"It's great for boxing for the simple reason it helps the African American fighter get to where he is going. And not to say it's a prejudice thing, because it's not, but we have been dominating the fight game. It is what it is and now 50 and Floyd stepping to the plate and putting their money up and getting a lot of guys of color that can fight, and I applaud those guys. I got a few of my guys, some of color and some not of color, that can fight and I'm waiting to sit down and have a talk with both of them and see if they want to promote my guys," stated world-class trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, who shared his thoughts on TMT Promotions and what it could potentially do in the sport. Check out what else he had to say about some of the fighters he's working with, including Badou Jack, Hasim Rahman, and much more.
PC: Eddie, when you look at the struggles that our Olympic boxing team is having, what do you think needs to be done to rectify the problem?
EMM: Well, first and foremost, you gotta look at the officiating. It was horrible. They wasn't counting the punches, they wasn't counting body shots it was just horrible. But the training that will show these Olympians how to do it, they weren't taught that, and I don't want to say nothing bad about the coaches, but it is what it is. It is what it is. You got most of these foreign fighters and some of them guys already pros, and our fighters are young puppies and them guys over there are getting paid already. They pay them to stay in the amateur ranks. So basically what I'm saying is they have to learn how to fight. They are not being shown how to punch, defend, block; they are not being shown anything. The basic thing in an amateur situation is a jab. They are not showing these guys these things.
PC: Would you be for the USA starting to send our pros over there? I'm not talking like a Mayweather or Andre Ward, but a notch or two below that level?
EMM: I have no problem with that and it would make it an even situation and have everything on an even field. We can do it like that. It would be a whole different story, I guarantee you that.
PC: Floyd Mayweather is now out of jail and it appears him and 50 Cent have something special brewing in boxing. We texted about it the other day, but you love the fact that 50 is now involved in the sport. Tell us why?
EMM: It's great for boxing for the simple reason it helps the African American fighter get to where he is going. And not to say it's a prejudice thing, because it's not, but we have been dominating the fight game. It is what it is and now 50 and Floyd stepping to the plate and putting their money up and getting a lot of guys of color that can fight, and I applaud those guys. I got a few of my guys, some of color and some not of color, that can fight and I'm waiting to sit down and have a talk with both of them and see if they want to promote my guys.
PC: You also like the eyes that 50 Cent can bring from the Hip Hop community to the sport.
EMM: Without a doubt, and it brings a whole new base of fans from the Hip Hop community. It brings his crew, from Hip Hop to Hollywood, because we all know 50 made a few movies. As a matter of fact, he made a movie with a friend of mine, Robert DeNiro, who I made a movie with, "Raging Bull," and 50 made a movie with him as well, so he brings that Hollywood element over. That's good for boxing. I see 50 at Floyd's gym all the time and if he's not hitting the heavy bag or the speed bag, I'm sure he's being taught the game. He loves the game and wants to be involved. I can see it in his eyes. By just talking to him, I can see he wants to be a part of the game.
PC: Hasim Rahman has a new date with Alexander Povetkin. Is that set in stone or just a rumor still?
EMM: It's a done deal. I just left Hasim at the gym. We just got done working out and believe me, do not be surprised if Hasim hits him on the chin and we have a new champion.
PC: So I take it the wrist is doing good?
EMM: The wrist is perfect. If the heavy bag could talk, it would say that he's hitting very hard.
PC: Badou Jack is still in Sweden. When are you gonna get him back down and in the ring?
EMM: I'm waiting to solidify with his managers when he will be back in the country any day now. He texted me yesterday saying he's dying to get back to work, so I will talk to his managerial team and see when they want to bring him back because I am in the gym waiting for him.
PC: I know Mike Tyson is your man. He seems to be in a very good place right now doing his Broadway shows and everything that he has going on with "Undisputed Truth."
EMM: Right now, Mike is in the happiest place that's he's ever been in his life right now. He's in a great place. He's on Broadway and not too many guys from Brooklyn can go to Broadway (laughing). Mike is about the first one from Brownsville to Broadway and I'm glad for Mike. He is in a great place right now.
PC: You always have a few young guys to tell me about. Who do you have that you are working with to look out for?
EMM: I'm working with a few guys. I got a kid out of Romania named Ronald Gavril who is 3-0 now, and I got a kid out of Canada that is undefeated at 11-8 with 8 knockouts. He is rated #11 in the WBA, Adam Trupish. I am looking for some big things from Adam in the junior middleweight division. I'm gonna sit down with Floyd and 50 and see if they want to promote him because he is a good draw up in Canada. He has a good fan base there.
PC: You got Canada, Sweden and Romania, so you are definitely an international trainer.
EMM: I try to be. I don't want to just have Americans. America is a great country, but I'm international, like you say. I try to show them why these guys chose me as their trainer. I'm having a great time in my life right about now and my job is to make champions and that's what I'm doing.
PC: Well, they are in good hands. Best of luck to you and your fighters. Is there anything else you want to add my man?
EMM: I like the way you guys handle your business on FightHype. You guys have the best website out there and I applaud you guys man. You let us talk the way we want to talk and you guys do a great job. Look out for all of my guys because these guys are gonna be world champions, I guarantee.