- April 11th, 2008
Status: Hall of Fame promoter.
Hobbies/Interests: “What I like to do is – I love to watch sports. I love to play tennis. I like to swim. And I like to play with the grandkids. And I like to read. I’m a big reader because I’m interested in politics, history – all the different types. What I have to do is keep my time occupied. I work very hard and I put a lot of hours into the work. My leisure time – I always do something.”
Favorite Movies: “I love to go to the movies. Absolutely love movies. My favorite is Casablanca. I have a big collection of movies at home. I love Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Blazing Saddles – I could watch that for the rest of my life and always collapse in laughter [smiles]. All his pictures are hilarious. Most of Woody Allen’s are great. I’m just a movie buff. I go to the movies in addition to watch at home – on DVDs. I go to movies a lot. Sideways – I loved. Crash – I thought that was a very good picture. Very good picture. I love movies and I like movie people. Tonight I’m having dinner with a couple of people, including Al Pacino – who’s a great boxing fan, Christopher Walken – who’s also a big fan, Samuel Jackson’s a big fan. So I like guys that are in the movies – they’re interesting people.”
Favorite TV Shows: “The only TV show I watch, other than sports programs, are HBO – The Sopranos, Deadwood, Sex In The City. I don’t watch any commercial television shows, other than news and sports. None. I haven’t seen a sitcom, ever. Because I can’t stand the f*****’ commercials [smiles].”
Musical Tastes: “I’m a crazy Beatles fan. I love the Beatles. I love Rod Stewart. I can’t stand hip-hop. Or heavy metal. So I would say my tastes run to – I still love the songs of Steve and Edie – ’cause they’re friends of mine – Steve Lawrence and Edie Gourmet. I like Frank Sinatra. Carol King. Carly Simon. That era – I love that music. I don’t particularly care for what passes as music today.”
Early Boxing Memory: “The first fight that I ever saw in person was the first fight that I promoted – Heavyweight championship of the world between Muhammad Ali and George Chuvalo, March of 1966, Toronto, Canada. Prior to that I had never ever attended a boxing show. And I had no interest in boxing. Except I remember being sort of interested listening to the radio to Joe Louis fights. But I never watched Friday Night Fights, I didn’t know one fighter from the other. Indeed, the first few years I was in boxing, I didn’t know there was a division other than the heavyweights [smiles].”
Favorite Meal: “I don’t have a favorite meal. I’m in the process now where I’ve lost over 30 lbs. So all of that stuff I used to love, I stopped eating. So now I eat to survive. I don’t have a favorite meal. What I eat now, I tolerate. It keeps me alive [smiles].”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Chocolate.”
First Job: “As a busboy at the Catskill Mountains – Kiamesha Lake Lodge (age 16).”
Greatest Career Moment: “When George Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer.”
Most Painful Moment: “The most painful moment in the career was every time I do a fight and some kid dies in the ring. That takes your heart out. And you always say to youself, What the hell am I doing? I remember specifically when Ray Mancini knocked out Duk Koo Kim. That tore me apart.”
Childhood Dream: “Well, I think clearly I went into the law and I wanted to be a major force in the law, and a judge.”
Favorite Fights: “Great fights? The third Ali-Frazier fight. The Hagler-Hearns fight. The Castillo-Corrales fight. Totally memorable, memorable fights that I watched. Oh, and the first Arguello-Pryor fight. Another great, great, great fight.”
Funny Boxing Memory: “A lot of things made me laugh. There was a fight on ESPN that we were doing, around 15 years ago. Where one guy is taking a pounding against the ropes. And the referee goes into break it up and stop the fight. And the guy who is getting pounded against the ropes, hits the guy and knocks him out [laughter]. So the referee stopped the fight, right? And the guy who won the fight was knocked out!”
Favorite Vacation Spot: “I love Cabo. I love Mexico. But I particularly love Cabo. And I love Palmiya in Cabo.”
Favorite Fighters To Watch: “Past – obviously Ali, Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, I loved those guys. Those are my favorite fighters. De la Hoya, when he was in his prime. Right now the guys I like to watch are Mayweather and Cotto.”
People Qualities Most Admired: “I like guys who are loyal. Who are dedicated. Who are like my favorite fighters – like a Marvin Hagler, like a Cotto – no nonsense guys that are not all ego. That are just hardworkers and loyal kids.”
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