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Jackie Kallen: Can Hard Hitta Rebound on FNF?

By Jackie Kallen

Karim Mayfield, from Oakland, CA, has had a run of bad luck lately. They say when it rains, it pours. Well, Mayfield got caught in a hell of a storm.

To put things perfectly open and up-front, I used to manage 33 year-old Mayfield. He’s a good kid and we went our separate ways on good terms. He went on to be managed by a man named Marlon Sullivan and all seemed to be going well for Mayfield. In March of this year he fought Thomas Dulorme in Atlantic City for the NABF Light Welterweight belt.

Training for a title fight takes concentration and focus. Shortly before the bout, Mayfield learned that Sullivan was part of a sting that also involved Senator Leland Yee, and was charged with drug-running and murder-for-hire. This had to have had an effect on Mayfield. He lost by unanimous decision.

The loss was Mayfield’s first. He entered the ring at 18-0-1 with more than half of his wins coming by way of KO. It was his time to shine and make a splash on the national boxing scene. It didn’t turn out that way.

Then, to add insult to injury, Top Rank released Mayfield from his promotional contract. He was on his own. But through it all, Mayfield has maintained an upbeat attitude and looks at all his bumps in the road as a “minor setback.”

On the road back to desired fame and fortune, Mayfield will be fighting Friday night in Huntington, New York on ESPN. He’ll be facing 17-2 Emanuel Taylor from Maryland. Taylor’s most recent loss was a February outing against hot prospect Chris Algieri, who is now the WBO champ. Taylor has never been stopped in a fight and is 10 years younger than Mayfield.

How one deals with adversity is always a barometer of character. “Hard Hitta” seems confidant that his recent bad luck will be forgotten when and if he beats Taylor. He sees it as a step toward another title shot and his goal of becoming a world champion.

As always, I wish Karim the best and hope he puts things back together. He knows what he has to do against an opponent like Taylor, who has solid punching power and is looking at this fight as his own”comeback.” If his head is straight and he has had a strong training camp, Mayfield should be able to secure the W.

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