Mike Dallas: friday night fighter
Bakersfield boxer Mike Dallas Jr. has a record of 18-2 with seven knockouts and one draw.
Dallas isn’t known as a knockout artist, but he possesses other physical tools that make him a tough challenge for anybody.
“I’m a guy that usually has a good jab, very fast and [uses] good footwork,” said Dallas.
When Dallas isn’t boxing, he walks 20-25 pounds above the Junior Welterweight limit of 140 pounds.
“Through a course of like two-three months, I get all the weight down,” he explained.
Dallas began boxing at five years old and had a long amateur boxing career prior to turning pro. Dallas made it all the way to the Olympic Trials before losing on points.
“I lost in the quarter finals. I shouldn’t have lost, but a lot of it is the computer scoring [and] a lot of politics,” he said. “I really won a gang of fights. [I felt] I had more of a pro style than amateur.
“I was ready to turn pro. I was already 21 and I [had a lot of amateur fights], won a lot of national amateur championships. I had like 180 something fights, so I thought it was time to turn pro. I felt I was ready to do it.”
The loss at the Olympic Trials was a big blow to Dallas.
“The worst [moment I had in boxing was losing at] the Olympic trials when I really won a fight, but [officially] lost,” he said.
“It kind of threw me off because it was a big dream to go to the Olympics.”
Bakersfield isn’t known as a hot spot for boxers. There are a few local gyms, but not many prizefighters.
Dallas trains in Oakland with renowned boxing trainer Virgil Hunter, best known as the trainer of Super middleweight champion Andre Ward.
Dallas began working with Hunter last year after getting knocked out in seven rounds by Junior Welterweight prospect Josesito Lopez on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights in January 2011.
Dallas started off boxing well, but as the rounds progressed, Lopez’s relentless pressure eventually broke down Dallas and the referee intervened in order to stop the punishment.
In his very next fight, Dallas lost a controversial majority decision to Mauricio Herrera on Friday Night Fights in June 2011.
The bout was very close and although Dallas officially lost, many felt he actually won.
Prior to working with Hunter, Dallas was trained by his father, Mike Dallas Sr.
“Its been cool training with Virgil, he [has] a lot of experience training. My dad taught me everything I know and [Virgil] added onto it,” he said.
“It’s a different environment, [but] he’s a good coach to work with. He knows a lot about boxing.”
On Feb. 17th, Dallas faced heavy puncher Miguel Gonzalez on Friday Night Fights and easily out fought Gonzalez to a unanimous decision win.
“I knew Miguel from the amateurs. He was a top amateur and a very good fighter, but I knew I had to be aggressive and I took the fight to him and it really took him out of his element because he thought I was going to be moving around and stuff, [but] I was more aggressive.”
Dallas credited his tough training regimen and his sparring partners for the win.
“I trained with Eloy Perez, Karim Mayfield, who’s another [Junior] Welterweight and a guy named Stan Martyniouk. I had a lot of good work, top athletes,” he said.
Dallas currently has 21 fights in his five-year career. Dallas feels like he will be ready for any of the titleholders at the Junior Welterweight division.
“It wouldn’t matter as long as it’s a title fight. Whoever the guy is, I’ll fight him.”
Dallas reminisced on his two losses.
“Both of them [were] kind of iffy,” he said. “Especially the Herrera fight, I know I won that. I just went into the gym and I was hungry. I didn’t want to have any more losses on my record. I added some more stuff working on strength training, so it all worked out.”
Prior to training in Oakland, Dallas would often travel to gyms in Southern California such as Wild Card Boxing Gym in Hollywood owned by Freddy Roach. Wild Card is the home of many professional boxers and is known as one of the best gyms in the world.
There, Dallas got the opportunity to spar with the likes of Manny Pacquiao.
“I felt like I gained a lot of experience sparring with Pacquiao,” he said. “He had a lot of experience. When I was sparring [with him] I only had like six fights at the most.”
Dallas attended California State University, Dominguez Hills for three years pursuing a Kinesiology degree, but put his college career on hold in order to pursue a professional boxing career.
Dallas plans on returning back to school sometime soon.
”When my boxing career is finished, I’ll probably coach and help out the kids in the community.”