In boxing, the path to glory isn’t always the easiest. Sometimes, you can cruise down the highway of success with no traffic while in other times, you run into a pot hole that blows your tire and leaves you on the side of the road with little to no immediate assistance available.
This is the life of a boxer and when the first loss or subsequent losses are suffered, at times fans, promoters or both give up on the fighter and it leaves them to exit the sport without exposing their untapped potential.
Demond “D-Best @ It” Nicholson with a record of (20-3-1) doesn’t have a profile that would jump off a sheet of paper but he is a champion in and out of the ring and who are we as media or fans to tell him any different.
He currently holds the WBC USNBC title and wears it proudly as he should because like anything else in life, he earned that opportunity and made the most out of it.
Readers, let me introduce you if you don’t already know to Demond “D-Best @ It” Nicholson.
Demond Nicholson is a 25-year-old professional fighter who was born and raised in Laurel, Maryland. Growing up with four siblings (three brothers and a sister), the Nicholson household kept a tight ship and was a family that was close.
Demond Nicholson, who is signed to Dibella Entertainment, has had ups and downs in his career but he continues to remain positive and determined to continue the road to a world championship.
AG: Demond, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Let’s take it back to the beginning. What was your inspiration behind getting into boxing and at what age did you first lace up the gloves?
DN: My father was a boxing fan and he grew up watching the likes of Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard so when I was six years old, I started to box. Back then, you couldn’t play football with pads so my dad asked me how I felt about getting into boxing. I was a kid so just like any kid at that age, I was just full energy and ready to try anything. After I agreed to it, he took me to the gym and I never stopped boxing. When I was seven, me and my parents went to go see the movie “Ali” with Will Smith and that pretty much did it for me. I knew right then and there that this was something I wanted to pursue and be like the great Ali. That next day, I went to the gym doing the Ali Shuffle! I can still watch that movie today and it will give me the same inspiration it did back when I was seven.
AG: Who were some of the fighters you enjoyed watching growing up?
DN: Growing up, I loved watching Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather and Roy Jones. Watching those guys fight meant everything to me.
AG: Fast forward to the end of high school when you had to decide what you wanted to do in life. What were those decisions and how did it impact your future career in boxing?
DN: In 2011, my mom knew I was into boxing but she told me I had to either get a job or go to school, so I decided to do all three. Doing all three got really hectic as either school or my job would get in the way and it forced me to give up one of them. I got off work one day at 8am and was scheduled to go to the gym at 10. I was in the car with my dad and told him I wanted to drop my pursuit of a degree and move forward with my boxing career while having a job. Since we have a close family relationship, he told me that my decision needed to be communicated to my mom before I do anything else. My parents allowed me to pursue my dream to be a professional fighter. I quit my job shortly after and six months later, ended up as an Olympic alternate. After that experience, I decided to turn pro.
AG: You are now a pro, who did you begin your career with as far as trainers?
DM: At 17, I started working out of the Head Bangerz Boxing Gym with Barry Hunter. I fought some local shows and had a fight in Canada, which was a good experience.
AG: Almost two years ago, you decided to part ways with the crew from Head Bangerz Gym. Who did you decide to use at that point and how was that experience for you?
DM: In 2017, I left Head Bangerz and decided to go with my dad and a guy that was training me when I was younger. The change in corners ended up not working out and it was something that played a part in the loss to Jesse Hart. After the Hart fight, my dad told me we have to get a professional trainer and not use someone from the amateur days.
AG: Speaking of the Jesse Hart fight, you mentioned to me something that your dad said after the fight. Can you share with the fans what that was?
DM: After the Hart fight, I knew I needed a different approach and a coach that would bring the fire out of me. Everyone is different and guys like me need to be pushed at times to get to the next level. My dad approached me about retiring after the Jesse fight and I looked at him like he was crazy and said “I’m not retiring. I’m only 25 years old! I’m still young.” I know I have the potential of being great and that is what keeps me going.
AG: At this point is when you switched corners and decided to go with coach Calvin Ford. How did that come about?
DM: One day, I decided I wanted to go sparring and ended up at the Upton Gym with coach Calvin Ford. As soon as I walked in, I knew that this is where I needed to be. I started to go to the gym in May of 2018 and I am still with them to this day. I thought I was done learning but training at that gym has taught me so much that I feel it has made me into a better fighter and raised my ring IQ.
AG: It was recently announced that you have a fight coming up on March 8th which is being held right there in Maryland, against Jessie Nicklow (27-9-3). He has been in the ring with the likes of Ryota Murata and Sergiy Derevyanchenko, which should serve as a good opponent to measure where you are at professionally. What are your initial thoughts on Jessie Nicklow and do you feel the stakes are a bit higher fighting a guy like that?
DM: He has nine losses but is very experienced and is not a slouch. I have to treat every fight as if it’s for a world title and make a statement. I look at fighters records, who they lost to and how in order to give myself something to measure up to. Against Derevyanchenko, he was knocked out in the third round. Coach Ford always tells me to not look for the knockout and that if it happens, it will happen naturally. My goal is to knock him out or make him quit in either the first or second round. I want to make a statement with this fight!
AG: In closing, can you tell the readers where they can find your stuff on social media?
DM: You can find me on twitter (@demondnicholson) and on Instagram (@dbest@it).
After I finished interviewing Demond Nicholson, his story made me think of a famous film quote from Sylvester Stallone in the movie “Rocky Balboa”: “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!”
Follow me on twitter @abeg718 for everything boxing and articles on prospects, club shows and main cards in the SoCal area.