As MMA (mixed martial arts) matches seem to dot the fighting landscape at every turn, there is no denying the boxing will forever remain the classic fighting favorite among fans. There is a certain grace, class, and strategy to boxing that separates the sport from its MMA brethren, making it much more than a caged street brawl. Talent continues to pour from every corner of the U.S. as young boxers lace up the gloves for their love of the fight and their hopes of a successful career in the ring.
One such athlete is 21-year old Yuandale Evans (pronounced Yon-dale). Hailing from Cleveland’s east side, the young fighter found himself scrapping in school, which ultimately led to his current status as a professional boxer…and part-time college student. That’s right. The very determined and highly motivated Evans not only balances his weight in the ring, but also his books in the classroom, and somehow, found a state of equilibrium in the middle. Now all that hard work is one thing, but sometimes you need a little talent to augment the effort. Does Evans possess the boxing skills necessary to make him successful?
On April 24, 2010, the VFW co-sponsored the 5th Annual Jimmy Bivens Classic in North Olmsted, Ohio; a fight card featuring 6 matchups in all, with Yuandale “Moneyshot” Evans versus Rey “The Prosecutor” Hernandez being the main event. You might have heard of Yuandale Evans previously as he’s been featured on ESPN twice, winning both matches. With his 6-0 record (prior to 4/24/10), one has to think that there is something to this guy. I’m short and I’ve got an inch on him, but as the old saying goes, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog.” And with that in mind, let’s just say I have no desire to be on the receiving end of his fist. So before Evans stepped in the ring that night, I was able to take a few minutes of his time and pick the fighter’s brain for a brief chat.
Gregg:I noticed on your profile in the program you have a balance between school and boxing. How do you find that balance?
Yuandale:I go to a community college. I go to school in the morning, then I train in the afternoon and night, so it balances out instead of running into one. As far as sleep, I don’t lose any sleep.
Gregg: But you have a full schedule.
Gregg:Now you always hear about different athletes, even actors preparing for their work. How do you prepare for your work? What’s your workout regimen like?
Yuandale: Monday through Friday 5:30 (pm) to 8:30 (pm) I train. Everyday. Hard.
Gregg: And what kind of workout do you do?
Yuandale: You know, the regular workout, like sparring, punching bag, stretching, working on my wind, running around.
Gregg: Now I’m assuming with the workout comes a strict diet?
Yuandale: Oh yeah, strict diet always. I like to eat a lot of baked foods; seafood like fish and shrimp, no pasta though.
Gregg: Is it hard to stay away from the good stuff?
Yuandale: Yeah, you know I might sneak a little piece of candy every now and then, but for the most part I stick to the regular diet.
Gregg: Now you fought on ESPN, is that right?
Yuandale: Yes sir.
Gregg: What was that experience like?
Yuandale: Well it was a great experience because I fought on the card under a lot of experienced fighters and growing up pro I also fought on pay-per-view on the Roy Jones card. It was just a great experience, it just felt good, you know, being televised, but I think this fight (4/24/10) is going to be bigger than ESPN and the pay-per-view fight because this is my hometown.
Gregg: Do you get nervous before a match?
Gregg: How do you psyche yourself up?
Yuandale: (laughs) I just stay away from a lot of people who yell “I hope you knock him out.” I just try and stay off to the side and keep my mind focused. I mean, really, I just listen to music or think about what I’m going to do in the fight.
Gregg: Are you superstitious?
Yuandale: A lot.
Gregg: What are some of your superstitions?
Gregg: Or would you rather not talk about them?
Yuandale: (smiles) Yeah, I’d rather not talk about ‘em.
Gregg:(laughs) Okay! Yuandale, thank you very much, man. I appreciate the interview and good luck tonight.
Gregg: Thank you!
Outside the ring, he carries himself with poise and professionalism. Inside the ring he’s fierce; nothing less than a force to be reckoned with. Evans’ friends and family feverishly cheered him on at the start of the match, causing a smile to wash across his face, but once that bell rang for round 1, his cheerful expression morphed into the epitome of determination. As he danced around Hernandez, he delivered one barrage of knuckle-laced lightning after another, quickly wearing down his adversary blow by blow.
So how did the fight end? Not too bad, for Evans that is. He knocked out his opponent at 2 minutes and 53 seconds in the first round. Many in the audience noticed Evans dominating the match but still expected the oncoming second round. Evans, apparently, had other ideas. He gave his best performance as the power company and decided it was lights out for Hernandez. While he carries the nickname ‘Moneyshot’, someone should be calling this guy ‘Cobra’ because he strikes about as fast as one. I don’t think his opponent realized he just caught two quick jabs to the jaw before gearing up to take a swing of his own.
If this guy stays the course, you will be hearing about him with a lot more regularity in the future. He has far too much talent and drive to fall by the wayside. Oh, and that 6-0 record I mentioned earlier, make that 7-0 now with 5 KO’s.
For more information on Yuandale Evans and other boxing talent from around the country visit: