25-year-old Clarkson (17-3, 11 KOs), from Cedar Hill, Texas, had a sensational year in 2015, scoring five wins, including two impressive ShoBox: The New Generation-televised victories over then 15-1 Lavarn Harvell (TKO 2) and then 13-1 Jerry Odom (TKO 3).
Clarkson also beat former world title challenger Cedric Agnew (then 27-1) by decision on DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing.
Trained by his father, Samuel Sr., since starting in boxing at age 17, the southpaw Clarkson went 69-9 as an amateur, winning the 2009 National PAL Amateur Championship and a pair of Texas Golden Gloves State Championships.
“It’s a blessing,” said Clarkson of the signing. “We sat down and talked to Greg Cohen about the opportunities he could offer me and my family in the boxing business and I’m looking forward to a very bright future.”
Clarkson says his streak of impressive victories started when he began to focus on more than his punching power.
“In my amateur days, I had a lot of knockouts,” he explained. “I knocked out everybody, but then in the pros I started to focus more on my boxing skills. I learned you can’t just go in there and swing hard punches and knock everybody out. I dissect my opponents now before getting them out of there. I pick them apart and then, when I see somebody hurt, I go in for the kill. That’s the biggest change in me.”
Clarkson Sr., a former marine who fought for Detroit’s Kronk Gym as an amateur, says he’s equally excited about his son’s promotional deal.
“We’ve been waiting a long time to showcase Samuel’s skills to the world and Greg Cohen will give us the opportunity to do that.”
“Samuel Clarkson is the type of fighter who continues to improve every year,” said Greg Cohen. “He has really come together as a legitimate threat in the light heavyweight division and I’m happy to be working with him and his team. Ronson Frank and I have some big plans in store for Samuel. He’s a big puncher with a great comeback story and a he and his father are genuinely nice people. He provides the kinds of wins that TV networks love. I see tremendous potential in him.”
Clarkson says his streak of high-profile victories and now his promotional arrangement will allow him to continue doing the two things he’s passionate about, fighting and helping others.
“I have met a lot of young people that come from a similar background who are watching me now and looking up to me. If I can do anything to help them, I will. My success in boxing is allowing me to help influence them and help them understand that there is a lot more to life than what they currently see. It won’t be easy, but you have to work hard and go for it. That is a blessing to be able to do that.”