FH- Welcome Harold. First of I want to ask if you are enjoying working as a promoter?
HA- It keeps me busy, I get to meet all the active fighters and I do my best to make the biggest fights possible. I've had a rocky start, what with postponements and gyms becoming inactive, but I've hung in there and I see light at the end of the tunnel. We got the Ghost gym about to return and that should co-incide with Insanity International making their own comeback so things are on the up.
FH- You've had 50 pro fights, won the title at cruiserweight and heavyweight and never ducked a challenge but who was your toughest opponent ever?
HA- I guess the easy answer would be Lanky Gawn cos he is the only fighter to ever beat me, but I was just a young buck back then. Reckless and it cost me. I think my cruiserweight title defence against Alexeev was probably the fight I had to dig deepest in. Going into the last round I was very tired. Alexeev had hit me with so many good shots I felt weak in my legs. The fight was even on the cards and I knew I had to load up on my punches, so I planted my feet and threw some big shots to hurt him and take the round, and the fight. But that was hard because back then I felt at my physical peak.
FH- Who has been your favourite fighter to watch in the leagues history?
HA- Hmmm...I've always liked watching the smaller fighters. Used to be ringside for all Here We Go fights back in the day and Z Gorres was another fighter who did things that got the crowd off their seats. The number 2 fighter to watch for me though is my boy Reggie "The Kiss" Hope. Call me bias but when he fights I would pay to see it. Just comes to fight, comes to bring the pain. He's not the best fighter I've seen, by a long shot, but he comes to fight and never lets a defeat bother him. Miguel Cotto is number 1 because that guy just keeps rising from the dead. His record is incredible. Nobody knows what to expect with him. He's had some shocking results and you think, that's it, he's done and then he's back again, winning titles, stunning fight fans the world over. I lost £50,000 this past weekend betting against Cotto. I'm a damn fool, haha.
FH- So who is the best fighter you've ever seen?
HA- The featherweight kid, um, Gamboa...yeah, gotta say he's the nearest damn thing to perfect I ever seen. 51-0 takes remarkable dedication, motivation and above all talent to even get close to. He's a phenonmenon. He's been kinda unlucky to never have that really huge fight but I'm sure everyone in the game rates him as the best there has ever been.
FH- What has been your biggest regret in boxing?
HA- Timing....yeah, timing man. I never got to fight the one guy who woulda made me the most money ever. The biggest fight in history, the richest fight in history and the one challenge we both needed. You know who I'm talkin' about.
HA- Yeah thats the guy. We were SO CLOSE to making that fight but the timing wasn't quite right and he walked away from the sport as a fighter. ONE WEEK...that's how close we were to fighting and who knows how history woulda changed if we'd had that fight. I was bitter about it for a long, long time. I wanted his name on my resume, I wanted to be the man to knock him out but credit to the man. He made a decision to retire and he never looked back. He's comfortable running his gym and promoting fights. He don't need the money, he don't need any more recognition and he don't need any more risks. Once the hunger is gone a fighter never really gets it back.
FH- Do you think there is ever a chance of it happening now?
HA- Nope. I offered him more money than he ever made in his fighting career and the chance to shut my mouth as well as win a 5th world crown. He's lost the hunger that made him the fighter he was. He don't care about coming back, don't care about more titles. Like I say, credit to the man, he stuck to his retirement.
FH- Did he duck you?
HA- It's all about the timing. No, he didn't duck me, he'd officially retired 3 days before we tried to open talks. If he'd retired after I called him out, then yeah, he ducked me, but the truth is that's not how things were. WE both missed out on the fight and that's how it is.
FH- What was the saddest moment you have witnessed in boxing?
HA- Carlos Maussa dying in the ring. It touched the hearts of us all. It made us all recognise the dangers this sport has. It was a sad sad time. Peace out to Carlos Maussa, may he rest in peace forever.
FH- Would you ever consider making a serious comeback?
HA- Not right now, no motivation. I wanna let the guys fighting today make a name for themselves, build up their reps and earn their cash money. I have nothing fights from time to time but they are just cos I enjoy the buzz of fighting without the risks. I did all I did, achieved everything, made my name go down in history. If Allan Green moved up and won the cruiserweight title I'd be interested in that fight but other than him there ain't no big names out there that interest me. I got no hunger for these current fighters.
FH- Harold, it's been a pleasure. Thank you.
HA- You're welcome.