|A Prince Among Men: Prince Badi Ajamu Is Back!
Interview by Jason Petock, DoghouseBoxing (Oct 30, 2009)
It has been over three years now since I had the extreme pleasure and privilege of interviewing and speaking with Prince Badi “The Boxing Prince” Ajamu, 27-3-1 (15), and in that time this prolific and determined fighter hasn't changed a bit, in fact he has just gotten that much better with time. More refined and focused than ever before, Prince maintains a professionalism in the ring and true dedication to his craft that is nothing short of amazing. His bout with Roy Jones Jr. hasn't deterred him from his goals, and with “The Boxing Prince” of Camden, New Jersey never missing a step, he has drawn further strength and ability from his experiences, going back to the drawing board and successfully beating Craig Cummings, 53-6-1 (43), in 2007 to capture both the WBF and NBA Light Heavyweight Titles, and in beating DeAndrey Abron, 15-5-0 (10) in July earlier this year for the NBA Light Heavyweight title. Becoming a Champion and showing the true grit and heart that he has in obtaining these two significant wins is what Prince is all about. He is a throwback fighter in every sense of the word, and it is his old school nature and commitment to boxing that make him a dynamic and interesting person and fighter in the ring, as well as outside of it. Adaptable, hungry, and always ready for combat, Prince Badi Ajamu has never been one to take a step backwards. It is his character that serves him so well in boxing and thankfully I was recently granted a second interview with a true prince among men, Champion, and fighter that I definitely respect and admire. I want to thank Prince for this opportunity to get another interview with him as it is professionals like him who not only mean so much to the sport of boxing, but also to the fans and media as well. Check out what the man himself had to say in this compelling and insightful interview.
Jason Petock: It's been over three years since I spoke to you last. During that time how have you developed as a fighter and what do you think is the most significant thing you have learned during that time?
Prince Badi Ajamu: I've learned that as much desire and hunger I have, patience is just as important in order to find the right fit for you.
JP: Coming off your fight with Roy Jones Jr., you had two spectacular victories over Craig Cummings and DeAndrey Abron, both which were title fights. What was it like once again being a Champion as you have won numerous titles over the years as a Light Heavyweight and know what it's like to be a Champion?
PA: Being Champion is always a pleasant experience, as well an honor to say the least, but more importantly it just goes to exemplify that being Champion is something I've been blessed and destined to be.
JP: Out of all of your successes and victories, which is the one that stands out in your mind the most?
PA: As odd as it sounds, it’s the very victories I've won immediately after any of my losses. The temperament and mindset I've embraced each fight is something I've been trying to hone with complete control ever since I've turned professional. If you check my resume you will immediately notice that after each unfortunate situation I've come right back with a distinguished WIN.
JP: What does the future have in store for Prince Badi Ajamu? Do you have any fights that are coming up soon?
PA: Yes I will be fighting the winner of Oscar De La Hoya's reality show, The Next Great Champion. A fighter who fought Jeff Lacy and lost what carries an under tone of controversy. He goes by the name Otis Griffin. He has some international experience as well as world class experience going the distance with two-time Super Middleweight Champion Jeff "Left Hook" Lacy.
JP: What do you see in store for yourself in regard to the Light Heavyweight division right now, and who would you like to fight if given the opportunity?
PA: Should the great Glen Johnson win his fight against the multi-talented Chad Dawson, I'd love to engage in a televised title fight with “The Gentleman/Road Warrior”. He's a fighter’s fighter that I believe would make the best and most exciting match-up with myself.
JP: I know when we last spoke you were in Vero Beach, Florida training with Buddy McGirt. What was that experience like and do you still work with him or do you have a different trainer now?
PA: I'm not currently working with Buddy at the moment, but there is a possibility that we could be working together should things continue to progress as such.
JP: You pride yourself on always being in top condition and you're known to take every fight and opponent seriously. What has been your key motivating factor in maintaining such a high level of conditioning throughout your career?
PA: I've always prided myself on giving myself the best possible chance as possible knowing I don't have a political backing of some big shot promoter or manager. So it’s actually a blessing in disguise. When I received my losses to Rico Hoye & Otis Grant, I just believe that had they came to Atlantic City and fought me I'd stop either one of them under the circumstances I fought them under.
JP: You've always been known as a Philadelphia fighter, although you're from Camden, New Jersey, and you even made your pro debut at the famous Blue Horizon. How important is it to you as a Champion and accomplished professional fighter to let the world know where you're from and what kind of mark you want to continue to make in boxing at this point?
PA: It's actually very important. In fact it's so important that I refused to fight in Philadelphia for some time so that I could start concentrating on more fights in New Jersey, where I'm from, because we don't have any representatives fighting from Camden. And when it's all said and done I'd like to be remembered as that Philly fight that was from Camden, New Jersey. Besides, people come from all over the world specifically to watch fights in Atlantic City. Why should I be fighting my fights predominately in Philly? In my best opinion that sort of defies business logic to say the least.
JP: Since our last interview, have you changed anything stylistically in the ring? Are there any tools that you have fine tuned or added to your arsenal over the years to get the job done?
PA: Yes, I've learned a great deal from my travels. To relax and just have fun and everything else just comes together.
JP: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans or anyone else who might be reading this article and who look up to you as an inspiration in their everyday lives?
PA: First, I'd like to thank all the young ladies and men who support me in this sport, as well as all the elders who have followed me in this sport for many years. I'd like the people to know that I'm very interested in their feedback from them as a whole, as well as any feedback that I may be able to capitalize from.
JP: As always Prince this has been a rare treat and honor for me, and it's my pleasure to catch up with you again and let the world know that you're still punching and here to stay. Do you have anything else you would like to add?
PA: Yes, I believe every era has a fighter who was truly a decent fighter that rarely got the recognition he deserved. As it stands now today, Prince Badi appears to be that fighter wearing that experience, and hopefully things will change very soon.
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