Originally light heavyweight prospect Marcus Browne was scheduled to step up the level of his opposition on this week’s edition of ShoBox: The New Generation against Yusaf Mack.
However, last Saturday the vastly more experienced two-time former world title challenger pulled out, leaving Browne looking for an opponent. Thankfully for Browne, Donta Woods stepped into the breach.
“I’m highly upset because we trained hard for Yusaf Mack and that was a great fight for us,” Browne told RingTV.com while on a his way to Las Vegas from Phoenix airport on Wednesday. “It was a step up fight but he’s going through whatever he’s going through and he had to pull out and we’re ready for Donta Woods.”
Browne (10-0, 7 knockouts) was a highly decorated amateur who represented the U.S. at the 2011 world amateur championships before appearing at the 2012 Olympics.
The London Games was something the 23-year-old New Yorker will never forget.
“What a beautiful experience,” said Browne “Just being in the Olympics is a wonderful thing, just being around top athletes from America and all over the world.”
Along with Browne-Woods, the ShoBox card is headlined by fellow 2012 U.S. Olympian Errol Spence Jr. against Ronald Cruz. Also on the broadcast, heavy handed middleweight Dominic Wade meets once-beaten Nick Brinson. The Golden Boy Promotions event takes place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., the broadcast begins at 9:25 p.m. (ET/PT)
Anson Wainwright – Earlier this week your original opponent Yusaf Mack dropped out of the fight and now you face Donta Woods.
Marcus Browne – I’m highly upset because we trained hard for Yusaf Mack and that was a great fight for us. It was a step-up fight but he’s going through whatever he’s going through and he had to pull out and we’re ready for Donta Woods.
AW – Having prepared for Mack, this is a late change, what do you know about Donta Woods?
MB – He’s a righty, he’s a come-forward straight guy so we’re going to do what we have to, box him and have fun.
AW – Would you like the Mack fight to be rescheduled?
MB – Of course, we would love it. That’s who we prepared for, that’s who we had our game plan for but unfortunately he can’t fight.
AW – In your most recent fight you won a shutout decision over durable Otis Griffin. Talk us through that fight?
MB – He’s kind of awkward, it was a good experience, something to go off of.
AW – You’re from Staten Island, N.Y. Tell us about growing up there?
MB – It was rough. There weren’t boxers on Staten Island, except for this one guy I know called N’Wachi Hartley. It’s not a big boxing town. Everyone plays basketball, football. For me to box was kind of weird. I felt like nobody believed in me until I started winning national tournaments and then obviously making the Olympic team, that was the biggest thing, it made everyone believe. It’s not a big boxing town, it’s tough, it’s rough like any other gritty neighborhood in New York City, but I figured out a way to overcome that and focus on the important things in life.
AW – How did you become interested in boxing and then take it up?
MB – I was 13 at the time and I followed N’Wachi to the gym and I met my trainer Gary Stark Sr. and since that day I’ve been boxing ever since.
AW – You were a highly decorated amateur. Tell us about that part of your career?
MB – In New York City the Golden Gloves is one of the biggest things, so I won that three times. I won PAL nationals twice, U.S championships, I won the Olympic trials, and I won the American qualifier. I was like 89-7 with 40 knockouts.
AW – The Olympics must have been an incredible experience?
MB – Yes, I miss that place. What a beautiful experience. Most importantly the English people are very polite and nice people. Just being in the Olympics is a wonderful thing, just being around top athletes from America and all over the world. For me, being from America, being around guys like LaBron James and Kobe Bryant, it was amazing.
AW – How have you found the transition from amateur to pro?
MB – Nothing crazy. In professional boxing, being elite and being great, you have to live the life of a fighter. You have to being willing to grow from every situation in actual fights, even in sparring. It’s been a great transition for me, not the hardest thing in the world but you have to pay attention to the little things.
AW – You’re a light heavyweight. A couple of years ago it was a pretty barren division, but it seems to have really come to life over the past year or so.
MB – Oh man, it’s heating up and it’s a great thing for me actually that the light heavyweight division is picking up and everybody is paying attention to it. I’m blessed to be in this weight division.
‘B-Hop’ is a big homie. To see what he’s doing at his age is a beautiful thing. (Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev) they’re good fighters but they’re men like me. I’ve got to pay my dues and get there but when we get there we’ll be ready.
AW – What are your goals in boxing?
MB – My goal is to be a legend and leave my mark in the boxing world. I don’t just want to be a world champion. Not everyone can be a world champion, but there has been a lot of world champions, but there aren’t a lot of legends in the sport of boxing.
AW – What do you feel you might have to do to become a legend?
MB – Continue to grow, continue to work hard and live the life of a fighter.
AW – What you like to do away from boxing?
MB – I’m big on family but I’m a sneaker head. I collect sneakers like crazy, (it’s) my number one thing. I like little gadgets, of course shopping, a lot of spending money stuff. I try to work hard.
AW – In closing do you have a message for Woods ahead of your bout with him?
MB – Not really. My message will be delivered in the ring.