When I asked Jason Bergman and his trainer Jack Conway why they call him "Iron Man" the best response I could get was from Conway: "It rhymes with Bergman. You remember the first Iron Man movie? It was around that time and my son thought it was cool."
If you ask me, his nickname comes from the iron he has in his chin and his gloves. Bergman (15-9-2 11 KO) doesn't have the best record but with a little digging it isn't as bad as you think.
Conway made a good point regarding his record. "He did it backwards," he said. "You're supposed to take easy fights and then hard fights."
He didn't have great guidance early in his career, and ended up being the opponent.
"I was doing it for the money. I didn't realize the potential I had or money I could make," Bergman said. "I was barely training, I didn't even run." You would think Bergman would want to forget his early career but that he doesn't see it that way. "I'm almost happy the way it worked out," he said.
He was going to undefeated fighters backyards and he knows he wasn't there to win. After losing his debut, in his opponent's backyard, he reeled off four straight wins against fighters with combined records of 24-13.
One of those fighters had 10 losses while the other three had two losses or fewer. His record stood at 4-1 (3 KO) and the future looked bright. Then he went 5-8-2, against solid opponents, before making the move to South Park Boxing Club.
There he hooked up with Jack Conway and hasn't lost since. "It was a hard learning experience (early) but positive because I was hanging in there with good fighters, and I wasn't even training," he said.
With Conway in his corner he won five fights before stepping it out last time out. He knocked out Horace Ray Grant, the first fighter to do so, in two rounds to win the IBC Continental heavyweight title.
That was the sixth win in a row and fifth by knockout. His power is probably his biggest asset and Conway said it is real power. "When his punches land they sound like rifle shots," he said. "He has natural accuracy, and he'll find your chin."
The scary part is Conway said Bergman was knocking people out and didn't even know how to punch properly. Now that he has a good trainer, Bergman is working on his speed, footwork and stamina, something he said he has never had.
Bergman will be looking to improve again when he fights veteran Robert Hawkins this coming Thursday, July 28. Hawkins (23-17 7 KO) the kind of fighter that Bergman used to be. He will take fights on short notice and in opponents' backyards, with no questions asked.
Hawkins has only been knocked out three times in those 17 losses, but Bergman thinks he can make it four times. "I don't see him hanging around more than two or three rounds," he said.
A win against the 41-year-old Hawkins, especially a knockout, would turn some heads but there is no need to rush into a big fight according to Conway and Bergman. Conway knows he has a bright future and is in no hurry.
Bergman himself would like to stay active until 20 wins and then fight once every three months for bigger purses. Bergman and Conway aren't worried about the nine losses, they know a winning streak trumps losses.
It also doesn't hurt that Bergman is big, strong, a southpaw and American with blonde hair and blue eyes. There aren't many American heavyweight contenders out there and the ones that are out there don't impress much.
If you go to Carson Street Live this Thursday at 7 p.m. you better pay attention when Iron Man blares through the speakers because the fight might not last until the end of the song.
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