Boxing chose Tristan Kalkreuth
In the summer of 2010, a bored nine-year-old kid arrived unannounced at Rock Boxing Academy in Arlington, Texas.
“I want to work out,” Tristan Kalkreuth told head trainer Pete Rojas.
“Let’s see what you got, kid,” he responded.
Kalkreuth, who had over 100 amateur fights, went on to become a two-time USA Boxing national champion in the youth division (under the age of 18). He also participated in the 2018 World Championships in the youth division.
“Boxing chose me,” Kalkreuth said. “I was a young, athletic kid. I played soccer, basketball, football, but inside I always wanted to be a fighter and I believed I had what it took to be a fighter.
“Coach Rojas thought that I was very charismatic and he was impressed with my length and my height. Ever since, I’ve been dedicated to the sport of boxing.”
That charisma also caught the attention of Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, who signed then-17-year-old Kalkreuth to a promotional contract last June.
“He’s talented, charismatic and has a great amateur background,” De La Hoya said of Kalkreuth. “We expect big things for him in the future.”
The 6-foot-4 Kalkreuth (5-0, 4 knockouts), 18, who fights at cruiserweight, was only the second 17-year-old to be signed by Golden Boy. The other is undefeated welterweight and The Ring’s “Prospect of the Year” for 2019, Vergil Ortiz Jr. (15-0, 15 KOs).
His unique combination of height, length, skills, and charisma, has culminated with his comparison to the late, great Muhammad Ali.
Kalkreuth, who is now trained by the renowned Ronnie Shields, says he welcomes the correlation because every fighter should set a high standard.
“I’m excited more than anything else that I’m being compared to Muhammad Ali,” he admitted. “Every fighter that has dreams and aspirations of being an all-time great should set a high bar and that only makes me want to show more of my abilities in the ring. I have a very unique opportunity and I can’t wait to show the world what I’m capable of.”
Kalkreuth weighed 178.25 pounds for his first pro bout and has consistently tipped the scales at a higher weight since. For his most recent fight in March against Johnny Jackson, a first round stoppage win, he weighed 193.5 pounds.
“I’m definitely going to move up to heavyweight,” Kalkreuth said. “My next fight will be at 190 pounds, so I’ll be moving up to heavyweight in the future.”
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