On Friday October 30,th live on DAZN, middleweight contender Jaime Munguia (35-0) will be putting his undefeated record on the line against veteran Tureano Johnson (21-2-1).
This card has some entertaining fights listed and one of those bouts features the subject of this interview–18-year old Tristan “Sweet-T” Kalkreuth (5-0).
Tristan, who was born in Carollton, TX, signed his promotional deal with Golden Boy Promotions at the young age of 17. The brass at GBP obviously see something in Tristan and at 6’4, his size will be very appealing in a division that lacks star quality.
Get to know Tristan and how his path has led him to the world of the sweet science.
AG: Tristan, thank you for taking the time out of your training camp for this interview. Before we get into the boxing portion of it, can you let the readers know where you’re from and what is was like growing up?
TK: I grew up in Duncanville, TX while my father is originally from Chicago and my mother is from Carollton, TX. I had a normal life as a kid and just went school. I have just one sibling, my brother. Things started to get interesting when I got to high school. My high school years were cut short as I signed to Golden Boy and started to home school.
AG: Growing up, what activities or sports were you actively participating in? Also, how did you get introduced to boxing?
TK: I was a real athletic kid who played soccer, football and basketball. One day when I was ten, I remember going to the gym Vergil Ortiz Jr. used to train at, to check it out. As soon as I walked in, I saw guys hitting the speed bag and I got excited to get into it. How I really got started was my pops had a co-worker who had a cousin (Coach Reed) that ran a boxing gym called Rock Boxing. I went there and you can tell the energy was exciting from the coaches. My mentality going into it was to not rush into anything because boxing is the type of sport where you need all of the techniques.
We went over the basics as far as movement and throwing punches. I remember wanting to spar so badly because I wanted to hit someone. My dad was hesitant about me sparring but I did it anyway. During my first session, I was doing good until I was hit with a punch that had me bent over and in tremendous pain. My first time sparring was the first time being dropped. I was a competitive kid who wanted to get his lick back, which is what motivated me to train harder.
AG: Transitioning from the amateurs to the pros can be a challenge for some fighters. How was the transition for you and how did that feel?
TK: I’ve always felt that I had a professional style. I kept the same mind set while making sure I sharpened up my punches and have a crisper defense. All of that I owe to my pops and Ronnie Shields. When I was in the locker room for my pro debut that was the most nervous I have ever been. The loneliest place in boxing is being in the locker room right before heading to the ring for a fight. Coach Ronnie made it fun in the locker room. That night, I brought my cards because I know how to do some tricks and at the same time, Coach Ronnie pulled his out. He showed me some tricks as they were ones he showed Pernell Whitaker and Evander Holyfield.
AG: Speaking of Ronnie Shields, how did that pairing come about?
TK: My manager got a hold of Ronnie and showed him my videos from nationals. Ronnie mentioned that I was one of the best prospects he has seen. He was excited and was working with me months before my pro debut. Ronnie has a lot of knowledge and he simplifies boxing. He is the type of coach you need to have in order to get to the next level.
AG: In the social media sphere, I saw some photos of you and WBC Middleweight Champion Jermall Charlo. Have you been able to get in the ring with him and what has it been like working alongside him at the same gym?
TK: I didn’t spar him but I’ve watched him spar and hit the bag. In seeing that, you can tell what type of mindset you have to have in order to be a world champion. I saw in Jermall’s eyes that fire and determination needed to be a world champion. Watching him motivated me to try to get to that next level. In order for me to be the best, I have to spar and fight the best.
AG: Getting into Tristan the man, what are some things you like to do that the average person may not know about you?
TK: I am really into paintball. I play a lot of paintball unless I am in camp. I do it almost every weekend when I am not fighting. When I am not boxing, I use it as a way to stay in shape.
AG: You are eighteen and already fighting at cruiserweight. How long do you see yourself at that weight before eventually moving up to heavyweight?
TK: I can see myself moving up to heavyweight by age 23. Right now, I average over 200 pounds and I have to drop weight to get to 195 or 190.
AG: What can fans expect from you on October 30, those who may not have seen any of your previous fights?
TK: Fans can expect an explosive night. People say that I am an action-packed fighter and that I bring a lot of excitement into the ring. I showed some of that excitement when I did a split after my first win. I come to fight and work behind my guard and technique. It’s going to be an awesome night, so tune in.
AG: Where can fans follow you on social media and how can they support you when it comes to merch?
My Three Cents:
Tristan Kalkreuth is a big, athletic fighter who is now in the cruiserweight division. He has the athleticism to be a real player in that division. We have only had a sample of what Tristan can do so far but he has the opportunity to really become someone. You get that sense by the caliber of the people backing him.
On October 30 live on DAZN, Tristan Kalkreuth is looking to make a name for himself and I think he will. For now, place him on the radar as a guy to watch in 2021.