Malik Thompson: Student and Professional Boxer

Malik Nelson is no ordinary student on campus. While he is studying business with a concentration in finance, Nelson is also on his way to become a professional boxer. At the early age of six, Nelson’s father discovered his natural athletic ability as a boxer—and at that moment, his career took off.

“I started pursuing and competing when I turned ten years old and traveled all over the U.S. in amateur national boxing tournaments. I honestly fell in love with the process of getting better and competing with people one on one,” Nelson said.

Two important people in Nelson’s life serve as the fuel and inspiration for his career: his father and uncle. Nelson’s uncle is a former international boxing federation world champion, while his father has some amateur boxing matches under his belt.

What Nelson enjoys most about boxing is the training, dedication that goes into it, and the large crowds cheering for him. “I enjoy all aspects of being a professional boxer, from training camp to fighting in front of big crowds,” he said.

However, he does recognize the discipline that is required of an individual. Nelson mentioned, “Becoming a professional boxer is a demanding sport that requires an immense amount of dedication and sacrifice.”

After having practiced this sport for a while now, Nelson has been able to identify a distinct difference between being a professional boxer and a world champion boxer. “I think it takes a lot more skill, concentration, and dedication to become a world champion as a professional. Being a professional is different in many ways as you don’t wear headgears, and we fight in smaller gloves which make the punches harder.”

After his time at Monmouth University, Nelson plans to continue his career in professional boxing, striving to get better every day and hone down his technique. He plans to incorporate his degree with his boxing career by building his own business and investing in a prolific portfolio.

Although Nelson is concentrated in his professional boxing career, in his spare time he enjoys creating content on social media. Nelson edits videos and shares content via his boxing Instagram account and YouTube. Not only is this something of interest to him, but he considers social media skills ones that will help him in the future.

Nelson believes it’s important for others to practice boxing even if it is not for professional purposes. He said, “I urge people to get into boxing to learn how to defend themselves and get in shape.”

Tjreed Booman Ph.D., Specialist Professor of Economics, Finance, and Real Estate, described Nelson as a serious and motivated student who likes to be challenged academically. Booman said, “Combining studies with his boxing career must be challenging, but he can dedicate sufficient time to his studies. This semester he even modified his training schedule to be in the morning session on time.” Booman added that Nelson has a strong personality and his fellow classmates respect him greatly.

Michael Thomas, M.F.A, Adjunct Professor of English, shared a similar sentiment and considers Nelson an outstanding and passionate student. Thomas said, “One doesn’t always expect to have a business student show up in creative writing the way he did. One of his first poems was about his boxing career in discussion with his father. I won’t ever forget the emotion in that piece.”

Thomas added, “Even in the online format, Malik’s vibrant personality and intellect consistently shined, having a decisive influence on the class as a whole.”

Learning to balance both aspects of his life must not be easy, but Nelson has found a way to be a dedicated student and boxer. He knows that his passion for boxing and the knowledge he gained at Monmouth will help him live a successful life.