Andrew “Bam” Maynard, 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist, “Yeah Baby!” By Ken Hissner (Oct 7, 2010) Doghouse Boxing
This once promising basketball player was forced from knocking down shots to knocking down opponents in the ring! Andrew “Bam” Maynard was a large part of the 1988 Olympic team being one of three to win Gold! Joining him was team leader Ray Mercer and Kennedy McKinney. “I worked my way into an inside basketball game and was being mocked for my not so cool clothes with my new sneakers. So I get into the game and light this dude up. He finally gets so frustrated on a fast break lay-up he pushed me into a wall. I set him up with an elbow and he came at me so I hit him and knocked him down. After the game breaks up Greg “Fly” Robinson informs me nine guys are waiting for me outside to return the favor. He said he would get me out of the building if I would go across the street to “Sugar” Ray Leonard’s gym and learn how to box,” said Maynard. Since he didn’t want to get jumped by nine guys I would say he made a wise move.
“I didn’t have a lot of amateur fights and was in the Army stationed at Ft. Carson, COL, when I was in a service tournament. I beat my opponent but broke my thumb on my right hand. My opponent was blocking my body shots with his elbow and that is how it happened,” said Maynard. In the dressing room comes Al Cole whom Maynard was to fight next. Then in comes my trainer with a bucket of ice. “That’s all Cole had to know. He went around telling everyone how he was going to beat me. When I got my before the fight physical I only passed because the doctor felt bad for me dropping out. I would lose a 4-1 decision to Cole but it would not be the last time we would meet each other in the ring,” said Maynard.
Maynard was the 1987 US Amateur champion and won a Bronze medal in the Pan American Games. In 1998 he repeated as the US Amateur champion earning a birth at the Olympic Trials. In the Trials he again met Cole for the third time and lost. He would go to the box-offs and have to defeat Cole back to back nights to make the Olympic team. This he did and was 3-2 against Cole overall. Cole would go onto win the IBF Cruiserweight title as a professional.
At the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, in 1988, Maynard got a first round bye. He stopped Mikaele Masoe (Samoa) in the second round of the second round. “That guy had the biggest legs,” said Maynard. In the third round he fought Lajos Eros (Hungary) and defeated him 5-0. “He was the most determined and wasn’t going to sleep,” said Maynard. In the medal round Maynard defeated Henryk Petrich (Poland) by stoppage in the third round. “He was so stiff. He kept his arm up there so I couldn’t get past it. I threw an overhand right and hit him. He tried wrestling me,” said Maynard.
In the finals it was the only time two of the 1988 teammates fought on the same night. “Roy went out for his fight and I was left alone in the dressing room. No TV. They claim he threw 166 punches and only 13 landed. I kept asking my trainers when they came back if Roy won and they wouldn’t tell me. I told them I’m not fighting until you tell me,” said Maynard. When he found out Jones was robbed of a gold medal it made him that more determined to win. It was the third time in Olympic history since 1936 that a boxer who didn’t win a Gold won the Val Barker (best boxer) award and the last was in 1968.
In the final for the Gold medal at 178 Maynard defeated Nurmagomed Shanavazov (Soviet Union) 5-0 to join teammates Mercer and McKinney. I guess your name had to start with an M to win. The following year he signed with Team Mike Trainer/Sugar Ray Leonard. “For family I wanted to do the right thing,” said Maynard. Ray wanted me to be like him. He said “do everything we tell you and you will make enough money.” Only problem was Maynard was not a boxer, but a puncher.
I asked Maynard to discuss his teammates from the 1988 Olympic team:
Michael Carbajal: Good guy. I loved his body attack. He was a real good worker. (Silver at 106) Arthur Johnson: A real classy boxer with a style of in and out. Kennedy McKinney: He had an accurate attack and was a puncher. (Gold at 119) Kelcie Banks: He won Gold in the Pan Am Games and didn’t have anything to do with us until he got knocked out in the Olympics and then became a nice teammate. Romallis Ellis: We discovered we grew up a mile from each other. He had that unusual style of his due to his stance. (Bronze at 132) Todd Foster: Coolest white dude I met. He was black with white skin and fought like a brother. Roy Jones, Jr.: My buddy. He had style, grace and we both loved to play basketball. (Silver at 156) Kenneth Gould: The candy man. He could throw 100 punches he was so quick. He wasn’t a puncher and was a real nice guy. (Bronze at 147) Anthony Hembrick: We were in the nationals together and fought once. He became a policeman in South Dakota. Ray Mercer: He was the leader (Gold at 201) Riddick Bowe: He had a rematch with the Russian. Bowe got dropped twice in the first round. The Russian got dropped twice in the second round. Bowe won the third round and the fight 3-2. He lost to Lennox Lewis for the gold. (Silver at +201).
I asked Maynard if Bowe and Mercer sparred being they are next to each other in weight. “They had wars in the gym. They had to stop sparing one another,” said Maynard.
Maynard turned professional in February of 1989 under Duran and Barkley in Atlantic City along with three of his teammates. He stopped debuting Zach Worth in 2:49 of the first round. A month later he stopped Rodney Brown in Las Vegas. He put Stephen Schwann, 12-5-1, into retirement in the first round in his fifth fight. Next he stopped Greg Townes, 8-1 in the third. After eight straight knockouts he decisioned Mike DeVito, 11-3-2, over eight rounds in December of 1989. He opened 1990 stopping Kemper Morton, 15-4-2, in three. “He was tough,” said Maynard.
Maynard stepped up fighting Mike Sedillo, 22-7, for the vacant NABF title. “He hit me on the temple and my legs were like spaghetti,” said Maynard. He still won a majority decision over twelve rounds. After defending his new title stopping Art Jimmerson, 14-4, over three rounds he was matched with the former IBF light heavyweight champion Bobby Czyz, 35-5, in Atlantic City in June of 1990. I told him I couldn’t believe with twelve fights they put you in with Czyz with forty fights.
Maynard would lose for the first time in his career in his thirteenth bout being stopped in seven. “He educated me. Elbows, low blows, shoulder, you name it,” said Maynard. Referee Frank Cappuccino warned him but never took away a point. Maynard came back with four straight wins and three by knockout and defended his NABF title for the fourth time against Philly’s Ed Mack, 13-1-1 in June of 1991. “He called me dogmeat and fake attack instead of my nickname of Black Attack. He paid the price stopping him in the tenth,” said Maynard.
Next up would be the former WBC light heavyweight champ Matthew Saad Muhammad, 39-14-3, who was one fight away from retiring. “Norman Smith trained me for that one. I wish I had him from the start instead of Pepe Correra,” said Maynard. He would stop Muhammad in the third round. “By this time I had signed with Rock Newman who had Riddick Bowe. I was in New York all alone because Newman was out looking for Bowe,” said Maynard. This would be for the now vacant NABF title. Roy Jones, Jr. was on the undercard and Maynard was fighting 1984 Olympian Frank Tate, 28-2. “I didn’t eat for two days in order to make weight,” said Maynard. He was dropped in the eleventh round but got up only to drop down again causing an automatic stoppage.
After posting an easy knockout Maynard traveled to France to face WBC cruiserweight champ Anaclet Wamba, 38-2, of the Congo, fighting out of France. He had won eight straight including gaining back the WBC title from Massamiliano Duran. Wamba came in at 184 to Maynards 179. “I got weighed with my clothes on with money in my pocket,” said Maynard. He was defeated over twelve rounds after being dropped in the first round. Wamba went to the hospital for broken ribs. After a win he went back to France losing to Eric Nicoletta, 26-5 over ten rounds. “I needed money,” said Maynard.
In May of 1993 Maynard fought Egerton Marcus, 10-0, for the NABF title in RFK Stadium. Three twelve rounder’s on the card including Roy Jones, Jr. defeating Bernard Hopkins and Riddick Bowe stopping Jesse Ferguson. Marcus had won a silver medal in the 1988 Olympics in the middleweight division. He was from Guyana but was then fighting for Canada. “I was dehydrated trying to make weight. We butted heads twice and I was cut between the eyes and dizzy,” said Maynard. With his face covered with blood Maynard’s trainer stopped it in the eighth round. “They couldn’t stitch me up in the hospital because there was not enough water in my body. I had to drink two quarts of water first.
Six months later in November 1993 Maynard was up against Thomas Hearns, 50-4-1, outside in Las Vegas. “I went to leave the rest room and was sweating, but they stopped us for some delay. By the time I got in the ring I was bone dry. He hit me with an overhead right and an elbow,” said Maynard. It was stopped after 2:34 of the first round. By this time his career was over by all rights.
Maynard would win three in a row before getting stopped by Russian Sergei Kobozev, 18-0, for the USBA cruiserweight title. A little over a year later Kobozev was murdered after suffering his first defeat. “I was having marital problems and no longer serious about boxing,” said Maynard. It would be nineteen months before he would fight again.
“I had two new managers and was fighting Kenny Keene, 33-1, who I beat three times in the amateurs,” said Maynard. He would lose a ten round decision. He would lose three more times including in Denmark and Germany. He was up to 222 losing to Brian Nielsen, 29-0, who was 247. Almost three years later he came back at 181 fighting to a draw in Denver with Leon Gray, 7-3-2, over six rounds. He would win two out of four and retire in October of 2000. He ended up with a 26-13-1 record with twenty-one knockouts.
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