Rock Blackwell-No Mercy on me (via XxSaVaGeXx100)
March 29th, 2012
By: Linda Gilbert
Linda Gilbert catches up with super middle weight pro prospect Rock Blackwell to discuss his future plans within the sport of Boxing.
LG: Hello Rock! Before we get started, I want to first thank you for allowing me to get the exclusive on you, I understand your a busy man.
RB: No, thank you! I'm never too busy for you guys.
LG: Your an amazing boxer and athlete. 156 fights as an amateur and I hear your career as a professional is now up and up, you have big things coming up in the near future.
RB: Absolutely! I'm with a great team now and we are setting the stage for major things in the coming years.
LG: I saw on Boxrec where you loss your debut almost four years ago back in 2009, but have also heard that it was due to poor management and illness, What happened that night?
RB: There were so many things that went wrong that night, but the number one factor that hurt me was the weight loss and dehydration. This was the "root" of all my problems. I came down from 185 lbs solid muscle to 153.8 lbs in a matter of weeks, barely eating to make the weight. Also there was no re-hydration process at all, I was bone dry and completely dehydrated. When the fight kicked off I knew what to do but my strength and reflexes wasn't there. I was perspiring like crazy and then for some reason it was very hard for me to take the punches, I knew something was seriously wrong. I tried to just knock the guy out, this is how I broke my hand. Terrible, Terrible night. I was hurt by the way I was treated, but many to date world champions have been through these same ups & downs. Bernard Hopkins loss his pro debut, Nonito Donaire loss his second pro fight, James Kirkland was stopped in the first round against Nobuhiro Ishida due to excessive weight loss & dehydration, the list goes on. I just took it as a learning lesson, educated myself and got better.
LG: Wow! That is unacceptable! Who was managing you at the time? and why didn't he/she make sure you were properly prepared?
RB: That is a long story in itself, I was with Birmingham Boxing Promotions. This guy is a terrible manager! He did absolutely nothing in preparing me for that fight. Even the contract between him and I wasn't legit, it was never signed and sealed by the state athletic commission. But I was young and gullible at the time, I wasn't schooled on how things work in the pro's, so I practically believed everything he said. He lied to me about so many things. I could go on & on about this guy and the things he have done, I just moved on and took it as a lesson well learned.
LG: When did you realize that it was time to move up to super middle weight?
RB: After I was done with Birmingham, I signed with a guy name James Hogan. I started training down Upton Boxing Gym. Every one wanted me to fight at 154 lbs or possibly 160, so once again I started losing a lot of weight. I was sparring one day and I "could not" pull the trigger, I took a good beating. But I could not execute what I knew I was well capable of, this was "red flag" number two! So I went and got checked out by a sports doctor, the doc ran some test on me and explained to me that I was losing way to much weight. I only had 7% body fat and any cut below 168lbs was an absolute danger zone. Complete "loss" of motor skills, reflexes, lack of oxygen to the brain and loss of my general body defenses. He explained to me that the problem wasn't in my ability as an athlete but in my over all health. I love Baltimore but I knew then that it was time for a major change.
LG: Now that your based out of New York and Jersey, what is next for you?
RB: Well I'm never looking back to Baltimore (laugh). I love my city but its such a negative place. It's more hate then anything, no love what so ever. It's why the success rate is at an all time low. People search for the bad in each other instead of focusing on empowering the good, It's also why Baltimore cannot produce world champions. We had Hassim in 2001, Vincent Pettway I believe in 1995, and before that was Joe Gaines in 1908, that's ridiculous! Baltimore have the talent but cannot come together. Every where in world has bad places but Baltimore is "overwhelmed" with hate, high school drop outs, STD's, teen pregnancy, murder, drugs, rape and homosexuality. My team and I are set towards big things! I'm not going to let the cat out the bag just yet, soon all will see.
LG: You have done some training at the Wild Card in Hollywood, How was that experience?
RB: Great! I learned a lot about myself and boxing. Freddy is a legend and full of wisdom.
LG: Many sports analyst predict you will become champ by late 2013 or early 2014, Whats your prediction?
RB: I agree, we are focused on capturing a few national or regional titles first, then we will go after a world title. But God is on my side and I have a great team, we will see it done.
LG: You are compare to Andre Berto for your explosive power and Floyd Mayweather Jr. for your counter punching style. How does this comparison make you feel?
RB: Honored! Berto is a great champion and Floyd is a legend. If God permits, I will one day be in there likeness as world champion.
LG: Once again thank you for allowing me to interview you, keep working hard & keep the faith. I am so excited for you and your career, your an amazing boxer and athlete. You truly have what it takes to become champion of the world. We believe in you champ.
RB: Thanks Linda
LG: Till next time
RB: Till next time
Linda Gilbert/Sports Publicist