"I always knew it took a crazy work ethic, but I never ate, slept and shit boxing the way I do now. This is the only thing I do now. I have no other outside distractions. I'm staying over here in Cali and right now, I'm training with Jesse Reid and my manager Marcus Coates is pushing me over to the edge. I'm a machine with this shit now. They call me Makaveli over here, man, because I done reincarnated into something totally different. Perc, the people have seen every heavyweight that is out there in the top 10 or top 15 and top 20. The people and the fans and the TV networks have already seen them. Those guys are going to stay at the level they are at. No one has seen this Malik Scott right here, so I consider this like my pro debut almost with the new energy, condition, with the new training, and the new management. Everything is reincarnated with me, man," stated undefeated heavweight contender Malik Scott, who talked about his upcoming January 21 return to the ring and much more. Check it out!
PC: You were scheduled to fight on December 31st, which was the Ramos/Rigondeaux card. The entire card got cancelled. Have you heard anything as far as a rescheduled date or anything?
MS: Yeah, I was scheduled to fight Raphael Zumbano, but they cancelled not just my fight, but the whole Rigondeaux vs. Rico Ramos card. But my promoter, Dan Goosen, is going to put me on the Paul Williams undercard on January 21st. we don't know the venue yet, but it will be on the Paul Williams undercard on January 21st and I'm looking forward to it, man. Like always, I'm definitely looking forward to staying undefeated.
PC: Will it still be Zumbano or a different opponent?
MS: No, because actually, before the card got cancelled, he had pulled out a week before anyway. I don't think that dude wanted to have anything to do with me, man, so we're moving on to a new opponent and I don't even know who it is yet, but it don't matter. I don't discriminate with my ass whoopin's; anybody can get it.
PC: Being that you haven't fought in nearly 4 years, you would think guys would want to take your 0 away, but you still have a tough time getting fights, right?
MS: When you got the skills to pay the bills, man, especially in today's time...at one time, it didn't matter how good you were or how good your record was, cats would just fight you, but nowadays, if you got the skills to pay the bills and you're willing to fight anybody, these guys hide behind their manager and their promoters and I can't get to 'em. But I got a great promoter, so all of this shit is about to be deceased. We about to put guys that are not champs, but just regular challengers, in a mandatory seat just to fight me, so I'm looking forward to all of that.
PC: You dealt with some injuries and managerial problems before you took your hiatus from the sport. One thing I noticed about this return is that you are in a lot better shape. What made the switch go off for you and made you decide to make this your full-time job?
MS: What changed the focus is it goes back to me always believing in myself. I always knew it took a crazy work ethic, but I never ate, slept and shit boxing the way I do now. This is the only thing I do now. I have no other outside distractions. I'm staying over here in Cali and right now, I'm training with Jesse Reid and my manager Marcus Coates is pushing me over to the edge. I'm a machine with this shit now. They call me Makaveli over here, man, because I done reincarnated into something totally different. Perc, the people have seen every heavyweight that is out there in the top 10 or top 15 and top 20. The people and the fans and the TV networks have already seen them. Those guys are going to stay at the level they are at. No one has seen this Malik Scott right here, so I consider this like my pro debut almost with the new energy, condition, with the new training, and the new management. Everything is reincarnated with me, man. Like, I'm really on some Makaveli shit.
PC: I saw you posting on your Facebook that Kevin Johnson had taken some shots at you. What's up with that?
MS: Yeah, I got a call and...Kevin is always running his mouth, man, but I got a call saying that my name came up and he said some disrespectful things. Like I said man, I ain't got no picks. Anybody can get it. I don't even believe in that name calling out shit. My whole thing is every heavyweight is my opposition, but in his case, he said something about me and of course I'm a fighter at heart, so I ain't got time for him, man. Kevin Johnson is a dick rider. That's what he is, point blank period. He is a dick rider and he tries to talk himself into fights instead of earning his way into fights. This dude fought Devin Vargas and Coke can Bruce Seldon and got a title shot, went over there to Germany and fought for a title, laid on the ropes all night and threw 6 punches a round, then he came out of the ring with a bunch of excuses and then came back over here calling everybody out. It's like, man, once you show that card...shouts out to everybody, man, that fight them Klitschkos and really put it on the line. Eddie Chambers went over there and he put it on the line. Arreola fought them over here and he put it on the line with no excuses. But when you talk like "Clothes Pin" talk and you going around impersonating Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes, them guys didn't have excuses. When Muhammad Ali laid on the ropes, he got legend behind it. He called that the "Rope-a-Dope". When you go over there after talking all this shit, because I believe he said he was going to stop Vitali in 7 or 8 rounds, he went over there and laid on the ropes for 12 rounds, so I ain't got no respect for somebody that's got picks. The same way you fought Devon Vargas hard and the same way you fought Bruce Seldon hard should be the same way that you fight the champion of the world hard. I don't believe in having the gas pedal on 2 when you fighting the #12 guy, but when you fighting the #1 guy, you're not even on the pedal. I don't respect that man, so Kevin Johnson doing what he doing, and I'm doing what I'm doing, but I don't pay attention to them dick rider type of dudes, man. He went from calling my phone on some buddy-buddy shit to calling me out. He doing what he doing, man, and I'm focusing on what I'm focusing on, but he a dick rider.
PC: I know you were putting in work. Did you stay in the gym after the cancellation or take a little break?
MS: What I did do, man, because I was going real hard on my sparring. I just slacked up on my sparring, but I'm gonna pick it back up next week. But I'm still active, still running, and staying in the gym. I've been doing something every day, but this week, I've been back full throttle. I didn't take any time off. I stayed active. That's the way you gotta be in this shit, Perc. Like I said, you can't let a monkey wrench like fight cancellations and fighters pulling out get to you, man. You gotta keep your foot on the gas and go hard in this shit. The minute you do that and take your foot off of the gas, then you get a call and you got a fight and then everybody wanna fight you. That's the wave that I'm on.
PC: Was it a situation where you felt you had to get out of Philadelphia and go to Cali to put in this work and dedication and, like you said, become reincarnated?
MS: My contract was up with my East Coast promoters Main Events and my contract was up with Shelly Finkel, so I worked out a deal with Goossen Tutor, and they were over here and my manager was over here too, so it really was the best thing. Actually, before I left Philly, it was the murder capitol, so they thought it would be a better move. They didn't want me ripping and running with my family and friends over there and getting caught up in nonsense in Philly, so they brought me over here ever since, man, and I love it. Cali is all about...everybody over here is liberated. The wave is beautiful, the weather is beautiful, and that's the wave that I'm on. I'm on the success wave.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]