pro-am boxers.
DATE AND TIME
Sat, October 21, 2017
5:30 PM – 10:00 PM PDT
333 14th Street
San Francisco, California 94110