DonYil Livingston set for pro debut—Interview & Suggest a Nickname Contest
by Geoffrey Ciani - Having a celebrated amateur career does not guarantee success in professional boxing but it certainly goes a long way towards helping one’s chances. This is good news for upcoming prospect DonYil Livingston. As an amateur, Livingston compiled an impressive record consisting of 178 victories with just 23 losses. His highly decorated list of achievements includes being a three time National Silver Gloves Champion (1996, 1998, 2000), a six time National Jr. Golden Gloves Champion (1995-2000), a seven time National and International Blue & Gold Champion (1997-2003), a National and International Jr. Olympic Champion (2000), National Under 19 Champion (2001), a seven time Boxers for Christ Champion (1997-2003), California PAL Champion (2003), National PAL Silver Medalist (2003), and Ringside World Champion (2004). DonYil was also a top favorite to represent the United States as a middleweight in the 2004 Olympic Games. After losing a controversial decision in the Western Trails, DonYil decided to stick around for a few more years before he lost interest fighting as an amateur.
DonYil was originally slated to have his professional debut last December, but unfortunately, his opponent pulled out and he was left without a fight. Livingston will now be making his professional debut May 6 at the Circus Disco in Hollywood, California against Ian Mauleon. I was recently afforded the opportunity to have a nice chat with the promising prospect and here is what he had to say:
Q: DonYil, how does it feel to finally have your first professional bout booked?
A: Oh man, it feels great. It’s tremendous. It’s about time, it’s been a long time coming and I’m just excited and extremely overwhelmed with it all.
Q: Now you were originally slated to have a fight in December that fell through. How disappointed were you that that fight never happened when it was supposed to happen back then?
A: I mean, I was really disappointed with it you know Geoff. Unfortunately it’s part of the game. I was just so ready to go and so willing—we put so much in going into that fight, debuting in December, that when it all fell through it was kind of like a big downfall. Nevertheless, with all bad there comes good and we’re ready to go May 6.
Q: Have you been training throughout this whole period since that fight fell through?
A: Yes I have, so that’s the positive to it. That only means that we’re going to be more ready. We’re on point, and hey, May 6 comes—we’re letting it all on the line.
Q: Now DonYil, you have a very celebrated amateur background. I was wondering if you could tell me what your proudest moment in your amateur career was?
A: You know, I’ve been real fortunate in the amateur game. I’ve been blessed with so many accomplishments as an amateur that it would be hard to really pinpoint one. I would just say the most celebrated moment is being with my boxing family—the ones that I came up with, the Andre Bertos, the Andre Dirrells—just all of them, man. Everybody that I came up with, I would have to say that would be my most celebrated moment.
Q: Now speaking of Andre Dirrell, I’ve spoken to him and Andre Ward about your career—about your turning pro—and both of them mentioned they think you have a good style to go into the professional ranks, but they noted there’s going to be a period of transition involved with that. How do you plan on dealing with that transition from an amateur style up into a pro style?
A: Honestly, just staying focused, staying humble, staying hungry for the game, and continuing to soak up knowledge and I believe it will come with time—hopefully sooner than later. Like I said, my main thing is I believe if I stay humble and I continue staying knowledgeable that we’ll be good to go and everything will fall right in place.
Q: DonYil, what do you consider your best asset you bring into the ring with you?
A: My best asset is I’m humble. I’m very humble. I’m not headstrong and I’m always willing to learn. So with that, going into the ring, if we get into the deep rounds or if we get in a hard fight I don’t have the mindset that if my trainer or corner tells me to do something, to where me as a person or as a fighter or anything says no that’s not going to work. That’s being headstrong. I’m humble. Like I said, I’m still hungry for knowledge so I believe that will be a key asset in my career.
Q: Who’s currently training you, DonYil?
A: I’m currently being trained by a gentleman named Steven Jenkins and my father, Don Livingston.
Q: What have they been able to do to help you out in your preparations?
A: I was training with Steven the majority of my amateur career. Steve and I, we have that connection where I’m humble and I know that he can tell me something and he knows that whatever he tells me is going to get executed. With my father, it’s just more so the support. He knows me best, so he knows the things that I’m feeling when I’m not mentioning it, because with every fighter, when they’re hurt they won’t tell you they’re hurt or when something’s bothering them they won’t tell you what’s bothering them. My father being my father, he senses that, and him and my trainer Steve work hand-in-hand and we execute on everything that needs to be executed on.
Q: How many fights would you like to have in 2010?
A: To be quite honest with you Geoff, God willing, I would like to stay extremely busy. Once a month will be great, that would be outstanding if I was going to stay busy at least once a month. That would put me in the position where the ball’s back rolling, we stay consistent, and we’ll be able to look for bigger and better things for my career in the future.
Q: Now speaking of your future, what is it DonYil, that you would ultimately like to accomplish in professional boxing?
A: Just reestablishing the art of the sport. With that, a lot of people have gotten away from the art of boxing due to MMA and things of that nature. I take nothing away from the MMA guys, I take my hat off to them. I couldn’t compete the way the compete, however, everybody is looking for all the brutality of the sport—the blood and all of that, people getting knocked out. But they’re missing the art of boxing—you know, setting people up with feints, jabs, feet movement, head movement. That’s the craft of boxing. That’s the art of boxing.
Q: Changing things up a little bit DonYil, the biggest fight in boxing coming up is the May 1 clash between Sugar Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather Junior, and I’m curious if I could get your opinion on that one.
A: It’s going to be a classic. Like you just mentioned, it’s the biggest fight coming up right now in boxing; boxing needs that right now. It’s going to be an interesting fight. My opinion, this is truly the biggest person, the most crafty person that Floyd has ever faced in his career, and vice versa, on Shane’s end Floyd is the quickest, sharpest, and slickest person that Shane has faced in his career. So I believe it’s going to come down to the count as a whole. Both fighters are quick, both fighters are slick, and both fighters know they are not only fighting for the win but they’re fighting for their place in history. So like I said, it’s not going to just be a one man theme. It’s not just based on two men in the ring that night, it’s going to tie into their entire training camp, their corners, their vibe. Both fight camps have to bring their A game, and if both fight camps bring their A game I believe we’re going to be seeing a draw and looking forward to a rematch.
Q: Back to your career, when you enter the ring for the first time in your first professional fight—as of right now—you don’t have a nickname and I know you are looking for the fans to help you in choosing one. Maybe you could tell the fans a little bit about your style or a little bit maybe about what you might be looking for in a boxing moniker?
A: You know Geoff, coming up a lot of people called me “The Boxing Poet” just because of my personality. I’m into poetry, however, when I get into the ring it’s all out. I’m going to give you not only 100% but I’m going to give you 100-plus% because I know when I’m in the ring, it’s business. Outside the ring, I’m two different people. Outside the ring I’m a different person, I’m very humble. It’s almost like I’m two different people inside and out of the ring. Myself I see as basically in boxing—I’ll box when I have to box, I’ll fight when I need to fight. All in all, I stay intelligent in the ring. So whatever the fans could help me out with, it would be great to hear. It would be great to get the fans involved and we’ll go ahead and lock something down.
Q: DonYil, do you have anything else you would like to say to all the fans out at East Side Boxing?
A: May 6: Hollywood, California. We’re getting ready to make history with my pro debut. It’s been a long time coming. I’m looking forward to it. I will keep you guys posted at East Side and I just ask that you guys continue to keep me in your prayers and continue to follow me.
Q: Great. Thank you very much for the nice conversation, DonYil. Good luck in your pro debut.
A: Thank you, Geoff. I appreciate it, You guys have a good one.
The Choose a Nickname for Donyil Contest
Have you ever thought of a really cool boxing nickname? Would you like to brag to your friends about choosing the moniker of a future boxing superstar? If so, you are in luck. Here is your chance!
DonYil Livingston is preparing to make his professional debut on May 6 and he wants you, the fans that follow the sport, to help choose his new boxing nickname.
When DonYil makes his professional debut, he is going to be announced as:
DonYil “______” Livingston
Your job as a fan is to help DonYil fill in the blank.
If you have a suggestion for a boxing nickname for DonYil Livingston, please send it to the following e-mail address with the subject “NICKNAME FOR DONYIL”
Please include your full name and your suggested nickname(s) in the e-mail.
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Article posted on 06.04.2010