A year can truly change a career. Make it or break it.
Tevin Farmer (24-4-1, 5KO) has taken the experience of years gone by, learning and cultivating a style to suit himself and is now making waves as we blast through 2017. But just what has changed for Farmer and how can he take the next 12 months by storm?
Most fighters with serious promise are given time to develop. They can keep a clean, undefeated record for ten or more fights before being tested and even then the truly elite will prevail. Some carry that ‘0’ way into their twentieth or thirtieth fight. Others stumble and take time to rebuild. Philadelphia’s Farmer was 7-4-1 after 12 fights. Records like that just don’t exist in the upper echelons of the sport.
“That kid was 7-4-1. And now he’s 22-4-1. He’s also beaten fighters with a combined record in that streak of wins, that’s sort of remarkable. That kid is almost like a little ‘Rocky’ story. I’m proud to promote him.”
– Farmer’s promoter Lou DiBella.
Since losing to former champion and conqueror of Liverpool’s Stephen Smith Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12KO) in 2012, Farmer hasn’t tasted defeat.
With 17 wins on the bounce, he has completely reinvented himself and created an enormous online buzz with clips of his Matrix-esque defence and sharp countering as demonstrated below!
I first caught wind of Farmer about 6 months ago, shamefully late to the party. I had visited a boxing page on Facebook and played a video highlighting his performance against Angel Luna (11-2-1, 6KO). I sat intrigued, on the edge of my seat wondering whether his hands-down, rope-a-dope-on-Red Bull defence would cost him dearly. He outclassed Luna, ducking and diving at will. On this occasion, he escaped unscathed.
His upper body movement was so delightful when mixed with his self-belief. His work on the back foot is calculated but he also works at a higher pace when he operates defensively. He stoops and swings his head, swivels his shoulders and dances out of trouble quickly.
Often detractors of Floyd Mayweather Jnr or Bernard Hopkins would label their fights ‘boring’. They were beautiful. Scientific. But to a more general population of viewers – dull. Farmer seemingly injects excitement into this aspect of his game and has continued to do so in tougher fights since.
Arguably, his biggest test so far has been Ivan Redkach (19-2-1, 15KO). Farmer, who campaigns at super-featherweight, stepped up to lightweight and faced a man only beaten once by former WBC champion Dejan Zlatacanin. Farmer showed no signs of changing his style and continued adding minutes to his highlight reel with some beautiful slips and feints. Occasionally, he was caught with some glancing shots but managed to handle these without concern. The biggest feather in his cap, Redkach was beaten on the scorecards in mostly every round.
Farmer also fought and beat up former world champion Gamaliel Diaz (40-15-3, 19KO). Diaz was dropped three times, but made it to the judges over ten rounds. Obviously older now than when he was the WBC champion, he provided a step-up in class. Farmer rose to the challenge and captured the NABF super-featherweight title in the process.
The next year will see the ‘American Idol’ attempt to join his gymmate Jason Sosa (20-1-4, 15KO & current WBA champion) as a strap holder in the super-featherweight division. As well as Sosa, Farmer will be trying to join or dethrone the massively talented Gervonta Davis, currently in posession of the IBF title.
But, where does he rank in the organisations as of right now?
WBC – 4th / IBF – 7th / WBO – 10th.
Not bad at all for a slow starter!
Selfishly, we’d love to see him face off against a Brit like Stephen Smith (24-3, 14KO), who will be working hard to bounce back from his defeat in Monte Carlo. Still ranked by BoxRec at only #20 in the world and behind Smith and other Brits, the time is now for some big, meaningful fights.
He credits ‘taking boxing seriously’ for his dramatic turnaround inside the ropes. After starting late, aged 19, he has learned the hard way. Those early losses may have set him back, but they may also have paved the way for his current run of form.
That change of mindset from a ‘club fighter’ or, in the UK a ‘small hall’ fighter plays such a key part.
Realising there’s more you can achieve in the sport has seemingly added 25% to Farmer’s skillset and is evident when watching him today. He doesn’t fear the challenge and he doesn’t doubt himself. He recently tweeted,
“I don’t need to be picked as, fighter of the year, prospect of the year, etc… My accomplishments speak for itself.”
– @TevinFarmer22 (via Twitter)
The truth is, there is no telling how far Tevin Farmer can go. He has defied his critics before and he will do so again. A presence on Social Media with his Twitter account and a hit through video sharing platforms as a result of his performances and slick skills, Farmer could very well reach the pinnacle of the sport.
As it was with Prince Nas in the UK, the only thing we can guarantee is entertainment!