If you are a Philly fight fan – you have probably heard the name Tyrone “Young Gun” Brunson , but haven’t had a chance to see the face or watch the skills of this 22-year-old Middleweight who is on the heals of breaking the all – time record for most consecutive first round knockouts to start a career. At first glance the stat sheet looks legit. He hails from one of the hardest parts of North Philadelphia and had a good amateur career. Others are saying it’s duck season at Camp Brunson, referring to the low level of opponent he has faced to date.
It is time to hear from the man himself. Read the interview and then tell me if you think he is for real or if the rep is just some cooked up ghost story…
Since making his pro debut 2 years ago, Brunson went on the road and had been laying out everyone they put in front of him scoring an astonishing 15 first round knockouts in his first 15 pro fights without the comfort of his friends and family in the front row cheering him on.
While the North Philly native has set the record for most knockouts to start a career in the the middleweight ranks, now his eyes are on the all time record. The stat is unofficial, but my research has found that the all time record is 18 held by the current WBA Super Featherweight Champ Edwin Valero. While being in the record books is definitely in his sights, that’s not all he is out to accomplish.
The “Young Gun” plans on coming back home to Philly in July and made a point of it to put everyone between 154 to 160 pounds on notice. Brunson feels it is time that he is recognized among the best fighters to come out of Philly and recently took to speak with us while vacationing in New Zealand to let everyone know who he is, what he is all about and when we can finally see him do the thing he does best.
Philly Keith Sports: Thanks for taking the time for the interview all the way from New Zealand, what is it like out there?
Tyrone Brunson: Oh man, it’s beautiful here, I am out here chillin’
PK: So how did you get your start in boxing? Where do you train?
TB: I got into it by being in my neighborhood and one day went to the ABC Rec center down on 26th & Master. A lot of great champions came out of that gym. Randy Griffin who up for a WBC title shot, Malik Scott is from there, David Reid who was a great fighter and champion. Mike Jones who is good friend of mine is from down there too. I spar with all of these guys.
PK: What was your amateur career like?
TB: As an amateur I went 82 – 12, then I turned pro in April of 2005. You know I just read an article on how Harry Yorgey beat me in the amateurs and he did, but later on we sparred and I knocked his headgear off. He was out cold. If he wants to do it again let’s do it!
PK: Who does your team consist of?
TB: James Walker is my trainer; he has been there with me since my second fight and we work great together. Ed Mendy helps me out too. I am self managed, no promoter right now, we have been contacted by promoters like Lou DiBella and Shelly Finkel. Don King gave us a call a while back. We are waiting and seeing right now, whoever comes with the best offer.
PK: What weight do you fight at?
TB: I will fight between junior middleweight and middleweight. I am the king of Philly between 154 and 160.
PK: Who are some of your favorites to watch?
TB: I watched a lot Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns who has become a good friend of mine. I like all of them. Anthony Thompson is my man too; he is ranked real high and is going to be fighting Yuri Foreman.
PK: We definitely know the name but haven’t had the chance to see you in action. How would you describe your style in the ring?
TB: I am boxer – puncher. People think I can only go 1 round because of all the knockouts but don’t be a fooled; I have been in with a lot of different camps. I’ve worked with guys like Kermit Cintron (IBF Welterweight champ). Emmanuel Stewart likes us. I worked with Ronald Hearns. I could go on. I have experience on the road too which a lot of people don’t. I can handle my business all night.
PK: Now that you are chasing the knockout record, do you think people might start to be looking at you as a knockout artist and sleeping on your overall skills?
TB: Yeah I do, I mean if the record happens it happens, Me, I am not really all that worried about records. I want to show world I can fight. Some want to talk about oh he fought soft competition but put me in with a guy 9 – 0, 10 – 0 or whatever, it is gonna be the same result every time. If it don’t happen in the first it will in the 2nd or 3rd.
PK: Do you feel like you have been left out a bit when people talk about the top Philly fighters out there?
TB: Yeah I do but I never wanted to get into that Philly gym war stuff. I wanted to be like Randy Griffin and Ant Thompson and them. I am out on the road, getting experience and seeing the world. I love Philly, it’s my home but this is bigger than Philly right now. It’s a business and I gotta do what I gotta do and James Walker been riding with me since my second fight.
PK: Looking at your record I can tell you stay very active in the ring, are you a full time boxer, you doing anything else on the side right now as your career moves forward?
TB: I am a full time, dedicated boxer; you can’t do boxing and then do something else. It just won’t work out. I give everything I have to boxing and that’s why I am going to be the champ.
PK: You have been fighting a lot out in Michigan, what is the scene like out there? Any reason why you haven’t fought back home lately?
TB: I am the top dog out in Michigan. After Tommy Hearns and Joe Louis, it is me. They all want to see me out there; I can sell out the whole place by myself. I wanted to fight in Philly again but they just couldn’t get the job done. Outside of Russell Peltz it is kind of inconsistent down there with the promoters so we are taking the best opportunities out there.
PK: Can we expect to see you fight in Philly anytime sometime?
TB: I am coming back and it is gonna happen in July. It has been a little while, I made my pro debut there at The Blue Horizon and now I am coming back and everyone will see what I am all about when I make my return home. Some people are like come here to fight Mike Jones, but why fight my boy? That’s bullshit. We are both trying to go to the same place. Let us do our thing. We can do our thing then meet up down the line for big money. They ain’t paying for that at The Blue Horizon and places like that. I am staying consistent and it is gonna be the homecoming, it will be beautiful, come watch us on our way to outstanding things.
PK: What does your training routine consist of?
TB: I go to the Chiropractor, I work with my conditioning coach, I am always working in the gym, do my road work and stay healthy.
PK: Who in particular would you like to fight?
TB: I want to fight everyone out there. I don’t care who they put in front of me.
PK: What are your goals or what do you want to accomplish during your times as a fighter?
TB: I want to go down in history and get the 1st round knockout record but that’s only the start. I want to be a world champ and make money like a Floyd and De La Hoya and them.
PK: You mentioned a couple of the greats, De La Hoya vs. Floyd is this weekend, you gonna be watching? Who are you picking?
TB: Yeah I am gonna be watching that. I am picking Floyd. He trains hard, he is dedicated and fast. He is the best out there right now.
PK: We know about what you can do inside the ring, what’s Tyrone Brunson like outside the ring?
TB: Outside the ring I am a family guy, I play some basketball and like to hang out, relax. That’s about it from me.
PK: Anything you want to say in closing?
TB: Yeah, any of you guys in Philly who want it, you know how to get in contact with me. Anyone from 154 – 160 lbs who wants me; I ain’t ducking or dodging nobody. As long as the money is right, we can get it on.
PK: Keep mowing them down Young Gun!
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