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BOXING - Where are they now? - Boxers in Retirement.

Discussion in 'General Boxing Forum' started by COULDHAVEBEEN, Aug 8, 2010.


    COULDHAVEBEEN Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Where Are They Now? - George Foreman.

    This recent East Side Boxing article provides a good rundown on where big George has been and where he's at now:

    George Foreman.

    by Geoffrey Ciani - East Side Boxing - 18th August 2010

    This week’s 86th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with former two time heavyweight champion of the world ‘Big’ George Foreman who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2003.

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    Foreman became the oldest heavyweight champion in history when he defeated Michael Moorer by knockout at the age of 45 in November 1994, a full twenty years after he had last held the title. Foreman currently acts in the capacity of manager and trainer for his son, George Foreman III (9-0, 8 KOs) who is better known as ‘Monk’.

    Here is a complete transcript of that interview.

    JENNA J: Alright guys, it’s time for our second guest of this week’s show. He is a former two time heavyweight champion and is also a member of The Boxing Hall of Fame. We Have ‘Big’ George Foreman on with us now. How you doing today, George?

    GEORGE FOREMAN: I’m living the good life in Houston. It’s pretty hot. How is everything?

    JENNA: Everything is great, George. We are happy to be talking to a legend of the sport like yourself, but before we discuss your career in the ring, let’s talk a little bit about what you’re doing now and that’s being the trainer and manager of your son, George Foreman III. How did you feel about your son wanting to get into the sport of boxing?

    FOREMAN: It’s quite interesting because I have five sons and the most docile of them all is George Foreman III. We call him the ‘Monk’. Monk’s not been much of an athlete nor did he have any aggressive side, so when he decided to go into boxing it shocked all of us. My wife only agreed that he could if I made certain that I kept him protected by being his trainer and manager.

    JENNA: I’ve heard some rumors that when he first started out, he was training himself basically for the first year with tips from you and then one day you decided to get in the ring with him, and spar, and see what he was made of. Is that true?

    FOREMAN: Yeah, I found out of course when he was attending college in California. Periodically he stopped by the gyms and tried boxing out on his own and here in Houston, of course, I thought he was concentrating thoroughly on his college because he got a college education at Rice University. I come to find out he’s sneaking in to the gym and trying all the time. But he hadn’t had a boxing match before I started trying to help him, he had only sparred.

    JENNA: How do you feel when you watch your son getting into the ring for a fight?

    FOREMAN: It’s not an easy thing because at first, even me, I didn’t even like to come out. I’d prepare him for the boxing match, get him in good shape, and I hired two other guys to work in the corner. I wouldn’t even come out until the fight was over. That’s how it bugged me, but now I’m getting braver to the point where at least I can come out and watch.

    JENNA: Now your son’s doing this with no amateur experience. You had a short amateur career yourself, but a successful one. How important do you think amateur experiences are for a fighter just to make that transition to the professionals?

    FOREMAN: I think if it’s available it would be a great thing, but if it’s not, you just really can’t look back. Probably one of the greatest boxers of all time never had one amateur fight, like Jack Dempsey. And I myself only had twenty-five, and of those twenty-five, strangely enough most of those were the year of the Olympics—qualifying through the Golden Gloves, the Nationals, the AAU, the Olympic Trials, and the Olympics. So amateur experience is a wonderful thing but if you don’t, you just can’t even look back because professional boxing is altogether different, anyway.

    JENNA: Let’s talk a little bit about your career. How was it that you got into the sport of boxing?

    FOREMAN: I just went down to the gym to lose some weight, actually. Then I got into a lot of trouble in the Job Corps Center and they seemed to think that if I was interested they would allow me to stay in the Job Corps Center. It would get me out of trouble. I figured I was going to be a good street fighter after a year of my amateur boxing, going back to Houston, Texas and beat everybody up. Little did I know it would lead me into Gold Medal matches and I would pick up skills on the left jab, the right hand, and all those things where I even lost my desire to even be a street fighter.

    JENNA: Now winning the Gold and becoming the best American upcoming heavyweight, what was that feeling like when you won the Gold?

    FOREMAN: Oh winning that Gold Medal, I tell you, just to be on the Olympic Team was really wonderful to me. I had a lot of friends who had served in the Armed Forces. They’d come home with their uniforms and they were so proud, and everybody was proud of them. I didn’t get a chance to serve. By 19 years old, I was on the Olympic Team and I had those colors, the tracksuits, the dress-up suits, everything. I told my mom how proud I was to have some uniforms, even if I didn’t win a boxing match. So to win one match after another and then be in a position to win a Gold Medal—wow! That blew me away. Winning that Gold Medal at the end, I wanted the whole world to know where I was from, so I picked up a small American flag and paraded around the ring to make sure they knew. This was my chance to represent my country. That was greater to me then even winning the boxing matches.

    JENNA: Now after that you decided to turn professional. What was it like and what were your expectations when you decided to become a professional boxer?

    FOREMAN: Expectations. I wanted to go on and work for the Job Corps Center and finish my college education and all of that, but everyone said I can make a lot of money and become champion and finally someone confessed that I could make a million. Ha! So I expected going into boxing that I would make these hundred thousand dollars and eventually make a million. That was my expectation, but I found out along the way that I could punch, really punch. One knockout after another and before long, surprisingly, in three and a half years I was the number one contender in the world. It surprised me.

    JENNA: Well George, we’re also joined by my co-host Geoff Ciani. Geoff.

    GEOFFREY CIANI: Hi George, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show.

    FOREMAN: Thank you, Geoff.

    CIANI: George, when you did fight for the heavyweight championship against Joe Frazier, you went into that fight as a three-to-one underdog. Did the perception that Joe was going to beat you, did that give you any extra motivation going into that fight?

    FOREMAN: Just getting in the ring with Joe Frazier was extra motivation because I had seen Joe Frazier. I had been matched thirty-seven times previously, and my manager would always tell me the other guy had a weak jaw, he didn’t have this, and we’d concentrate. But fighting Joe Frazier was the first time in the dressing room that he didn’t even tell me anything because we both knew not to go there. This guy had no holes in his armor. This was a great fighter. It was the first time I had gotten into the ring where I was really afraid. I was afraid. I’ll tell you, you corner a cat and that’s when you can get hurt, and I was the cat that night.

    CIANI: What was going through your mind when it was over after two rounds and you won the heavyweight title?

    FOREMAN: After you win the title, the first thing that comes to your mind is ‘unbelievable’. Then your name, just like a cash register, starts going—Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, George Foreman. Your name fits right in there and you can feel it. In a split second, the heavyweight champion of the world, it was the most dynamite season for a long time. Plus, I was going to get that million dollars.

    CIANI: Now after that, one of the title defenses you had was against Norton and you stopped him in two rounds as well. Did you think, going into that one that it was going to be a tougher fight?

    FOREMAN: I expected the Norton fight to probably be the toughest fight I had ever had in my career because he was a big man just like me. He was all really loaded with muscles. He had a record filled with lots of knockouts. As a matter of fact, he had gone two fights with Muhammad Ali and they both looked like he won to me, although he won the first one and lost the other by decision. I really thought this was going to be it for me. I trained harder for the Norton fight than I had ever trained in my life.

    CIANI: Now speaking of Ali, George, when we had Angelo Dundee on our show he was talking about your fight with Ali and Angelo said, ‘People try to say that I designed the rope-a-dope, but I thought Muhammad was a dope to be on the ropes’, and I’m wondering, looking back on that fight and the story surrounding the ropes in that fight, what are your thoughts on that whole thing looking back on it now?

    COULDHAVEBEEN Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    George Foreman - part 2:

    FOREMAN: Looking back on it, I had this real thing about cutting the ring off. You get into the ring with me and you try to move, you’re always going to find yourself in the corner. After a couple of rounds with Muhammad Ali, he would hit and then there was nowhere to run. I’d corner him and then just start throwing lots of punches. So the rope-a-dope really was not a design. It was just something he had to do, and because he had this tremendous experience.

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    I remember, it must have been the third round, I put everything I had on him and he knew he was supposed to have been gone. When the bell rang, he looked up at me as if to say, ‘I made it!’ and I looked at him equally and said, ‘How did he make it?’ From that point on, the fight started to turn. He realized that he could survive my heavy punches. There were hard shots to come after that, but he had this funny confidence that he could make it, but that strategy was not a design. It just evolved.

    CIANI: Now was there anything about Muhammad Ali that surprised you, that you weren’t expecting going into the fight, that he brought to the table when you were in the ring with him?

    FOREMAN: Brave! I’ve never gone in the ring with anyone that courageous. I hit him one time in the side and it hurt so bad, he looked at me as if to say, ‘I’m not going to take that off of you’. He started to charge and then he said, ‘No, I can’t fight with this guy’ and he backed up into the ropes. Most guys, afterwards, I would hit them and they’d say to themselves, ‘I’m knocked out!’ I hit him, he didn’t say it. He didn’t say anything. He just said, ‘Look, I’m going to get beat up’. I have never seen a human being that brave, never before nor after.

    CIANI: Were you at all disappointed that you never wound up getting a rematch with Ali, and if you did get to go back in the ring with him in the years following your fight with him, do you think you could have reversed the outcome of your first fight?

    FOREMAN: I tried desperately to get that boxing match, and for good reasons, he wouldn’t allow me to have it. You’ve heard the expression, ‘One’s scared and the other’s glad of it’. I mean, I beat this guy up until about the sixth or seventh round, and I hit him with a good shot and he whispered into my ear, ‘Is that all you got George?’ I knew the punch hurt him, but the point of it is who wanted to get in the ring with someone like that again. Not me, and he got hit so hard he didn’t want it either. It wasn’t like I was praying, please let me have him again. If I had fought him again with the same type of vengeance I had to get even, the results would have pretty much been the same. He had my number, that’s all there is to it.

    JENNA: Now George, after the Ali fight you took some time off and when you returned you took on Ron Lyle in a fight that wound up being the 1976 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. Looking back at it, how tough of a fight was that for you?

    FOREMAN: Now Ron Lyle no doubt was the toughest fight I had in my life. He wasn’t the toughest man, but for the first time I was beaten up and I just decided, look I’m just going to have to die in this ring. I’m just not going to quit. I’m going to keep getting up and with Ron Lyle, he beat me up so bad that I think eventually he fainted and I won the boxing match.

    JENNA: Was that the most you were ever hurt in your career?

    FOREMAN: Yeah, I wasn’t hurt in the Muhammad Ali fight. They counted me out because I jumped up at the eight-count, and they counted ten. So I wasn’t hurt in that fight. I was actually honestly knocked down, but the Ron Lyle fight, I was hurt. I was hit so hard, you didn’t feel anything. You just find yourself on the canvas and this was the test of my life because I couldn’t come back with any excuses like with the Muhammad Ali fight. I had excuses, you know. But this time the whole world saw. No excuse, George. I had to keep getting up. That was as close to what I found endurance, stamina, all of it bottled up. I had it that night. Without it, I wouldn’t have even walked out of that ring alive with Ron Lyle.

    JENNA: Now after that fight you won five straight and then you fought Jimmy Young, and most people concede that if you had beat Jimmy young you would have gotten your shot at Ali. Can you tell us what it was like going into that fight in Puerto Rico?

    FOREMAN: Well the Jimmy Young fight was going to be a twelve round fight. I was going to make certain, first of all, that I had gone twelve rounds and that I was going to get a decision and show the world that I had the stamina. They said that I couldn’t go seven rounds. I was going to show that, beat Jimmy Young, and then demand a fight with Muhammad Ali because he had previously had a match with Ali and it was a controversial decision where a lot of people thought Young had won that fight. One of the organizations said if after this fight, Muhammad would not make the match, they would strip him and give it to the winner of the Young fight. So this was going to be a prize that night. I went into that fight basically expecting to get an easy win. Little did I know that that would be the fight that would lead to my ten year absence from boxing.

    JENNA: Now can you tell us maybe a little bit about that? A lot of fans have heard went on and maybe they want to hear it from your own mouth, what went on in the locker room after you lost that bout?

    FOREMAN: Well after, I waited around for the decision in the boxing match of which I really still think I won that boxing match on points. But I didn’t win. So I was so hot. The air conditioners had gone out in San Juan, Puerto Rico that night. It was the hottest place I’d ever felt in my life. I went back to my dressing room to cool off like you normally do and it was so hot you just couldn’t sit down. I was walking and I started thinking, ‘Who cares about this boxing match? You’re still George Foreman. You got money. You could go home and you could go to your ranch and you could retire if you want to. You don’t need boxing. You could retire and die’. From that point on, every word in the conversation led that I was going to die, and I knew I was about to die in a dirty, smelly dressing room that didn’t even have air conditioning. I fought for my life in that dressing room and I heard a voice within me ask, ‘You believe in God, why are you scared to die?’ And I was really afraid.

    I was scared and I tried to fight for my life. I didn’t want to tell anyone in the dressing room what was going on because they would have thought maybe he was disappointed that he lost the boxing match. Eventually I tried to make a deal because I knew there was a God. I said, ‘I’m still George Foreman. I can still box and give me money to charity and for cancer’ and the voice answered me within, ‘I don’t want your money, I want you’. Well in a split second, my legs gave out on me and I tried to scream to everyone in the room, ‘Hey ya’ll’. Before I could say another word, I was in this deep dark place over my head, under my feet, nothing, and there was a horrible smell that goes along with death and I knew it was the end of me in a big dump yard. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to my mother or my children and I was scared. I looked around and I got mad and said, ‘I don’t care if this is death, I still believe there’s a God’. I just didn’t believe in religion. Then when I said that I believed in God, like a big hand reached in and pulled me out of just hopelessness and I was alive in the dressing room again.

    Evidently, they picked me up off the floor and I laid on the table, and as I lay there my doctor’s standing behind me. I told him, ‘Doctor, move your hands, the thorns on his head are making him bleed’ and I saw it, no one else did, blood coming down my forehead. I looked on my hand and I started screaming and I saw blood and I said, ‘Jesus Christ is coming alive in me!’ Well, you know what they did. They strapped me down and took me to intensive care, but I’ve been telling that story now for over thirty-three years how I had no idea that religion exists. I stopped boxing. For ten years, I couldn’t even make a fist. I just went to the dressing room and I hit the bag and it was just a big piece of leather when beforehand it had been Frazier and Ali I’d hit imagining they were on that bag, but this time there was nothing.

    For ten years I just started preaching. I was ordained an evangelist a year after the Jimmy Young fight and I traveled all over the world telling the story I just told you. I just didn’t believe religion existed. I thought it was for people who were depressed, and I had money and I didn’t need I thought, and that’s what happened in the Jimmy Young fight.

    COULDHAVEBEEN Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    George Foreman - part 3:

    JENNA: Let’s talk a little bit about your retirement. You weren’t officially retired, but you never did fight again for ten years. What was it like in those experiences there preaching and telling people your story?

    FOREMAN: It was great, because I always say there’s two doors to the world. There’s a front door, you come in as a wealthy famous athlete, and there’s a backdoor where you’re just on a street corner preaching. I shaved my coveted moustache off. I took all my hair off my head so I’d be on the corner and no one would recognize me. I had gone up to 315 pounds and it was a lot of fun, because I thought you had to be rich and famous to make it in this life. People would stop me if I was getting a battery charger, get me a charger, I’d try to pay them and they’d say, ‘Get out of here big’un’.

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    They’d let me get in line to have an extra big piece of meat at the butcher store. Sometimes even the airline stewardesses would allow me to come up front to a bigger seat. They said, ‘We can’t get you in the booth, big guy, but that seat is too small in coach’. I found out it’s a great world. You don’t have to be famous. For ten years I truly enjoyed myself. I could go into the store, no one would recognize me, and I could buy those detergents that didn’t have any names on them. Nobody cared. I’d shop and started learning how to change my oil, do my own dishes. It became a great world. It was a lot more fun than being some spoiled athlete and having everyone do everything for you.

    JENNA: Now one of the most amazing things about your career was the comeback and your decision behind it and it’s something that’s really been unmatched when it comes to boxing. I wanted to ask you a little bit about how you came to that decision to come back to boxing and what were your expectations when you first got back in the gym?

    FOREMAN: Well when you take off of boxing, I was a pretty wealthy athlete but I didn’t know how people took advantage of athletes. I’d look in and accountants had found ways of sneaking money out of my bank accounts. I’ve looked and had people who had told me, ‘George, invest in this’ in oil wells and gas wells that didn’t exist. I used to hear about athletes going broke, but I never thought it would happen to me. After about eight years, I looked up and I was broke. I had a portfolio that was pretty much empty and the only thing I knew how to do was box. So I tried to support my youth center to work a place for kids to hang out. The only alternative, I was speaking at a church one night and they asked for an offering for my youth center. They said, ‘Help George with those kids’ and it was so embarrassing. Everybody was looking at me. Here I was, I had been a wealthy athlete and they’re asking people who didn’t have anything for money.

    I said, ‘You know what? I’m not going to have to ask anyone for anything. I’m going to be heavyweight champion of the world again. That’s how I’ll support my youth center!’ I was 315 pounds making a decision after almost ten years to get back into the ring. My trunks, nothing fit me, and I said I was going to be heavyweight champion of the world again. I didn’t say I was going to come back and fight for the money. That’s where integrity started to fit in. I was going to be champ of the world. I started off campaigning, one fight after another. The most I was being offered was $2,500, sometimes $5,000. I even got a purse up to $12,500. That’s when I knew I was on the comeback then.

    JENNA: Now when you first came back, most people were not taking you too seriously. How did you deal with that?

    FOREMAN: Because of my age, when I told everyone I was coming back into boxing at my weight, they laughed at me. ‘He’s too fat, he’s too old’. I’d hear those things, but every time I looked into the mirror I’d just say to myself, ‘Look, people are saying those things about you, but hey, it doesn’t matter if they’re true or not because is sending you $1. You got to look out for your family.Yyou got to support the youth center’. I traveled all over the country and I’d get into the ring and I was so big, so big, but I kept working out and I kept training. I listened to the jokes about me. As a matter of fact, I started to laugh with them. People didn’t notice that I wasn’t mad. I was laughing because I had ten years of telling people who lost loved ones, have faith. You can do anything. All things are possible. For the first time I had really used the product that I had been selling—have faith. I did. I had more than enough faith to do anything.

    CIANI: Changing things up here for a little bit, you were always one of my personal favorite commentators when you did the broadcasting over at HBO. I was wondering (A) if you missed commentating at all, and (B) what were some of your favorite experiences when you did work as a commentator?

    FOREMAN: I realized I was at HBO at a very important time in the careers that were broadcast at HBO as well, because I had seen the development of Pernell Whitaker. He was a southpaw, but one of the best boxers of all times and he’ll only be recognized as the years go by. I had seen some of the great fighters. Even Mike Tyson, I did the commentating for one of his boxing matches. I saw the development of Lennox Lewis. All of these guys get better and better, so the experiences were one after another. I did like it because I was on television sharing my view on what I felt people were watching and it gave me a good experience. But one fight after another, they got better and better. James Toney when he developed was a beautiful thing. I saw Roy Jones Junior develop. So the experiences are just too many to really comment on which ones were best. Thirteen years I did it, only intending to do it three years. I ended up doing it thirteen years.

    CIANI: Do you miss it at all?

    FOREMAN: No, not at all. With HBO, they were such a kind group of people. They’d fly you first class to every venue, and of course you had the best hotels, and you even have a nice lunch before the boxing matches. It was a first class treatment. I miss that sometimes, because I go home and my wife says, ‘Fix your own food, what do you think?’ But other than, I miss being treated like a star. They treated me like a star, but that’s about it. I had so many kids. One child of mine, his team had gone undefeated in Boston not losing one football game. He was in this private school and I didn’t see one game because I couldn’t put it off because HBO would have me for these different weekend days and I couldn’t make commitments. One day I looked up and I said, ‘You know, those kids don’t really want a lot of money. They don’t care about things, but they sure would like to see you standing up in the stands’. So I had to leave to give my kids some time.

    CIANI: George, I’m curious, do you currently still follow the heavyweight landscape today and if so, what do you think about the heavyweight division today and some of the top guys out there like the Klitschko brother?

    FOREMAN: For the first time, and I hate to use the word, but disappointed I am. The heavyweight division is just about dissolved. There’s not much to offer and I’m hoping my son coming back, George III, will start provoking other athletes to say, ‘I can beat that guy, I can beat that guy’ and the United States might have some good boxers. I’m not happy at all with the heavyweight division. I don’t like the champions, I don’t like their styles, and I don’t even like the contenders who challenge them. Nothing is going on in the heavyweight division. All the life is in the lighter weight divisions. This Pacquiao is the star of the day. Pacquiao is the best fighter out there.

    CIANI: Now in addition to Pacquiao, who are some of the other guys out there right now that you do enjoy watching in some of the lighter divisions?

    FOREMAN: I like Mayweather as well, Floyd Mayweather, but that’s about the size of it. There are so many others who are equally as good out there but the cream of the crop is that Pacquiao. I just love him. He works out, he trains, and he doesn’t say a whole lot so after his fighting career is over he’ll be known for what he accomplished and not what he said.

    COULDHAVEBEEN Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    George Foreman - part 4:

    CIANI: Now George, you mentioned Pacquiao and Mayweather there. The fight that every boxing fan wanted to see was a mega bout between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather and now, unfortunately it doesn’t look as if we’re going to get that fight this year. I’m wondering, (A) do you think we’ll ever get that fight and (B) how do you see it playing out if that fight does get made?

    FOREMAN: Well it’s one of those fights that I hope never happens because Pacquiao doesn’t need Mayweather in his life. It’ll be one of those life changing experiences for Pacquiao, especially. For instance, I didn’t have to fight Muhammad Ali. I really didn’t have to take that fight. I took the fight and it turned into more than just a boxing match. It became a political statement, one way and the other, and today we’re great friends but if I had to do it over again, because of all the other sprinkling on the pies, I never would have taken part in such a fight. I think Pacquiao had a nice name. Mayweather started to slander him, say things like he was taking drugs. When you start running into people like that, it’s best that you stay away from them. It’s not even necessary to even have them in your life. But if the fight does take place, I think that Pacquiao wins because he’s got the momentum, he has a real trainer, and he’s willing to take the fight. He’d probably beat Mayweather, probably. Not to say Mayweather isn’t a wonderful fighter. He is the best fighter I’ve ever seen in my life, but he can’t beat Pacquiao because there is something else going on in that fight business. Not the X’s and the O’s, but there’s something else.

    JENNA: Now George, throughout your comeback, the fight that most people talked about is a fight with ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson who was the champ at that time. Did you ever have any serious negotiations to get that fight and did you ever think that you would, and if you did, how do you think you would have done against him?

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    FOREMAN: There were a couple of times, serious negotiations were going on with the Mike Tyson fight. Mike Tyson just didn’t want to fight me. Not to say he couldn’t have beaten me. I mean, this guy could punch. The bigger they are the harder they’d fall as far as Mike Tyson was concerned. I guess that I have a feeling, his first original trainer and manager Cus D’Amato must have told him about George Foreman’s punching power as though I would never comeback. So sometimes when you come back and a guy remembers those stories, he says to himself, ‘Look, leave that guy alone’. But I don’t think I would have been that much problems to him. I had a good left jab and I’d always do better when guys come to me, but Tyson was pretty smart with his footwork and hand speed. That would have been a tough fight for me.

    JENNA: Well in your comeback, you did go 24-0 and then you finally got a chance at the heavyweight title. It was something that you were planning for throughout your whole comeback. You got a go against Evander ‘The Real Deal’ Holyfield who was 25-0 at the time. What were your expectations going into that fight and what did you think about the fight itself?

    FOREMAN: Oh, Holyfield was a splendid fighter, very elusive, and he had been well trained. He was a good boxer, pure boxer. A few times I’d hit him and I thought, ‘Boy, I got him now’ and he’d maneuver out of there with his heart, get in position, and even throw punches back. He was not a heavy puncher at all, but he had endurance. I expected to win that boxing match, but I played around with too much publicity, and within 24 hours doing the interviews, and all the things a boxer shouldn’t do. So when the fight started, I was concentrating on putting on a show more than winning that boxing match, but Evander Holyfield had a lot to do with that. This guy was an extremely good, elusive boxer. I had gone twelve rounds with him. I remember in about the eleventh round he started holding on, and the referee told him, ‘Break! Break! Break!’ He would not let go. The statement was made, evidence unleashed, that the age 40 and 50 is not a death sentence for athletes, and that did more for sports than my victory would have if I had knocked him out in one or two rounds. That statement, that age has got nothing to do with it, was good for sports.

    JENNA: Now speaking of age having nothing to do with it, after the fight you won three more and then you lost to Tommy Morrison. Then you took a good long period out of the ring. You took about a year and a half off and somehow you got a bout with Michael Moorer who had defeated Evander Holyfield to take the linear title and two of the belts. How did you feel about going into that bout facing a 35-0 Michael Moorer.

    FOREMAN: That was a good experience for me because after the Morrison boxing match, actually I had gone into television. I was given a television series where I started doing television. I thought I was going to be an actor, but it was too much work. I realized that acting is more work than boxing. The only luxury in that sport is a king sized bed in the afternoon, in acting. So I came back afterwards and I started negotiating for a title shot. Michael Moorer, of course, had taken the title from Holyfield, and there it is. It just fell right in my lap. Michael Moorer would get a big purse and he thought he would fight the easiest fight of his career with old George Foreman. I already knew that I could punch, and someone had convinced him that he was a better puncher than me. For some reason, the fight took place and he didn’t run. He did not run.

    JENNA: What was it like when you got in there? You were getting outboxed primarily for most of the fight and then in the tenth round, you set him up with that beautiful shot. What were you thinking then?

    FOREMAN: Well, I had always thought that in the boxing match that if knocked him down in the first round, he would run, run, run, run and I would never catch him. That’s what had happened with Tommy Morrison. He literally had run from me in the boxing match and they gave him a decision. So I know if a gets in his mind he’s going to run from me there’s nothing I can do, but if I can get someone to come to me and Michael Moorer, of course, I jabbed him, hit him in the side in a few earlier rounds. His manager was telling him, ‘Get him! Get him!’ and there he was. I figured I threw the right hand lead, hook, hook, and rather than jump out of the way he would duck the punches. I said, ‘This is amazing! A bird nest on the ground’. I was able to steam in with a one-two combination, left-right, and knock him down. I hit him first up high, and I decided to lower my right hand a little bit. I hit him again with the second right hand and there he was on the canvas. A lot of people said it was a lucky shot, but I had been like that since I was seventeen years old always hitting guys with a shot like that. That’s what I had done all my life.

    JENNA: Now you won the title back after twenty years. What was that feeling like, just to finally accomplish something that you had lost to Ali, and you were wearing the trunks that you wore when you fought Ali in that fight. What was it like to regain it after that long a time?

    FOREMAN: Yeah, you think about twenty years, a whole twenty year time span passed. I told people that wasn’t the George Foreman in Africa. I could have been champion of the world, I had all these excuses, and people laughed at me. Twenty years later I’m in the ring given a chance and there’s redemption, and from that point on, even for myself on a personal basis I could sit back with some kind of contentment to say, ‘I told you’. But it was back to preaching and being a father again. No big deal. You have one moment in life where you can say, ‘I did it, thank God for it’ and the next day is about getting to the church, and preaching, and doing your work.

    COULDHAVEBEEN Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    George Foreman - part 5:

    JENNA: When you did win it back you were recognized as the champion, and something that’s always been curious for boxing fans is why did you decide to drop the WBA belt and not face Tony Tucker at the time?

    FOREMAN: You know, I worked hard, campaigned hard. I had to fight lawsuits to even make certain that after Michael Moorer signed the fight that he would finish the boxing match with me. I did it, took care of that, then after that I forgot about the politics that goes on. You have to pay this guy to do this, you got to ask this guy to do this, I said ‘I don’t need that in my life anymore. I’ve gotten the title. You could have your title back, you could have your title back’ because I had gotten it and I just gave it back to them. That’s not what I wanted to be. Some young kid going around paying sanctioning fees for the rest of my life, I didn’t want to do that.

    JENNA: Well you amazed a lot of people towards the end of your career because the last fight you had, you fought a young kid by the name of Shannon Briggs. He was 29-1, he was 25 years old. Yourself, you were a couple of months shy of being 49. To most people’s eyes, you beat him handily in there and they kind of robbed you of the decision. It’s one of the most controversial fights people still talk about in heavyweight history now. How do you feel about that bout and your decision to retire after it?

    FOREMAN: It’s funny because I get into a boxing ring and every time, every round I’d try to knock guys out. If a guy would escape me for twelve rounds, he deserved it in the first place. I never went out to win a decision, never, and some guys go out and figure they’re going to go twelve rounds with George and that’s their victory. But I would always pursue a knockout. That’s all I was after. If I go twelve rounds and they gave it to the other guy, I never complained because that’s not what I was trying to do, get a decision. I was trying to knock them out. So I’m comfortable with that. I didn’t get the victory, but I went home. They asked me after the fight, they said, ‘George, you were robbed!’ I said where I came from in Houston, Texas, you don’t scream you were robbed when you still got $4 or $5 in your pocket. Boxing was about, and I’ll never forget, getting that the title was the part to prove my integrity, but I really came back for the million dollars and I ended up with a million and won more $100,000 and I don’t have anything now because I got ten kids. They have gone to college. You think you’re rich? You educate ten kids. Man, that’s a parking meter. You look up and they’ll say, ‘Look Dad, I got a degree!’ and you look and say, ‘I got a barrel wrapped around me and all my clothes are gone’.

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    JENNA: As they say, it takes just one fight to pay for all their degrees. Did you ever think about coming back at any point after that Briggs fight?

    FOREMAN: Yeah, I was going to make a comeback at the age of 55. I was going to stay out and come back at 55. I was in good shape and my wife convinced me that I would have to live in that mobile home outside if I ever go back into boxing. I showed her that I could do it and she said, ‘George isn’t that the way you want to leave the sport? Feeling like you could still do it?’ and I had never considered that. I told, ‘I could do it!’ and she said ‘That’s the way you should want to leave’ and I never came back. I just forgot it because to wake up every morning feeling like you can still do it is it a thrill, but to have someone beat your brains out and you figure I could never do it. I don’t think I ever wanted to wake up like that.

    JENNA: So after Shannon Briggs won the heavyweight title in 2007, you never said, ‘Hey, I got the better of him ten years ago, maybe I should give it another shot’?

    FOREMAN: You know, I never paid much attention to them. Like I said, for a long time I haven’t been interested in the heavyweight division because the guys don’t seem to be that dedicated. I’m still hungry for a nice American heavyweight champion and if he does come back and I get an exciting one from America, I’m just going to buy ringside seats and popcorn and enjoy myself. That’s what I’m interested in now. Not coming back, but having popcorn and hotdogs and enjoying myself.

    JENNA: There was another guy out there that wanted you. He wanted a piece of you bad, and that was Larry Holmes. In 1999 there was a fight that almost came together. They called it ‘The Birthday Bash’. Were you at all disappointed that you never got to go in the ring with Larry?

    FOREMAN: Yeah, Larry was a good fighter and I think that would have been a good showcase of talent for Larry Holmes and me. It never happened, and because it never happened, every year he’d go all over the country saying he wanted to fight me. I tell my friends, ‘Every year, Larry Holmes escapes from his nursing home and challenges me, and I have to come out of my nursing home and tell him no’.

    JENNA: Well George, I have just two more questions for you and I wanted to ask one more about your son. How far do you think he can go in his journey here? He’s 27 years old, he’s 9-0. Where do you see him going?

    FOREMAN: Well he’s going to take his time, and I’ve convinced him, I don’t care how old you are you can’t rush it. He’s getting stronger, he’s maturing later, he’s even starting to get a chest and his muscles are getting tough. Take your time. Next year, we’ll start making our appearances on television and people will get a chance to see for themselves, the best left jab in the heavyweight division. He’ll put his combinations together, and I do believe he’ll reach and grab himself a heavyweight title before it’s over. He can do it, but he’s 27. I told him just take your time. How many guys get a great education from a Rice University? You just can’t do it overnight. If any of my kids want to be boxers, they must get a college education first so it will take them a little longer.

    JENNA: Now if you had any advice for an upcoming fighter that wanted to make it big in the sport, what would you give him?

    FOREMAN: Start small, learn the business, and it doesn’t matter how big you get, enjoy the publicity because it doesn’t matter how good you are. If people don’t know about you it doesn’t mean much.

    JENNA: Alright, and finally, for all the boxing fans out there, your fans, and the listeners of On the Ropes Boxing Radio, is there anything you want to say to them?

    FOREMAN: Go out and find George Foreman’s Knockout Cleaning Solutions. It’s an earth-friendly solution. I got it. You clean your house. It doesn’t hurt your children. I’m trying to make myself, you want to something in life that your proud of, not just make money, but it’s good and friendly for the earth—The George Foreman Knockout Cleaning Solutions. Go find it!

    JENNA: Always a salesman, George. It was an absolute pleasure having a chance to talk to you because when I started the show, the one guy that I wanted to speak with was you, and so you made my dream come true here today and I just want to thank you again for your time. I wish you all the best with you and your son’s future.

    FOREMAN: Thank you so very much.

    CIANI: Thank you, George. It was a great pleasure to talk to you.

    FOREMAN: Thank you. Bye bye.

    COULDHAVEBEEN Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Where Are They Now? Kronk Fighters.

    The info below was posted in another forum in late 2008 by a poster called HAWK5INS. It's an interesting list and hopefully, reasonably accurate.

    HAW5INS wrote:

    I was doing a Google search on Bernard Mays and I came accross this piece posted on another Boxing message board. It reads as though this was taken from another source as well so I am quite certain I am not giving proper credit to who compiled the information.

    This was posted in Sept of 2007 but I do not know how old the original piece is. It reads as though this was put together prior to Hearns's comeback a year or so ago.

    Regardless, it is all very interesting information nonetheless as it pertains to fighters from the Kronk Gym.


    Kronk Fighters "Where are they now?"

    Where are they now?

    In the wake of the last summer’s deaths of two former Kronk boxing champions, The Detroit News attempted to find out what happened to each of the 96 fighters and promoter/managers who built Kronk into an international powerhouse in the 1970s ‘80s and ‘90s.

    The outcomes were dramatically different, The News found, between those who were born in Detroit or moved here permanently, and those who came in from out of town to train at Kronk, then left Detroit. Of the original 61 Kronk stable of boxers, the record shows:

    Four are wealthy:
    Thomas Hearns – wealthy, promoter
    Hilmer Kenty – executive of Metro Detroit construction firm
    Jimmy Paul – Owns Detroit HUD properties
    Emanuel Steward – wealthy trainer/promoter/TV announcer

    35 are working:
    Leeonzer Barber – Detroit, still boxing
    Bernie Boldon – works in Detroit
    Oba Carr – still boxing
    Rob Clemens – hospital worker
    Lanny Edmonds – working in Detroit
    Jim Ferrari – insurance agent
    Ali Haakim – Detroit schools public safety officer
    Billy Hearns – Kronk trainer
    John Hearns – Las Vegas casino host
    Rick Jester – Detroit, master plumber
    James Johnson Jr. – after boxing was employed by Detroit Police Department
    Joe Johnson – Detroit businessman
    Lionel Johnson – Detroit truck driver
    Darnell Knox – working in Detroit
    Arthel Lawhorn – Detroit postal employee
    Joe Manley (a.k.a. Bilal Ajani Sekou) – Consumer’s Power employee.
    Milton McCrory – employed at Chrysler Corp. tech center
    Roderick Moore – truck driver
    Michael Moorer – making comeback as boxer
    Danny Paul – works in Detroit hospital
    Aaron “The Hawk“ Pryor – minister, Cincinnati, beat drug problem
    Farris “Killer” Purify – boxing trainer
    Jerry Reese – Detroiter, job unknown
    Kenny Ringo – working in Washington, D.C.
    Darnell Seals – plant foreman
    Hurley Snead – Detroit, training to fight
    James Steward – the original Kronk; Emanuel’s brother, auto plant worker
    Bret Summers – fireman
    Frank Tate – in Texas, recently retired from ring
    Benny Ray Trusel – Detroit construction worker
    Rodney Trusel – Northwest Airlines supervisor in Houston
    Robert Tyus – Detroit transit policeman
    Keith Vining – Steelworker in Monroe, trains young boxers
    Eric Williams – in Atlanta, training boxers
    Andrey Wynn – Los Angeles policeman

    Four suffered setbacks:
    Dwaine Bonds – While bodyguard for a Motown star, turned to drugs. Career ended. Now recovered.
    David Braxton – Lost title after positive drug test, but stopped using, now working in construction.
    Gerald McClellan – Blind and paralyzed from brain damage in fight, living with sister in Illinois.
    Tony Tucker – became drug abuser, but made recovery.

    Eight went to prison:
    Nathanial “Gator” Akbar – sentenced 10 to 20 years for arson in 1984; denied parole 5 times so far; next parole hearing June 2002.
    Darrell Chambers – sentenced to life for drug conspiracy in 1994; has appeals pending; in prison at Terre Haute, Ind.
    Alvin Hayes – sentenced to 5-to-20 in 1987 for armed robbery, released, committed three more armed robberies, sentenced in 1994 to three terms of 612 to 40 years. At Detroit’s Ryan Correctional Facility, possibly until December 2040.
    John Johnson – retail fraud, served less than two years, released in 1999.
    William “Caveman” Lee – went to prison three times for bank robberies, the last time July 2000, when he began a 7-to-15-year federal sentence; first parole date December 2006.
    William “Stanley” Longstreet – sentenced for drug conspiracy with Chambers in 1994, released August 1997.
    Rickey Womack – armed robberies, assault, did 15 years in prison, paroled last fall.
    John Yopp, promoter – sentenced to 30 years in 1994 for drug conspiracy, later reduced to 15 years; in Milan federal penitentiary.

    10 have died:
    Wilson Bell – murdered, 1989
    Collier Bishop – killed in car-jacking incident, 1994
    Johnny Compo – died in a car crash at 42 last October
    Leslie “Lemonade“ Gardner – Drug overdose in 1983, age 26
    J.L. Ivey – Murdered by drug dealer, 1990, age 26
    DuJuan Johnson – murdered, age 28, over $200 debt, 1984
    Bernard “Superbad” Mays – died of alcoholism at 33, 1994
    Steve McCrory – dead, age 36, undisclosed illness, 2000
    Duane Thomas – shot and killed at 39 in drug dispute, 2000
    Darius “Dollbaby” Wilson – shot to death, age unknown, early 1980s

    Other fighters who trained at Kronk:
    Another 35 fighters came to Kronk from the suburbs, other states and other countries to be trained by Steward, and left. None is dead or in jail.

    13 are well-off:
    Dennis Andries – runs physical fitness progam in England.
    Jesse Benavides – runs home for elderly in Tex.
    Mark Breland – actor, dog trainer, wealthy
    Julio Cesar Chavez – retired in Mex., wealthy
    Oscar DeLaHoya – still fighting
    Jeff Fenech – TV commentator, Australia
    Naseem “Prince” Hamed – current featherweight champ
    Jemal Hinton – retired undefeated for religious reasons, in Washington, D.C.
    Evander Holyfield – Atlanta, restaurateur, still fighting
    Ole Klemetson – still fighting
    Lennox Lewis – current world heavyweight champion
    Welcome N’Cita – manager, Capetown, South Africa
    Graciano Rocchigiani – still fighting

    22 are working:
    Doug “Big Bird” Ahonen – engineer in Calumet, Mich.
    Davey Lee Armstrong – civil engineer
    Jackie Beard – boxing trainer
    Donald Bowers – youth boxing trainer
    Orlando “Gaby” Canizales – youth counselor, Tex.
    Johnny de la Rosa – youth counselor
    Fadi Faraj – still fighting, Dearborn
    Floyd Favors – Wash., D.C., policeman
    Frank Goodwin – engineer
    Mickey Goodwin – trains fighters at Dearborn Sports
    Lindell Holmes – opened barbershop
    Biff Humphries – cement contractor
    Danny Humphries – now Steward’s insurance agent
    John David Jackson – still boxing, Calif.
    Lee Lamphere – foreman of tree company
    Mike McCallum – trainer, Las Vegas
    John Mooney – school teacher
    Eddie Mustafa Muhammad – trainer, Las Vegas
    John O’Neil – teacher, Garden City
    Todd Riggs – union official
    Tarick Salmaci – still fighting, Dearborn
    Leon Spinks – former world heavyweight champion, went broke, but working
  7. LeonMcS

    LeonMcS The Mayor of Kronkton Full Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    Might want to update Hearns status.

    COULDHAVEBEEN Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2007

    Yeah, I'm sure many of the list are questionable, and some 'fortunes' may have further altered in the ensuing couple of years.

    Interesting list none the less, and obviously compiled by someone with far too much time on their hands.

    COULDHAVEBEEN Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Where Are They Now? Dave "Boy" Green.

    Dave 'Boy' Green Interview

    By Shawn M. Murphy - East Side Boxing - 12th Nov 2008

    Recently spoke with former welterweight contender Dave "Boy" Green. Green had an excellent amateur career over a span of 105 fights. He turned pro in 1974. Over his seven year career he won the British and European Light-Welterweight titles and the European Welterweight title.

    He lost in two bids for a world title, against Carlos Palomino in 1977 and against Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980. Although an excellent fighter he had the unfortunate luck of fighting at a time when the Welterweight division was absolutely loaded with talent. He retired in 1981 with a final record of 37-4 with 29 KO'S..

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    The interview:

    (SM) Mr. Green tell me when you got started and what kind of amateur career did you have?

    (DG) A friend and I joined the local amateur boxing club. I really enjoyed the competition. I think I was about thirteen years old. As an amateur I was a bantamweight, a featherweight, and then a lightweight. I won three Eastern Counties championships and got through to the A.B.A semi- finals. I lost to Terry Waller who had won the A.B.A six times.

    (SM) Where did the nickname "Boy" come from?

    (DG) My manager/trainer Andy Smith suggested it. There probably was a lot of guys named Dave Green, so he said we needed to have a nickname. It came from a fighter in Chatteris named Eric Boon, he fought in the 1930's. That was his nickname and we just used that. It just stuck, it was a good nickname.

    (SM) Who would you say was your first big name opponent you faced?

    (DG) Probably Joey Singleton. That was my fifteenth fight, I won in six.

    (SM) What fight would you say was your career highlight?

    (DG) Probably the Jean-Baptiste Piedvache fight for the European title. That was the hardest one. He had won forty out of forty-one fights to that point. It was a very tough fight for me.

    (SM) Tell me about the John Stracey fight?

    (DG) That was March 1977. Stracey was a former champion, had lost to Carlos Palomino. Whoever won this fight was going to fight Palomino. That one was a hard fight for me.

    (SM) How close was your fight with Palomino before you were knocked out?

    (DG) I was one or two rounds ahead at the time. Palomino had three cuts around his eyes. But he caught me in the end. That was the first time I was knocked down as a pro. I had won twenty-four fights in a row, my first loss was a tough one.

    (SM) You went to Denmark to defend your European title against Joergen Hansen. What happened in that fight?

    (DG) I was perhaps a bit too ****y. I knocked him down in the second round. I just went for him and he was a big puncher and he caught me. I got up and he knocked me down again and the referee stopped it. It was a big mistake by me, the biggest mistake of my career.

    (SM) How did you like your chances going into the Sugar Ray Leonard fight?

    (DG) Well Leonard fought Benitez and I thought Benitez wasn't as rough or as solid as I was. I thought I could go a good eight or ten rounds. Leonard was such an outstanding fighter though, the best in the thirteenth or fourteenth rounds there was.

    (SM) You retired after a tough loss to Reggie Ford in 1981, only twenty-eight years old, why?

    (DG) I had won the British and European Light-Welterweight titles, the European Welterweight title and my manager suggested it. He said out there is Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Wilfred Benitez. He told me to get out and do something else. At the time I didn't think he was right, I thought I could fight for three or four more years. But he was a great manager, he cared about me and I just got out.

    (SM) Any regrets looking back?

    (DG) I had over one-hundred amateur fights. My goal was to win a Southern Area title in Britain. I far exceeded what I thought I would do. I got two shots at a world title. I've been to Carlos Palominos home in California for dinner and Sugar Ray Leonard has been to my home and had dinner with my wife and I. It's been good.

    (SM) Any fighters you would have liked to have got a chance at but didn't?

    (DG) I think Duran and Hearns would have beaten me. Maybe a Benitezfight would have been a different story, but he was a great champion.

    (SM) So after boxing what kind of career did you get into?

    (DG) I was working for a packaging company as a packaging agent. One of my partners said he going to get out of it. I bought out some more partners and it became a fifty-fifty split. My partner retired a few years ago. It's called Renoak. I also do a lot of charity work as well.

    (SM) Do you keep up on boxing much these days?

    (DG) Not so much. I think there is now like five or six champions at each weight. When I was there it was the WBA and WBC. I think the game has been spoiled now, you don't know who the real world champion is. When I was fighting I could tell you who every world champion was in every weight class and now I couldn't name two in any division. I think it has been spoiled that way. I was lucky to be in the best welterweight division ever.

    (SM) Mr. Green any final comments?

    (DG) Boxing has been very good to me. It's a dangerous sport. You should go in, make as much money as you can and get out. I've been one of the lucky ones. I had a great manager and I think that’s what you really need. I had a great time.

    COULDHAVEBEEN Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Where are they now? Jeff 'Flash' Malcolm.

    Jeff 'Flash' Malcom - The Ever Green Road Warrior

    by Tony Pritchard-Nobbs - 20th Nov 2007

    Australia's last century maker Jeffrey Alexander Malcolm was born in the Riverina, NSW, on May 9, 1956. Retired now for just five years, “Flash” was a defensive wizard who fought as a professional for 31 years, amassing a total of 138 bouts (100-27-11, with 36 KO's), winning countless titles and being rated in the top 5 by the WBA in his mid forties.

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    One of Australia's most accomplished pugilist's in his or any other time, he's still in good nick, working out at the Valley PCYC in Brisbane with long time friend Shane Knox, filling in his days on a construction site and working security at night. His familiar wit is still as quick as his fists once were and he is as sharp as ever when he talks boxing. A lifetime tea-totaler, he remembers each one of his fights and could probably tell you what shorts he and his opponent wore and what song they came in the ring too.

    He, along with former IBF 130 pound champion Lester Ellis, legendary promoter, the late Bill Mordey and ring announcer Ray Connelly, was inducted into the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame at a gala night at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 13, where he joined previous inductees and former foes Hector Thompson and Barry Michael.

    A ****y, southpaw road warrior, Malcolm has seen the best come and go over four decades – and he worked with many of them. For instance in 1979, he sparred Eusebio Pedroza, Panama's all time great WBA featherweight king in PNG. Pedroza, known as one of the dirtiest fighters in the trade was there to defend his title against local hero Johnny Aba which he did in 11 rounds. Malcolm outpointed world rated Filipino Celso Esmero over 10 rounds on the under card. Fast forward 26 years and he is in Perth, WA helping prepare WBA featherweight champ Chris John before his defense against Derek Gainer. Gainer is a lanky left hander. Malcolm got in and boxed John four rounds. He has experience that money couldn't buy.

    Jeff began boxing at age 11 having 7 amateur fights at the Griffith Police Boys. “It was fun. You'd go away to fight and get a free bus ride and a pie and drink at the end of the night. If you never got a fight,better, you had more time to run amuck” he fondly remembered. By the time he turned pro at the age of 15, “Flash” had gotten his grounding having “about sixty” tent fights.

    He spent years growing up in Drummoyne, in the Balmain district of Sydney, being a long time Tigers supporter and was an accomplished junior rugby league player. In his first officially paid bout he outpointed John Cassidy on September 22 1971. His first trainer was the stylish Roy Carroll in Chippendale (though over the next few decades Jeff probably went through more “Coaches than Cobb & Co”).

    He credit's Bernie Hall for teaching him his amazing foot work. “Bernie was ahead of his time” he says. By the end of 1972, he'd had 16 pro fights, drawing twice and losing one against future Australian champ Brian Roberts, drawing with another outstanding talent and future champ Wally Carr, beating Steve Walker, losing and drawing with Rod Connors and beating Mick Mercedes and Keith Ball.

    Another 14 fights in 1973, going unbeaten, he ended the year drawing with Neil Pattel, already an experienced campaigner who went on to be Australian title holder. 1974 saw him get right amongst it with the lightweight class, going 5-5, battling Michael Cassidy (L 10) Bily Moeller (L DQ & L 10 x 2), Danny Riley (W 8) Shocker Myles (KO 4),Merv Wockner, (L 10), Jim Metcalfe (W 8), Binky Rominiski (W 8) and Mick O' Brien (KO 5).

    From 1974 – '77, Malcolm continued fighting the tough opponents and established himself one of the main contenders for national honors. He beat Billy Moeller, Matt Ropis, Joey Gibilisco, Andy Broome and Tony Aba in PNG. He won and lost against Mullholland, dropped decisions to Dave Richards, Kery Bell and two to Ross Eadie.

    “The blokes I fought coming up, even in four rounders, like Wally Carr, Brian Roberts, they were brilliant fighters, if they were around today they'd be unbeatable here. I got a great grounding. Back then, you had to fight who you were told. If you knocked back a fight, they got someone else and you'd be scrapped. Fighters today are feminine, they want to see video's, go through the opponents records, before they accept a fight”.

    In February 1978, he challenged Hector Thompson for the National title in Orange. He lost a verdict though he still maintains he deserved the “W” , others disagree. Another win over Moeller was followed by a trip to Fiji, the first of several, where he dropped a “hometown” decision to that countries greatest ever fighter, Sakaraia Ve.

    That was followed by one of his best wins, against fellow prospect Barry Michael, the future IBF junior lightweight champion of the world. That fight was in Michael's hometown of Melbourne and Malcolm, the bigger man, won comfortably. In an interview for July's Fist, Barry called Jeff the best Aussie he ever fought. Malcolm's next contest was for the British Commonwealth junior welterweight title against the brilliant Lawrence “Baby Cassius” Austin, a cousin of Lionel Rose. Malcolm said that was one of his greatest wins. “Cass had everything. He just couldn't handle a southpaw”. Austin had gone 2-1 with the great Thompson in C/Wealth title tilts.

    COULDHAVEBEEN Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Jeff Malcolm - part 2 of 3

    Malcolm then defended the title in a rematch with “Cass” at Griffith, where “The Flash” then called home. Another points win over 15. Malcolm loaned his opponent a pair of boots to wear that night. “Cass turned up and left his boots in Melbourne. I'd just changed sponsors (from Puma to Adidas) and had a brand new pair so I gave him the ones I wore in our first fight”.

    In his next start the Australian surrendered the title in Lagos, Nigeria to Obisia Nwampka on March3 '79, kissing good bye a proposed shot at Seansek Muangsarin's WBC title in Thailand. “He (Nwampka) was a good fighter. It was close, had it been in Australia I'd have got the decision, it was over there and he got it. He later challenged Saoul Mamby, going the distance”. “Flash” soon re - established himself though with wins over Aba, Jimmy Brown, Frank Ropis and Esmero.

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    He teamed up with Johnny Lewis (being one of Jeff Fenech's first heroes and a regular sparring mate of a young Marrickville Mauler). In 1980, he took his winning run to 10, closing the year with two points wins over the shock punching Fijian, Joe Nativa, firstly in Suva, then at Marrickville. His first bout of 1981 was a devastating one and a big learning experience. North Queensland's Dave Sarago stopped him in ten rounds as he was ended up leg weary, not preparing properly and dropping too much wait too close to the fight. It was his first stoppage loss.

    Shattered and embarrassed he didn't leave his house for a week. Over confidence was a big problem for him and it cost him. He avenged the loss three months later with a dominant points win over 12 at Gosford.

    Four more wins in '81 was followed by a “loss” to local favorite Peter Berrigan at Cardiff, near Newcastle. A fight Malcolm dominated and one that a rematch was ordered eventually.

    His next assignment was on the infamous Opera House promotion, April 2, 1982. Malcolm soundly defeated the tragic Indonesian Thomas Americo, who'd just lost points over 15 to Sweet Saoul Mamby for the WBC 140 pound crown. Americo entered the ring number 2 WBC. In a recent interview Mamby described Americo as “the hardest (puncher) I ever fought. Harder than Duran”. (Americo ended up being slain in a public attack in Dili in 2000). After another unsatisfactory ending in the return with Berrigan resulting in a draw in round six due to cuts, Malcolm went to Melbourne to beat Sydney's Tony Campbell and then Hawaii to out point Francesco Ranshescerache over 10.

    1983 was a big year as Malcolm firmly established himself as world class! He knocked out Taulisi Ratu in Fiji then went into Don Kings training camp in Ohio. Rooming with Azumah Nelson, beating up every day Leroy Haley - a black American with the nick name of “Irish” who was then WBC 140 pound champ - and partying with Mitch Green, Michael Dokes and Tim Witherspoon, Malcolm was matched with Bobby Joe Young a Ohio puncher rated the hardest hitter in the welterweight class at the time, on the Michael Dokes – Gerrie Coetzee WBA heavyweight title card.

    Jeff knew what was happening. “Haley wouldn't fight me. If I wanted to win six rounds a day I'd win six. He was a punching bag for me. Tim Witherspoon would say to him at breakfast 'Hey Leroy, that white boy gonna beat you up again today'?. Bobby Joe had just signed with Don and I was used as his show case. I watched him knockout the Kronk's Darryl Chambers just before he fought me, on the Tommy Hearns - Murray Sutherland card and everyone predicted he'd beat me. I was confident, punchers are only good if they land.

    It was an easy fight. I knocked him down, kicked his ass. After the fight I said to (match maker) Bobby Goodman, 'hey Bobby, you got any more good fighters I can beat up?'.” After the victory, “Flash” was ranked number 10 welterweight in the world by KO, which at the time, rivaled The Ring as the world's premier fight magazine. Bobby Joe, of course later became the only man to beat a (drug riddled) Aaron Pryor.

    For the Young fight Malcolm was cornered by Buffalo Marin, Azumah Nelson's and later Julio Cesar Chavez' trainer. In the time at King's camp he also worked a lot with Tim Witherspoon's mentor Slim Jim Robinson (who he rates with George Benton as the best he's worked with). He probably never thought that it'd be eight years before he got a world title shot!

    Instead of cashing in on his success he came back home. King offered him a bout with the fading Monroe Brooks. “I rang Bill Slayton in California to see how Brooks was going. He told me he was getting hurt in sparring , that he was not the same fighter. He had a good reputation and it would have guaranteed me a fight with Haley. But I wasn't confident of Haley fighting me”.

    Brooks was knocked out in his next fight by the very classy but light punching Vilomar Fernandez.

    Jeff then joined up with Charlie Gergan in Sydney - Malcolm himself was training Lachie Willams, an Aussie rated Aboriginal junior welter from Grifffith - Gergan had made his mark training Tony Mundine late in Tony's career. At this time, on the strength of his win over Young, “Flash” received a number four rating at welterweight with the fledging IBF. Five wins in 1984, the standout victory being a decision over tough as old boots Australian 147 pound champ Russell Sands (son of Alfie) in a non title clash at Mt Pritchard in June (both weighed 148 lb). In August he stopped Peter Batty to claim the Australian junior welterweight title.

    He then was talked into facing Pat Leglise for the “unification” of the Australian 140 pound belt. In a very forgettable performance, on July 19,1985 at the Horden Pavilion, a weight drained Malcolm was out boxed and out worked by the handy Leglise who looked to be developing into a world class performer, having drawn with Brian Janssen in 1983 in Brisbane. However Leglise's run came to a halt when Charlie “Choo Choo” Brown, ex IBF 135 pound champ knocked him out in his next outing.

    “Everybody said I was finished but the weight killed me. The effort I did going twelve rounds under those circumstances I knew I had plenty left. I bull ****ted my way through the fight.” said Malcolm. “After I lost to Leglise, Bill Mordey told me to retire. Bill Mordey was a great promoter but I was still world rated when he stopped promoting (in 2001)” .

    A points win over Ronald Doo in August '85 was not followed until October 9, 1987, when he out pointed Fiji's Anthony Naidu. He still hung around the gyms, keeping active and in 1986 was asked by Mordey to go watch James “Quick” Tillis, who was in town to fight come backing “Aussie Joe” Bugner. When Tillis' sparring partner never arrived, Malcolm got in and moved around with the Oklahoma heavyweight who'd just gone the distance with Mike Tyson, being of course the first man to do so. As often the case when a lighter man spars a heavyweight, Malcolm had a field day.

    “I made him miss. After a few rounds he got dirty and pushed me off balance and hit with a right hand left hook. He then stopped and asked was I okay. I said 'yeah, Joe hits twice as hard as that' Didn't he get dirty. It was beautiful. The more he loaded up the more he missed. I asked him after if he missed Tulsa like he missed me”.

    In late 1987, Malcolm moved his family to the Tweed area on the NSW-Qld border. This is when I started working with him. He had two wins in '88 over Stewart Hartley at Tugun and Rod Price at The Coolonagatta Patch. In '89 he stopped Filipino Rey Angura and outpointed Mexican journeyman Roberto Garcia, who fought JC Chavez, both at The Patch, then stopped Dave Chaffey at Runaway Bay to claim the Queensland welter title. Once again, he packed his swag, this time heading West. He beat Brad Modgerige at Northbridge but was outpointed by Wilf Gentzen for the Australian title on March 23, 1990.

    He returned to action in December, relocated to Hawaii, and KO'd Mexico's Enrique Garcia Mercado and scored a W10 over respectable Sam Ray Taylor. Malcolm then went to New Orleans and won the IBO Intercontinental title out classing former US amateur star Timmy Rabon over twelve. A knockout back in Brisbane over Barry Boland sealed a shot at the WBO world welterweight title held by the very classy American lefty Manning Galloway.

    For the fight, Malcolm trained in Melbourne with Dana Goodsen, who he previously worked with in Hawaii. Training 17 rounds a day, on top of miles of road work, Malcolm was 144 ½ pounds two days before the fight! He officially weighed in at 145 ¼ and in front of his supporters at Jupiters Casino in Broadbeach, a lack luster local lost a convincing unanimous decision. His first shot a title after 20 years in the business, a fight he could easily have won, went by without a whimper.

    “I over trained. I outsmarted myself. It was a very winnable fight for me. When I was in the US after I beat Tim Rabon, I spent six weeks sparring Pernell Whitaker. Lou Duva watched my fight with Sam Ray Taylor and saw me with Pernell, he said I would beat Galloway for sure. I came back home and got caught out”.

    COULDHAVEBEEN Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Jeff Malcolm - part 3 of 3

    Malcolm had a break, trained a few fighters such as Viv Schwalger, Lyall Appo and Rocky Mc Laren before returning in 1993, trained by Geoff Rowlands, stopping Tevita Vakalabure in 3 to win the WBF Intercontinental title. A KO 5 win over Alberto Ma Chong and Malcolm was readying himself for a shot at the vacant WBF world title. That plan almost came unstuck when he traveled to Fiji and was controversially stopped on a cut in Lautoka by unknown Sovita Tabarua. Filthy at the result, “Flash” stayed in Fiji and secured a tape of the bout. He sent it to the WBF in the US and lobbied for a return bout, claiming that the cut was caused by a head clash and not a punch. He was granted his wish with the rematch sanctioned for the WBF world welterweight title. Shortly before heading over, Malcolm linked with veteran Brisbane trainer Bernie Mc Fadden

    This content is protected

    ....Hall of Fame 2007 inductees Lester Ellis & Jeff Malcolm.

    On March 19 1994, in front of 4000 spectators at Nausari Rugby Oval just outside Suva, Jeff “Flash” Malcolm “climbed the mountain” to win a majority decision after 12 rounds. The fight was a see saw affair with the Aussie dazed and severely cut by a clash of heads in the fourth, before he broke Sovita's nose in the seventh and rallied strongly over the final stages. As the final card was being read a confident “Flash” turned to me (I worked the corner) and said “I'm champion of the world”! Maybe Pernell Whitaker would have disagreed but like him or not, there's no denying that at his best Jeff would have become a world champion of any organization. I still remember fondly being mobbed by the crowd as we headed back to the van to take us back to the capital. They accepted Malcolm as champion – as one of theirs, having fought there so often.

    A quick defense (KO 3) against Filipino Tata Regatuna at Brisbane Festival Hall was followed by a trip to Cebu, in The Philippines where he was dropped and out muscled by former WBA 140 lb champ Morris East in an above weight non title 10 rounder. He returned to The Philippines in March '95 surrendering the title to William Magahin on points, being decked and badly shaken in the early rounds before coming back late.

    Around this time Malcolm began working with Selwyn Currie an over weight junior middle who'd lost his first 8. He eventually got Sel down to featherweight where he won Australian and WBO Asia Pacific titles in '96 and '97, being rated 9 by the WBO. Staying in the gym, Jeff took a fight in New Zealand against Sean Sullivan, the WBA number 3. In the NZ version of the “under arm” Sullivan was gifted a 10 round decision in July '05. This writer has seen the tape and take my word, combine what Danny Green, Anthony Mundine and Shannan Taylor did to Sean and you have the beating “Flash” gave the tougher than teak Kiwi!

    Malcolm then took on the training duties of Queenslander Darrell Hiles (Kostya Tszyu's first pro victim). On September 23, '95, Hiles won the vacant IBO “world” lightweight title by out pointing Hawaiian Roberto Granciosa in his home town of Toowoomba. In 1997, Granciosa fought Miguel Angel Gonzalez on the under card of the Holyfield - Tyson rematch.

    Deciding he'd had enough, Malcolm retired before being offered a shot out of the blue at the PABA 147 lb title in Indonesia against Jufrison Pontoh, the number 8 WBA at the time. Accompanied by Bobby Wilson, he became champion by a devastating knockout in round 8. A beautifully executed left hand to the bread basket felled Pontoh for several minutes and he required an oxygen mask before coming good. It was August 1996 and unbelievably a 40 year old Jeff “Flash” Malcolm was back in the world ratings.

    Over the next six years the ever green continued to pile up the victories, going 15-1-1, 9 KO's, adding the WBA Fedelatin title and got to as high as number 5 by the WBA. Better wins in this period, were over Dindo Canoy, Uzman Zakaria, Justice Ganiza and Brandon Wood.

    In 1998 it was thought he'd landed a shot at Ike Quartey's world title but nothing came of it. Always a gypsy, he moved to Les Wilson's stable and ended his career with trainer-conditioner Shane Plewes and finally Bobby Wilson. (On New Years Eve 1998, his second eldest son, Leon was tragically killed. Leon lived with his lovely mother Bessie in Wagga. It was his 16th birthday). Jeff continued on, and crept to the 100 mark stopping Sam Akuso in five rounds at Bundall on May 11 2002, two days after birthday number 46. His last fight was in Manila, a TKO by 3 against Fernando Segrado for the PABA title on June 15 2002.

    Jeff and Bessie have four children, Lindy, Jeff junior, Leon (deceased) and Trevor.

    Now married to Windiana, Malcolm looks after a few Indonesian fighters.

    Considering fighters activity decreases with each generation, he will almost undoubtedly be the last Aussie to punch out a 100 wins.

    *In 1997, then 18 year old son Jeff junior or “Sonny” as he is known, had two professional bouts, winning both impressively. Malcolm Senior is still hopeful Sonny will get back in the ring and believes is capable of at least wining an Australian title.

    Since this article was written in late 2007, Flash has been working with Anthony Mundine and more recently 'Tiger' Tim Bell. He was also a contributor here at ESB for a few months earlier this year.
  13. kflex101

    kflex101 Active Member Full Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    Great thread, it makes for very interesting reading.

    I remember watching Fenech's mob, Nader, Skinny and Hussy on the screen as well as live many times and it really is such a pity they were taken the route they were.
    The justification about not wanting to blow a title shot and therefore fighting stiffs just doesn't add up, just look at Bomber Peden and Mick Katsidis as examples of this, both took a much harder road, both gathered a few losses along the way, but the advantage in toughness and experience they gained saw their careers flourish afterwards.

    We'll probably never know whether Fenech didn't take any chnaces with them until it was too late as he never quite thought they were good enough, or he honestly believed the "light touch" route was the best one.

    A real shame as we'll never know how far they could have gone...

    COULDHAVEBEEN Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2007

    The last statement you made could be applied to 90% of the fighters going around today.

    Unfortunately there's simply so many belts to go around now days there's no competition involved in grabbing a collection of them. Just cherry pick around the fringes, collect a pile of $$$$ in the process, and never ever challenge yourself.
  15. kflex101

    kflex101 Active Member Full Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    I agree, with one champ in each division we'd see far more good fights, less people would worry about protecting their records.
    The multiple champ thing makes it even sadder for the Hussein boys though, given how many so so fighters can manipulate themselves into becoming "champs" those two were a lot unluckier than most