It’s been a little over twenty-four hours since the Showtime telecast went off the air and Malik “Ice Man” Hawkins suffered his first loss in his professional career.
As a writer of the sport, it is easy to put together the articles for the winning fighters but where it can get difficult is when speaking to the fighters who suffer a loss. The first loss has to be especially difficult to process and is more than likely the loneliest place a fighter can be both physically and mentally.
Malik Hawkins wanted to let the boxing world know that although his coach Calvin Ford was not there, the loss had nothing to do with Coach Kenny and his instructions. Malik takes full responsibility for his underwhelming performance and was gracious enough to speak to me about it.
AG: Malik, thank you for taking the time to do this interview hours after your fight on Showtime. What is your overall take on the fight last night?
MH: I want to first make something clear: Coach Kenny has been with me since I was nine years old and he did everything right. It was not his fault. No one needs to come to him because it’s my fault. I’m not here to make any excuses. I just didn’t show up.
AG: As I am watching the fight, it seemed like after the second round either you were running out of gas or you were hurt. What happened?
MH: I received proper instructions on how to rehydrate and I just didn’t listen. Here I am having the biggest fight of my life so far and I acted the exact opposite of what I was supposed to do. The bad part was that my coach didn’t know that I did that. People were questioning him after the fight, but he had no idea that I did that. It’s the reason why Matias was able to walk me down towards the end with his hands down. I’m just glad I was able to leave the ring with no serious damages.
AG: Do you think that remaining at 140 is still the right weight class for you?
MH: Of course, 140 is the weight class and I still plan on fighting there. I had the opportunity to spar some of the best fighters and I didn’t take advantage of the knowledge that they gave me. Everything for this fight was on point, from my PR, to my coaches but the only thing wasn’t in place was properly refueling my body. I feel like I let down my family, friends, coaches, the promoter and Showtime. More importantly, I let myself down. This is nothing but a valuable lesson and a minor setback. I guarantee that this will never happen again. I will be more disciplined and bounce back better than ever.
AG: Is there anything that you feel like has to change?
MH: My rehydration…. and really listening to my team. I have to learn to do things the exact way they are telling me because they are saying it for a reason.
AG: What’s next for you? Are you going to take the rest of the year off to reevaluate things and come back in 2021?
MH: Right now, I’m just getting myself back together because my health comes first. We are definitely going back to the drawing board. I will reevaluate the mistakes I made and take it one day at a time.
AG: Is there anything you want to say to the fans who tuned in and that will continue to watch you fight in the future?
MH: To the fans, I apologize as I felt like I let you all down. I’m still Albino Ape, Big Freezer and we are coming. I just have to tighten up on some things. This is just a minor setback to a major comeback.
My Three Cents:
Boxing can be a cruel game and with the sport focusing on that “0” so much these days, they are quick to write someone off when they suffer their first loss. What makes anyone special is the ability to overcome adversity and not allow it to get the best of you. The ball is in Malik’s court and he has to do everything possible to overcome this bump on the road. Can he overcome the loss and capture a world title in the future? Time will tell and there will be a ton of eyeballs on his next fight to see whether he can turn that corner.