JD Chapman’s Power Getting People’s Attention

24.11.05 - “I was very impressed with John Chapman. He has a shotgun jab and the power to get anybody out of there. He's the most impressive I've seen of these young heavyweights.” - Promoter Cedric Kushner -- Every time heavyweight prospect JD (John) “The Natural” Chapman, 17-0 (16 KOs), drops in his straight right hand, something good happens…for him, not his opponents. His opponents are in for a world of hurt..

It’s this God-given power that has several notable boxing figures comparing 22-year-old Chapman to other notoriously heavy-handed sluggers from days gone by. “Don't let the fact he's from Arkansas or his lack of big-fight experience fool you, warns trainer and three-time world champion Michael Moorer, who also claims that Chapman already hits harder than three of his former opponents: Evander Holyfield, Burt Cooper and Alex Stewart.

“He says he hasn’t seen anyone with my natural punching power and that means a lot coming from him,” gushes Chapman. “The first week I was working with him, he said I hit as hard as anybody he’s ever seen.”

Currently in training for his November 26 showdown with once-beaten John Carlo, 14-1 (12 KOs), at the Heavyweight Slug-Out card headlined by his stable mate Shannon Briggs at the Fort Smith Convention Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Chapman, a former Toughman competitor, says that he and Moorer have been working hard on adding more technical skills to his considerable ability to deliver blunt-force trauma.

“My head movement and ring knowledge are the two things that have improved unbelievably from working with Michael. I know where I’m at in the ring at all times, how close the corner is and when to pivot. And I’m punching with my head always moving because that’s what Michael is always reminding me to do.”

Rumors tend to spread quickly through the boxing world when a new power puncher enters the heavyweight picture. Insiders at the gym in Florida say that in sparring, Chapman has already floored heavyweight contenders David Bostice, and Otis Tisdale, as well as former world champion Robert Daniels.

“My best punch is the straight right hand. If I catch you with it, it’s over,” says the likeable 6’ 6”, 250-lb clubber in his Southern drawl. “I make them think I’m one handed with the jab and then drop the right hand in behind it. Michael stresses that every day. Educate my left hand, so they think I’m a one-handed fighter and then drop the right hand in.”

Chapman says the potency of his punches starts up from the floor. “It’s all from the legs. I’ve got big legs, big calves and thighs and now that I’m training with Michael, he’s showing me how to put all my leg power into every punch. I’m punching harder than ever.”

Former Linear Heavyweight World Champion Shannon Briggs says he’s also impressed with Chapman. “JD is a monster. He's 6” 6’ tall and weighs 250 lbs at 22 years old and he's still growing into his body. I've never sparred with anyone who hits as hard as he does. He hit's harder than Ray Mercer or Jameel McCline did. He hits like George Foreman. JD could beat most of the top-twenty contenders today and will be unstoppable in a year or two.”

JD Chapman is living proof of the conventional wisdom in boxing that says true punchers are born, not made. Word is travelling quickly about the polite Southern boy with the fastballs for hands, as he makes believers out of all who witness this natural phenomenon. When JD Chapman drops his gloved dynamite, lights go out and memories get foggy. Is he the next heavyweight knockout king?

Ask his poor opponents…when they wake up.

Article posted on 24.11.2005

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