DonYil Livingston: “I see Manny Pacquiao stopping Margarito around the eighth or ninth round”

by Geoffrey Ciani - This week’s 94th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with middleweight prospect DonYil Livingston (1-0, 1 KO) who is preparing to face Steve Macomber (3-10, 3 KOs) on October 8. Livingston won his professional debut on May 6 when he defeated Lamar Home by second round knockout. As an amateur, Livingston compiled an impressive record of 178-23 where he received many awards and accolades. Here is some of what he had to say on the show:

On how it felt to finally have his professional debut:

“Oh man, the feeling was wonderful. It’s hard to explain. It’s just a feeling of ‘yes’, we finally broke into the pros. It was a great, great feeling.”

On what it was like competing in the professionals after having a long successful amateur career:

“It’s like with anything you strive for, you keep striving, you keep striving, and once you finally finish hitting the hurdles and actually get where you’re trying to get to, you have that ultimate feeling of success. I actually accomplished part of a goal, and that’s the feeling that I had when I debuted on May 6.”

His evaluation of his pro debut which he won by second round knockout against Lamar Home:

“It was a great feeling knowing that we had been working so hard. We were just training to put our punches in bunches and our skills together and it led to a second round knockout. It was a great feeling to know that we’re getting back on track. We’re getting back to where we need to be and continuing to keep our pedal to the medal and keep grinding.”

On what he expects from opponent Steve Macomber in his October 8 fight:

“To be honest with you expect a great tough fight out of the guy I’m fighting for more reasons than one. He has fourteen fights, and that comes with experience within itself. Although I’ve had a very long amateur career and had a long amateur background, we’re talking about taking another step into the pros, wearing smaller gloves, no head gear, different techniques. So our thing is to be well prepared. We’ve been training like we’re training for a world championship fight, that way we won’t have any excuses and we won’t overlook anything and we’ll be ready to go full force this coming Friday.”

On whether he is disappointed he has had to wait five months in between fights:

“In a way, yes. It’s a little discouraging because where I train at is 63 miles one way to the gym, but this is boxing. It comes with a lot of patience. You have a lot of ups and downs. Nobody that has been very successful, nobody that has wanted to accomplish a goal in life has had it easy. I know that at the end of this road, I’m going to endure lots of success and I have to stay humble and continue to grind. So yes, you get a little discouraged but I try to look at everything that might tempt to discourage me and turn it around and make it a positive. Yes, it’s been five months since I debuted. That just gives me that much more time to be well-prepared for this fight coming up.”

His views on how long it will take him to be able to take a step up in the level of competition:

“To be honest with you, any fighter I believe should say they’re ready as soon as they think they’re ready. I’m definitely an infant in the game mentally because I want to continue to learn. I believe as long as we can hopefully fight on a consistent basis to continue sharpening our tools, I believe it shouldn’t take long. I’ve been boxing for sixteen years. I’m definitely a student of the game. I have the mindset of wanting to continue to learn so I don’t get big-headed and I can stay humble. We’re hoping between ten and fifteen fights I believe I should be ready to not just step up in level, but be at the level where we are no longer a prospect but a top contender. We just want to stay focused, stay hungry, stay humble, and keep grinding. I believe it will all fall into place in due time.”

On how much the success of his cousin Andre Ward drives him so that he can reach that same level of success:

“Well you know it’s definitely motivational. You see guys like my cousin Andre who is very successful as a pro. You have my other peers, Andre Dirrell, Timothy Bradley, Andre Berto—you just have so many guys I came up with that are not only established in the pros, but champions in the pros. When I talk to these guys, like I said we all came up together and we’re all brothers in the sport, they say ‘Hey, we got our belt, you better come get yours’. Just to have that motivation and you know that someone else has confidence in you as well as themselves. It’s great motivation. It just makes you work harder and makes you know, that’s where I should be, that’s where I need to be, and we’re going to get there.”

His views on which division he sees himself being most successful in:

“We’re working on our body right now. This fight here is at middleweight, 160. That’s this coming Friday. So we’re creeping down. To be honest, we don’t have to worry about cutting any weight. We’re not having any weight problems. We’re eating what we want to eat and we’re feeling strong and we’re feeling good. So we’re just creeping down to make sure we do it the right way and to make sure we feel good about it. Depending on how my team feels and depending on how I feel, when we sit down we’ll probably wind up having the most success at junior middle or middleweight. We just want to do it slowly and the correct way, that way we can be successful without any problems.”

His views on the upcoming fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito:

“I mean to be quite honest with you, I may be a little biased knowing that me and Manny are out of the same gym and everything down at Wild Card. If you look at boxing, and you’re a fight fan or a fighter, you have a one-dimensional fighter in Margarito who has one gear, which is drive. All he does is move forward. I mean he’s strong, he keeps coming forward, but he’s not giving you any angles. Then you have Manny Pacquiao who punches in bunches, is quick, sharp, and is going to hit you from any angle. I honestly see the first two, maybe even three rounds being very interesting, but I see Manny Pacquiao stopping Margarito around the eighth or ninth round.”

His views on Pacquiao as a fighter:

“He’s very disciplined. Anybody can’t just make that transition going from weight class to weight class like that and having continued success as Manny as had. Working with Freddie, and Alex, and himself, that’s a great combination. Manny’s a hard worker. You could tell Manny to do this, and he’s going to do it. He has total confidence in both his conditioning coach Alex and his trainer Freddie. So with that, once you have everybody working hard and giving it there all, you can’t hope for anything but success and that’s what they’ve been doing.”

On the differences between training and fighting as an amateur and as a professional:

“Really, of course there is a difference but I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve always had more of a professional style. So it wasn’t too much of a difficult transition for me, however, like I said I still believe I am an infant in the sport of boxing. I’m still learning. I still love to learn. I know that I still make a lot of mistakes, and I’m glad that I have people to point and try correct my mistakes, whereas a lot of guys overlook their mistakes. A lot of guys say they’ve been boxing fifteen years, you have this much experience, and think they’ve learned everything that a teacher can tell you, and they focus so much on the things that are good that they’d don’t focus on the things that aren’t good. Don’t praise me for my success, help me correct my failures or my weaknesses that way I can put it all together. Being that we’re making the transition to the pros with smaller gloves, no headgear, different blocking techniques, different things that you could do. With bigger and rowdier crowds, you have to control all of that and I’m just glad that I have a team that can help me focus on that.”

On how soon he sees himself getting back in the ring if he is successful October 8:

“We want to stay as busy as possible. God willing, I would love to fight at least every month closing out this year, possibly twice. That would be awesome. We just want to stay busy where we’re staying in the ring, we’re staying active, and we’re sharpening our tools. So God willing, we can turn around and get back in the ring and not sustain any injuries, and we’ll continue with the success that I believe we’re going to have in my career.”


For those interested in listening to the DonYil Livingston interview in its entirety, it begins approximately twenty minutes into the program.


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Article posted on 08.10.2010

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