Coming Back Strong: Danny McDermott

InterviewDanny ” Little Mac” McDermott, 11-5-2 (KO5) is coming back strong from a two year lay off.  Danny has picked up two wins in the last two months and that’s only the beginning for this hard-working and confident fighter.

On September 13th in the Philippines, Danny won the WBU light welterweight title by knocking out his opponent Ronnel Esparas in the sixth round. It was an exciting bout, but what made this extraordinarily special,was the fact that Danny’s long-awaited dream of being a world champion finally came true.

Photo by Rick Samanion

Photo by Rick Samanion

Danny took some time out of his busy day to answer my questions and it was a pleasure to get to know this humble fighter and great man.  Here’s what Danny had to say:

Q  What made you want to be a boxer?
A  A few things, my father had exposed my brother and I to the sport at an early age and I fell in love with it. I really became serious after my cousin had passed away when I was 12yrs old. He was a 23 year old musician that was a month away from making his dreams come true. He wasn’t around for it. It kind of woke me up to figure out what drove me, and boxing was it.

Q  How do you describe your boxing style?
A  I’d like to think of myself as a boxer/puncher. I have shown a lot of emotion during fights, which is entertaining to the fans but I have the intelligence to box smart if I don’t let the emotion get in the way.

Q  Boxers often say boxing saved their lives. Do you feel that way?
A  To an extent, I don’t know where my life would be right now if I didn’t box in my teenage years. I saw a lot of friends go down a bad road as adults, whether to drugs or crime. Through the last few years in my life, I was rocked with a lot of changes (most bad) my health deteriorated as well as my mind. I was in a state of constant depression and the only thing that kept me up was my children. My two sons Danny Jr and Kain. I came back to boxing because I wanted them to see that there dad had no excuses why he couldn’t become the man he wanted to become. That if you set goals, however high, they are attainable. My children and boxing saved my life.

Q What is your best punch?
A  I’d have to say I think my jab. When its on.

Q  Did you idolize any fighters growing up?
A  As a young boy, Barry McGuigan – then Mike Tyson. As a teenager Jeremy Williams.

Q  What motivates you to step into the ring??
A  The thrill of the fight. The roar of the crowd….To feel like a Gladiator.

Q  Who is your trainer?
A  The duties are split between Tommy Gallagher (NYC) and Mike Rodriguez (FL).

Q  Where do you train?
A  At home I frequent Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn NY and Team Gino Boxing in West New York NJ. When I go away to training camp I live with my trainer Mike Rodriguez in Coconut Creek, FL and train at American Top Team training facility.

Q  Favorite part of training?
A  The getting in shape part. The overall boxing routine on the floor.

Q  Least favorite part of training?
A  The first day =)

Q  What can we expect from you in your upcoming fight?
A  A fine tuned athlete ready to wage war. I’m in a great place (body & mind.)

Q  What is your greatest strength as a fighter?
A  I have a strong and determined will. I feel that my opponent never will “out will” me.

Q  What needs improvement?
A  Well ring rust is still a factor, timing is coming back, it is not 100% but all in due time.

Q  What would you like to accomplish in the sport?
A  Well I just won the WBU Light Welterweight World Championship which was the number one goal. Now it’s to finish my career with 20+ wins and a few more World titles and be inducted into the NJ Boxing Hall Of Fame at the end of the day.

Q  What separates you from the other fighters in your weight class?
A  Heart. I know I’m not the most skilled but I can assure you any fighter at any level will have their hands full when they fight Danny McDermott.

Q  Best thing about being a fighter ?
A  I think it has given me a sense of confidence over the years in all aspects of life. I’m not scared to do things and take risks.

Q  If you didn’t box what would be your career choice?
A  Film Career (Screen writer/Director)

Q  Favorite fighters right now?
A  Bobby Gunn Jr., Julian Rodriguez, Glen Tapia, and Tito Bracero.

Q  What advice would you give someone wanting to box?
A  Stay in the gym and stay dedicated.  Pace yourself.  Don’t rush. Results come in time.

Q  Finish this sentence: Boxing is…
A  One of the greatest sports in the world.

Q  How can we improve the sport of boxing?
A  Get all the low lives out of it.  Get Dana White involved somehow.

BOXING DIVA QUESTIONS

Q  Favorite color?  Emerald Green

Q  Favorite food?  Steak

Q  Describe yourself in 3 words?  Hard, Stubborn, Charming.

Q  Worst habit?  Food

Q  Tell us something about you that might surprise people?  I am a huge Big Band music fan (music from the 20’s and 30’s.)

Q  What is the best part of your body?  LOL

Q  If you could have a superpower what would it be?  I’d like to fly.

Q  Favorite music?  Everything (from classical to biggie.)

Q  Favorite TV show?  Sopranos and Breaking Bad.

Q  If you could be an animal what would you be?  Shark

Q  Favorite junk food.  Chocolate

Q  The one thing that annoys you the most about people?  It takes a lot to annoy me.

Q  One thing you couldn’t live without?  My kids.

Q  Your favorite flavor of ice cream?  Vanilla

Q  If your cellphone fell in the toilet what would you do?  Depends if there was shit in the toilet.

Q  Away from boxing what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?  Spending time with my kids-just making them laugh and be happy.

Q  If you could go 1 round with any boxer in history who would you choose?  Hmmm, Willie Pep.

Q  Other sports that your into?  I enjoy College Football (Notre Dame), I’m a big NY Yankee fan in baseball. I’m a new fan of MMA. Tough, tough guys. I tip my hat off to them.

A message to your fans:

Thanks for supporting me throughout the years.  I know it has had its ups and downs and some instability.  But things are all falling into place and I’m excited for the future.  I’ll be in the ring again no later than St. Patty’s day.

About the Author

Judi Abate - "Boxing Diva"
Judi Abate, the "Boxing Diva", has been interviewing the fighting community since 2007. Her trademark questions are sassy and unpredictable. She has contributed work to Diamond Boxing, Boxing Rant, and WBAN. Away from the PC she enjoys reading, shopping and painting. Her dream interview is Oscar De La Hoya.

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