Journeyman No Mo´! The Rebuild Of Lolenga Mock!
05.12.03 - By Thomas Jensen: "Underestimated, undeveloped and unfulfilled capability”! That is how he is described by the people now working with him. Danish based Congo Super middle / Light heavyweight Lolenga "Lumumba Boy" Mock (21-7-1, 5 KOs) has taken on the role as “the opponent” in his last five or six fights, and inactivity on top of that makes him win-less since 1999. But, according to co-manager Henrik Risum, that should soon be over...
Article posted on 05.12.2003
Mock, who was 98-7 as an amateur, teamed up with Risum, and his other co-manager Evans Ashira (WBA International middleweight champion and IBF # 4 / WBA # 5), this summer and has since boxed twice. In August he put on a very good performance in Germany, where the judges blatantly robbed him of the victory against local star Kai Kurzawa (10-0, 8 KOs at the time). Many observers didn’t give Kurzawa more than one or two rounds in the eight round bout, but still the verdict didn’t go Mock´s way.
The following month “Lumumba Boy” (which, by the way, means Leopard-Boy in Swahili) took a fight on very short notice against England’s top CRUISERWEIGHT prospect David Hay, and almost upset the Britt. In the second round, Mock landed a huge overhand right, which send Haye crashing to the canvas. He barely beat the count, and was allowed to continue. In the fourth, Haye put Mock down with an equally good punch, but the African easily rose to receive the eight-count.
Everybody in the arena could see that Mock was ready to continue, except the referee, who waved it over much to the dislike of the knowledgeable English fans in Redding, who loudly booed the call. Even Haye said after the fight that his adversary deserved a rematch!
“We took the fight against Kurzawa because we knew Lolenga could beat him. And he did, but the judges were just blind that night” says Risum to Scandinavian Boxingnews, and continues; the short-notice fight with David Haye was simply a well-paid opportunity to prove Lolenga´s grit and courage, and it almost paid off really well for us. We tried to get a rematch, but Haye´s people wanted no part of that”.
An intriguing thing about Lolenga Mock is that he has never had a trainer in his professional career. Untill now…
“We have been fortunate enough to secure one of Scandinavia’s best trainers; Brian Mathiasen, as trainer. Brian is not used to working with boxers that have seven losses on the record, but when he saw the Kurzawa fight he instantly said: I would love to train that guy! He has potential despite all those defeats” says Risum, and explains that next time out, barring an offer that cannot be refused, Mock will NOT be in “the opponents” corner.
“With Brian as his trainer, Lolenga has already improved a whole lot. He is very eager to learn, and really a hard worker in the gym. I recently read that a Danish promoter had said that Brian couldn’t teach boxers anything new, but all I can say to that is: BULL S…!!! Given the right circumstances and time, I see Lolenga having really good chances against any super middleweight and light heavyweight in Scandinavia with the exception of Mads Larsen and Mikkel Kessler, and he would even give them a really hard nights work, and this is definitely because of Brian’s skills and seriousness as a coach ” Risum says with conviction in his voice.
According to the 26-year-old manager/agent, his and Ashira´s boxer never really thought he would return to the division where he fought his only title fight so far; super middleweight, (Mock lost on points in a bid for the African title in 1998), but the hard work in Mathiasen´s gym, in Aarhus suburb Viby, has meant that he is currently only 1-2 kilo’s above the super middleweight limit. It is therefore remarkable, that four of his last six fights were at cruiserweight.
Twice Mock fought in Denmark, loosing decisions to now former European cruiserweight title challenger Jesper Kristiansen, and up-and-coming Lasse Johansen. The fights in Denmark were simply to earn a living, explains Risum:
“Those fights were in the days where Mock lived in Kenya, didn’t have a trainer, and just wanted to fight for the money. He didn’t even train AT ALL for those fights. No training what so ever! Now it is our hope that we can get some structure on his career, and I am right now working on a date for him. The first fight in his life with a steady trainer in the corner, and with people behind him that believes he can achieve something and not just be a name on somebody’s record”!
Having fought in no less than nine different countries, Mock could easily be described as a journeyman. But that moniker may not be fair to use much longer. Risum and Ashira is probably not managers with much financial-power, but sometimes money is not the most important thing in a boxers quest for success:
“Hunger”, says Risum, “Hunger, determination, seriousness and team-spirit, mixed with the talent that Lolenga really does have, will hopefully help us make something positive happen in his career. It might take some time, and will definitely take some hard work in the office for me, but I think we can do it. You know, do something so “Lumumba” can look back at a career that he got something out of. He is a really good person, and he deserves it, that’s for sure! And, to tell you the truth, I see many Scandinavians out there that he would box circles around right now”.
“Just wait until he has had more time in the gym…”
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