On April 4, 2016, lightweight prospect Mason Menard (31-1, 23 KOs) made his television debut on Showtime’s ShoBox: The New Generation and scored a brutal one-punch third round knockout that flattened his opponent, Eudy Bernardo (21-1, 15 KOs), causing him to exit the ring on a stretcher. Menard, who was introduced to boxing at the age of 8, was born and raised in Rayne, Louisiana, and comes from a family of fighters. “My older brother boxed, my dad boxed, my uncle boxed, so it’s kind of just a family thing,” said Menard.
Highly decorated as an amateur, he nearly became a member of #TeamUSA Boxing in 2007 but his dream was derailed by one of Top Rank’s current world champions. “I had 82 amateur fights. I was 63-19. I had a bronze medal in the USA National tournament and I made it to the Olympic trials where I lost in my last fight to Terence Crawford.”
As a professional, Menard’s progression has been slow and calculated due to his team deciding it would be beneficial to bring him along slowly and allow him to mature emotionally and physically. “Me and my manager, we talked about this when I first turned pro. He didn’t want to do anything with me – He wanted to build me up until I was 26 years-old. He said that’s about when you’re gonna man up and mature. When I turned 26 I ended up having to do hand surgery so it kind of backed us up a little bit, right before I actually accepted a fight with Ivan Redkach and then they canceled the whole card. Then we signed with GCP (Gary Cohen Promotions) . . . and now we’re here,” Menard recounted.
Coming into the pros I was a very arrogant and cocky guy. I showboated a lot, I taunted a lot and after I got knocked out that humbled me.
A slow build isn’t the only reason why Menard isn’t a household name yet after 32 professional fights. All of his bouts prior to his ShoBox debut took place in Louisiana, which isn’t a locale for title fights or known as a breeding ground for championship caliber fighters.
“I fought some tomato cans, I was 19 years-old and I was immature, so you gotta build up, gain some confidence, learn some things. Then here and there [my team] would throw in somebody who was better than I was used to fighting. You learn from things like that and we just built up on the way up and now we’re ready for whatever they bring at us.”
If the knockout on Showtime is any indication, Menard is ready for matchups with top flight opponents. He’s on a 29-fight winning streak and hasn’t lost since his third professional fight in 2008. The lone loss he suffered was a first round knockout to a fighter named Carl McNickles, who’s currently on a six fight losing streak.
“That there changed everything for me. Coming into the pros I was a very arrogant and cocky guy. I showboated a lot, I taunted a lot and after I got knocked out that humbled me. It was a learning experience and as you can tell it helped me out tremendously in my career and made me into a better fighter and a better person,” explained Menard.
Like most fighters, he doesn’t watch a lot of film on his opponents and prefers to let the fight play out and come to him naturally. His coach, Chad Broussard, who has been with him since he turned pro and was a professional fighter with a record of 56-5, studies the opponents and prepares him for the different looks he may encounter.
I just thank everybody who supports me and now follows me and just became a fan. I greatly appreciate all the kind words they say to me and god bless everybody.
“I don’t really watch film. But, when they tell me a certain guy I go look on YouTube and I’ll watch :15 of the first round and then I’ll fast forward depending on how many rounds they got and I’ll watch another :15 or :30 and I’m done. I just look to see their stance and how long they are just to get a glimpse of what they are. I let Chad and a few others that I know look at their films and they give me the input and the insight on them and I use that to my advantage in the ring. When you get in the ring, styles make fights and you have to make adjustments so that’s why I don’t really like to sit down and watch film,” Menard confessed.
Now that he has an explosive Showtime performance on his resume, a return to the network with GCP Promotions should be in the near future. “That is my most impressive knockout I’ve had. I’ve had other good knockouts but not as great as that one . . . I’ve always had fast feet and fast hands. As a pro, Chad taught me how to sit down on punches and as I matured with age I developed power.”
If you haven’t seen Mason Menard, go to YouTube and look at his knockout win from last weekend. The lightweight division is filled with talent and with a few more performances like his last, Menard will go from prospect to contender in no time. “I’d like to get back on T.V. and get another good opponent and move from there. I just thank everybody who supports me and now follows me and just became a fan. I greatly appreciate all the kind words they say to me and god bless everybody.”