Summer Brawl Q&A: Jack Loew's Chris Hazimihalis By Brian Gorman, Doghouse Boxing (June 15, 2010) Doghouse Boxing
Steel City Fighters spoke on Friday with Youngstown's 24 year old lightweight (135 lb.) prospect Chris Hazimihalis, 2-0 (2), who trains out of Jack Loew's South Side Gym in Youngstown and will compete at the June 30 "Summer Brawl" at the North Shore's Heinz Field VIP Tent.
Brian Gorman: How did you get into boxing Chris?
Chris Hazimihalis: I always wanted to get into it as long as I can remember, since I was a little kid, but actually I didn't get a chance to. I was always into other sports, like I was playing soccer and stuff like that. Once I got about 14-15 years old, I just kept nagging my dad "Take me to the boxing gym, take me to the boxing gym," and he was always going to take me but never took me. Then finally one day he decided to take me, and that became my new sport.
BG: Did you go to Loew's gym, or was it a family thing?
CH: I was this other gym down on Wilson Avenue. The trainer was Mr. Earl Charity. He used to train Greg Richardson, (1991) bantamweight (118 lb.) world champ. But he was a little older and started having some health issues, and he ended up closing down the gym. So after that, I was about 15 years old, I didn't really know much about Jack or that there was another gym around, but someone that I knew had known about it and took me there. I've been going there ever since.
BG: How about as an amateur? Did you fight as an amateur? What was your amateur experience?
CH: The amateur experience was good. I had over 40 fights. I got some good experience and fought some good fighters. I wished I would have gotten a little bit more experience, but it just didn't work out like that. I'd be in the gym, out of the gym and sometimes didn't get that many fights. But I got forty-some, and I feel like I got good experience.
BG: What's your plan with boxing? Do you intend to do it full-time?
CH: My plan right now is just to take it one fight at a time, and we'll see how everything goes and take it from there. I'd like to see where it takes me. Maybe if everything works it out right, we can get a promoter and get things rolling. [Chris' brothers manage him.] But for now I'm just taking things one fight at a time.
BG: Are you a righty or a lefty, and how would you describe your style?
CH: I fight righty. I try to use my speed and my quickness. I'm basically a boxer-puncher type; I like to use my speed to get in and out and use the ring to my advantage.
BG: Your second fight was on the Pavlik-Martinez undercard, how was that experience for you?
CH: It was great, definitely something I'll never forget. It was a fun experience. I got to fight in front of a big audience, so it was definitely good to get that experience. [He debuted in December on the Youngstown Pavlik-Espino card.]
BG: Do you have a plan for how many fights you're looking at this year?
CH: Hopefully, if all goes well, we're trying to get about 5-6 fights before the end of the year. That's the mark for right now, so we'll see.
BG: Is Pavlik working out right now at the gym?
CH: We all work out at different times. I'm sure he's working out, but I come in later, and he comes in earlier.
BG: How are your experiences with him, with you guys being in the same gym, same trainer?
CH: They're good. When he was getting ready for the last fight in Youngstown (against Espino), they let me come to the little camp with them when they were out in Vegas. So we were out there, and he taught me a lot of things. Even back when I was in the amateurs, he always was giving me little pointers here and there.
BG: You must feel pretty happy and feel fortunate to have a trainer like Loew, who's been on that big stage before?
CH: Oh yeah, it's not every day where you've got a world champion in your same gym and a world champ trainer. So I feel very fortunate about that. I've been down there since the past eight years. We have a really good relationship. He knows just about everything about me, all the little things to make me feel comfortable about getting ready for fights and how I like to prepare coming into a fight, and come fight night.
BG: How do you feel about boxing in Youngstown right now? Are things still up because of the rejuvenation from Pavlik's title run, or are things down? How are things?
CH: I'd say things are up. Kelly, he lost his title, but I wouldn't count Kelly out. He's still a very tough fighter, one of the best out there. There's a lot of other pro fighters that are in the Youngstown are coming up too. I wouldn't say it's down. It's on the way up.
BG: (Youngstown's Jake) Giuriceo, he fighting that now too, right?
CH: Yeah, I talked to Jake, he's on there too. There's some pretty good fights. (Pittsburgh's) Rod Salka, he's the main event. He's a tough fighter, so that should be pretty interesting fights to watch.
BG: Giuriceo, isn't he's pretty close to your weight? Do you guys spar?
CH: Yeah, we actually sparred the other day. He's about 141-142, he's about a weight class heavier than me.
BG: Who do you spar with up there?
CH: I spar with Jake, on some days there's other guys that come in from the downtown gym, sometimes Jack brings guys down from Akron. We get some good work in. There's enough guys to go around.