Status: Former world heavyweight title challenger lost by TKO 11 to WBC champ Larry Holmes in Pittsburgh in 1981 after scoring knockdown in round seven. Final record was 39-8-1 (22 KO’s).
DOB: August 15, 1956 In: Houston, Texas
Current Residence: New York City.
Boxing Inspirations: "Father and mother."
Hobbies/Interests: "Sports, business, health and fitness."
Favorite Meal: "Soups."
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: "Almond vanilla."
Favorite Movie: "Gone With The Wind."
Favorite TV Shows: "X-Files, almost every sci-fi show."
Last Book Read: "What the CIA Doesn’t Want You To Know."
Musical Favorites: "Bobby Bluebland, B.B. King, Earth Wind & Fire, Frankie Beverly & Maze, along with The O’Jays and of course Frank (Sinatra). Wayne Newton was a good friend. Tom Jones. Julio Iglesias. James Brown."
First Boxing Memory: "Watching Ali-Frazier I at the movie theater in Chicago. It was just exciting to see the top two warriors in the world."
First Job: "YMCA in Chicago."
First Car: "Volkswagen Beetle (Color?) Sky blue."
Pre-Fight Meal: "Ziti and garlic oil."
Pre-Fight Superstition: "Wearing the same robe and trunks."
Ring Entrance Music: "New York, New York by Frank Sinatra. (Unique choice. How did the audience react?) All the world loved it because they did not think a black man in the 1980′s could have a culture background. (It’s an unexpected song to hear as a ring entrance.) Everything about me is unexpected. That’s why I won my fights, because people underestimated me, always. (Did you meet Sinatra? And what did he think about you picking his music?) All the time. He said I had ‘good taste.’"
Childhood Dream: "To be somebody."
Greatest Sports Moment: "When I turned pro. (Why then?) Because I needed to make it in the amateurs in order to make it to the next level."
Most Painful Boxing Moment: "Mother dying. (What year?) Can’t remember. That’s how much it hurt back then."
What Fight Were You At Your Best?: "Larry. I walked in thinking I was the champ and Larry was the contender. I felt unbelievably strong because of the sacrifices made."
Toughest Man Faced: "Man in the crossroads fight in Westchester County Center Dave ‘Big Foot’ Johnson (W 8 in 1980). He was 6-ft., 7. Hard, hard fight. Hardest fight of my career. He staggered me in every round. He fought as hard as I did. He wanted to make it to the next level also. Eugene Green was another tough fight at Madison Square Garden. Those fights made my contender fights easier."
Hardest Puncher: "Gerrie Coetzee from South Africa (W 10 in 1981)."
Favorite Artists: "I loved Anthony Quinn’s work. He was a painter of art pictures."
Funny Boxing Memory: "There were not many."
Embarrassing Boxing Memory: "None."
Frank Sinatra Memory: "He said I reminded him of Joe Louis and that I was his favorite fighter. He also said I was the hardest puncher in the fight game."
First Famous Boxer You Met: "Ali in the gym in Chicago in the 1970′s. I was amateur and we sparred three rounds. That’s when I knew I was going to be a good pro. (Remember anything he told you?) He was champ and said, You remind me of myself. Ali always had nice things to say. But he was humble and serious."
Favorite Boxers To Watch Today: "I like a lot of them. Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Hearns. I like watching them today [smiles]."
People Most Admired: "President Reagan. John Gotti – he was a boxing fan and a friend. He was always very nice to me. Muhammad Ali. Joe Frazier."