FIGHT BYTES: Familiar Footsteps – Prince “Tiger” Smalls


Our one-on-one interview with San Diego boxer Prince “Tiger” Smalls and his trainer, Priest Smalls, during an open workout in preparation for his upcoming six-round fight at Bobby D Presents on November 21, 2014.

The father-son bond is special and unique in every way. Only a father can explain what it means to have a son. And only a father can hope and pray that their son will lead a successful life. While some fathers expect their son to follow in their own footsteps, others pray that they aim higher. Regardless of the situation, a father always wants to see his son surpass his own accomplishments and live a fulfilling life.

Priest “Tiger” Smalls, a former professional boxer who endured a fourteen year career and earned a NABO and WBO featherweight title, never forced the sweet science on his son, Prince Smalls. In fact, Priest never wanted his son to get into the fight game. But one day, Prince Smalls confronted his dad and told him that he wanted to pursue a career as a professional boxer. Already an exceptional athlete, Prince was ready to take the leap into boxing and if he was to be successful, there was only one man who he wanted in his corner . . . his father of course.

In three days Prince “Tiger” Smalls, a tall featherweight who fights out of San Diego, will square off against Tijuana fighter Jose Iniguez at Bobby D Presents “Dangerous Divas II” from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Mission Valley. The fight card will be the final show of the year for Bobby D Presents and will also be a historic event for the city of San Diego as the first female title fight will take place between Kenia Enriquez and Ana Arrazola for the WBO Female Flyweight belt.

Despite the late start in boxing, Prince “Tiger” Smalls has the tools to become a special fighter. Simply put, boxing is in Small’s blood and that fact shows when you see him train. At over 6’0” tall, with a significant reach for his division, Smalls pulls from good genes and a trainer who has seen it all. As a California Boxing Hall of Famer, Priest Smalls had a successful career inside the ropes earning 21 wins, two titles and an endless amount of knowledge about what the fight game can do to a fighter both inside and outside of the ring.

The interesting part of how Prince came to be a professional fighter is unique in that his father never pushed the sport on him. While it is normal for a father to push a career path on his son and expect that his son follow in his own footsteps, Priest Smalls never burdened his son with the idea that he needed to become a fighter. Instead, Priest let Prince make his own choices and create his own path.

Whether it be going to law school, becoming a doctor, or for the purposes of this story, strapping on a pair of leather gloves and stepping into a ring as a professional boxer, the end goal is always the same . . . do what makes you happy. The fact that Prince ended up fighting was a product of Priest letting his son find his own way. And sometimes, different paths lead to the same destination.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel is located at 2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego. “San Diego Fights” is presented by Bobby D. Presents with Mossy Automotive Group, Pepsi, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, DGS Construction and Car Czar. Doors open at 6:30pm with the first punch thrown at 7:30pm. For more info, please dial (619) 420-8866 or visit

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