The days of Marciano, Ali, Tyson, and America's dominance in the heavyweight division are long gone. Back then, the American heavyweight champion was considered a giant among men in professional sports and the most recognizable athlete in the world.
Since then, Americans have endured decades of mediocre heavyweight “prospects and “challengers” in a division we once dominated. But wait, there seems to be a glimmer of hope shining among a few prospects. Jared Anderson, Robert Torrez Jr, and Moses Johnson are heavyweight prospects looking to restore America's prowess in the division.
In an exclusive interview with NYFights, heavyweight prospect Moses Johnson (8-0, 7KOs) spoke about his boxing career and his plans to become the next heavyweight champion of the world.
In his ninth professional outing, this Friday Night on Showtime's, ShoBox: The New Generation, Johnson, a native of Long Island, NY, will face Mexican native Elvis Garcia (12-0 9KOs) at Bally's Atlantic City in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Please enjoy this Q&A with heavyweight prospect Moses Johnson.
NYF: Thank you for taking the time to talk to NYFights. How are you doing?
MJ: I feel good-I'm in shape- I feel crisp. I felt good in the gym. And now I'm just relaxing, resting my legs and body. And Friday night is showtime; no more talking.
NYF: You are making your television debut on ShoBox this Friday. For the fans that maybe haven't heard about you, please tell them a little something about your start in boxing.
MJ: I'm From Long Island, NY, and was raised in the town of Huntington. I grew up fighting older cousins; they used to beat me up. I played every sport, but in 10th grade, I started boxing and fell in love with it. I'll never forget the first time I sparred with an older dude, and he washed me. He tore me up, and I told myself I was going to get him back, and I got better. I love the grind. In boxing, it doesn't matter what happened yesterday. I can't worry about tomorrow and have to focus on today.
NYF: Who is your promotional team? What gym do you fight out of, and who are your coaches?
Salita promotions promote me. I fight out of Atlas Cops and Kids Boxing gym in Flatbush, Brooklyn. I am trained by the “Sosa Crew” (brothers Jimmy Sosa and Aureliano Sosa)
NYF: You have eight professional fights. How has your transition from the amateurs to pros been?
MJ: The transition from the amateurs to the pros has been fairly easy. I won't say easy because nothing is easy in this sport. But I say that because I have faith in my coaches. I'm patient, and I believe what my coaches tell me. I'm like a sponge. You can never stop learning. I always listen to what my coaches say. That's what made the transition easier for me.
NYF: For a guy fighting on a national stage and television for the first time, you seem very calm and collected. How are you so cool and collected?
MJ: There is no such thing as pressure. Pressure is all in the mind. I've put in the work. I have been working at this for years. I've sparred with some of the best heavyweights in the world. You have people that get nervous and tense, but this is what I do every day. Now it's time to show up and have fun.
NYF: Your upcoming opponent is undefeated too. Do you feel this is a step-up fight for you?
MJ: Definitely. I feel like every fight moving forward is a step up. Every fight should be a step up because it is one step closer to where you want to be. I can't wait; I'm excited.
NYF: For the fans that may be watching you for the first time this Friday night, describe to them your boxing style.
MJ: I'm a boxer-puncher. As heavyweights, they don't expect us to move. My coaches train me like a middleweight. They make me move like a middleweight. They make sure that I'm throwing my combos nice and sharp. They make sure I'm throwing my punches short and that my head movement is on point. It's all in the legs. Without legs, you won't be successful in boxing; you work from the legs up.
NYF: You've been a professional for four years. However, you've only fought eight times. Why the inactivity?
MJ: I've had a few injuries here and there. I'm not going to dwell on that; it happens. It's a grueling sport, no matter what level you're on- especially when training five to six days a week. But now I'm healthy, and my body feels good. So, we are definitely about to take off. I'm excited to show the world what I can do. I'm excited to gain new fans and represent Long Island, Brooklyn, and New York.
NYF: You're 30 years old. Do you feel the pressure to get your career going because you're a little more advanced in age than most prospects at this point in their career?
MJ: Not really-it's going to happen when it's supposed to-not a day sooner or a day later. All you can do is grind. But I tell people, when the time comes, you got to be ready. You got to take it one day at a time, and you can't rush yourself.
NYF: What will be your approach to attain victory this Friday?
MJ: I'm going to fight smart, open him up, and don't rush. I have to listen to what my coaches say. I know I have what it takes to beat him or anyone. I have to be patient. I must box, be smart, use my movement, use my sharp jab, and that's it.
NYF: Besides Deontay Wilder, American boxers haven't dominated the heavyweight division like they once did. Why should America back Mo Johnson as the next heavyweight champion?
MJ: Because the proof is in the pudding- I'm working every day. That's how you become the best; you got to push yourself. So, I focus on the basics. I always tell people, when in doubt, to jab it out. No matter what level you are, you can get always get better. I love the fight game because it pushes me to be my best.
NYF: After Friday, what is next for you? What will elevate you to the top of the HW rankings?
MJ: Honestly, I couldn't tell you because I'm so focused on Friday night. After we take care of business on Friday, my team and I will sit down and put together another game plan. But we don't look too far into the future. We are just worried about Friday night. So, get this dude out of the way-send him in his way, and move on to the next.
NYF: I understand, but what does Mo Johnson want?
MJ: I want to be a heavyweight champion, point blank, period.
NYF: Thank you for your time. We at NYFights wish you luck this Friday. You have the last word. What do you want to tell the readers of NYFights and the viewers watching the fight?
MJ: Friday is going to be a good one, baby. I'm excited to go. If you support me, I appreciate you, and if you don't support me, I'll make sure you will after this fight.
Moses Johnson is charismatic, personable, and a credible heavyweight prospect. Johnson moves well in the ring and possesses a solid jab to set up his combinations. Unlike most heavyweights, Moses is a combination puncher who fluently varies attacks to the head and body of his opponents. In addition, Johnson has a knowledgeable and dependable training team. The “Sosa Crew” are among the best and most respected trainers in boxing.
He has sparred with some of the best heavyweights in the world, including fellow prospect Jared “Big Baby” Anderson. Throughout our interview, Moses prided himself on working hard and always being ready for fights. His dedication to readiness, coupled with the experience of the “Sosa Crew,” should poise Johnson to shake things up in the heavyweight division.