Interview with Maurice “Freight Train” Byarm

By Chip Mitchell: I recently had the opportunity to interview Maurice “Freight Train” Byarm, 9-0 (6KO’s). Byarm is an exciting prospect who will be fighting for the East Coast Heavyweight Championship on December 11 at Pikesville Armory in Maryland.

Chip Mitchell: Maurice thanks for granting us this opportunity to interview you before your next fight. How has training gone for you?

Maurice Byarm: Training is coming great man. We’re putting the finishing touches on everything right now. I can’t complain one bit. I don’t think I’m lagging. I don’t think I’m out of sync at all. I think my timing is going good. We’re feeling great!

Chip Mitchell: Maurice, you are a solid heavyweight with power. You’ve knocked out a majority of your opponents. How far can your big punch carry you career wise?
Maurice Byarm: I’m not one of those heavyweights that rely on a big punch. It just so happens that I have a one. But one thing about me is I stay in shape. That’s one of my key goals. I’ve got a great team around me that won’t let me lag or fall out of shape at all. I don’t rely on my big punch too much. I rely on the fact that however many rounds they lay before me, I can beat them in an impressive matter, you know what I mean?
Chip Mitchell: Okay, okay. No doubt. You’ve already fought four times in 2010. Is your goal to stay as active in the future?

Maurice Byarm: Yeah, I actually want to fight a little bit more. In 2010, I think I had an ankle injury and a rib injury that kind of set me back a little bit. I probably would’ve had three more fights on top of those four, but yeah I look forward to fighting more, of course. Especially if I’m putting people away at the rate I’m putting ‘em away now, you know what I mean?

Chip Mitchell: If you do that you might actually have a problem getting fights in the future…
Maurice Byarm: Hey man that’s why they hire us (LAUGHING). Look, my job is to put ‘em away and other people’s job is to put ‘em in my way. You know what I mean? (LAUGHING)

Chip Mitchell: Your next opponent is hard hitting Theron Johnson who has knocked out almost everyone he faced. What do you know about him?

Maurice Byarm: Actually, we’ve just changed opponents now. It’s a guy named Winston Thorpe from South Carolina. I don’t know too much about him at all. I know he’s undefeated. I think I’ll be prepared for any adjustment I have to make inside the ring. I’ll be well prepared, whatever it may be. You know what I mean? Whether I have to change my jab around or change my bodywork around, I think I’ll be prepared for the adjustments. I had some great sparring for this fight. I had some different looks all around the board.

Chip Mitchell: So no concerns about the change in opponent?

Maurice Byarm: Nah, no concerns at all. The only concern I have is which hand I’m going to hold the belt up. Is it going to be the left hand or the right hand, you know what I mean? (Chuckles)
Chip Mitchell: How did you get your start in the boxing game?
Maurice Byarm: I’m gonna say that I owe my start to the Klitschko brothers. I watched Vitali Klitschko fight Chris Byrd. I was sitting there with my dad watching the fight. I told my dad ‘I can both of them’. My dad just told me all I’ve gotta do is run. I went to the gym that Monday and I’ve been in the gym ever since.
Chip Mitchell: How did you get your nickname, “Freight Train”?
Maurice Byarm: Funny story. My first professional fight. The announcer came back and asked me what my nickname was. I told him I don’t have a nickname, just call me Maurice Byarm. So he said ‘alright whatever, we’ll find something’. So the first fight I fought a guy out of Baltimore. The first two rounds, we were winning the fight clearly. Before the round, I came to my seat and the trainer told me ‘this fight ain’t going past three rounds’. So the third round I came out and just pummeled the guy. When the announcer held my hand up, he said ‘MAURICE THE FREIGHT TRAINNNN BYNUM’! And that was the start of the Freight Train.
Chip Mitchell: WOW!
Maurice Byarm: It’s a cool story, you know? It’s funny because you know how they say you don’t make your own nickname you earn your own nickname. It’s kinda cool that I earned mine, you know what I mean?

Chip Mitchell: Describe your fighting style to readers out there who have never seen you fight.

Maurice Byarm: I’m gonna say aggressive. I believe in controlled aggression. I’m gonna put the pressure on you. I’m gonna check your gas tank. That’s the first thing I like to do is check to see if another person is in as good shape as I am. And if we are both in great shape, then let’s show the fans a good time, you know what I mean? So I like to say I’m aggressive, but I like to control it, you know what I mean?

Chip Mitchell: Who do you consider your favorite boxers, past or present?

Maurice Byarm: My favorite boxer I would have to say…. Evander Holyfield. Of course I have a lot of favorite boxers from Philadelphia, Gerald Nobles…
Chip Mitchell: The Jedi?
Maurice Byarm: The Jedi! Exactly! He’s one of the main reasons I came to Washington, DC to fight.

Chip Mitchell: Okay, now you are from Philadelphia, PA, correct?

Maurice Byarm: Born and raised!

Chip Mitchell: For those on the outside looking in, Philly is viewed as the City of Brotherly Love or as the place where the Declaration of Independence was adopted. However, for those who know better, Philly has some very tough sections. How was it growing up in the area?

Maurice Byarm: I was born in South Philadelphia but I kinda migrated to North Philadelphia and raised myself down there. I don’t want to sit back and make it seem like my story is worse than anybody else’s is. There are millions of people out there with the same story that I had, you know what I mean? But, you know, from where I grew up at it definitely taught me a lot of heart because there were a lot of things I had to do. I couldn’t let my emotions show, you know, no matter how scared or anything. There were a lot of things that I felt I had to do at that time. I don’t praise those moments but now that I’ve turned a new leaf and I’m boxing, it definitely gives me an edge. I come to my fights with a million pounds of heart, you know what I mean?

Chip Mitchell: In closing, is there anything you would like to tell the millions of fans reading this transcript?

Maurice Byarm: I don’t want to be cliche and say keep your eye on me or this and that. I would like to just say it’s time for the heavyweight division to get its spark back. I believe that I’m the one to do that. I say this in all humility. You know, no cockiness or nothing like that but… I believe it’s time for the heavyweight division to regain its position in the professional boxing rankings. We should get our spot back and I feel like that I’m the one that’s gonna do it. I feel like I need to bring some fans back to the heavyweights.

Thanks to “The Catalyst”, Matt Yanofsky for facilitating this interview

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