Mark de Mori grew up in the suburbs of Perth, Australia. During adolescence, deafness occurred until the age of four and chronic asthma attacks were obstacles during the talented Australian’s childhood. De Mori’s asthma attacks were so profound when attending John XXIII College that he often spent numerous nights in the emergency department fighting for his life. Against all odds, the Australian sports star discovered a deep passion for boxing and was highly determined to fight adversity in order to live his dream.
De Mori learned to box courtesy of watching endless hours of professional boxing footage via YouTube and subsequently executed the sweet science thereafter within his father’s garage. De Mori developed an attitudinally brash US fighting style in lowering his fists opposed to placing them before his face. It is a unique and revered style that has become a trademark stance for De Mori, which has seemingly infuriated opponents.
After making a major impact on the amateur boxing scene in Australia, de Mori marked his professional boxing debut aged 22. It was in 2007 when De Mori inked a three-year deal with legendary boxing promoter Don King, who noted de Mori’s “youth and exciting style” as marquee elements in marketing the Australian athlete to greater stardom and appeal in the United States.
Fast fowarding to 2016, Mark de Mori will be colliding with Great Britain’s David Haye inside the world famous O2 Arena in London, England on January 16 in an anticipated main event encounter which will invariably alter the destiny of the star who is indeed victorious. De Mori’s inspirational journey to self-trained fighter to becoming one of the elite Heavyweight professional boxers on the planet is one sacrifice, passion, talent and determination. Mark de Mori currently heads into the well-documented clash against the returning David Haye with one majorly emphatic intent.
How has working with two-time Olympian and former Professional Boxer Marijo Sivolija differentiated in training preparation to previous bouts opposed to your forthcoming highly anticipated clash with David Haye inside the O2 Arena in London?
He (Mario Sivolija) is great at bringing the best out in me. I can be very stubborn having trained myself for so long, but he knows how to get me doing what he wants, and whenever I do, the results are good. So I have trust in what he says now.
Do you believe that Haye’s extensive three-and-a-half-year boxing sabbatical coupled alongside six pins in his right shoulder will be underlying factors which you can ultimately exploit when the bell tolls?
If he gets tired or seems injured, I will definitely try and exploit that, but I can’t rely on him not being at his best. I have to imagine the best version of David Haye is showing up. If he seems to be injured in the shoulder, I won’t hesitate to punch him directly in the injury.
You’re currently ranked WBA #10 in the world behind current WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion Tyson Fury. What do you presently have your lofty sights set on thereafter your encounter with David Haye on January 16?
No. I only focus on David Haye. Biggest fight of my life, and easily the most dangerous guy I have fought. For him, it’s a comeback fight. But for me, it’s my version of a heavyweight title shot. I am completely focused on Haye.
David Haye has publicly talked about an All-British showdown with Anthony Joshua after your bout inside the O2 Arena, whilst adding “You’re getting knocked out – trust me”. Will you be the man that ensures that Haye’s well-documented comeback trail is history before the tentative Joshua clash transpires?
I am not turning up to roll over. I am coming to win and I understand I am seen as the underdog, but I have the KO power to change the script. Joshua vs Haye will make them both millions, but I am not here to play nice and make them happy. I am here to fight for my own goals.
When you impressively knocked out Marcel Zeller in round one in Niedersachen, Germany on October 2015, how much confidence and reassurance did it fuel you with in ending 2015 undefeated?
Beating Zeller didn’t mean much, but the way I performed was good because I started doing things my coach and I have been working on. Zeller is not in my class, but the way I boxed showed I am improving, and at 33 that’s rare.
With 26 professional knockout victories in your career, what main aspects of your repetoire do you feel are widely underrated amongst boxing fans and journalists alike?
I have a good left jab, and I’m harder to hit cleanly than people imagine. They see my physique and record and assume a lot about me, but I have speed that surprises people. Haye is a panther. Always ready to strike, but so am I. We just use different tricks to catch our opponent.
How close do you believe you are away from earning the golden opportunity to become the #1 contender for the richly decorated WBA World Championship given your 30-1 record?
A win over Haye definitely puts me in the spotlight, but I can’t control the ratings. I just know it means people want to see me fight again. A loss will be really bad. This is really my make or break moment.
Professionally and personally, how different was the nature of working with legendary boxing promoter Don King to that of your current deal with the reputable Warriors Boxing based in Hollywood, Florida?
Don King taught me a lot. I appreciate the opportunity he gave to a nobody from Australia and through all the time I spent with him; I learnt the boxing business. Working with Warriors has been very different and much more transparent in their objectives for me. They currently have a lot of power in the USA Boxing market which means I have lots of options. Before with the Klitschko brothers controlling the heavyweight division, it was hard for Don King to give me the big fights he tried to get me.
How has life been for you since relocating to Split, Croatia?
I love it because it’s a beautiful climate and I am learning a lot from the locals about life. I certainly stand out as a non- local, but I feel completely at home, so it’s a funny situation.
What message do you have for your loyal fans back home in Australia and all around the world that have supported you avidly since day one?
Thank you so much, because there have been so many dark days where I could have taken the easy road and quit. But when people support and believe in you, it gives you energy and belief. That is sometimes lost on the hard road of being a professional athlete. Boxing is a dirty business and all the money is at the top so I could get discouraged, but they helped me keep going.
What are your primary goals for 2016?
Beat David Haye. That’s my only goal. After the Haye fight, I will see. But I have been so goal driven and determined for the last few years of my life. I only have one left and that is a big win like the Haye fight. After this fight, I will see how I feel.
Mark de Mori Official Website: www.markdemori.com
Mark de Mori Twitter: @MarkDeMori
Mark de Mori Instagram: MarkDemori
W| By Dean Perretta @DeanPerretta