Karim Mayfield Interview: “Of course I would like the fight (with Mayweather)…I’m a fighter”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Karim Mayfield (19-2-1 11KO) is a Jr. Welterweight fighter from San Francisco, California. He has most recently made headlines when current pound for pound kingpin Floyd Mayweather Jr. named Mayfield as a possibility for his final opponent in September. We talked to Karim about this recent revelation as well as what is going on in his boxing career lately.
BoxingInsider.com: So a couple of weeks ago, Floyd Mayweather was asked who his opponent might be for his upcoming fight this September and he named two people, Andre Berto and Karim Mayfield. Where were you when you heard that and what did you think?
Karim Mayfield: I was actually in Las Vegas. I was getting prepared to fight on the Andre Ward under card on June 20th. I had got the word and I was pretty amazed to be honest.
BoxingInsider.com: What happened with the under card with Andre Ward?
Karim Mayfield: Well, do to negotiations breaking down, things didn’t work out so well. It was a few reasons, first opponent pulled out, then they tried finding another opponent, just didn’t work out overall. I was ready to fight though, I trained for a whole six week camp, I was ready to go.
BoxingInsider.com: With the Mayweather statement, did you take it as a serious thing, or did you see him as trying to be “funny”?
Well, I heard people saying, “he was joking”, and it was sort of an insult, because there is no joking or sarcasm about getting in the ring. I wasn’t sure what angle Floyd was coming at. But I didn’t see him laugh, I didn’t see him giggle. Maybe the people who were around him did, the journalist. But I didn’t take him as a joke. But to say how serious I took him, I wasn’t totally sure until I seen the second and third interviews where he was still saying my name.
BoxingInsider.com: A big name that Floyd has been linked to fighting is Amir Khan. And a connection between you and Berto is that you both spar Khan.
Karim Mayfield: Yes, certainly. We have sparred with him several times in Virgil Hunters camp.
BoxingInsider.com: Do you think this could be a shot taken by Floyd towards Amir, where he is saying ‘well you know, I might just skip you (Khan), cause your sparring partners may be better’?
Karim Mayfield: Yeah, well maybe he (Floyd) has heard that we were beating up on Amir Khan at Virgil’s and Andre Ward’s gym. Maybe that is what it could have been. I’ve been pulled off of Amir Khan several times in sparring by Virgil Hunter. No disrespect to Amir Khan.
BoxingInsider.com: With Berto, he has had some choice words for Mayweather, saying “keep your name out of my mouth”, and claiming that Floyd has been calling him and breathing heavy into the phone. Any thing like that happening to you?
Karim Mayfield: (Laughing) No, that’s super funny. I think Berto is just being a wise guy, that’s super funny to say that (Laughing)…I laughed when I first heard that and I’m still laughing now. I just think Berto is being funny, I don’t know if there is any truth to any of that. I haven’t had any weird phone calls or anything like that.
BoxingInsider.com: And regardless if you do not get this fight, this is a big fight, he only picks one guy. This is giving you pretty big exposure, what could be something else that could come from all of this?
Karim Mayfield: Well, you know , like I said before, I’m just very appreciative of him even mentioning my name. He’s a legend, he will go down in history and for Floyd Mayweather to even consider me as one of his opponents, I’m actually happy for that. Of course I would like to fight, I am a fighter, but for the most part, I see this opening up doors for me to get some of these big names since a lot of these guys have been ducking me and I’ve been willing to take a lot of short notices and I’ve flown in to take short notices and when I show up and they see who they have to fight, the opponents pull out. Floyd has certainly helped make my name a household name without even having to fight. So my name is in the mix now, and their aren’t too many big names at my weight, maybe just a handful, so my name should be in the mix now for these big fights.
Boxing Insider: Thanks for your time Karim. Best of luck, if you get the fight or not. We hope to see you in the ring soon regardless.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank