By Dylan Deprey
Until the moment he steps in the ring and the bell echoes, Dennis “The Mongoose” Morris will be working.
Whether he is running around Milwaukee promoting his own fight, helping coach the youth boxing program at the Kosciusko Community Center, meeting with fans at events around the state, or training for an upcoming fight, he stays pretty busy.
He is now looking at obtaining his fourth championship belt on Dec. 17 at the Best Western in Milwaukee.
Although his career has taken off, it looked grim towards the start.
Back in 2010, the odds were stacked against him. He was an athletic guy who enjoyed to train, and picked up boxing for recreation.
“You know it was like I had a boxing match, and then I had a basketball game that Saturday, and then a football game followed by baseball the next day,” Morris said.
He began training harder and sparring with everybody he could. He won three amateur fights and felt he was ready to go pro.
“After that first knockout I knew this is what I wanted to do,” Morris said.
He trained with his father and uncle in Louisiana and came back better and stronger. He won his first fight professional fight knocking out Dennis Penelton in front of his home town at Turner Hall.
Three weeks later he received a call for a fight out in New York against a debut boxer, Sean Monaghan. As he walked off the plane he knew the promoter had made a mistake.
“They flew the wrong Dennis out to New York, they flew me instead of the Dennis I knocked out,” Morris said.
The day of the fight he made his weight and was ready to go, until the promoter called. The promoter said Morris was ineligible to fight because the doctor had concerns for spots in his brain.
“I told them straight up there was nothing wrong with me,” Morris said.
Morris added that the promoters had a lot of money behind the debut and a bus loads of fans from his opponent’s home town. He also noted that he had witnessed guys who smoked marijuana, took drug tests and still were able to box.
He was eventually suspended from boxing for three years.
Whatever the case, he stayed in New York and kept training. He eventually gained respect at local gyms and had successfully sparred with training professionals.
After having the go ahead from a specialist in New York and in Milwaukee, he was allowed to box again.
Yet again his only option would be almost impossible. Morris had to lose 13 lbs. in three days to make weight for an upcoming match against Taneal Goyco in Philadelphia.
He ran a mile to lose the last pound an hour and a half before the fight. Once he made it in the ring he was disoriented.
“It was like everything was in slow motion,” Morris said. “I had to fight like Rocky, be aggressive but pick my punches right.”
He gave it everything he had, but was eventually knocked out.
Following the fight, he gave himself 90 days to decide if he was going to return to boxing again.
“The first month I pretty much chilled, the second month I thought about how boxing affected me and what I could do for the community and the third I started training again,” Morris said. “I decided I was going to be my own man and my own boss.”
Flash forward to 2014 and a seven-knockout win streak, and Morris was headed for number eight. He squared up against Joey Montoya in Colorado.
After the round one the altitude got the best of him.
“My speed wasn’t there, I was slow and tired out,” Morris said. “I knew I had to do the opposite of fast so I hit him with everything I had for five rounds.”
As Morris knocked Montoya to the ground breaking his nose and eye socket, the ref said it did not count because he had slipped. It was then based on a unanimous decision.
“Everybody on Twitter said I won, people in the crowd said I won, and even the commissioner said I won, but they raised his hand,” Morris said.
After everything boxing has thrown at him the past six years of his career, and a 22-2 (11KO) record, Dennis “The Mongoose” Morris has held his gloves high. Yet he still works like he always has.
“I don’t like wasting time, and I don’t like anybody wasting my time because I could be training,” Morris said.
For Information on tickets for the upcoming event visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dennis-the-mongoose-morris-dec-17th-2016-fight-tickets-28874551561