The History of Boxing with Emanuel Steward Part IV: Amateur Boxing

Boxing Interviews -  “A lot of guys try to emulate him, but there will never be another Pernell Whitaker”—Emanuel Steward

“A lot of guys try to emulate him, but there will never be another Pernell Whitaker”—Emanuel Steward

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – With his vast wealth of knowledge, experience, and an amazing track record of success, Emanuel Steward is undoubtedly one of the greatest trainers the sport of boxing has ever seen. In fact Steward has trained and/or managed 41 World Champions, including the reigning heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko. This is Part Four of an ongoing series with Emanuel that will explore past champions, historical fights, mythical match-ups, great rivalries, memorable fighters, and Steward’s own personal experiences as a world class trainer. This edition focuses on theme of amateur boxing. Steward (*pictured to the right, standing over Eddie Gonzalez during the semi-finals for the National Golden Gloves Championship, in Chicago, on March 6, 1963) spoke about his own experiences as an amateur National Champion. He also provided opinions on the American amateur boxing scene, the Cuban program, and various amateur boxers he has both seen and worked with over the years, including: Sugar Ray Leonard, Mark Breland, Floyd Mayweather Junior, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman, Pernell Whitaker, Howard Davis, Ronnie Shields, Roy Jones Junior, and more! Here is what the Hall of Fame trainer had to say:

The Stages of an Amateur Boxer:

Well the stages of a person’s amateur career I think are very important, and it’s something that I refer to in life often now. When you first go into the gym as a kid you start learning how to hold your feet and hands properly, or at least you did then. They don’t even do that nowadays, hardly. Everybody wants to just jump right on the pads now and go pop-pop-pop-pop-pop! But at the time when I came up, you learned how to do everything basically and fundamentally sound. Then you get to where you feel very comfortable doing that. It’s like a game where you can hit a bag or do whatever you’re supposed to do, and block a punch, and punch back. Then when you’re comfortable doing that, all of a sudden the actual boxing starts.

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Iceman John Scully: “I think Riddick Bowe potentially could have been one of the best heavyweight champions ever”

Boxing Interviews - Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani - I was recently afforded the opportunity to have a very nice discussion with ‘Iceman’ John Scully. As a professional boxer, Scully posted a record of 38-11 with 21 wins coming by way of knockout during a career that spanned from 1988-2001. Scully shared his views on many of his contemporaries, including some of the biggest names in boxing from his era, including: Roy Jones Junior, Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, George Foreman, Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector Camacho, Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, and more! Here is a complete transcript from that interview.

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – I was recently afforded the opportunity to have a very nice discussion with ‘Iceman’ John Scully. As a professional boxer, Scully posted a record of 38-11 with 21 wins coming by way of knockout during a career that spanned from 1988-2001. Scully shared his views on many of his contemporaries, including some of the biggest names in boxing from his era, including: Roy Jones Junior, Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, George Foreman, Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector Camacho, Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, and more! Here is a complete transcript from that interview.

Audio:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing and I am joined by trainer Iceman John Scully. How’s everything going today, John?

JOHN SCULLY: Everything is spectacular. I’m very happy to be here with you.

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From the Horse’s Mouth: Jason Gavern Assesses the Abilities of His Best Opponents

by Pavel Yakovlev: (August 19, 2012) Next month, Jason Gavern meets former IBF world cruiserweight champ Steve Cunningham in Newark, New Jersey. The bout marks Cunningham’s entre into the heavyweight division. Gavern has been selected as the opponent for a good reason: he is a tough, seasoned gatekeeper who has fought many of today’s leading heavyweights. Among Gavern’s opponents are current contenders Denis Boytsov, Mariusz Wach, Alexander Ustinov, Johnathon Banks, Franklin Lawrence, and Travis Walker. In this exclusive ESB interview, Gavern discusses his experiences with these fighters, analyzes their ring abilities, and assesses their future prospects.

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Chauncy Welliver: “I know that I have to make a statement, and that’s how I’m going to do it—by knocking this guy cold”

Boxing Interviews - Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani - Earlier this evening I was afforded the opportunity to have a nice chat with heavyweight contender Chauncy Welliver (53-6-5, 20 KOs), who will be squaring off against Kyotaro Fujimoto (4-0, 3 KOs) on September 19 in Tokyo, Japan. Fujimoto is new to professional boxing, but is making the transition from K-1 where he was a former heavyweight world champion. Welliver spoke about his upcoming match-up, and also discussed his majority decision loss his last time out against Sherman Williams, which was the first time Welliver had lost a bout in nearly three years ending his 18 fight winning streak. Here is a complete transcript from that interview.

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – Earlier this evening I was afforded the opportunity to have a nice chat with heavyweight contender Chauncy Welliver (53-6-5, 20 KOs), who will be squaring off against Kyotaro Fujimoto (4-0, 3 KOs) on September 19 in Tokyo, Japan. Fujimoto is new to professional boxing, but is making the transition from K-1 where he was a former heavyweight world champion. Welliver spoke about his upcoming match-up, and also discussed his majority decision loss his last time out against Sherman Williams, which was the first time Welliver had lost a bout in nearly three years ending his 18 fight winning streak. Here is a complete transcript from that interview.

Audio:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing and I am joined here today by heavyweight contender Chauncy Welliver. How’s everything going today, Chauncy?

CHAUNCY WELLIVER: Everything is going good. I’m still in the hunt. I’m still on my way to a world title and getting ready to fight in Tokyo, Japan.

CIANI: Speaking of Tokyo, Japan, Chauncy, you’re going over there. You’re fighting a guy named Kyotaro Fujimoto. He is 4-0 with 3 knockouts. How have your preparations been going for this fight, and what are you expecting going into this one?

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Exclusive Interview with Boxing Photographer Tom Casino (Rare Photos Inside!)

Boxing Interviews - “In every Tyson fight you could feel the electricity in the air” – Tom Casino

“In every Tyson fight you could feel the electricity in the air” – Tom Casino

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – I recently had the opportunity to have a very nice discussion with one of the best boxing photographers in the business, Tom Casino (pictured alongside Mike Tyson circa 1985). A master of his craft, Casino has captured the imagination of boxing fans for almost thirty years, bringing the action up close and personal while freezing single moments that shall forever live on in the annals of boxing history. Casino spoke about his experiences as a photographer and also shared some of his views as a fan. At the conclusion of the transcript, Tom has provided readers with an inside look of some of his work over the years, including images of Mike Tyson, Arturo Gatti, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Carl Froch, James Toney, and more! Here is a complete transcript from the interview.

Audio:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing, and I am joined here today by one of the elite photographers in all of professional boxing, Tom Casino. How’s everything going today, Tom?

TOM CASINO: Very nice Geoff, thank you, and I appreciate that introduction. It was very nice of you.

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Exclusive Interview: Travis Walker On The Adamek Fight – “This Fight Will Be Like A Volkswagen Being Ran Over By A Freight Train!”

Travis WalkerBy James Slater: No stranger to having to do things the hard way, honest, hardworking pro Travis Walker of Houston, Texas has had big opportunities come his way before, only for the 33-year-old, 6’4,” approx 250-pound banger to either fall short or go home feeling as though he was hard done by.

In compiling his 39-7-1(31) ledger, the powerful but sometimes shaky-chinned “Freight Train” has been stopped by Chris Arreola (after scoring a knockdown of his own in a tasty three-round slugfest), he has been blown away inside a round by Manuel Quezda (“a shot I never saw coming.”) and he has dropped a close, debatable decision to Ruslan Chagaev (“I know I won that one.”)

The softly spoken Walker has also been stopped by T.J Wilson (a premature stoppage, later avenged), Johnathon Banks and, in a fight that received far less acclaim than it should have done, Alex Leapai, in what was another premature stoppage, this time to a great up-and-down battle.

But throughout it all, Walker has never given up. After losing an exhausting 12-rounder with Kubrat Pulev last October, Walker finally bagged a big victory: an upset 6th-round TKO over Kali Meehan in Australia this March (“My biggest win to date, but my best win will come September 8th!”) and now he has a massive opportunity against Tomasz Adamek on September 8th.

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Ray Beltran: “I think the body shots were the key for me in the later rounds”

Boxing Interviews - Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani - I was recently afforded the opportunity to speak with lightweight contender Ray Beltran (26-6, 17 KOs), who is coming off an impressive upset victory against Hank Lundy (22-2-1, 11 KOs) last Friday night at the Resorts Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The veteran fighter, who was once viewed as a highly rated prospect, has resurrected his career following his majority decision win over Lundy. Beltran spoke about his victory and also talked about his career and his future plans in boxing. Here is what Beltran had to say:

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – I was recently afforded the opportunity to speak with lightweight contender Ray Beltran (26-6, 17 KOs), who is coming off an impressive upset victory against Hank Lundy (22-2-1, 11 KOs) last Friday night at the Resorts Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The veteran fighter, who was once viewed as a highly rated prospect, has resurrected his career following his majority decision win over Lundy. Beltran spoke about his victory and also talked about his career and his future plans in boxing. Here is what Beltran had to say:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing, and I am joined by lightweight contender Ray Beltran who is coming off of an upset victory against Hank Lundy last Friday night. How’s everything going today, Ray?

RAY BELTRAN: I’m great man. Thank you.

CIANI: Great! Now Ray, you’ve had a few days to reflect on your victory. Looking back on it, what did you think of the fight and how would you evaluate your perfomance?

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Exclusive Interview With Lamon Brewster

Boxing Interviews - By James Slater: In compiling a fine 35-6(30) pro record, “Relentless” Lamon Brewster gave fight fans some incredible heavyweight fights. Lamon, who became WBO champ in 2004 (and defended the belt three times) is best known for his big upset stoppage win over the mighty Wladimir Klitschko. No fighter since has been able to do what Brewster did some eight years ago, and the Indianapolis warrior’s legend has certainly grown some as a result.

By James Slater: In compiling a fine 35-6(30) pro record, “Relentless” Lamon Brewster gave fight fans some incredible heavyweight fights. Lamon, who became WBO champ in 2004 (and defended the belt three times) is best known for his big upset stoppage win over the mighty Wladimir Klitschko. No fighter since has been able to do what Brewster did some eight years ago, and the Indianapolis warrior’s legend has certainly grown some as a result.

Here, in an interview I conducted over the phone with Lamon, I get a chance to ask Brewer about his key fights.

J.S: It’s great to be able to speak with you, Lamont. You had a great, exciting career, and you scored a number of KO’s – one over Wladimir Klitschko of course, and I’ll come to that later. But you were such a tough guy – who hit you the hardest in your career, amateur and pro?

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