Up-and-coming prospect Malik “The King” Warren is one of many young fighters that missed out on returning to the ring in 2020. Because of the pandemic, Warren has not set foot in the ring since December of 2019. But now the 20-year-old finally has a fight set for this weekend, and is anxious to get back to what he does best.
“It’s been exciting [training for the fight]. I’ve been working hard in the gym now that I’ve got a fight date,” Warren said in an interview with ESBR. “Not that I wasn’t working hard during the pandemic, but I’m looking forward to something now.”
Warren (3-0, 3 KO) will look to keep his knockout streak going on Feb. 20, when he faces off against Deron Meriwesther (who is making his pro debut) at the Escape Ballroom in Greenville, South Carolina. To make up for being inactive last year, Warren is hoping to stay as busy as possible in 2021, and made it clear that he would “love to get on [a card]every month this year if I could.” In fact, according to Boxrec, Warren has a date lined up against an unnamed opponent on March 27. But for now, he’s focused on the current task this Saturday.
A product of Baltimore, Maryland, Warren has been boxing since the age of eight. A few years later, he joined the Upton Boxing Gym and trained under Calvin Ford, Kenny Ellis and Russ Blakeny. It was then that he met two-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who was a top amateur at the time and trained at the same gym. The pair have been training together ever since.
“He’s a very sharp fighter, so he keeps you on your toes, keeps you on your pivot. He gets your [ring] IQ up and always has you thinking,” Warren recalled when talking about sparring with Davis.
Finishing his amateur career with a 68-24 record and two Golden Gloves championships, Warren turned professional at 19 years old in 2019 as a super featherweight (130 pounds). For his debut, he was able to fight in the preliminaries of Davis’ championship bout with Ricardo Nunez that July. He won the fight by TKO in the second round and caught the attention of Leonard Ellerbe and Mayweather Promotions in the process. He was signed by the company later that year.
“It’s a dream come true. I got signed by the best promotional company and one of my favorite fighters of all time,” Warren said.
Standing at 5’7 (relatively tall for super featherweight) with a reach of 67”, Warren considers himself to have a well-rounded fighting style. But one weapon he’s been looking forward to showcase in his future fights is his left jab, since he hasn’t had much time to use it during his pro career so far (all three of his fights ended in the second round).
“I’m kind of versatile. I can box, brawl and bang. But I like being accurate and I want every punch to count,” Warren said. “I haven’t gotten the opportunity to really use my jab yet, but in these upcoming fights I’ll use the jab more. That’s my strength and superpower, the jab. And it’s a beautiful jab too.”
Warren has been working on keeping his technique polished during his layoff, and promises fans will notice on Saturday night. “They’ll see sharpness. It’s gonna be a show and I’m gonna have some fun,” says Warren.
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