A short, but murderous puncher, fighting behind a squat, peekaboo style, light heavyweight Alvin “Iron Majik” Varmall Jr. enjoys the comparisons people make between himself and former heavyweight champion “Iron” Mike Tyson.
“I always appreciate the comparison,” said Varmall, “I added ‘Iron’ to my old nickname ‘Majik’ because Mike Tyson is one of my favorite fighters and, by the grace of God, I ended up training at Cus D'Amato's KO Boxing Gym in Catskill, New York, the same gym that Tyson did, and learning his style in its purest form.”
Currently the only pro fighter training out of the famed gym, Varmall (15-0-1, 12 KOs), originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, will take on New Haven, Connecticut’s Charles Foster (15-0, 8 KOs) this Friday, May 11 in an eight-round featured attraction of a ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader, live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT from 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
In the 10-round main event Louisiana’s Mason Menard (33-2, 24 KOs) takes on undefeated Devin “The Dream” Haney (18-0, 12 KOs) of Las Vegas for the USBA Lightweight Championship. In the 10-round co-feature, super bantamweight prospects Josh “Don’t Blink” Greer (16-1-1, 8 KOs) and Glenn Dezurn (9-1-1, 6 KOs) will meet and in the opening televised fight, super bantamweight Arnold Khegai (11-0-1, 8 KOs) will face Adam Lopez (16-2-2, 8 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Greg Cohen Promotions, Hard Hitting Promotions & Devin Haney Promotions, are priced at $125 for VIP, $70 for ringside and $50 for general admission and are available at the 2300 Arena Box office or online at www.HardHittingPromotions.com.
The 26-year-old Varmall says he’s been emulating the all-time-great Tyson from his earliest days in boxing.
“The Cus D’Amato style, I guess you could say, is my foundation. From the beginning of my career as an amateur, my first trainer, Rodney Jenkins, he started me out with the peekaboo style and it works the best for me. I ended up having 21 fights with 19 KOs and won the USA Nationals at heavyweight.”
Varmall says he’s in perfect shape and ready to begin carving out his own prize fighting legacy.
“I’m absolutely ready for this opportunity. I’ve waited a long time for it and it’s finally here. I trained the hardest I’ve ever trained and did a lot of things different for this camp. I’m definitely ready to showcase my talents and abilities. To say I’m not nervous, I’d be lying, but it’s about controlling that feeling. That’s what we learn at the Cus D’Amato Gym, how to control our feelings and use that as something to catapult us, instead of hindering us. After it’s all said and done, everyone can say what they want about my performance because I always come to bring my very best.”
Varmall says he realized early in his career that his punching power was well above average by sparring with a full-size heavyweight veteran in Louisiana.
“I was sparring with this guy, “Big” Fred Kassi. He’s from New Orleans. You know how big Fred is. One time, before sparring, he came to the corner and he said, ‘Majik, let me check your gloves. I just want to make sure we’re playing fair.’ After that, my trainer said, ‘see? I told you, you punch hard!”
At the end of the day, Varmall says, he’s not out to match the great Tyson in achievement or legend. He’d rather carve out his own place.
“At the end of the day Mike Tyson was Mike yson and Alvin Varmall Jr. is Alvin Varmall Jr. Even though we both have the foundation of the same style, I do it in the way that is most comfortable for me. That’s what Mike did too. That’s what’s going to help me reach my full potential.”