Imagine being past your best, but still in the game. You know it’s very unlikely you’ll be on top again or even near it. And it’s quite possible you’ll suffer humiliating defeats against people you’ve never heard of, in front of your family, friends, and fans.
Fast forward a decade or so, it’s even worse. Some joker runs into you that recognises you from back then and starts talking trash to you. But you may not even be able to take on a regular guy whose never even boxed before. What does that do to the psychology of a boxer who made his living off the sport? Anyone know how these guys handle losing their ability and strength with age?
I posted a clip a while back in another thread where Burt Reynolds told a humorous story about Rocky Marciano’s high voice and how it was hilarious to hear him scold guys who tried to challenge him long after his retirement. Rocky said there was always some joker somewhere sizing him up and he had to always be ready.
I know that’s annoying. I recall the story of two guys trying to rob Dempsey during his senior citizen days and Dempsey knocked them both out, but I doubt the two hoodlums knew who they targeted.
Yeah, it must be forever annoying as everyone tries to size you up all the time, and provoke you.
Evolution and others who were actually in the business, how was it for you and people you sparred against to deal with losing strength and abilities as everyone aged?
George Foreman just joked about it, even had me laughing while we trained. I rarely -if ever- saw him frustrated or angry. The big man loved life, and knew nobody would want to mess with him no matter how old and fat he got. Knocking out Michael Moorer only clinched it.
Evander was losing skills but in serious denial. I helped him train for the first Lennox Lewis fight and his legs were cramping and his age was catching up to him. But Lennox made him mad and he planned to crush him in the third. I could tell while sparring with him that it wouldn't happen.
Everyone else I trained or fought with was younger or in their prime years somewhere, although Dave (Tua) was still young but going through his lazy patches.
I guarantee you've probably seen me fight or at least interviewed on a boxing documentary somewhere. I have confided in a few who I really am and dropped a few clues but part of the reason I won't be public is because of the exact thing Rocky Marciano was talking about. I've had guys stop by my gym looking for charity or a fight. Netheir is fun.
Great stories Evolution! What was it like when you hung up the gloves (professionally)? When did you realise it was time?
Dude I sucked. It wasn't a hard decision, and it wasn't fun anymore. I was one of those blokes who didn't have "IT" but I was good at helping folks train so eventually I decided to do that full time.
I lost every potentially important fight I ever had, both in the amatuers and the pros. And then there were crooks like Don King and other promoters always promising this or that while taking your money. It's just not a fun business.