Quashawn Toler lived a nightmare two-day stretch through the opening days of 2020. His brother handed away and the next day, Toler suffered his first defeat as a professional.
Toler took a while away from the game, which additionally passed off through the COVID-19 pandemic, and desires to show one loss is not going to dictate his profession.
The once-beaten Toler will face Gabriel Smith Saturday night time on the Occasion Heart Hollywood On line casino Enviornment in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The eight-round welterweight bout will headline a six-bout World Combating Championships card.
Toler (15-1, 11 knockouts), who resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been lively this 12 months. Saturday will mark his fifth battle and his first in the USA and having fought in Colombia. In his final bout on September 25, Toler stopped Arley Carabali within the seventh spherical. The victory over Carabali passed off 4 weeks after Toler stopped former fringe contender Aristides Perez within the second spherical.
The 30-year-old is glad the exercise and the fights he fought in Colombia has paid off and hopes to hold that momentum into the Smith battle.
“I’ve been very lively this 12 months,” Toler informed The Ring Wednesday night. “My objective was to remain busy and to remain targeted. My workforce and I wished that to be a precedence. I’ve traveled overseas to Colombia. I really like the tradition and hard-nosed combating fashion. It allowed me some alternatives that have been missing right here within the States. I’ve accomplished my finest to benefit from these alternatives. This shall be my fifth straight battle this 12 months and my fifth win on a successful streak. I really feel strongly about my stable successful streak.”
Toler was an unbeaten fighter till January 3, 2020, when he misplaced a unanimous resolution to Clay Collard, the combined martial arts fighter who ran a successful streak contained in the Prime Rank ‘Bubble’ later that 12 months. Toler had a heavy coronary heart going into the Collard battle as his brother, Eugene Hafford, handed away the day earlier than as a consequence of gun violence
Having spent a 12 months away from the ring to grieve for his brother and never having the ability to battle because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Toler slowly returned to the fitness center, attending a administration workforce. It has labored so far and Toler has discovered extra peace and construction in his life and profession.
“Since my loss to Clay Collard, I’ve discovered lots,” stated Toler, who’s managed by Nate Morris. “I discovered a ton from that battle. Primarily to not react and transfer off of feelings. I nonetheless fought that battle the day after my brother died. I make no excuses, however under no circumstances was my psychological state acute sufficient to compete. Me being the warrior I’m, (I) simply wished to battle. Combat anybody or something. Nevertheless, that loss has made me a greater fighter. I discovered to remain hungry (and), to not let anybody take away your alternatives at greatness.
“I’ve been staying within the fitness center, (additionally) added NorthEnd Administration to my workforce. Blessed to have folks in my nook which are gonna push me extra and hold me targeted, contained in the ring and out.”
Toler hopes a press release win over Smith (11-4-1, 4 KOs), who has misplaced three of his final 5 fights, will open extra doorways for him, notably right here in the USA. He believes he’s the way forward for the division and is prepared to battle any welterweight within the sport.
“I do know that the welterweight division is stacked proper now, among the finest weight lessons in boxing,” stated Toler. “I push ahead to make my identify an enormous one within the division. Boxing wants somebody like me, prepared to threat all of it for glory, legacy, and future. Will me knocking Smith out ship a message? I imagine so, however let’s be trustworthy. I’m top-level prepared. Smith (is) simply in my means. I’ll have to maneuver him simply to allow them to see me clearly.
As he strives to perform his targets within the ring, Toler additionally has his sights set on fulfilling private targets exterior of it.
“My objective for 2023 is to make boxing my life, job and all. To place myself and my household in (a) higher place, take the steps vital to finish the legacy I’ve at all times recognized was ready for me.
“I’ve set targets that I plan on bringing to actuality. Being a hero to my neighborhood, striving to present others alternatives to make it out by being a very good chief and a constructive instance.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has lined boxing in Southern California and overseas since 2000. Francisco additionally covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He may be reached by e mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing