Baltimore’s Malik Hawkins prepares for Oct. 10 showdown versus Top 10-ranked Super Lightweight Subriel Matias, but lead trainer Calvin Ford has been away in Las Vegas for weeks
Young black men like Malik Hawkins often fail to survive the streets of Baltimore, Maryland if they are ill-equipped. Successfully doing so becomes exponentially harder without guidance and ones innate ability to overcome.
Hawkins is 24-years old with a promising future. He’s entered the ring 18 times, and exited with an unblemished record. Mayweather Promotions guides his career. He trains under the capable, and caring, coach Calvin Ford. He is on the cusp of establishing himself as a contender in one of boxing’s hottest divisions – Super Lightweight.
A victory October 10 on Showtime Boxing versus Subriel Matias solidifies a Top 15-ranking for Hawkins. Unfortunately, Ford will not be alongside him for such a pivotal fight. Another charge of Ford, Gervonta Davis, is in Las Vegas, Nevada preparing for a Pay Per View title fight versus Leo Santa Cruz. Under normal situations the Upton Gym team moves as a unit. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic caused this situation to be different.
Hawkins remains back in Charm City unable to train under Ford. In Ford’s absence is Upton fixture coach Kenny. In addition to Ford’s watchful eye not being present, Hawkins is also missing out on the opportunity to work with the namesake of his promoter – Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The gym in Baltimore is home and it provides a sense of comfort and familiarity. However, right now it doesn’t offer the encouraging presence of two-time world champion Davis. Nor is there the motivational factor of training around a hungry prospect like Xavier Martinez or USA Boxing’s highly-touted Keyshawn Davis.
How can Hawkins replicate what the Mayweather Boxing Club can offer on any given day?
That’s a tall order in Baltimore. Hawkins and coach Kenny know something about overcoming. As a result of the limited options locally, they headed to Philadelphia to upgrade their ongoing training.
Heading To Philly To Make Sure Oct. 10 is ‘Freezer Time’
During a recent interview with Bite Down Boxing Hawkins shared his thoughts on his separation from coach Ford. Eventually, the conversation moved around to a development that served as a major boon to this camp.
Hawkins’s responses to BDB regarding his disappointment missing Mayweather’s hands-on training in Las Vegas made the matter seem short-lived. When one misses pointers from the man that reigned over Welterweight for most of the last decade, sparring the man projected to have a say this decade can’t hurt.
When asked about an Instagram post with 23-year old undefeated Welterweight sensation Jaron “Boots” Ennis, the effect of the experience was noticeable in Hawkins’ energy.
“Yeah, actually, that was real good work. That’s the type of work that I needed. That was some work that people gotta pay to see.”
Coach Kenny accompanied Hawkins in Philadelphia and described the sparring as, “…a real good clean, crispy sparring session between the two.”
Hawkins revealed an important detail the Instagram photo of him with Ennis didn’t convey. Him and coach Kenny spent two weeks working with Ennis and his team, resulting in several key learning moments for the prospect.
Hawkins makes his 2020 debut against Matias Saturday, October 10 on Showtime Boxing as the chief support of Sergey Lipinets versus Kudratillo Abdukakhorov. Matias is currently the IBF’s No. 10-ranked Super Lightweight. Due to the ongoing pandemic, neither Hawkins nor Matias have fought since their last bouts in December and February, respectively.
Angelo Leo, another Mayweather Promotions fighter, won the vacant WBO Super Bantamweight title in the main event of Showtime’s first fight at Uncasville, Conn.’s Mohegan Sun Casino on August 1.
Leo and WBA (regular) Lightweight champion Davis represent Mayweather Promotions’ current titlists. A victory over Matias in a few weeks represents the first of a series of steps for Hawkins to earn a shot at becoming the third.
The opening bout features a battle between a pair of WBA Top 10-ranked Super Featherweights in Xavier Martinez (No. 7) and Claudio Marrero (No. 5).
This article originally appeared on Round By Round Boxing
Header and body photo by Mayweather Promotions