Q & A interview with Atlantic City’s fast rising Light Heavy weight Lavarn Harvell

by Lou McLaughlin - This past week I was given the opportunity to interview via telephone Atlantic City’s rising light heavyweight prospect Lavarn Harvell. Larvarn is trained and co-managed by Abdur Rahim Muhammad. His manager is Vito Mielicki and promoted by Gabe LaConte’s First Round Promotions. In only his second pro fight against Joe Njau (Viewable on YouTube) he showed that he already possessed an educated jab. He is able to land double and triple jabs followed by powerful right crosses. Like a seasoned professional he sets everything off the jab. He prefers to stay on the outside and use his jab but when he has to can get inside and slug. His aggressive skills are coupled by a startling facial resemblance to Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe-hence his ring nick name “Baby Bowe”. His last fight in Mississippi was a scheduled six rounder. However Lavarn ended the match by TKO at 2:01 of the first round. Next up he fights on the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins / Chad Dawson rematch at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, After a year away from boxing due to a hand injury he is determined to fight often and move fast up the ranks..

Q-This past weekend you fought Tommy Connelly (17-12, 13 KO�s). He was a big step up in the experience of your previous opponents. You’ve only had nine fights but you scored 1st round knockout of a 29 fight veteran! Your thoughts and comments
A- I think as far as his record he was a very experienced guy. But I’m experienced in the game as well. I’ve been boxing since I was 16. I’m a veteran of the sport. I know what I can do. Before I was just taking fights from my promoters. I know what I can do. When they told me I was fighting a guy with 20 something fights it wasn’t really a problem for
me. In my sparring I sparred with guys with that many fights. It was good because I was able to silence some of the critics that said I hadn’t fought anybody or that I wouldn’t step up.

Q- I see that you were 23- 4 as an amateur and Pennsylvania Golden Gloves Champion in 2005, 2006, and 2007. What can you tell us about your amateur days and the decision to turn pro?
A-From my amateur days I got experience, I got to travel. It was a good amateur career. My trainer came to me one day –it was actually my Birthday and asked did I feel I was ready to go pro. I said “Yeah” if he was ready I was ready and just took it went from there

Q- You fought in the 178 lbs class for 2005 Pennsylvania Golden Gloves then up to 201 lbs in 2006 Golden Gloves the back down to 178 lbs. in 2007 Gloves. And have stayed in the 170’s as a pro. This past weekend‘s opponent Tommy Connelly has campaigned as a heavyweight. Is light heavy where you plan on staying or will you be moving up in weight soon?
A-Light heavyweight is where I’m going to stay. I went up to 201 lbs in the amateurs because I thought that’s where I wanted to be. But my body frame told me if I was going to be 200lbs plus I would grow into it. So I just decided I can work off the weight now and if I grow into that it’s a different story

Q-What got you into boxing in the first place? And where do you want to go with it?
A- In Atlantic City where I used to train at the P.A.L. gym I used to stay on the second floor for the basketball gym. I didn’t even know that there was a boxing gym on the third floor. One day I just went up there and saw the boxing gym and saw my trainer training his son Khalid Muhammad. I was watching and I saw how fast this kid was and it made me interested in boxing. After he got done working the pads with his son he came over to me and said “You’re a big guy, you looking for a trainer?” I said “I’ll try anything once”. He said “come back tomorrow and I‘ll work with you” and I’ve been doing it ever since

Q- Three questions in one. Facially you could pass for Riddick’s Bowes little brother. Do you know Riddick? Have you met him personally? Has he influenced your boxing style?
A-Actually I got his son as a friend on Face book and he asked me was I related to them. But I never met him personally. I would love to though.

Q- Any opinion on Riddick Bowe still wanting to fight on? I saw a thing on a boxing web site the other day about Bowe –Golota III but in a MMA match. Any thought on that?
A-Really? I don’t think any boxer should go into MMA after they retire. If they want to do it they should do it in their prime. If you decide to go into MMA don’t go as a second thought. Because in MMA they see a boxer and they want to say that they’re a better sport. I don’t advise any boxer to retire and then try to go into MMA

Q-Another three questions in one. Your next fight is on April 28 as part of the undercard of Hopkins / Dawson. First, you excited about being part of a major fight card like that? What can you tell me about your opponent? And how do you see it playing out?
A-I really can’t tell you anything about my opponent as of right now. I don’t have an opponent right now. I just get myself ready for anybody

Q-What’s next for Lavarn Harvell after the April 28th fight? Because you’re promoter has been moving you guys fast
A-That’s what we’ve been looking for someone who can move us and keep us busy. My goal is to get ready for this fight on the 28th and after this fight get it moving because I’m 23 and I’ve been pro since I was 18 and I have nine fights now I know guys who went pro same time as me and have a belt now. My amateur was short that it gave me time to hone my professional skills. I think it’s time for me to really make a statement.

Q-Open mike for you. Is there anything that you want to say to the fans and public?
A- I just want to let them know that I’m here I’m not going anywhere; I’m going to come out and make a statement. I’m coming out for that championship. I don’t care who has it that’s what I want. I’ve been doing this since I was 16 and I’m coming for it.

Article posted on 02.04.2012

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