by David P. Greisman
One look at Alantez Fox, and he stands out well before he even throws a punch.
That’s because he’s 6-foot-5 and fights at junior middleweight. He’s tall and lanky — and a prospect who is looking to stand out for reasons besides his height.
Fox, a 20-year-old Maryland resident from just outside of Washington, D.C., will be fighting near his hometown on Jan. 12 against Julius Kennedy.
Last September, Fox was fighting on a card in Queens, N.Y., when he got held to a draw in what he describes as far too favorable scoring for his locally based opponent, Frank Galarza. But his performance brought the attention of promoter Boxing 360, which signed him soon thereafter.
Fox is now 8-0-1 with 4 knockouts. He spoke to BoxingScene.com in early January.
BoxingScene.com: For those boxing fans who aren’t yet familiar with you, what should they know about Alantez Fox?
Fox: “I’m a crowd pleaser. Of course, if they don’t know who I am, I am tall. I’m light middleweight, and I’m 6’5”. I got a good jab. Definitely good movement. I almost want to say I’m untouchable in the ring.”
BoxingScene.com: You’re a 6-foot-5 junior middleweight. What kind of advantages do you feel that brings for you when in the ring?
Fox: “Well my length coupled with my movement makes it almost impossible to hit me. You have to fight past my jab and my right hand, and it’s really hard to get in there. But the movement helps out, too, because it’s going to help me keep my distance no matter what.”
BoxingScene.com: Are there any other tall, lanky boxers you model yourself after?
Fox: “Of course I like watching Tommy Hearns. I wish I had a right hand like that. I look at other rangy boxers, but mostly Tommy Hearns. As far as movement, I look at Ray Leonard. I like his footwork. I like his flash and pizzazz in the ring. I like to be crowd-pleasing, too. I like the oohs and ahhs, and for people to be surprised at how tall I am and how good I can be at dancing around my opponent.”
BoxingScene.com: Have you always fought at junior middleweight?
Fox: “I guess over these last two or three years, I’ve gotten big and probably solidified at 154. But at first I tried to fight at 141 for a second, but my growth spurt came and went so fast. I went from 5’8” to 6’5”, from 9th grade to now. The height brought some weight, too. I was 5’8” in 8th grade and went up to 6-1 in my freshman year of high school. I probably just got to 6’5”. ”
BoxingScene.com: What do you walk around at? And do you see yourself filling out and moving up in weight as you grow older and mature as a fighter?
Fox: “I want to cap off at about 160, no more than maybe 168. Of course I got some growing to do. I’m only 20. By the time I’m about 25, I’ll probably be fighting at 160.”
BoxingScene.com: What do you walk around at?
Fox: “If I’m not training at all, I get up to 170. If I’m training consistently, I walk around maybe about 165.”
BoxingScene.com: When did you start boxing, and why?
Fox: “I started boxing at 8. I met some of my teammates from football, and they were all at the gym. My father was always an avid boxing fan, so once he found out there was a boxing gym in the area, he brought me over there.”
BoxingScene.com: What do you know about your opponent for Jan. 12, Julius Kennedy?
Fox: “I know he’s 5’8”. I know he’s going to keep coming forward. He went 10 rounds already, I think, a couple of times. I also know he took off for a whole year, so that ring rust I think is going to get to him, too.”
BoxingScene.com: You’re fighting near your hometown, which I’m sure means you want to put on a particularly good show. Is it more important to try to get this guy out of there early, or to get more rounds under your belt instead?
Fox: “I want to get the rounds. I want to say I’m going to put him out as fast as possible, but I want to get the rounds as well. I think it’s more important to get the rounds. If I got in there and try really hard to knock him out, I can gas out. I don’t want to gas out. That’s just going to make me look bad in front of my hometown.”
BoxingScene.com: Why is it more important for you to get the rounds?
Fox: “I don’t want to be fighting six-round fights for so long. I’m hoping we can move up to eight-round fights within this year. So getting the rounds is just going to help me get used to working for a longer time and building up stamina. People who knock out people really fast, they can drown because they’re not used to going that long. Of course, knockouts will always be good. That’s always nice for the record. But if I don’t get him out there and go the rounds, that’s great, too.”
BoxingScene.com: You’re starting 2013 at 8-0-1 with 4 knockouts. Where do you want to be by the end of the year?
Fox: “By the end of the year, I’m thinking maybe 13-0 or 14-0 with, I see, maybe 8 knockouts.”
BoxingScene.com: And where do you see yourself in terms of your development?
Fox: “Of course I think I got potential to be a world champion. I want to be up there with the Adrien Broners. A person up there like Keith Thurman, he’s rising the ranks, he’s on HBO, so I’m hoping I’ll be on HBO pretty soon. By the time I’m 13-0, I’m almost positive somebody will be calling to try to me on ESPN or ‘ShoBox: The Next Generation.’
“As far as future wise, I’m hoping for the best. I’m hoping for it all: 154, light middleweight champion; 160, middleweight champion; and at the most, super middleweight champion, and go up there with the Andre Wards. That’s pretty much my dream.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org