By: Sean Crose
Few will remember Donald Trump for being a familiar face in boxing back in the 80s and 90s. Being President has a way of pushing all other personal endeavors to the margins. Still, Trump was nothing if not a major player in boxing for a while. The Tyson-Spinks fight of 1988, for instance, was the most lucrative one day sporting contest up to that time (and yes, the Super Bowl was wildly popular back then). Trump paid a lot of money to stage the bout at Convention Hall in Atlantic City. Check out the fight on YouTube if you want to see a young Trump right there on camera during the festivities.
Long story short – Trump was seen a lot in the world of boxing back then. And he was as brash in those days as he’s known to be today. Yet boxing is loaded with brash people, which is why it’s never surprising to see fireworks go off both in and outside the ring. Sometimes, though, the fireworks go off behind closed doors, as they did one night after a ring battle on Trump property. Stan Hoffman, a legendary manager who has been in the fight business for almost half a century, still remembers the night he tossed the future President and his bodyguards out of a fighter’s dressing room like it was yesterday.
“We got a decision at Trump’s hotel,” Hoffman says of that long ago evening in Atlantic City. At the time Hoffman was managing the iconic James Toney, who had gotten the judges’ nod after a lackluster performance. How poorly had Toney done that night? Poorly enough that even Hoffman and Toney themselves had to admit it. It was, one might say, one of those days. “All of a sudden,” Hoffman continues, “there’s a knock on the dressing room door and in walks Don Trump with his three or four bodyguards.”
“I’m just going to tell you guys you stunk,” Hoffman quotes the future president as saying, “and I’m going to tell the Commission to reverse this decision.” Hoffman, who was in no mood at the moment for interruptions, had a quick response. “I said: ‘Kindly remove those guys’,” he recalls, “and they were stunned. I threw em out of the dressing room.” A highly regarded figure behind the scenes in the fight game, Hoffman is a man with a million stories to tell. All of them are undoubtedly colorful. Hear Hoffman relay the tale of his run in with Trump in his own words on Boxing Insider Radio:
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