New Faces: Jerry Odom
Hometown: Bowie, Maryland
Weight class: Super middleweight
Height/reach: 6-foot-1 (185 cm)/73 inches (185 cm)
Amateur record: 69-7
Turned pro: 2012
Pro record: 12-1, 11 knockouts
Trainer(s): Kay Koroma
Manager: No manager
Promoter: GH3 Promotions
Best night of pro career: Odom believes his best is yet to come, though says at this point his seventh-round stoppage over previously unbeaten Cuban Vilier Quinonez last summer is the best name on his record.
“I mean that was a great fight but I know I could have performed better,” Odom told RingTV.com. “He didn’t give me much to work with, so it looked somewhat a tacky fight. I did what I had to do. He had 200-something amateur fights; I only had 70-odd amateur fights.”
Worst night of pro career: You’d be mistaken if you thought the lone blemish on his record, which he suffered last time out when he was disqualified against Andrew Hernandez, was his worst night as a pro.
“I wouldn’t say it was one of my worst nights,” explained Odom, who hit Hernandez while he was down, “because I was on my way to winning the fight. I don’t think I’ve had a bad night.”
Next fight: He looks to right what he perceives a wrong when he faces Hernandez in a rematch on Friday in an eight-round bout that takes place on ShoBox from Westbury, New York.
“My thoughts overall are he really can’t beat me,” said a confident Odom.
Why he’s a prospect: Odom was able to fit a lot into his 76 amateur bouts, making the most of his time in the unpaid ranks.
He was the 2009 National Junior Olympic champion, he won the 2009 and ’10 Ringside tournament, a National U19 silver medal and a 2010 PAL silver medal. He represented his country and won gold in the U.S. vs. Puerto Rico duel, he was 2011 U.S. National silver medalist and competed at the 2012 Olympic trials. His greatest achievement was when he placed first at the 2012 Golden Gloves and won the Golden Boy award for best fighter at the tournament.
As an amateur Odom competed at 178 pounds; since turning pro, he’s dropped to 168.
“I was in a gym full of fighters and every time one of my stablemates couldn’t make 152 I sacrificed my body and went up in weight because I can hang with bigger guys.” explained Odom.
He twice lost to U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne as an amateur, as well as Siju Shabazz, although he does hold a stoppage win over unbeaten pro Armando Pina.
The heavy-handed Odom gained valuable experience sparring with Sam Soliman last year when he helped prepare the former IBF 160-pound champion for his ultimately unsuccessful title defense against Jermain Taylor.
Previously, Odom and his friend and stablemate Antoine Douglas, who’s an unbeaten middleweight, were invited to make the cross-country trip to work out with long-reigning super middleweight kingpin Andre Ward. Odom says that they sparred every other day for a month, maybe as much as 60 rounds.
“It was another great camp,” Odom said of his time working with Ward. “A lot of people he called and flew in to spar couldn’t handle the pressure and had to leave. The last month me and Antoine got a call to come out and help him and handled ourselves. It was a great experience because we learned so much.
“I talked to Andre Ward about certain sparring sessions where I didn’t do so good and he talked to me and let me know its OK because I get down on myself when I don’t do good in sparring. He’s a world champion and he said, ‘You’re learning.’ He’s seen the potential I have; he’s just a good dude.”
Why he’s a suspect: Odom’s power is without question, 11 of his 12 wins coming by knockout – eight of them in the first round. However, poor discipline kicked in against Hernandez and Odom threw several punches after knocking his opponent down, forcing referee Arthur Mercante Jr. to step in and disqualify him.
It will be interesting to see if that was a one-off and how Odom rebounds from the loss. He intends to use it as fuel ahead of the Hernandez rematch in much the way his hero, Roy Jones Jr., did back in the ’90s when he bounced back from a similar loss to devastating effect, stopping Montell Griffin in a single round.
Odom’s marauding style has worked well aside from the Hernandez blip. When he steps up a level, will he be able to be as effective?
Story lines: Odom hails from a rough neighborhood in the Northeast section of Washington D.C.
“If you’re weak you’re going to get ate up on the streets,” Odom said.
As a youngster he was always in fights, never one to back away from a challenge. He says he never started anything but was able to handle himself.
He estimates he was 12 or 13 when his father introduced him to boxing. He slipped away from the sport briefly because of trouble outside the ring but moved to live with his uncle and quickly took it up again.
While in school he played other sports such as football, basketball and neighborhood baseball, although boxing was always his true calling.
Odom is religious but prefers to keep his beliefs to himself and is an approachable guy, although quiet and reserved.
Away from boxing he enjoys fishing, visiting the gun range, going to the movies and playing paintball. He is engaged and has a stepdaughter.
Fight-by-fight record (12-1, 11 KOs)
Oct. 27 – Darryl Fields – TKO 1
Dec. 8 – Marcus Clay – NC 1 (not included in record)
Jan. 12 – Anthony Madden – KO 1
Mar. 2 – Craig Boykin – TKO 1
May 18 – Drew Morais – TKO 1
Sept. 13 – Antonio Liles – TKO 1
Dec. 4 – Eric Moon – TKO 1
Dec. 14 – Marcus Brooks – TKO 1
Jan. 17 – Demetrius Walker – TKO 3
Mar. 15 – William Gill – TKO 2
Apr. 4 – Douglas Otieno Okola – TKO 1
Apr. 26 – Edgar Perez – UD 4
July 25 – Vilier Quinonez – TKO 7
Jan. 9 – Andrew Hernandez – LDQ 4
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright