It’s a new year and the hope is that boxing along with everything else gets back to some version of normal. For 27-year-old Demond Nicholson (23-3-1), things can’t go back to normal fast enough.
Demond is a super middleweight contender out of Laurel, MD, who trains under coach Calvin Ford out of Baltimore. 2019 was the year he was supposed to make his big splash but had a kidney failure after a weigh-in which sidelined him for awhile.
He worked extremely hard through rehab to get himself back in shape. Then once he was finally ready, he had his comeback fight and then COVID hit the country, which sidelined him for the remainder of 2020.
Demond stayed busy and started to get some gym work in the fourth quarter ,which led him to get a call and work with IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb Plant (20-0).
I checked in with Demond to see how life had been as a free agent, working with Caleb Plant and what’s in store for him in the future.
AG: Demond, it’s been almost a year since your last fight. COVID really hit the country hard shortly after that. What was it like for you during that time period going into the summer months?
DN: I lost some loved ones from COVID, which was truly the sad part. That time period also made me a hustler but in a good way. When COVID hit, I had no source of income as boxing was it at the time. I had to find my way, son, I started to sell Sea Moss, cut hair, conduct personal training and a bunch of other things just to make ends meet.
AG: As far as boxing, how did you maintain your conditioning?
DN: I train in Baltimore, but at the time, the gym was closed so we had to go up to the mountains in Frederick. Since the air is much thinner, going out there took my conditioning to another level. That helped me a lot.
I also had the opportunity to go to Las Vegas to help train Gervonta Davis. Being around Floyd and other world champions was just a different type of vibe. Listening to Floyd, taking little insights when he mentioned things to Tank during his sparring really brought up my boxing IQ. When I was sparring, Floyd would say little things to me, and I would take it and add it to what I already know.
When I came home from Vegas, the rest of the team stayed, so I worked with coach Troy Jackson in the gym for about eight weeks. He showed me a lot of things that were previously taught to me but it was different because it was one on one. I was really thankful for that.
AG: Last year, you also became a promotional free agent. What’s it like being on your own for those that do not know the complexities that come with that?
DN: When you have a promoter, you’re able to learn the business ins and outs of the game. Recently I was offered a fight. They threw some numbers at us, we didn’t agree and sent some new numbers to them. They didn’t agree with those numbers, so we didn’t take the fight. I wanted the fight but like my dad said, you can’t sell yourself short.
I understood that, which is why we feel like we shouldn’t settle for less just to get a fight on tv. If you’re going to make it in this game, you can’t sell yourself short because then you will continue to sell yourself short for the rest of your life. I say that mainly because I know the ins and outs of the game.
If I was coming out of the amateurs, I wouldn’t want to be a free agent, because you’re going to get hustled. There can be a fight that is worth 100k, they offer you 20k and you take it because you think that it’s a lot of money but in reality, it’s not. Now that I have a little bit of a name and have been a pro for seven years, when I get that call, I can negotiate a little.
AG: You were recently spotted in training camp with the IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb Plant. How did that all come about?
DN: His manager (Luis Decubas Jr.) called my dad about it, so I discussed it with Coach Calvin. Coach Calvin mentioned to me that it was Christmas time, and I had no fight date so to enjoy the experience. He told me to “get some real work in your weight class and make a little money.” So that is what we did, and I flew out to Vegas. The camp was great, and they treated us very well. We didn’t have any issues. I literally just went to the gym and then went home.
AG: What did you feel like you got out of being in camp with the IBF Champ?
DN: Honestly, it showed me that I belong at that top level. I should be fighting champions because I am a champion. It’s really time for the world to know. I am done fighting these club shows. It’s time for me to really step up in the game and get my name out there to the world.
AG: I am going to put you on the spot. How do you see the fight on Saturday night between Caleb Plant and Caleb Truax?
DN: If it goes the way I am thinking, he should stop Caleb Truax. The way we were working and the little things he progressed on from the first time to the last time we sparred, makes me believe that. I think it will be around the 5th,6th or 7th round or earlier.
AG: Getting back to your own career, what is next for you?
DN: Whatever comes that will get me to a title contention. I was recently looking at the rankings and the names of guys I can get in there with. I’m just trying to get that fight where people start to say, “he is ready.”
AG: Finally, can you let the fans know where they can follow you on social media? Also, what are some of the other things you have going on outside of the ring?
DN: I’m the celebrity ambassador for The National Kidney Foundation and we are working on some virtual projects for it. Aside from that, boxing is everything I have! On social media, you can follow me on Twitter @demondnicholson and on Instagram @demond_nicholson.
My Three Cents:
Demond Nicholson is still young and fights in a division that is wide open outside of the current champions. I really believe that this year, barring any delays, will see Demond in a meaningful fight with a ranked fighter. While being a free agent gives him flexibility, it also comes with having a certain level of patience. By now, Demond has mastered that level of patience.
What remains is for him to get the shot he has long desired. So, keep an eye out for the man that calls himself “DBest@it”.