Malcolm McAllister to return tonight on FS1
Tonight on FS1 (9:00 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT), Premier Boxing Champions will host its latest card from the Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino in Nice, California. In the main event, Leduan Barthelemy, 12-0 (6), a Cuban junior lightweight prospect will face Reynaldo Blanco, 14-3 (8), and, in the co-feature, Mark Anthony Hernandez, 9-0 (2), will square off against Kyrone Davis, 11-1 (5), in a junior middleweight contest.
A middleweight prospect from Long Beach, California, Malcolm “The Punisher” McAllister will open the card. In run-up before his fight this evening, the 26-year-old spoke with UCNLive.com.
McAllister, 8-0 (8), may be making his third straight appearance on the FS1 network but it will be just his third outing since January 2016.
“Nah. I don’t believe in that. I don’t know why; I just don’t. I don’t believe in rust,” he stated bluntly. He’s not the only PBC fighter whose career has stagnated since last summer but McAllister has done his best to keep himself busy. “I’ve got, like, the bare minimum of sparring. I don’t like to spar a lot. I spar enough to get my timing and get used to getting hit. That’s about it. The better shape I’m in and, when I focus on being in shape and doing things right and – then once I get it down in sparring, that’s it – I got it.”
Late last year, he was invited to spar with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California. It was the highlight of an inactive year.
“Sparring with Chavez, I was completely out of shape and (Chavez) was out of shape too,” McAllister recalled. “We was two out-of-shape motherfuckers sparring. It was a lot of fun. In that little-ass ring with that big guy, it kept me on my toes. A lot of times I’m sparring, I really just don’t give a shit, but that was one (time) where I made sure to keep my eyes open ’cause that ring was little, for one, and, two, he can punch.”
McAllister is a prospect with whom this writer has spent a lot of time in the past year and maybe that’s why he freely says what he feels without a filter. He had just finished an elaborate photo shoot Friday afternoon with a new sponsor, Leomicci Sportswear, a new company that could give Under Armor a run for its money. Sitting at the Jackrabbit Gym, where he spends just about all of his time, McAllister seemed anxious to get back into the ring, doing what he loves, not so much boxing but fighting. He was supposed to have already fought his first fight of 2017 but fell ill in the weeks leading up to it.
“Turns out I had pneumonia but I had an ear infection first,” McAllister said, about what ruled him out of a February date in Texas. “I didn’t know I had pneumonia. I was wheezing during training but kept training ’cause I didn’t give a shit. My ear kept throbbing and I went to the doctor thinking there was water in there or something. I wasn’t able to fight.”
Originally Davis, who’s also fighting on the card, was possibly going to be his next opponent. “I heard yeah and I heard no and I heard all type of stuff but, once I found out I was sick, I was like, whatever. I’m not fighting anybody.” It would’ve been an interesting fight and when asked if he will strike a conversation with Davis tonight on the possibility of squaring up, McAllister responded, “Maybe. I got something to do that night. Once I do what I’m supposed to do and the time is right, I’ll ask him about it, about what’s going with that possible fight. I’m not really worried about it – whoever they put in front of me, I’ll fuckin’ fight ’em.”
McAllister’s attitude toward fighting stems from a rough upbringing on the East Side of Long Beach – a fascinating story that will be saved for another day. To put it simply, fighting is second nature to McAllister and, no matter the stage, he feels comfortable when in a fight.
“TV, alley, cemetery, hospital, all the same shit to me,” he said when asked if fighting on television is something that’s on his mind. As mentioned before, he’s been in the same situation and his television debut 14 months ago was unexpected.
“I was in my underwear with my hand wraps on and they said, “You’re next,” and I was like, what? I was bone-dry. Didn’t even stretch and everyone was telling me the whole time how tough (Tyrone) Selders was and how I wouldn’t knock him out like I was knocking everyone else out. I’m like, fuck you, telling me what the fuck I can’t do.”
In the swing bout that night in downtown Los Angeles, McAllister stopped Selders in the third round in exciting action but there was plenty of adversity within the contest itself.
“They were still in the gym,” McAllister said about his legs. “I should’ve showed up to the fight in a wheelchair. He’d push me and I’d stumble, then I’d think to myself, I fucked up. Never again will I want to have to do that.” It was a lesson learned but the troubles didn’t stop there. After dropping Selders in the opening minute of the fight, McAllister slipped after throwing a left hand. With his head rubbing up against the top rope in that moment, he suffered two cuts on his right eyelid and brow. Along with his weak legs, the leaking cut slowed him down for a bit but he went on to score a legitimate knockout in the third.
The cuts, which required stitches, kept McAllister out of the ring for six months until he found himself scheduled to fight on TV in July. He forced a corner stoppage of a hard-headed Brazilian in Gilberto Pereira dos Santos and, while he didn’t produce the highlight reel knockout he craves, McAllister can take pride in being the only fighter to stop a guy who regularly faces prospects.
Alejandro Torres, 9-2-2 (4), a 23-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico, is McAllister’s next opponent and he hasn’t gotten a clue what to expect.
“Nothing at all. Only his name and that he’s from Mexico,” he responded when asked to reveal what he knew about Torres. When asked if having to figure out his opponent on the fly could be good for experience, McAllister said, “It’s just like the amateurs. There, you fight six days a week and you don’t know who you’re fighting until you get in the ring. It feels kind of like that. Later on, there’s going to come a time where I have to strategize and do certain things and not knowing anything about the guy I’m fighting doesn’t motivate me to strategize later on. Kind of like winging it. A lot of times it’s not the best thing to do in boxing. It’s good to have a plan, especially when you’re in those championship fights that last 30-plus minutes. You’re not gonna want to wing 30 minutes.”
Just like his backstory, McAllister will have to play the hand that’s dealt him and, along with a one-year-old back home, he has more than one reason to not take Torres lightly. After an underwhelming 2016, McAllister has certainly felt the financial hit that comes with a young prospect fighting only twice in a year.
“I guess, try not to get cut and knock these guys out in spectacular fashion,” Malcolm responded when asked what he can do to gather momentum and avoid another inactive year. “I would at least like to get in four more fights in this year. I remember, when I first turned pro, I wanted 10 fights. I wanted to fight every month. I want to do this; I want to do that. Within that first year of me being pro, I fought, like, every other month. There was a couple fights where I had a sinus infection one fight, a hyper-extended elbow one fight. I had a stomach virus another fight. It was always something.”
“It was always something” is just another expression that can describe McAllister’s life – that has yet to be fully documented this writer – and a final hint of what he’s gone through can be heard when he walks to the ring with NWA’s “Boyz in the Hood” blaring tonight.