Today we take a closer look at a young Light-Heavyweight boxer you probably haven’t seen fight yet, Tristan Kalkreuth. The 6’4”, 18-year-old boxer from Duncanville, Texas, has been making waves in the professional circuit since he signed with Golden Boy in 2019. His pro record stands at 5-0, with a KO, 3 TKOs and a unanimous decision.
As an amateur, Tristan had an impressive record of 92-9 and was a member of Team USA. As he was too young to join the Olympic team for 2020, the lower-age-limit being 19, Kalkreuth decided to turn pro aged just 17.
Good amateur records don’t always translate well to the professional game. Professional fighting is a different animal altogether, while many skills learned on the amateur circuit can set a fighter up with a good foundation, many feel like they are starting out all over again. The lack of head guards, the difference in boxing for points vs boxing for damage, and the higher caliber of competition can really create problems for those looking to transfer their amateur success to the pros. Tristan Kalkreuth has had no such problems.
Kalkreuth is a boxer-puncher. He has the ability to out-box his opponents but has shown the ability to come forward and really let his hands go, landing his heavy hands with beautiful combo set-ups. He keeps a great guard, always watching his opponent’s hand movements, can spot the shots he needs to avoid, and which ones he can walk through. For a great example of Tristan at work, watch his KO of Blaze LaCaze. From the opening bell, he had LaCaze figured out, was able to outmaneuver and outbox him, and was able to land the jab with ease. Rather than take the fight any further, Kalkreuth started to walk LaCaze down, landing heavy shots with clear intent. At 1:47 in round 1 Kalkreuth rocked LaCaze with a vicious overhand right, paused, then snapped his head back with a lead left hook that would’ve been enough to do the job itself.
Kalkreuth has shown exceptional ability to box technically as an amateur. For a tall guy, he moves quickly with the bob and weave, has a great feel for his own balance, and can fight of either foot. He has strength in both hands, genuine snap to his jab, straight right, both hooks, and thudding uppercuts.
It’s not infrequent that talented young amateurs get hyped by their promotional teams, citing great records and highlight reels from their teens. However, Kalkreuth shows a maturity belying his years, he is aware of his weaknesses and the areas of his games that he wants to improve on. He has so far stayed humble, talking about his desire to put in the hard work, to out-train and out-prepare his opponents. His performances in the ring have backed up his words.
He’s an exciting young fighter to watch, with so many weapons, in his bag. He knows when to cover up and back off, he knows when to step on the gas and hound his opponents. Many younger fighters can land big shots, see their opponents wobble and go after blood, losing their head a bit in doing so. Kalkreuth has shown the ability to stay smart, moving forward quickly while still being cautious. So far, he has shown the ability to tread the fine line between closing the distance and capitalizing when he’s buzzed someone, and recklessly charging in. In 5 professional fights, Tristan has fought just 10 rounds, coming out of each one looking fresh-faced and unscathed. Bear in mind that his pro debut came in August 2019, all five of his fights coming in just 7 months.
We look forward to watching Tristan Kalkreuth develop and rise up in the ranks. If you want to watch him at his best, you can pick any one of his 5 pro fights. You have KOs, TKOs, and decision victories to choose from.