|Mark “TNT” Tucker, Maryland’s Unbeaten Prospect!
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (Aug 17, 2009)
He enters the ring to the Hank Williams, Jr. song “A Country Boy Can Survive” with his Mohawk haircut and his many fans go crazy. This 21 year old Eldersburg, Maryland, fighter Mark “TNT” Tucker earns his trade by going in with top fighters in their gyms like former world champion Glen “Road Warrior” Johnson at the Warriors Gym in Hollywood, Florida. “Mark, you’re a great fighter,” said Johnson. This was after 5 days in camp with Johnson. The same could be said from former champion Antonio Tarver. “Your going to be a champ,” said Tarver.
Tucker is trained by his dad, Mark, Sr., who has watched his son accumulate a 140-22 record through the amateur ranks. He is currently scheduled on September 25th at the Shipley Arena, in Westminster, Maryland to fight for the USBO light heavyweight title.
He has gone unbeaten through his first 11 fights, scoring 7 inside the distance. This was all done in 17 months having turned pro stopping Walter Edwards in February of 2008. Edwards made his debut against Beibut Shumenov, who is scheduled to fight for the WBA title August 15th. It took Tucker 2 seconds more to stop Edwards at the end of the 1st round.
“I had Mark down with Buddy McGirt at the McGirt Gym in Vero Beach, Florida, when he was 16. We had to sign a paper saying he was 19 in order to spar with the professional’s like Jimmy Lange and Allen Conyers,” said Tucker, Sr. “Who do they bring in but Arturo Gatti who was weighing around 170. He hit Mark with a punch and I thought oh my God he killed my son,” added Tucker. He was in camp for about 7 weeks in Florida.
In scoring his third straight 1st round knockout, Tucker stopped Gary Lavender (5-11) at the National Guard Armory, in Pikesville. Lavender had stopped previously unbeaten (8-0-1) Chris McInerney and just lost a majority decision in his previous fight to “The Contender’s” Joell Godfrey (8-0-1). Next up was Philly’s Khalil Farah (3-2). “I didn’t think this guy even looked like much of a fighter,” said Tucker. “After being in camp with Tarver I knew I could blow him out,” he added. That he did for his fourth straight 1st round win.
He followed up with Carlos Jones (5-12). “After I dropped him in 20 seconds of the opening round he ran,” said Tucker. He eventually stopped him in the 4th round. He was then matched with Terrence Wilson (5-3) in Las Vegas on the under card of two world title bouts. “I had pneumonia and a high fever and had to talk the doctor into letting me fight,” he said. He won every round of the 6 in posting his first decision win.
He opened up 2009 with Delaware’s always dangerous Richie Stewart (14-7-2). “People had been telling me I should promote my own shows,” said Tucker, Sr. He formed the Maryland Boxing Club, with Rich Glazer as matchmaker. This was held at the Shipley Arena. “I hurt him in the 1st round and he stumbled forward and tackled me,” said Tucker. He scored another 1st round knockout in his first scheduled 8 round bout in only his seventh fight. This fight retired Stewart.
Within a month on 4 days notice after sparring with former champion Paul Williams, Tucker had an offer to fill in against Germany’s Juergen Hartenstein (12-13-1). He had scored a 1st round knockout in his previous fight and once fought for the European super middleweight title. The fight was at the Dorchester Armory in Massachusetts. Both fighters were mixing it up pretty good when Tucker exploded having his opponent against the ropes and dropped him. Upon rising he was in no condition as his corner threw in the towel. It was the sixth 1st round knockout for Tucker.
The following month in April, Tucker was back in Shipley Arena with the veteran Ross Thompson (27-12-2). “I made this fight tough for myself,” said Tucker. “He was the best fighter I have fought,” he added. In a close fight Tucker won a split decision. “I was boxing good and got caught on the nose and had hurt my left hand earlier,” said Tucker. He was also giving up 9 pounds to Thompson. This veteran once fought Fernando Vargas for the light middleweight title. He had gone the distance with Kelly Pavlik and Jeff Lacy. “I was overly aggressive and got a head butt on my eye,” said Tucker.
In June at Shipley Philly’s dangerous Andre Hemphill (7-10-2) was brought in. “I hurt my hand in this fight again,” said Tucker. He won the decision over 8 rounds. In his next and last fight to date, Tucker faced former title challenger Rubin “Hollywood” Williams, (29-7-1), in July at Shipley Arena. “I gave him a boxing lesson. I hurt my hand in the 4th round and cut Williams eye in the 3rd round,” said Tucker. “I had thrown 925 punches in the 10 rounds,” he added. He easily won on all score cards in his first 10 rounder.
As mentioned earlier Tucker fights for the USBO title in a 10 round bout next month. “Mark’s very excited,” said Tucker Sr. “Everything’s coming faster than we thought,” he added. Tucker is a country boy who brings a fresh new meaning for one from the Maryland area. This Christian young man puts his faith in God and is on a course to a world title fight!
e-mail Ken at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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