Mullings looking to keep word to Jamaica
Sakima 'The Mauler' Mullings is one of the boxers who consistently fills venues locally when placed on a fight card. Because of this popularity, he says that he feels a responsibility to the Jamaican public to return the Wray & Nephew Contender Series title to the country after it was won by American DeMarcus 'Chop Chop' Corley last season.
Born in Kingston on July 10, 1982, Mullings, the youngest of his mother's four children - two boys and two girls. He, however, left Jamaica for Spring Valley, New York, at four and said that his interest in boxing started at an early age. He said that his idols at that time were Mike Tyson, whom he describes as being the "baddest man on the planet at the time", Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, and Mike McCullum.
Mullings tried various sports but said that he had a special interest in basketball. He said that this is where he developed a competitive nature, which made him the boxer he is today.
"For my first fight, I fought a guy named Mohammed Hussein. It was a great experience because I put in months of work. To get my first fight, I must've trained for over six or nine months. It was exciting. I put in all the work, and I wanted to show I had improved and I could do it (win). I won by a first-round knockout. It motivated me to just continue in the sport."
Mullings has various sources of motivation that keep him stepping into the ring. Two key ones are his children, ages 10 and four months. However, he said that he made a promise to his fans, and that is next on his list of priorities this season.
"Based on the first season, I think there was a lot of high expectation for me to be the first Contender champion," he said. "I didn't live up to those expectations in terms of delivering when I was supposed to. During the fourth season in 2014, I had the opportunity to re-enter and correct the mistakes I made the first season. I showed Jamaica the improvement I had made over the years."
Mullings now turns his attention to becoming the first two-time Contender champion, but to do this, he must beat Canadian Phil Rose in tomorrow evening's final at the Mico University College.
"This season I re-entered the Contender based on a promise I made to Jamaica that I would be the man to bring the title back to Jamaica after it had gone abroad last year," Mullings shared. "At this stage, Contender is the biggest stage in Jamaican boxing. When the record books are closed and they look back and say who was the best fighter, Sakima Mullings cannot be ignored."