BY SEAN ZITTEL
Money Powell IV is fast making a name for himself.
Heads turned last April when Powell (10-0, 6 KO’s) scored one of 2019’s most spectacular knockouts, stopping Christian Aguirre with his mixture of speed, power and savvy.
Powell IV, 21, returns on Saturday night against his toughest opponent to date, veteran Vaughn Alexander (14-3, 9 KOs) in a card headlined by a 154-pound world title bout between former champion Erislandy Lara and Ramon Alvarez at Minneapolis Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota, live on PBC on FOX (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT).
In your last bout, Christian Aguirre hit you after the bell and you paid him back with a KO moments later.
I set it up about a round or two earlier. My coach and I work on that a lot, cleaning up with the left hook after the right hand. Aguirre and I are actually really good friends now, he’s a good guy.
Have you sparred any big names?
Tony Harrison and Jermall Charlo. I helped Jermall get ready for Hugo Centeno last year. Jermall and Tony are both great fighters.
What did you learn from that?
Being in the ring with them really helped me grow as a fighter and as a man. They showed me different levels to being a professional and performing at the world class level. It’s a lot more than physical, it’s mental. They taught me how to do things on the fly, how to set certain things up.
That’s the one thing about sparring world champions, they’re not gonna keep fighting the same way over and over. Champions can adjust, and you’ve got to be versatile.
Is there a killer side to Money Powell IV?
My coach said “Money, sometimes you’re a little bit too nice.” So, we had to go through a stage on me learning how to flip the switch. Now, I can flip the switch when I have too. I’m a fighter, that’s what I love to do. However, I’m not gonna be some rough, mean dude. My parents didn’t raise me to be like that.
Where did the lineage start with the name Money Powell?
It started back with my great-great-grandfather. He was a farmer and named his children after how much money he made that year from selling crops. He had 14 or 15 kids and one year he sold a lot of crops so he named one of them Money. Money was the only boy who didn’t like working on the farm.
My Papa told me his dad told him if you didn’t wanna help on the farm, you gotta go. So, Money left and ended up becoming a big-time gambler, making all kinds of money. He decided since he was making so much money that when he had my grandfather that he’d pass on the name to him. My grandad decided to carry it on and my dad gave it to me as well.
Which fighters inspired you the most?
Roy Jones Jr. He’s the guy that got me really interested into boxing. When my dad showed me Roy, Roy was doing some things it feels like you could only see in a cartoon, or from a superhero.
When I watched him, I would try to mimic his moves when I was little kid. It was hard because being a military family, we moved a lot, but I would always try to watch those films of Roy Jones, even when we lived in Germany. Even before I fight now, when we’re in the locker room, I always watch highlights of Roy Jones to pump me up.
How would you describe your style?
If the opportunity presents itself, I’ll be explosive. I’m not rushing anything at all, when I’m in the ring it’s basically like putting a puzzle together. I’m just finding the pieces as I can, I don’t wanna rush the puzzle, because I don’t wanna mess it up.
What are you and your trainer, Jason Jones, currently working on?
We work on throwing a lot of combinations, cause that’s what a lot of old school fighters say they don’t see too much of anymore. A lot of fighters pot-shot or throw one or two shots, so we work on throwing a lot of combinations. However, if you’re in there with a guy who has a lot of power, it wouldn’t make any sense to stay in there and throw five or six shots because you run the risk of getting hit.
I don’t want to get too consumed with the combinations to where it takes away from my boxing ability. I wanna be an all-around fighter; know what to do, when to do it and how to do it.
Do you feel you’ll be the first man to stop Vaughn Alexander on Saturday?
I’m just happy to be able to do this, period. Like my pastor always tells me: Every single day I wake up that means God isn’t finished with me yet.
No matter what happens in my life, I’m doing what I always dreamed of doing and that makes me happy.
How do you size up the competition at middleweight?
A lot of people think I’m a super middleweight but I’m really a middleweight. I’m just not going down right now. When the time comes and they tell me alright Money, it’s time to make 160 for a title or a title eliminator, I’ll be there.
There’s a lot of great fighters there. Obviously, you have Jermall (Charlo). You got Canelo [Alvarez], [Demetrius] Andrade, and my friend Immanuwel Aleem.
What about 168?
At super middleweight you’ve got Caleb Plant, Callum Smith and David Benavidez.
One day I’m gonna be there up at the top with all of those guys, but for now I have to make sure that I keep listening to my parents, my coach, stay grounded and stay prayed up.
Ultimately, what are your goals in boxing?
I wanna leave this sport with accomplishing everything I set out to do beforehand and leave people feeling good about who I was as a person. When you die, people remember about how you made them feel.
A lot of celebrities have people watching them, some of them say I don’t care. I’m gonna do me. Well that may be so, but in a way that’s selfish because people look up to you and wanna follow in your footsteps.
So, if somebody out there is doing good things and they’re promoting it, they’re showing that hey, it’s nice to be kind to people. That’s ultimately what I want to do, not just be remembered as a great fighter, but as a great human being.