The Fillmore boxer suffered his first professional loss March 29 in a junior welterweight bout against Puerto Rican Thomas Dulorme on HBO. The 10-round, unanimous-decision loss halted Mayfield’s chance at a possible bigger title fight — the Dulorme bout was for the smaller, North American Boxing Federation championship — for the time being.
Just three days prior to the fight, he was faced with the news that his manager, Marlon Sullivan, was indicted on federal drug and murder-for-hire charges, swept up in the scandal surrounding state Sen. Leland Yee.
“Anytime you have a friend going through turmoil that you don’t know about it’s definitely a shock,” said Mayfield, who is set to step back into the ring Friday in a nationally televised bout. “For the mental aspect of things, it’s not a good look when you are preparing for war and you normally have somebody by your side that’s been there for you. Him not being there took some focus away from the fight.”
The 33-year-old was also dropped by his promoter, Top Rank. He didn’t take this news as hard because he was unhappy with the number of fights he was getting with Top Rank.
Karim’s new manager is his brother, LaRon. LaRon believed it was a no-brainer to become his brother’s new manager.
“I want the best for him and who could do that better than his brother,” LaRon Mayfield said. “I’m not here to beat my brother. I want the best deals for him and I believe I needed to step up.”
Karim Mayfield isn’t showing any shortage of confidence entering his next fight, which will take place Friday at The Paramount in Huntington, N.Y. Mayfield (18-1-1, 11 KOs) will go up against Emanuel “The Tranzformer” Taylor (17-2, 12 KOs), who is also coming off a loss in his previous fight in January. The 10-round, junior welterweight bout will be the main event on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights.”
“I feel well-conditioned and I’ve been working on my game plan, I’m going to execute it come Friday night,” Mayfield said. “Last fight, I didn’t have a game plan and I was mostly self-trained. In a world-class fight, you can’t do that. Things will be different this time around.”
Even with Mayfield’s confidence high going into Friday, he understands it will be a tough fight.
“Taylor is definitely a good opponent and very athletic,” Mayfield said. “He’s coming off a loss too, so I’m sure he’s hungry, but I think you guys are going to see a different Karim Mayfield come Friday night.”
LaRon Mayfield knows his brother is up for the challenge as well.
“I went down to Las Vegas and watched some of his sparring and he looked real good,” LaRon Mayfield said. “I think that loss made him even hungrier to win.”
A win on Friday is crucial for Karim Mayfield’s path to a title. “It will be a precision-punching, power performance, and I will be having my hand up in victory,” Mayfield said with a laugh.
Friday Night Fights
Karim Mayfield vs. Emanuel Taylor
WHEN: Friday, 5 p.m.
WHERE: The Paramount, Huntington, N.Y.
RECORDS: Mayfield is 18-1-1 with 11 KOs; Taylor is 17-2 with 12 KOs