By: Sean Crose
Although the official pay per view numbers haven’t come in, Saturday’s heavyweight title throwdown between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury has at least one fan of note. “Two great fighters,” US President Donald Trump said of the battle, in which Fury essentially mopped the floor with Wilder, who had sent him to the mat twice in a previous battle a year earlier. “It was really very exciting,” Trump continued. “Maybe we have to bring them both to the White House—I don’t know—because that was really a good one. I think we’ll do that.”
Fury and Wilder certainly wouldn’t be the first major fighters to appear at the White House, nor would they likely be the last. Presidents have reportedly had relationships with top boxers since at least the administration of Teddy Roosevelt. What’s more, Wilder has already been to the Oval Office at least once before. He appeared with Trump, Lennox Lewis (who had appeared on Trump’s show “The Apprentice”) and others when Trump posthumously pardoned former heavyweight champ Jack Johnson in 2018. In an age of easy offense, however, fighters who appear with prominent politicians risk turning off at least considerable parts of their fan bases.
One person who would apparently love to have Fury meet the President is none other than Fury’s father, John. He thinks the visit would be a perfect way for Fury to wrap up what’s become quite the illustrious career. “I want my son to retire now,” the elder Fury told “Good Morning Britain” of Tyson. “That’s just my opinion. That’s what I want him to do.” To Fury senior, a meeting with the American President would be icing on the cake. “That’s good for a Fury, isn’t it?” he said of the possibility of a White House visit. “I’m a big fan of Donald Trump,” he added.
One man who is most certainly not a fan of Trump is Fury’s co-promoter, Bob Arum. A former employee of Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department, Arum has frequently spoken out against Trump in public. Whether or not Arum would try to convince his fighter not to visit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, however, is another matter entirely. Neither Fury nor Wilder come across as men who particularly care what other people think of them. It’s hard to imagine either man being influenced, for instance, by a Twitter hashtag.
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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UFC®, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, continues its celebration of the company’s silver anniversary with the ongoing release of a 25-part documentary series entitled UFC 25 Years in Short. The compilation of short films represents 25 captivating UFC stories, one for each year of the promotion’s existence, that examine UFC’s amazing evolution, fascinating characters, and lasting influence. UFC 25 Years in Short streams on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the promotion’s digital subscription streaming service.
“COMBATANT IN CHIEF: The Story of Donald Trump and Combat Sports”
When Donald Trump opened his Atlantic City casino to the struggling UFC, it was the start of an unlikely friendship between the current POTUS and UFC president Dana White.
Directed by Adam Condal and Michael Hayden.
Premiere Date: Wednesday, November 14 at 12 a.m. PT / 3 a.m. ET
The history of UFC and President Donald Trump are intertwined, as President Trump played a pivotal role in legitimizing UFC and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Trump Taj Mahal hosted UFC 30 in Atlantic City in February 2001, making it the first UFC event held by new owners Zuffa, LLC, which purchased the promotion in January that year. UFC 30 was also the first state-sanctioned UFC event held in New Jersey. UFC returned to Trump Taj Mahal in May 2001 with UFC 31, the first UFC event held under the new Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, which the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board had adopted a month earlier.
By: Ken Hissner
“Donald Trump couldn’t make it due to his day job,” said ACB HOF President Ray McCline. It brought quite a bit of laughter at the CLARIDGE a Radissan Hotel Sunday in Atlantic City, NJ.
Master of Ceremony NJB HOF President Henry Hascup and Ring Announcer Nino Del Buono did a fine job introducing the inductees. India Mercer, daughter of WBO Heavyweight champion Ray “Mercilus” Mercer did a great version of the National Anthem. Atlantic City Mayor Frank M. Gilliam Jr. also spoke.
The four “Special Contributors” were Trump, Mark G. Etess (accepting Don Hurley), former IBF President Marian Muhammad and former WBC President Jose Sulaiman (accepting Jill Diamond WBC Honoree). Officials being inducted who were present were judges Joseph Pasquale and Jean Williams.
Media inductees there were photographer Ray Bailey, and writers Bernard Fernandez and David Weinberg. Of the four Operations inductees Diane Fisher-Cristiano was there and had the audience in an uproar of laughter and got a great ovation when being introduced. She has been a long time promoter and was most worthy of her induction.
Fighters being inducted who were there were former Cruiser and Heavyweight champion Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield who accepted his award first. He had another engagement and wanted to get going first but took about 20 minutes in his acceptance speech which was a good one.
Mercer got a great round of applause when he was introduced for his induction. WBA Bantam champ “Joltin” Jeff Chandler, NABF champ Richie Kates and WBA Heavy champ Bruce “Atlantic City Express” Seldon were well received by the audience upon being introduced.
Hector Camacho Jr accepted for his father the late Hector “Macho Man”. Two division world champion Bobby ”Chappie” Czyz got a great ovation from the audience and had the them in stitches. He was followed by Vinny “Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza and they traded humorous jabs back and forth. Paz turned it into an R rated event and it can’t be in print the comments he said. He did say his most satisfying victory other than winning two world titles was stopping Dana Rosenblatt (in their first of two fights with Rosenblatt taking the second one).
In attendance were NJ Boxing Commissioner and IBHOF Referee Larry Hazzard, Sr., former Olympic, Light Heavy and Heavy champion Michael “Spinx Jinx” Spinks, 3-division world champ Iran “The Blade” Barkley, WBO Light Welter DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, champ Legendary matchmaker Don Elbaum, Referee Alan Huggins, Olympic and WBA World Welter champ Mark Breland, NJ and PA inductee cut-man Joey Eye, trainer Aaron Snowell, judge George Hill, writers Danny Serratelli of Brick City Boxing, Frank Bartolini of Boxing News, Joe Santoliquito of Ring Magazine and this writer.
By: Sean Crose
Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion of the world, has finally been pardoned. Johnson, who has been dead for over seventy years, is reported to be only the third person in history to be posthumously pardoned by a sitting United States President. Donald Trump made things official on Tuesday at the request of numerous notables of the sporting, political and entertainment worlds. Sylvester Stallone is said to have played a huge role in Johnson’s eventual pardon.
Johnson, a victim of a racist era, was convicted of violating the Mann Act in 1913, which basically meant he was found guilty of taking a white woman across state lines. The legal action led Johnson to leave the country for seven years, effectively making one of the most famous athletes in history an exile from his own country. Having held the heavyweight title from 1908, when he bested then champ Tommy Burns, until 1915, when, at the age of 37, he lost to Jess Willard in Cuba, Johnson is widely considered to have been one of the greatest boxers in history.
DONALD TRUMP PICKS MUHAMMAD ALI AS SECRETARY OF STATE!
By: Ken Hissner
President elect Donald Trump is talking to about 10 possible candidates to become his Secretary of State. We have a current administration that made a “negotiation” for five of the worst terrorists in the world released from a prison in Cuba in exchange for an Army deserter. President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry recently topped their previously mentioned “deal” by paying $400 million dollars EACH for the release of four prisoners giving 1.6 billion dollars to Iran. Two days later the same Middle East country kidnapped two more hostages.
Back in 1990 the former world boxing champion Muhammad Ali who six years prior to this was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease takes a flight to Iraq and meets with their President Saddam Hussein and on the flight back to the US Ali brings twelve US citizens taken hostage back with him without giving up a dime or anything else! Now that’s what we call “negotiating” right? Six weeks later Desert Storm bombarded Iraq for their invasion of Kuwait. That meant these twelve US citizens may have been bombed by the US.
Then President George H.W. Bush opposed Ali’s departure to Iraq. It was the idea of U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and given to Brian Becker. Ali arrived in Baghdad on November 23rd and met with Hussein on the 29th. Ali left with the hostages for Jordan on December 12th before leaving for the US. Please go to the article by Becker who was the National Coordinator of the Answer which was an anti-war group. Becker’s article was published June 10th of 2016 entitled “I was with Muhammad Ali on his hostage-release trip to Iraq – and the media has it all wrong. That included President Obama referring recently to the release of “14” not 15 hostages per Becker.
In an article by Ali’s daughter Hana Ali that was updated June 4, 2016 Ali said the following: “I’ve always wanted to be more than just a boxer. More than just the tree-time heavyweight champion. I wanted to use my fame, and this face that everyone knows so well to help uplift and inspire people around the world. I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.”
This writer is naming the title of this article knowing the former world heavyweight champion in and out of the ring Muhammad Ali has passed but what a Secretary of State Ali would have been!
Has Canelo Gone Full Donald Trump?
By: John Freund
It’s the classic bully maneuver: Take your own insecurities, project them onto your opponent, then attack. For an example, we need look no further than the Master Bully himself, one Donald J. Trump.
During the Republican primary, Trump made waves by accusing Sen. John McCain of not being a war hero because he was captured in battle. Trump even went on to call McCain a ‘loser.’ This argument, aside from being outrageously insensitive, makes zero sense. Since when does a soldier lose ‘war hero’ status upon being captured? In my opinion, and I dare say in most other people’s, anyone who serves his or her country in war is a hero, regardless of whether they are captured, killed, or injured.
So why did Donald Trump say what he said?
One argument is that he’s crazy. I don’t buy it though. If Trump is crazy, then he’s crazy like a fox. Because in attacking McCain for being a ‘loser’ instead of a war hero, Trump is simply following the first lesson they teach in Bully Tactics 101: Project your insecurities onto your enemy, then attack.
Trump dodged the war. He used student deferments and later a medical deferment to avoid being drafted. And it’s painfully obvious from all his talk about ‘winning’ that the thing he fears most is losing. So Trump did what the Great Bully does, he projected his insecurities onto McCain, and went on the attack.
It’s a classic maneuver, actually. As subliminal as it is ruthless. And it’s one that gets repeated again and again.
Enter Canelo Alvarez.
Alvarez just accused Genady ‘GGG’ Golovkin of taking the easy road when facing opponents. Yup, the same Genady Golovkin that no one – including Canelo Alvarez – currently wants to fight.
“All of his opponents have been the easy road,” Alvarez told RingTV.com in a phone interview. “He has never fought someone who has really pushed him or taken him to the next level. All of his opponents have been easy opponents.”
Gee Canelo, I wonder why Triple-G’s opponents have been so easy. Could it be because YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE ARE DUCKING HIM???
This is the classic bully performance, and it couldn’t have gone better if Trump himself had given it. Canelo’s rep has taken a serious beating lately. Not only for ducking Golovkin, but also for challenging an overmatched Amir Khan and following that up with a soon-to-be-thrashing of Liam Smith. Not exactly taking the hard road, are we Canelo?
So what does the bully do in the end? He takes his own insecurities and projects them onto his enemy. Now it’s Golovkin who is ducking tough opponents. Now it’s Golovkin who is taking the ‘easy road.’
Canelo even took this tactic to its psychological extreme, not only lashing out at Golovkin for what Canelo himself is accused of, but also justifying it with some twisted form of logic that only he (and possibly Oscar De La Hoya) can dream up.
“The main difference is that Brook is going up two weight classes,” said Alvarez, of GGG’s soon-to-be next KO victim. “I only made Amir Khan go up one weight class. People say it was two, but it was only one, and this guy Brook is moving up two to fight GGG at 160.”
For those not in the know, boxers weigh-in before the fight at a certain weight limit. But with rehydration, some are able to gain serious pounds between the weigh-in and the fight itself. Amir Khan claims he weighed 161 pounds during his fight with Canelo, and stated that “Canelo must have been around 180lbs! He’s a big dude.”
Canelo, for his part, denies that he rehydrated up to 180. Whatever his actual weight, it is clear that Canelo was much bigger and stronger than Khan during their fight. So for Canelo to make the argument that GGG fighting a guy two weight classes below him is somehow different from Canelo fighting Amir Khan… well that is just absurd. Add to it the fact that Canelo is justifying his own claim that GGG is ducking strong opponents, and you have absurdity on top of absurdity.
Welcome to ‘John McCain is not a war hero.’ Welcome to the world of Donald Trump.
No, Mike Tyson Will Not Be Speaking At The GOP Convention
By: Sean Crose
“Iron Mike Tyson was not asked to speak at the Convention,” Donald Trump tweeted late Tuesday night, “though I’m sure he would do a good job if he was. The media makes everything up!”
And so there we have it. Mike Tyson will not, I repeat, will not, be speaking on Donald Trump’s behalf at the Republican Presidential Convention this summer. The internet went wild on Tuesday after a Bloomberg report ran which claimed team Trump had wanted Tyson to speak for their man. Sure enough, having a convicted rapist on stage in Cleveland (where the convention will be held) next month would be a strange thing, to put it mildly (in fairness, Tyson has long argued his innocence).
Trump, however, has claimed Tyson is a supporter of his run for president. What’s more, the two men have a history together. Many people don’t know – or have forgotten – that Trump was a major player in the fight game back in Tyson’ s heyday. Add all this to the fact that both men are outspoken, larger than life characters, and it doesn’t seem THAT outrageous that Tyson might publicly push for Trump’s presidential bid.
Again, however, Trump himself has now made it perfectly clear that Tyson won’t be speaking in Cleveland. Sure enough, team Tyson claims it’s never even spoken to the Trump camp about the convention…which essentially means that’s the end of that. Indeed, this all seems to be a case of wishful thinking. The image of Mike Tyson, the guy once known as the baddest man on the planet, being part of a presidential campaign is just too appealing for the online Mafia not to run with. Hence, a ridiculous rumor run wild.
To be sure, the public perception of Tyson has changed over the years. While it’s doubtful anyone alive at the time will forget about the chomping of Evander Holyfield’s ear, a new generation has been weaned on a tongue in cheek tough guy, someone who is perhaps more comedian than feared competitor. That’s undoubtedly good for Tyson, who now unquestionably stands as the world’s most famous (former or current) fighter now that Muhammad Ali has passed. It doesn’t necessarily mean Iron Mike is ready to enter the world of politics, however, or that he’d even want to.
For, rough as it is, the boxing world probably doesn’t hold a candle to the cutthroat arena that is the modern political landscape.
Fellow Athletes, Along With Politicians And Other Notables, Weigh In On “The Greatest”
By: Sean Crose
With the world reeling from the news of Muhammad Ali’s death, Boxing Insider has decided to pay homage to “The Greatest” by offering the reader a collection of quotes and Tweets from family, friends, colleagues and notable admirers of the legendary fighter. Enjoy
1. “The world has lost an incredible legend, I have lost a phenomenal friend and mentor. Much love” Larry Holmes
2. “He shook up the world, and the world’s better for it. Rest in peace, Champ.” President Barak Obama
3. “Muhammad Ali is dead at 74! A truly great champion and a wonderful guy. He will be missed by all!” Donald Trump
4. “Until Ali no one said ‘I’m beautiful’ he was royalty, yet common man was his pal. That is beauty. Greatest kind” George Foreman
5. “God came for his champion. So long great one.” Mike Tyson
6. “RIP @muhammadali, a legend who transcended sport and was a true champion for all.” Oscar de la Hoya
7. “My heart is deeply saddened yet both appreciative and relieved that the greatest is now resting in the greatest place.” Roy Jones Jr
8. “I mourn the passing of MuhammadAli. He was indeed “The Greatest.” An American legend & a true Champion for the world.” Larry King
9. “The Greatest Man that ever lived. Daddy my best friend & my Hero You R no longer suffering & now in a better place.” Rasheda Ali
10. “We lost a giant today. You will always be GOAT. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Ali family. May God bless them.” Manny Pacquiao
11. “Today my heart goes out to a pioneer, a true legend, and a hero by all means!” Floyd Mayweather
12. “A giant among men, Ali displayed a greatness in talent, courage & conviction, that most of us will EVER be able to truly comprehend.” Lennox Lewis
13. “Rip to the champ.” Nate Diaz
14. “Nobody will ever come close to this mans greatness. And if they do, they better wake up and apologize.” Conor McGregor
15. “Muhammad Ali has died at 74. #RIP to ‘The Greatest.’ A sad day for the world.” Dan Rafael
16. “Rip the greatest of all times in many different ways.” Tyson Fury
17. “Strong prayers up & loving energy for The Greatest. There will never be another quite like him…” Mario Lopez
18. “RIP to the GOAT. A man of character, faith, dignity and professionalism. You’ll continue to inspire us to make this world a better place.” Wladimir Klitschko
19. “A joy to have known #Ali, my hero; I was privileged. May God embrace him and bring comfort to his family. His mark on this world is ETERNAL.” Lou DiBella
20. “A true great has left us. @MuhammadAli transformed this country and impacted the world with his spirit.” Bob Arum
21. “A man who shook up the world has passed on to the next stage of existence. Muhammad Ali was one of the most unique and original forces in culture and one of the most spectacularly talented boxers that ever laced up the gloves.” Joe Rogan
22. “This Man. This King. This Hero. This Human! Words cannot express. He shook up the World! God Bless Him.” Madonna
23. “RIP Champ A true honor to have met you many times over the yrs as you always will be#TheGreatestOfAllTime” Bruce Buffer
24. “You didn’t have to be a Boxing fan to realize his greatness, wit & bravery. Went to jail- NOT Viet Nam!” Mark Hamill
25. “We Lost a LEGEND RIP ALI!!!!!!!” Adrien Broner
26. “You will always be my hero … #MuhammadAli” Lionel Richie”
27. “Besides being the greatest boxer, he was a beautiful, gentle man with a great sense of humour” Paul McCartney
28. “Fantastic man who I came to know well.… He was the real Apollo Creed!” Sylvester Stallone
29. “Ali taught us to dream, to dare and fight for what we believe” Piers Morgan
30. “The Greatest is gone. @MuhammadAli changed the world as a fighter, humanitarian, teacher and force for peace and understanding. A champion.” Matt Lauer
31. “The Greatest. In boxing and in life, an inspiration to mankind.” Gennady Golovkin
32. “This one hurts. I have so much to say, but don’t know how to say it…but for now, you will be missed & I appreciate you so much. #Ali” Andre Ward
33. “RIP #MuhammedAli. Truly the greatest of all time. Your legacy extends beyond sports.” Mark Wahlberg
34. “This man inspired me. The Champ. Rest in peace. 2016 is a rough one.” Idris Elba
35. “Muhammad Ali, we are all stronger because of the light you shared with us. Rest in peace G.O.A.T. I love you.” LL Cool J
36. “You changed our sport and your vision impact the world. Your legacy will always be with Remembered #TheGreatest @MuhammadAli” Miguel Cotto
37. “Knew this day would come yet can’t express how my heart feels. #RIPAli #GOAT. My condolences to his family. #boxing” Rosie Perez
38. “Muhammad Ali was the greatest, not only an extraordinary athlete but a man of great courage and humanity.” Bernie Sanders
39. “We lost another legend last nite. Thank u for all u did – u will be missed. #RIPMuhammadAli” David Ortiz
40. “Thank you for touching so many lives. You have always been a huge inspiration for me and will be greatly missed. The greatest of all time.” Holly Holm
41. “RIP Muhammad Ali u elevated the art of the fight in the ring &out of it,a truly funny man,&remains the greatest my condolences to the family” Whoopi Goldberg
42. “RIP @MuhammadAli You fought a great fight!” Luanne de Lesseps
43. “You will be missed #MuhammadAli” Freddie Roach
44. “Condolences to the Ali family. I cherish the memories of the times I spent with The Greatest. Perhaps the most remarkable man I ever met.” Jimmy Lennon Jr.
45. “I woke up this morning with a tear coming down my cheek, an ache in my chest along with an appreciation of a man, fighter and friend That I truly admired, idolized and loved in Muhammad Ali. My true feelings have not totally surfaced yet because No One beats Muhammad Ali.” Sugar Ray Leonard