Two-time amateur champ Semajay Thomas reveals why his scheduled pro debut fell through and gives more updates on his career
Semajay Thomas training at the Mayweather Boxing Club (Photo: Chris Robinson – www.HustleBoss.com)
By Chris Robinson
In early March, two-time national amateur champion Semajay Thomas made his way back to the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, as he put in some work with his trainer Nate Jones ahead of what was to be a his professional debut a few weeks later.
While in town, Thomas stayed busy, from running miles with Floyd Mayweather ahead of his forthcoming bout with Robert Guerrero to sparring seasoned professionals such as Ashley Theophane, Sebastian Lujan, and Cortez Bey.
Several people from Thomas’ native Chicago had been eyeing his debut on March 22nd inside of the UIC Pavilion but the date came and went without Thomas ever stepping into the ring.
A little over a week later, I caught up with Jones, who explained that the commission in Illionis felt that Thomas had looked “too experienced” to face off with his opponent, despite the opponent having over 100 amateur bouts and two professional contests to his name.
Jones added that Thomas was subsequently pulled from the show.
“I’ve never heard that a day in my life,” added a befuddled Jones.
Surely a sour note for Thomas, who, having just turned 20, has been blessed with poise and intangibles that beguile his youth.
Still eager to step into the ring but dealing with the reality that his career has temporarily been lulled until the right pieces fall into place, Thomas recently reached out to me to open up on the situation and give an update on other aspects of his life.
This is what Semajay had to share.
Getting backtracked by the commissioner in Illinois…
“With me not having my first pro fight, we really kind of got backtracked on a commissioner in Chicago. I lost my amateur books due to moving around from my mom’s house to my new place. It kind of backtracked me and me not getting my license backtracked me too. We still were in camp. We were in the Devon Alexander camp. We were in Adrien Broner’s camp and we did a lot of camps while getting in shape and getting ready.”
Still in the gym getting ready…
“We were supposed to do our first fight in Chicago, and a lot of promoters, their show go cancelled. That’s why we really got backtracked. We were really supposed to be 3-0, 4-0. But due to the commissioner, and I heard they recently fired her. But right now we are in the gym getting ready.”
His time training at the Mayweather Boxing Club…
“It was beautiful. I love getting ready in Floyd’s gym. You run into so many guys that have talent like myself. They helped me get ready and that camp was wonderful. I was sparring three days a week. Guys who really pushed me. I was going at least six, seven rounds out of those days. I was really in shape for that fight at that particular time.”
A professional approach…
“You know, me getting ready and not fighting, it’s kind of mixed emotions. But I can’t let it get to me. I have to be professional about it. It comes with the game. It comes with the territory. We just got to pick up where left off and that’s training and getting back in the gym, not worrying about when I’m fighting or who I’m fighting. I’ll leave that up to my manager and my promoters and my trainer. I just do my work in the gym and I’ll be ready for anybody they put in the ring with me.”
His connection to Nate Jones…
“My bond with Nate is tremendous. It’s like a father and son bond. I won all my nationals with him. He’s been a major [part] of my career and I don’t take nothing from him. He’s one hell of a trainer and he’s going to get me where I need to be.”
Appreciating his bonus…
“I signed a three-year manager contract with Blue Print Sports Management. We kind of got a nice signing bonus. I’ve got my crib. I’m finally good. I signed for $50,000. A lot of Olympians didn’t get a big signing bonus. I don’t know what a lot of people made, but I heard that a lot of guys didn’t get signing bonuses. I kind of got a big one, as far as coming out of the amateurs.”
Sights set on Washington…
“I’m heading to [Washington] D.C. to work with the Headbangers and I’m working with, as far as promotional-wise, I’m going to start working with Andre Ward’s group, the guys that kind of help Andre Ward move around. I’ll be doing a few fights in D.C. and hopefully I come home, because they changed commissioners. Do some fights in Chicago, sell out a crowd. “
Putting on a show…
“All I want to do is put on a great show for the fans. A lot of people want to see me fight in my hometown and I’d love to come back to Chicago and do my deeds. And I’d like to head out to Vegas. I’m ready for fight and get this show on the road. I’m hearing a lot of people saying I’m the next big face of boxing. I know that’s a big [burden] to hold, but if it is then it shall be. I’m multi-talented, god-gifted, and I’m determined. I’ll be fighting at 140, so whoever has that belt, I’ll be coming.”
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com