PHILLY BOXING HISTORY  -  September 10, 2014


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 Story & Photos by John DiSanto


Cruiserweight Garrett Wilson, 13-7-1, 7 KOs, held an open workout Wednesday in advance of his nationally televised main event with South African Thabiso Mchunu, 16-1, 11 KOs, scheduled for September 20th, at Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, CT.  The 10-round bout will be televised on NBC network TV, in a special Saturday afternoon boxing telecast. 

For Wilson, it will be his first fight in ten months, after an Achilles’ injury forced a cancellation of this same match up, when it was originally scheduled for January.  When this bout was first proposed, Wilson was coming off a 10-round decision loss to heavyweight contender Vyacheslav Glazkov, also televised on NBC network television.  Wilson accepted that fight on just three-day’s notice. 

An unknown Mchunu bounced onto to the boxing scene with an impressive shutout of contender Eddie Chambers about one year ago, in his first fight outside of South Africa.  He followed that up with another win in January against Olan Durodola, a fight that earned Mchunu the NABF cruiserweight title previously owned by Wilson.  Garrett never lost that belt in the ring.  He was forced to vacate the belt when he fought an IBF eliminator bout in Romania. 

With a win against Mchunu, Wilson would reclaim his belt and earn a top-ten ranking among the world’s 200-pounders.  However, Mchunu is considered a tough test, even without such a long layoff. 

“The reality is that a lot of fighters these days fight a lot of lower-class fighters,” Wilson said at his media workout at South Philly’s Marian Anderson Recreation Center.  “Me personally, I look for any opportunity I can to fight top-ranked, top-class fighters.  That’s how I got where I am today.  ” 

That the fight is on network television for the entire country to see, makes Wilson happy, but isn’t his entire motivation. 

“It’s wonderful, it’s beautiful.  I love it,” Wilson said.  “Just to have the opportunity to showcase my talents on TV, with more than three-day’s notice, is a beautiful opportunity.  (But) I do this for my family.  To be able to provide for my family.  That’s the number one goal.  To win a belt, that’s beautiful.  I love it.  To be on TV, that’s beautiful.  I love it.  To get that rating, to get that chance for a world title again, that’s beautiful.  But like I said, the main goal is for me to provide for my family.” 

Regardless of his time away from the ring, Wilson looked in tremendous condition and appeared ready for next week’s fight.   

“I train extremely hard for every fight that I’m in,” Wilson said.  “One, I don’t ever want to get hurt.  Two, for my whole career, for the most part, I’ve been the opponent.  So in order to win, you have to be in top physical shape.  So I train hard for every fight.” 

Although known for his big punch and aggressive style, Wilson has always been an underrated fighter.  He hopes that a win against Mchunu, in the spotlight of national television, will help to change that reputation. 

“I like fighting top-rated competitors,” Wilson said.  “I don’t believe in a tune-up.  I’ve been a tune-up for several guys, and they’ve gotten tuned up.  The biggest challenge is myself.  Staying focused mentally, effective aggressiveness, being right at him, not being wild, and showing my boxing ability.  Pretty much not doing what I did when I fought Glazkov – being wild, catapulting myself across the ring.  (I have to) mainly just show my skills.  If I win the decision, I’m cool with that.  If I win by knockout, I’m cool with that.  Whichever one comes first.  I’m looking for a win.  That’s all.”




John DiSanto - South Philly - September 10, 2014