Fighting FRIDAY Night at Fantasy Springs
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Making Los Angeles his new home, Ohio’s Chris Pearson is ready to shine–and ready to show the world there’s a new southpaw in town.
The former amateur standout will be squaring off in his fifth pro fight THIS Friday at Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, Calif. Pearson will be on the undercard of the Randy Caballero main event, presented by Golden Boy Promotions and airing on ShoBox: The New Generation.
The Trotwood/Dayton southpaw is a multiple amateur titlist including U.S. National Champ, PAL Champion and was a member of the L.A. Matadors (World Series of Boxing League). With the experience of over 100 amateur bouts, Chris decided to turn pro last November.
I caught up with the boxer who now calls himself “Sweet” Pearson (after previously being tabbed “Sweet Pea” during his amateur career). As a fresh face in the pro fight game, Chris aims to make his mark in the sport.
During our conversation, the 21-year-old talked about his burgeoning career as a professional and of his plans for the future. With the highly-regarded boxing advisor Al Haymon in his corner, look for this Buckeye to make a name for himself in boxing.
Meet the unbeaten 4 and 0 new pro, Chris Pearson!
Michele Chong: Hi Chris! Your fight’s this Friday. Who are you fighting–no official opponent has been listed yet?
Chris Pearson: Yeah, I’ve actually had three or four different guys drop out before they signed a contract. So I don’t know yet…(Note: At press time, his scheduled opponent is Christian Nava with a record of 2-1-1)
MC: Do you think it’s your amateur past that’s causing the opponents to back out?
CP: I think so. (Laughs) They know me from the Matadors and see my amateur record. And they see that I’m a young, hungry prospect!
MC: What can fight fans expect to see in your performance this Friday?
CP: I’m gonna go in there and impress. I’m gonna get it done early.
MC: This will be your fourth fight this year. Are you planning on staying at this pace?
CP: I definitely wanna stay busy this year. I had a cut on the bridge of my nose so that had delayed some things. But now that I’m 100% healthy, I’m gonna stay busy.
MC: Tell me about your move to L.A. and training in California now.
CP: I had been wanting to move to L.A. for a while. I love the weather here and training is a lot better here with all the sparring partners living out here. My coach Manny Robles is here and the sparring is great in L.A. So it just made more sense for me to be here and train at The Rock.
MC: Did you first meet Manny through the Matadors?
CP: Yes, ma’am I did. I really like working with him.
MC: Through the World Series of Boxng, several of the fighters competed in the Olympics. Did you watch a lot of the bouts?
CP: I caught a couple of them when I could.
MC: What do you think about the Olympic situation with Team USA males not medaling? What changes can be made?
CP: I think it’s up to USA Boxing. They have to make changes to benefit the fighters. Stricter training camps would be good; I heard they only had like a couple of weeks to really train together and that’s not enough. Also, more international competitions would be good.
MC: After your time with the Matadors, you trained a while in Vegas with Floyd Mayweather Jr.?
CP: Yeah, he had shown some interest in me when I was an amateur. So I went to Vegas and got some work in.
MC: Was Floyd one of the boxers you looked up to while growing up?
CP: When I was growing up I was a huge Roy Jones Jr. fan and also Mayweather and Andre Ward too. And it was cool during my pro debut when Roy told me I was gonna be a great fighter! I’ve been able to get to know them all and I really appreciate their skills. After my fight Friday, I’m planning on working with Andre Ward as a sparring partner for his Chad Dawson fight.
MC: Are you glad you turned pro when you did…rather than staying amateur and trying for future Olympics?
CP: Yes, ma’am. I didn’t want to stay amateur too long. I’ve seen some guys do it and they’re really in tough fights and over time it takes a lot out of you.
MC: Tell me about your start in boxing. Are you a natural lefty?
CP: No, I do everything right handed except box! (Laughs) When I first started boxing, they told me to get in my stance and my natural reaction was as a southpaw. Later they tried to change me to right but it’s natural for me to fight southpaw.
MC: How old were you when you first began?
CP: I was seven years old. I was playing football and wanted to be running back so I had to drop a couple of pounds so my dad was told boxing was the quickest way to do that.
MC: What was it like growing up in Ohio? Did you have a rough childhood that many of the boxers are known to have?
CP: No, ma’am, I had a beautiful childhood; a great family! I’m not like most of the boxers that came from broken homes. My dad is great and my family’s great. I trained while I went to school too.
MC: You went to North Michigan where they have a good boxing program, right?
CP: Yes, ma’am!
MC: (Laughs) You’re so polite. I’ve noticed you say “ma’am” and “sir” a lot.
CP: (Laughs) That’s how I was raised! To treat people with respect.
MC: On a personal note–you’re a brand new father! Congratulations on your baby girl.
CP: Thank you! Her name is Mya, she’s just two months old. She’s in New Jersey right now with her mom. Then they’ll go to Ohio and next L.A.!
MC: Congrats again and good luck Friday night!
CP: Thanks, Michele!
Heads up to y’all that there’s a new southpaw in town.
Fight fans, catch Chris “Sweet” Pearson in action THIS Friday night at Fantasy Springs.
Tickets: (800) 827-2946
Photos courtesy of Chris Pearson
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