By: Sean Crose
I was on the side of the road in New Haven with my wife in the passenger’s seat beside me. It was that gray time of year in the northeast when winter is moving on and the clouds and dampness often seem to rule supreme. I had to pull over to talk to the man on the phone, but that sort of thing was common. Interviews often don’t happen exactly then they’re scheduled to. Adapting to less than optimal situations is part of being a fight writer. Nature of the business. I’ve conducted more interviews than I can count, but I remember this one vividly. Perhaps that’s because the subject of this particular interview, Travell Mazion, was such a unique guy.
“He’s friendly, Mazion,” I would go on to write, “friendly and engaging to talk to. Combined with his burgeoning resume, it’s little wonder Golden Boy Promotions holds Mazion in high regard.” His previous fight had been a highly impressive first round knockout of Fernando Castanada a few months earlier, January, in fact, at Texas’ Alamodome. It was part of the Jaime Munguia-Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan undercard. So impressive was Mazion that evening that, at the time of our interview, O’Sullivan himself was being marked as his next opponent. “That’s a big step up,” he told me, and he was right.
Sadly, the fight never came to fruition, nor did the 17-0 super welterweight’s impressive promise. For Mazion was tragically killed in a car accident in Austin, Texas on Wednesday evening. The accident also claimed the life of a yet to be publicly identified 61 year old driver who Mazion’s car collided with. According to TMZ, the Texas Department of Public Safety claims “Mazion was travelling in his 2010 Cadillac STS at around 9:40 p.m.when, suddenly, he crossed the center median into oncoming traffic.” TMZ noted the Department as staying “it’s unclear to law enforcement what caused Mazion to go off course.”
Although Mazion never reached the heights he appeared to be capable of attaining, he’ll always stick in my mind as being extremely personable – something that’s not always the case with interview subjects. Our interview was conducted on speaker phone, and even my wife couldn’t help but comment after about what a genuinely nice person Mazion seemed to be. As we drove off afterwards, I told her that the kid gave me a real good vibe, both in and out of the ring, that I felt he could really go places. Ring greatness may not have been achieved, but such things are far from all there is to define a person by.
“I’m not the kind of fighter,” Mazion told me, “who’s going to talk crap and call you out…I’m a people person. I get along with anyone or anybody.”
A good legacy to leave, with or without ring glory. Rest in Peace.
By: Sean Crose
You could tell right away the man meant business. The way he started firing off his left hand in a powerful jab immediately after the opening bell suggested the fight wouldn’t go the full scheduled 10 rounds. It didn’t even get past the first. A lightning quick flurry, punctuated by a missile to the liver, sent Fernando Castanada to the mat. Fighting through the pain, the game competitor got back to his feet. It was pointless to continue, however, and referee Rafael Ramos wisely stopped the fight. Travell Mazion, the man behind Castanda’s destruction that evening last January, had won for the 17th time in a row, this time at the famed Alamodome.
Now possessing a record of 17 wins, no defeats and 13 knockouts, Mazion is clearly a fighter on the rise. “If it comes, it comes,” says Mazion good naturedly of scoring a knockout. He’s friendly, Mazion, friendly and engaging to talk to. Combined with his burgeoning resume, it’s little wonder Golden Boy Promotions holds Mazion in high regard.
Just how promising is the 6’2 super welterweight? Promising enough for Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan to possibly be his next opponent. “That’s a big step up,” says Mazion. Indeed. To get to the likes of the popular Irish fighter in less than 20 fights is quite an accomplishment.
“Whatever they throw at me,” Mazion says, “I’m going to take.” Although he has a media friendly personality, Mazion isn’t into being aggressive outside the ring. “I’m not the kind of fighter,” says Mazion, “who’s going to talk crap and call you out.” Hey, the guy’s likeable. “I’m a people person,” he says. “I get along with anyone or anybody.” Not that he can’t lay out a highly trained professional boxer. A quick look at Mazion’s early career fight with Antonio Sanchez shows just how effectively and abruptly the guy can end a fight. One minute Sanchez is fighting well, the next, he’s out on the mat, his body moving about while his mind is unconscious, all courtesy of a Mazion left.
At the moment Mazion is, like everyone else, dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. “I’m back in Arkansas,” he says. Like most who find themselves under self-imposed quarantine, Mazion is eager for life to get back to normal. “Until then,” he says, “its home gym.” Mazion is making it through this strange and dangerous period of time by “just staying active and in shape.” At just twenty-four years of age, he has time on his side.
Here is a rising fighter worth keeping an eye on.