One of boxing’s busiest managers today is New York’s David McWater with represents over fifty boxers including WBA, IBF and WBO Lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez! He operates Split-T Management.
This writer met McWater several years ago in Philadelphia where he manages Philly boxers “The New” Ray Robinson, 24-3-2 (12), Poindexter “Savage” Knight, 6-0 (3), Mark Dawson 7-0-1 (3), Damon “Baby Dane” Allen, 16-1-1 (5), and Sonny “The Bronco” Conto, 6-0 (5).
McWater’s top boxer is Lopez, 16-0 (12). He also has former IBF super lightweight champion Ivan Baranchyk, 20-2 (13), of Russia. Other fighters from out of the country are Ebanie Bridges, 4-0 (2), of Australia, Neeraj Goyat, 11-3-2 (2), of India, Ievgen “Ukranian Lion” Khytrov, 20-2 (17), of Ukraine, Vikas “The Indian Tank” Krishan, 2-0 (1), of India, Trent Rawlins, 10-2-1 (8), of Australia, Ivan “The Volk” Golub, 18-1 (14), of Ukraine, Hurshidbek Normatov, 10-0 (3), of Uzbekistan, and Omar Rosario, 2-0 (0), of Puerto Rico.
McWater has prospects and contenders Marcus Carter, 5-0 (5), Brian Ceballo, 11-0 (6), Anthony Barnes, 12-0 (8), Charles Conwell, 13-0 (10), Erick DeLeon, 19-0-1 (10), Janelson Figueroa Bocachica, 16-0 (11), Andreal Holmes, 11-0 (5), Tyler Howard, 18-0 (11), Otha Jones lll, 5-0-1 (2), Abraham “El Super” Nova, 19-0 (14), Diego Pacheco, 10-0 (8), Christopher Pearson, 17-2 (12), Money Powell IV, 11-1 (7), Eric Puente, 4-0 (0), Giovani Santillan, 26-0 (15), Stephen “Big Shot” Shaw, 13-0 (10), Isaiah Steen, 15-0 (12), Wesley Tucker, 14-3 (8), Antonio Vargas, 12-1 (5), Rolando Vargas, 5-1 (5), John “Phenom” Vera, 19-1 (11), Leandre White, 7-0 (2), Joseph Williams, 13-0 (8), and Fred Wilson, Jr., 6-0-2 (2).
McWater was born in Norman, OK, and is a graduate of New York University. He founded a business representing American basketball players in foreign countries. In 1992 he opened his first tavern. He opened sixteen taverns in New York City. He has been active in politics and civic work. He is a longtime member of The Society for American Baseball Research. He serves as an editor for Boxrec.com He is an avid genealogist, sports fan and a former professional poker player.
McWater was good enough to answer some questions.
KEN HISSNER: You manage WBO, WBA, IBF Lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez and most people in boxing are asking will there be a rematch with Vasyl Lomachenko in the near future?
DAVID MC WATER: I don’t think there will be a rematch, no. Loma hasn’t asked for one, and I doubt he wants one. Regardless, it isn’t something really high on our list. We feel like we made our statement and now are really focused on defending our title until hopefully Teofimo can fight the winner of Ramirez-Taylor to be the first fighter to win all the belts in two divisions.
KEN HISSNER: Speaking of Lopez will you be seeking a match with WBC champion Devin “The Dream” Haney to unify the titles?
DAVID MC WATER: They’re pretty much unified now. Teofimo is generally recognized as owning all four belts. Devin is a wonderful kid and I’m sure they will fight someday, but I doubt it will be in 2021. To me that feels like a major PPV if Devin is given the time to increase his resume, which I have total confidence he will.
KEN HISSNER: You manage former IBF Super Lightweight Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk, who last month in a war lost to Jose “Chon” Zepeda when both fighters were down four times each. Will there be a rematch?
DAVID MC WATER: That was about the most insane fight ever right? I feel Ivan would have won if had been a little more contained but that just not who The Beast is! All credit to Zepeda who is just amazing in my opinion, really the total package. I cannot imagine anyone else surviving did and then winning. Right now we are working to make sure Ivan has a full and healthy recovery, for which he seems to be on the right path. But yes, we would like a rematch in late 2021. If for any reason the 140 belts vacate rather than fighting Teofimo I’d love to see Zepeda-Baranchyk ll for one of the open belts.
KEN HISSNER: You now manage over 50 boxers. Does Joe Quiambao still assist you in keeping all of them busy?
DAVID MC WATER: Every day! Yes, Joe was the first guy hired at Split-T and does a tremendous job. We continue to grow, however, Tim Van Newhouse, Ron Rizzo, Otha Jones, Brian Cohen, Brendan Segalas, and Ryan Rechten are all full time now, and there are several part time employees as well. When a prospect signs with Split-T they are getting a company behind them, not just some guy sitting in his living room on a cell phone.
KEN HISSNER: You are not afraid to put you boxers in tough. For example you are putting your unbeaten Charles Conwell 13-0, in with Madiyar Ashkeyev, 14-0, in L.A. December 17th. You also are putting Brian Ceballo, 11-0, in with Larry Gomez, 10-1, in L.A. on December 3rd. Do you feel this is the best way to determine if they have what it takes to be a future contender and champion?
DAVID MC WATER: We try to recruit special kids and those two, Ceballo and Conwell, are prime examples. So, yes, definitely, we want to continually be stepping them up. Most of the top amateurs have the skills right away to fight contenders, what they don’t have is the experience. Over a ten round fight there is an opportunity for the lack of experience to play out in a lot, which is why you don’t start guys out against contenders. These guys can fight though, and they are learning fast. I would love it if they both got title shots in 2021 and will be disappointed if they don’t have them by the end of 2022.
KEN HISSNER: You have a Philly connection with at least five boxers. Is there a bout planned for your young unbeaten heavyweight Sonny Conto in December in Philly?
DAVID MC WATER: Sort of, he was supposed to fight on Rodney Rice’s show in December, but the Governor has ended that with the new Covid-19 shutdown. Hopefully when Pennsylvania opens up he will be back up there. Sonny had a tough summer, he was supposed to be on the second post-covid ESPN show back in June when he messed up his elbow sparring. He ended up basically missing the entire year over it. Top Rank would have had him fight in the bubble 3-4 times I think, so very frustrating for everyone involved, especially Sonny.
KEN HISSNER: I’m currently finishing up an article on the legendary Don Elbaum. Would you credit him for helping you get started in boxing?
DAVID MC WATER: Oh definitely 100%. I loved boxing, but I didn’t know anyone in the sport really until I met Don in the 90’s. Don is an evangelist for the sport. I honestly don’t know anyone who loves it more or talks about it more. I always joke hat Don’s answer to everything is boxing. World Hunger? Do a boxing show! Domestic abuse? Do a boxing show! He’s one of a kind and unfortunately there aren’t many left like him. People forget, or will never know, for years he kept boxing alive in the NY-PA-OH rust belt. I was lucky to meet him and he’s been a wonderful friend the last 25 years. I definitely wouldn’t be in boxing if not for him. It’s a shame no one has done a biography on him yet, it would be tremendous.
KEN HISSNER: I see you have just added former IBF World Heavyweight champion Chris Byrd to your list of boxers and he may be returning at light heavyweight. What do you have planned for him?
DAVID MC WATER: Chris has a great story of redemption. For most of the last decade he was in total pain in his extremities. Depression took root and he was just miserable. Then he met Dr. Aaron Phypers (who is married to the actress Denise Richards) and it has just changed his life. He’s healthier now than ever and feels tremendous. People forget he fought in the Olympics at 165 and won a silver medal, and when he came home nobody wanted him. So he beefed up to a heavyweight where he was two time world champion. But carrying all that weight was not a healthy thing for Chris. Now he is back down to 160 pounds and would like to fight at middleweight. That being said, we are taking it slow and being healthy about it, he will have a couple of easy fights, many even celebrities or retired fighters first to see how it goes. By the way, he is not the only US Olympic 165 to become a heavyweight champion of the world, Floyd Patterson 1952, Michael Spinks 1976, were both also later heavyweight world champ. Pretty amazing huh?
KEN HISSNER: David I want to thank you for answering these questions and wish you continual success in the world of boxing.
DAVID MC WATER: Thank you Ken, and thank you for being such a great supporter of boxing and especially Philly boxing. I always say Philly and Detroit are the best two towns in the USA for club shows and I don’t think I’ve ever been to one in Philly you weren’t covering!