It was only a year ago when things really picked up for twenty-four year old super lightweight prospect Malik “IceMan” Hawkins (18-0), who hails from Baltimore, MD.
He saw his performances at club shows getting more recognition, which eventually landed him a deal with Mayweather Promotions.
Shortly after, he was placed on a high profile card that was headlined by his friend, WBA lightweight champion Gervonta Davis. Showtime streamed some undercard fights on their YouTube page which allowed the young Hawkins (click to see record) the opportunity to shine on a bigger platform.
Malik did not let the opportunity go to waste as he scored a TKO victory over Darwin Price and that performance certainly put him on the radar of the boxing media and fans across the world.
During Showtime’s rollout of their fall/winter schedule, it was announced that Malik Hawkins will be facing Subriel Matias (15-1) in a fight which will be very entertaining as both men like to come forward.
In light of the recent news, I wanted to talk to Malik to see what he has been up to and his thoughts on the upcoming fight with Matias.
AG: Malik, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Before getting into the present day news, what has life been like for you in these last couple of months during the quarantine phase?
MH: My life hasn’t really changed other than practicing social distancing. I’m still working hard in the gym and training every day as if I have a fight coming up. The city of Baltimore was really tough on things and everything was shut down, including my gym, which is run by Baltimore Recreation and Parks. By the grace of God, we were able to find another gym that was allowed to be open so we have just been training there.
AG: Your last appearance in the ring was in December on Showtime which was in front of a big crowd in Atlanta, GA. Can you describe what that feeling was like and the emotions running through your body? How did you control it all?
MH: I felt really anxious that night because I always want to put on a great performance. I had anxiety going into the fight and was telling myself..there are a lot more people here…I’m on a wayyy bigger stage..i definitely need to do my thing. As far as controlling it, I remembered that I still have a job to do, and this is what I do! Since day one and as a kid, my coaches have prepared me for this and it’s just what I have to do.
AG: Recently, you were able to secure some championship caliber sparring and training. Can you let the readers know who you were in the ring with, what the experience was like and what you had to do to make it to the camp site?
MH: Not too long ago, I was in training camp with Terence Crawford. Terence actually called to have me and my brother Malik Warren go down there to his camp. We actually drove 18 hours to get down there and get that work with a world champion. I sparred Bud and it was excellent work. It was work that I needed and wanted. He is very smart, tricky and crafty while also being strong. People may not think he is but he is very strong.
AG: As of right now, where are you training and does it feel any different working out of somewhere other than the Upton Gym?
MH: I am training at a gym in Frederick, MD called Turner’s Boxing Gym and also at Demond Nicholson’s Gym in Laurel, MD. Even though I am training in different locations, I still felt like it was home. As long as they have a boxing ring and heavy bags, then I am good because I still have a job to do.
AG: It was recently announced that you will be fighting Subriel Matias. With other names being thrown around as possible opponents and the end result being Matias, what are your thoughts on the fight?
MH: He is a real good fighter and the last known guy he fought was Maxim Dadashev (who tragically passed away after the fight). He is a name I want and someone I can add to my resume.
AG: Subriel Matias is a fighter that likes to come forward and has knocked out his opponent in all of his 15 victories. How do you see this fight playing out?
MH: He can have his type of pressure but I bring a different type of pressure. I am going to bring smart pressure and if I don’t have to press him then I will box more by using my jab and staying on the outside if I need to.
AG: With the fight being in October, when do you expect to start your training camp?
MH: I plan on going to camp early around August or it may be sooner than that.
AG: What should fans expect when they see Malik Hawkins fight against Subriel Matias and where can they follow you on social media?
MH: They should definitely expect for me to let my hands go more for this fight. I had a problem with being first in the last fight so they can expect more pressure and box whenever I want to box. Fans can follow me on twitter @malikhawkins20 or on Instagram @iamfreezertime.
My Three Cents: Malik “Iceman” Hawkins is a young prospect who seems to want to challenge himself while continuing to raise his profile through the ranks. He is going to be in tough with Matias but this is the type of fight that I believe Hawkins wanted so he can truly test himself.
With both men having an aggressive fighting style, can the young Hawkins outwill Matias? Will Matias’ punching power be too much for the young Hawkins?
There is only one way to find out so make sure you tune in to Showtime in October.