PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                              June 24, 2011


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Philly light-heavy Yusaf Mack (29-3-2 / 18 KOs) wrapped up preparation for his big fight with IBF champion Tavoris Cloud, Monday (06/20) at Shuler Memorial Gym in West Philly. Mack returned from his Poconos training camp the day before and had one last workout at his home gym before traveling to St. Charles, MO. Mack made the trip with his team - Robert "Bam Bam" Hines, Buster Custus and Willie Folk. 

Saturday, the undefeated Cloud (22-0 / 18 KOs) makes the third defense of his IBF title against Mack at the Family Arena, just outside St. Louis. The card is promoted by Don King and will be televised by HBO.

The hard-hitting Cloud is a formidable foe for Mack, but Yusaf looked sharp the day before he left for the biggest fight of his career. Mack, 29, is the current USBA light-heavyweight champion and won his world title crack by defeating Otis Graham by 12-round decision in March.

Yusaf joins an elite club of Philly fighters who have vied for a world title, but a victory on Saturday night will thrust him into the history books. Such a win would not only change Mack's life considerably, it would give Philadelphia it's third current world champ (along with Steve Cunningham and Bernard Hopkins). 

Below are video and photos from Monday's workout. 




Yusaf Mack shadow boxes with the stars of the Shuler Gym behind him.


Willie Folk wraps Mack's hands.


Yusaf Mack loosens up.


Mack hits the pads with Prince Badi Ajamu.


Trainer Robert "Bam Bam" Hines watches Mack.


Co-trainer Buster Custus.


Cut man Willie Folk, aka Back Door Willie.


Mack hits the pads with Robert Hines.


The wall mural at the James Shuler Gym.


Yusaf Mack hopes to upgrade his USBA belt against Tavoris Cloud.


The moment of truth comes on Saturday.




John DiSanto - News & Notes - June 24, 2011