Fast Freddie

Fred Latham Jr. RCM Interview: Pittsburgh’s Rising Heavyweight Prospect In The Land of Roberto Clemente

By Robert Brizel, Head RCM Boxing Correspondent

In the land of the late great baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, rises a new hopeful future world heavyweight champion. Unbeaten in his first five professional bouts, heavyweight prospect Fred Latham Jr. had 56 amateur fights before turning pro, and has sparred with Roy Jones Jr. in Pittsburgh. In addition to Roy Jones Jr., Latham has a pad man connection to Floyd Mayweather Jr.


Fred Latham Jr.: “I went to the Nationals (National Golden Gloves tournament) twice. I won the regionals. I won the Western Pennsylvania Golden Gloves at Super Heavyweight in 2012 in the open class.”


Real Combat Media: “Why did you decide to turn pro?”


Fred Latham Jr.: “I felt like there was no competition for me anymore. Especially in Pittsburgh, they didn’t have too many amateur fighters who wanted to fight me.”


Real Combat Media: “Fred, you had four pro fights in 2012 and 2013. How did you wind out getting the four round fight with Mark Rideout on the NBC Sports Fight Night card at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on the undercard of Curtis Stevens versus Patrick Majewski, where we met when I was the reporter covering the televised card?”


Fred Latham Jr. “My manager, Derek Gionta, came into the gym and asked me if I wanted to fight Mark Rideout on the NBC Card. I’ll said I’ll fight anybody.”


Real Combat Media: “You and Rideout, another unbeaten heavyweight prospect, fought to a dead even 38-38 four round draw across the board on all three scorecards, an exciting competitive bout everyone enjoyed.”


Fred Latham Jr.: “I felt I beat Mark Rideout.”


Real Combat Media: “Did any promoters talk to you after the fight?”


Fred Latham Jr.: “No, but I talked to famed boxing trainer Lou Duva’s nephew, who came up to me after me fight, and he thought I won


Real Combat Media: “How was your first experience fighting in Atlantic City?”


Fred Latham Jr.: “I did what I love to do. I felt pretty good after the fight.”


Real Combat Media: “You saw the main event between middleweights Curtis Stevens and Patrick Majewski. Did you feel the Majewski got nervous in the first round? He appeared to freeze up, and didn’t defend himself when he went down three times.”


Fred Latham Jr.: “It’s a good possibility. Majewski looked nervous. A lot of fighters express their nervousness in different ways. Some fighters, when they get nervous, they freeze up. Other fighters, when they get nervous, they fight harder. I believe Patrick froze up. He wasn’t hit hard. Also, sometimes it’s not always the shot that hurts. It might have  landed a little bit harder than it looked. Sometimes the shots hurt more after the shot. Sometimes you get hit, and you don’t react right away. Then after a couple seconds, you feel it. Majewski looked real nervous to me. It (the pressure of the televised main event) could have gotten to him. A lot of people freeze up, it could have been a lot of pressure on Patrick. This could have been the case.”


Real Combat Media: “What are your current plans? Do you want a rematch with Mark Rideout?”


Fred Latham Jr.: “Right now my plan is to fight different people. I definitely would like a rematch with Mark Rideout. I definitely deserve a rematch.”


Real Combat Media: “Mark Rideout is from Philadelphia, a Philly fighter.”


Fred Latham Jr.: “If it comes to me, that we have to fight again in Philly, I would. Rideout’s a good fighter. I don’t take nothing away from him. I actually like his style, he has a nice fighting style. He gave me more of a fight than anyone in my career so far. The two unanimous decisions I won were easy fights.”


Real Combat Media: “What are your goals as a young and rising heavyweight prospect?”


Fred Latham Jr.: “I’m looking forward to fighting younger fighters that can give me a chance run for my money. Hopefully I‘ll just keep moving forward. I’ve gotta beat the best to be the best.”


Real Combat Media: How’s your training regimen coming along?”


Fred Latham Jr.: “I just do my strength training between bouts. I’m in the process of changing boxing gyms. Right now I’m looking for a boxing gym that’s more people friendly in the Pittsburgh area. There are a lot of gyms in the Pittsburgh area.My Dad Fred Latham Sr. is training me, and my pad man is Derek Gionta, who is also my manager. “


Real Combat Media: “How many more years will it take you to be a top ten contender?”


Fred Latham: “Two years, three strong years. I’m shooting for two. I’m pretty much trying to shoot for two. I’m looking for a promoter, my options are open. If we happen to come across a good promoter, we definitely feel him out and weigh our options before we make any big decisions like that. It would definitely have to be a king’s decision before we make any decision.”


Real Combat Media: “When is your next fight?”


Fred Latham Jr.: “We’re looking right now, my manager’s looking for our next opponent.”


Real Combat Media: “What’s your connection to Roy Jones Jr. and Floyd Mayweather Jr.?”


Fred Latham Jr.:I never stop working, I’m training every day. I’ve been working with Roy Jones Jr. I sparred with Roy Jones Jr. a couple of times. I’m current in the mix to go out to Chicago and workout with Nate Jones, Floyd Mayweather’s pad man. Hopefully they will hire (sign) me to be a fighter, as I’m not too interested in being somebody’s heavy bag! So far as Pittsburgh is concerned, Roy Jones Jr. wanted to get me onto one of his Pittsburgh boxing shows, but he hasn’t promoted anybody or done any boxing shows lately. I think Roy is pretty much training for himself now.”


Reader’s Note: Mixed Martial Arts legend Anderson Silva of Brazil called out Roy Jones Jr. again last week for a boxing match. Silva is still recovering from a broken leg he suffered in his rematch with UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman last December inside The Octagon, in a failed attempt to regain his title.