Interviews

Published on September 9th, 2019 | by Percy Crawford

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Legendary Promoter, Don King Inks Talented Chicago Junior Welterweight, Semajay Thomas!

Semajay Thomas signs with legendary promoter, Don King; hopes it will lead to a title shot in the near future.

Life or boxing hasn’t been easy for, Semajay Thomas. Surviving the mean streets of Chicago, Illinois was just part of the struggles. At the tender age of 15, Semajay was jailed and accused of murder. He would spend 15-months in Cook County’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. He was later acquitted and refused to let the wrongful arrest derail his dreams. Thomas would become one of the top amateurs in the country and after falling just short for a spot on the Olympic Team in 2012, Thomas would turn pro in 2013. A photo of him jogging with, Floyd Mayweather would surface and Semajay would sign with, prolific advisor, Al Haymon. After fighting under the Haymon banner for several years, he would test the free agent waters. Semajay recently inked a deal with legendary boxing promoter, Don King and his Don King Productions team. Thomas is 11-1 with 8 wins coming by way of knockout.

I recently caught up with the Chicago native to discuss his recent signing, his November 2nd ring return as well as his desire to fight, Regis Prograis.

I didn’t see this one coming, but you have huge news, tell us about it.

Semajay Thomas: Man, I just signed a big deal with, Don King Productions. It was a deal I couldn’t turn down, man. It gives me a great opportunity to become champion of the world. I spoke with him; we drew out a gameplan and now it’s time for me to deliver.

How did it come to fruition?

Semajay Thomas: The deal came into play from my managers, Lee Holiday and Fletcher Smith. Lee Holiday has been working with, Don for years; since Oliver McCall. McCall is the former WBC heavyweight champion of the world who knocked out, Lennox Lewis. Don been hearing a lot about me. He did his studying on me and once he found out I was a free agent, he said he wanted me. He said he wants to help me fulfill my dream to becoming a world-champion come true.

Was your pursuit of wanting to become a world-champion what made signing with, Don King make sense for you?

Semajay Thomas: Yessir! The right amount of fights and just the whole opportunity. He doesn’t have too many fighters on his stable. So, I like that as well because that puts me in a nice position to really achieve my dream. I feel like when a promoter and a manager have a lot of fighters it’s hard for them to focus on one fighter. I’m a big-name fighter. I’m a star, bro. I’m not the B-side, I’m the A-side. I want to show that I am a star. I’m blessed.

It sounds like you were looking for a situation where you could be the featured guy and you got it.

Semajay Thomas: The face! Yessir.

November 2nd is the return date, your first 10-round fight, I’m sure you’re already in the gym.

Semajay Thomas: Most definitely. I’m getting prepared. I’m ready to fight right now. My motto, you gotta stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready. That way when you get that date, you’re already ready. That’s the motto and he told me the date before I even signed. That’s a blessing. I’m just ready, man. I’m motivated and this is the best opportunity that’s been presented to me this far.

Do you feel like you needed something like this to happen to boost your motivation?

Semajay Thomas: This was perfect timing. For me to have 12-professional fights and to get in with, Don King and having the experience that I have in the amount of fights that I have. For him to be able to put me in line to fight for a world-championship. Right now, I feel like I’m that caliber fighter, man. I’m really ready to get at these boy’s neck, but I didn’t really have the backing to do it and a person to put me in position to do it. Now that I got it, hands down I’m about to crush em. It’s over with. That’s what I was looking for.

What was it like to be on the phone with such a legendary figure in the boxing game?

Semajay Thomas: (Laughing) man, he was a good dude to talk to. I had him on speaker and he spoke to my wife and my daughter. It was a real memorable moment. Man, I just take it and learn from it. He’s been in the game for years. He knows the ends and outs; he’s a legend. He’s one of the best promoters of all time. The WBC actually have him listed as the best promoter of all-time. I’m excited, man. Hey, I know that’s your boy, but I’m coming for your boy, Regis. I’m coming for them straps. That’s my boy too. Regis used to get me ready for my upcoming fights when he wasn’t stable yet in Houston. Every week he would come get me ready, 3-times a week. I know how to box, Regis. I know how to beat, Regis. I know that’s your boy though, but he’s my boy too.

Hey man, ya’ll get whatever money that is out there. I’m all for it. Do you feel like you have to up the ante when it comes to training being that this will be your first scheduled 10-rounder?

Semajay Thomas: You can’t do what you’ve been doing fighting for a thousand dollars fighting for a hundred thousand dollars. You have to change it up automatically. When it comes to fighting these types of fights and these types of rounds, you gotta step it up. I’ve been 8-rounds before. I even sparred 20-rounds in the gym before. I’ll get there now. I’ll get there. I sparred 20-rounds with 6-different guys, man. Word to my life. I promise you I did it before. I know what it’s like to put that hard groundwork in. When it’s fight time and I have a set date, I blank out. I’m always going to be in position to be in dog shape. I don’t want to gas out, I don’t want to do none of that. All of my fights, I have always been in dog shape. No matter who the opponent was. I showed up in shape and I’m going to always be in shape. That’s 100% facts.

You always told me you just needed a situation, now that you have that situation, what can the other 140-pounders expect from, Semajay Thomas?

Semajay Thomas: Man bro, it’s amazing, bro. For somebody to give me that chance to really show these guys and really do it… I promise you I will not fumble. When he gets me to this world-championship, I will win it, man. I will not lose. I’m going to take full advantage of this situation and I’m going to train my heart out. One thing about, Semajay Thomas is, I can fight. You can’t take that away from me.

Congratulations and I wish you the best, my man. Is there anything else you want to tell your supporters?

Semajay Thomas: To all of my fans and supporters, I thank you. Shout out to my man, Percy. You’ve been down with me since day one. I promise you; you will be the first to write that big article when I win this world-championship. I really had to swallow my pride. I went from being signed to one of the biggest managers, to being unsigned and fighting on low budget shows. And now to sign a big major deal is amazing, bro. This is such a humbling experience and that’s why I’m going to take full advantage.


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