by David P. Greisman
Tim Coleman will be facing Kendall Holt in this week’s main event on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights.” Both are coming off losses: Holt (27-5, 15 knockouts) dropped a split decision in October against Danny Garcia, while Coleman lost via technical knockout in August against Vernon Paris.
BoxingScene.com recently spoke with Coleman about the Holt bout.
BoxingScene.com: What are your thoughts on your upcoming fight with Kendall Holt? How important is this fight?
Coleman: “You know, every fight is as equally important to me as the first to my last I’m going to fight one day. You know, Kendall Holt, I think he’s pretty much shot. I saw his loss to [Kaizer] Mabuza. He got stopped. I didn’t really think much of Mabuza. I’m going to go in there and do what I always do every fight. I’m going to run my mouth and I’m going to fight, you know what I mean? At the end of the day, I’m a fighter, man. Somebody swings on me, I’m swinging back.”
BoxingScene.com: That kind of answers my next question. Do you see Kendall Holt as a threat, or do you see him coming off a loss to Danny Garcia, being on the decline and being a gatekeeper who’s ripe for you to pick off in a crossroads bout?
Coleman: “I don’t know about crossroads. A fight is a fight, at the end of the day. Kendall has a dangerous left hook, but I think, personally, I’m a better boxer than him. I would see him more as a brawler than anything. He has a decent jab. I’ve seen him get on the stick before, but he’s kind of flat footed. I think I’ll beat him with the jab, and the right hand is going to hit its mark eventually.”
BoxingScene.com: You’re coming back in your first fight since your own defeat last year against Vernon Paris. You’ve had a lot of time to think back on it. What do you think happened in that fight?
Coleman: “I didn’t train hard enough. … It really wasn’t the body shots. My heart was beating so fast, I felt like it was going to jump out of my throat. I was dog-ass tired. I was just like ‘Crap, I got to suck it up and just try to dig deep.’ That’s what I did, and I made it to the seventh round. I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it that far. I was like, ‘Sh*t, I’m tired.’
“And once you’re like that, it was pretty much like all downhill from me from there. I had a couple good rounds where I rallied back, but it is what it is, and at the end of the day … he was a better man that day, and he won. But he’s going to probably get sparked by Zab Judah.”
BoxingScene.com: It’s unfortunate, but people sometimes write off boxers way too quickly after a loss. You bounced back from your first loss, to James De La Rosa, and now you’re trying to do it again.
Coleman: “I think boxing has been made too much into a business, where a guy, he’s 20-0, but who has he fought, and has he ever been tested before? I see a big decline in the sport because of that. …
“The loss doesn’t bother me at all. Regardless, I’m probably going to lose again one day. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop fighting or make my spirits go down. I could really give a damn, because at the end of the day, I love to fight.”
BoxingScene.com: You’ve already said what happened against Paris. But in the time since, how have you been able to improve yourself and give yourself more of a shot for this upcoming fight with Kendall Holt?
Coleman: “I ran. God’s honest truth. I ran. I didn’t run last fight. I ran [for] this fight, so it’s going to be more of a fight. You guys know me, at the end of the day, as soon as he hits me, game plan or whatever else is in my head is going to go out my door, and I’m just going to do what we’re going to do.”
BoxingScene.com: How important is this fight for the future of your career?
Coleman: “I’m not like most guys that are making a bunch of money and stuff. I look at boxing more like a hustle than a career because I work a job, too. At the end of the day, you call me and give me $15,000 or $20,000 for a fight, I’m going to take it no matter what. I could care less. I’ll fight any and everybody. I don’t care who. I don’t care when. At the end of the day, I’m trying to get paid. The economy is kind of screwed up, so I’m trying to get in where I fit in.”
BoxingScene.com: I have to give you a hard time about something. You’re in Vegas but are from Baltimore. You’re an Orioles fan, right?
Coleman: “I’m an Orioles and Ravens fan until the day I die.”
BoxingScene.com: So what was with the New York Yankees cap before the Vernon Paris fight?
Coleman: “You know something, man, I had an Orioles hat but I left it when I was leaving the house. To be honest with you, I was ashamed that I wore that damn New York hat coming out for the fight. Oh, god, man, I caught so much crap from everybody back home.”
BoxingScene.com: Here’s the thing: You’re also a Ravens fan, so I’m guessing you’re happy. I’m both an Orioles fan a Redskins fan, so I’m miserable.
Coleman: “Oh, man, I know you’re hating life right now.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]