Philadelphia is a boxing town. Yusaf Mack will be representing the City of Brotherly Love when he faces Carl Froch, the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight champion in Nottingham, England, on Saturday, Nov. 17. Froch has an impressive record (29-2, 21 KOs). Mack is ranked No. 5 in the UBF ratings. Mack also has a strong record, 31-4 with 17 KOs. Mack is looking forward to battling Froch in his hometown.
“I feel good about the fight,” Mack said. “This is the weight I started out at. I’m going back home. My first loss was at super middleweight. I feel my first title will be at super middleweight. My opponent is nice, but I don’t think he’s ever fought anybody like me. I’m very excited about going over there to fight. I just have to out work him. I feel good. I’m ready to rumble.”
Mack, who grew up in West Philly, trains out of James Shuler Memorial Gym near 42nd and Lancaster. It’s a great facility with a reputation of producing some big time fighters like Steve Cunningham, former cruiserweight champion, and Eddie Chambers, former heavyweight champion. Mack looks like the next great fighter to come out of this West Philadelphia boxing facility.
“My camp is right here,” Mack said. “I get all my support right here. You look around this gym and see all these great people on the wall. I’m doing this for them. This is a fighting town. Philly is known for leaving it all in the ring.”
James “Black Gold” Shuler was a great fighter. He died tragically in a 1986 motorcycle accident just a few days after his loss to Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns. Three weeks ago, there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the James Shuler Memorial Park across the street from the gymnasium. Mack was there for the ceremony.
“The park is good for the kids,” Mack said. “It’s good for the community. It’s somewhere for them to play. They can have birthday parties and everything over there.”