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KENNY ADAMS: "BOXERS DON'T HAVE GREAT SKILLS ANYMORE...IT'S NOT LIKE IT USED TO BE"

By Percy Crawford | December 21, 2011
KENNY ADAMS:

"Hopkins is an exception. He is just really...I don't know personally what any of them have done about the way they live their lives or whatever, but you know, he seems to be the exception to the rule. Then you have to look at the different weight classes that you deal with and who's there and who you have to deal with and step up to the plate with. These guys all still have exceptional skills. Even though they're not fighting at the level that they are used to, they still are very exceptional fighters. They still got big nuts and they step up to the plate and fight younger guys because they still have great skills. That's the difference in what happens today. Boxers don't have great skills anymore, and that's the thing you try to teach them...All of the guys now, they are in shape and they can throw one-two's and a lot of punches, and they are just in great shape. They are trained like they are football players, but they have no skills. It's all just bang, bang, bang. They take a punch to give a punch and that's not my school of thought...it's not like it used to be," stated world-class trainer Kenny Adams, who shared his thoughts on the difference between today's fighters compared to those in past. Check out what else he had to say!

PC: You were on the amateur scene when guys like Roy Jones were in the amateurs. What are your thoughts on James Toney, Roy Jones, and Bernard Hopkins still fighting?

KA: Sometimes guys, when...I know how boxing is because I was still training to fight when I was 32 years old, but guys like Holyfield is 50 years old. Sometimes what happens is, this is the way I think, I don't really know and I would hate to put this burden on somebody, but I just think that maybe the guys love the sport so much that maybe they still think that they can still do this. And of course they can, to a degree, but they will never get to the level that they were before, which is that championship top level. Hopkins is an exception. He is just really...I don't know personally what any of them have done about the way they live their lives or whatever, but you know, he seems to be the exception to the rule. Then you have to look at the different weight classes that you deal with and who's there and who you have to deal with and step up to the plate with. These guys all still have exceptional skills. Even though they're not fighting at the level that they are used to, they still are very exceptional fighters. They still got big nuts and they step up to the plate and fight younger guys because they still have great skills. That's the difference in what happens today. Boxers don't have great skills anymore, and that's the thing you try to teach them and that's what I'm doing with Sharif. I'm teaching him all of these great and different skills to get him to the next level. All of the guys now, they are in shape and they can throw one-two's and a lot of punches, and they are just in great shape. They are trained like they are football players, but they have no skills. It's all just bang, bang, bang. They take a punch to give a punch and that's not my school of thought.

PC: No, you come from the old school of hit and not be hit. The art of boxing is lost in that sense because even the fans don't want to see a fighter fight with the art of hitting and not being hit.

KA: No, it's not like it used to be, you're right. I like to teach fighters to box and catch and slip punches where you're not getting hit a lot. That's just me. In fact, if a guy is getting hit too much, there is a point where I say, "Move on!" I ran into guys like that. [Vince] Phillips was like that and [Kennedy] McKinney was the same way. I saw them starting to get hit too much in the ring and slur a little bit outside of the ring and I said, "I'm through. I gotta move on and step away."

PC: That's one thing that Floyd Mayweather is an advocate of saying, "Taking punishment is not cool," and he really wants to walk away with all of his faculties in order. Not saying every fighter doesn't want to walk away like that, but he lives it.

KA: Floyd will probably go down in history as one of the greatest. He wasn't as great as Sugar Ray Robinson, but defensively, he probably is better than that. He's probably one of the best defensive fighters ever, without a doubt. I believe that. I like what he's about and he will beat Pacquiao also. I've always said that, and I know that without a doubt.

PC: Do you think we ever see that fight, or at this point, is it just a mythical fight?

KA: I think it just may happen now. Things are working out a little different now to where it may happen. I've been noticing some things in camps. I notice some people have kind of laid off some juice a little bit, you with me?

PC: I follow you.

KA: So with that happening, it's possible that the fight may happen. Once again, it comes down to taking a blood test. If one takes it, why shouldn't the other one take it? What's good for one is good for the other one. I don't think it is so much of one wanting his way, that being Floyd. I think that he's only asking that it should be a level playing field. And if you do that that way, everybody should take the same test. They only give piss tests and he wants to do blood. That way is Olympic-style, which shows everything in your body that you are dealing with, you know what I'm saying?

PC: Definitely. I love your honesty my man and we gotta get you on a lot more. Is there anything you want to say in closing?

KA: I just want to wish one of my kids luck. He's been in camp with Floyd Mayweather and he's kind of moving up to the next level and that's Deandre Latimore. He will probably fight on the card with Floyd in May. I'm not working with him anymore, but the thing is, we are still good friends and we still deal with each other, so it's all good. I'm definitely looking for a fighter that wants to move to the next level and I have had quite a few people approach me with some fighters they want me to do some things with. I'm definitely into that mode now; two or three is good enough for me right now. I'm used to having six to eight fighters. I had a fighter 10-0 with 10 knockouts; 11-0, things like that. I had a guy from Uganda, a guy from Alabama, a couple of cats from Vegas, and one from Arizona, and I had one from New Zealand; all from 3-0, 4-0, 6-0 and 7-0. But that didn't work out good because, once again, this treacherous world of boxing, you got people that's always trying to screw people, and when they do that, they don't realize life can be short for them when they do stuff like that without thinking in that manner. But you know, like I said, I'm 71 now, but it's just like I'm a 30 or 40-year-old when I'm in that gym working. The thing is, it's all good though.

PC: You're 71? Damn. I hope I sound as healthy as you when I turn 71.

KA: Yeah man. Shoot, I work those mitts; can't nobody work those mitts as hard as I deal with 'em, that's for sure. But yeah, in closing man, I'm hoping that Sharif get a shot here at a world title. Sharif is #3 in the WBO and the only 2 guys ahead of him are from Great Britain. I would like to fight one of them. And this guy Ricky Burns got the title, and he's from Great Britain as well, and I wouldn't care if we went over there to fight him. But I would hope that we get an opportunity to fight him. Sharif's names came up for the WBA title that's vacant right now. He's 20-0 with 13 knockouts and we just hoping to get a little shot, you know? We just stopped a guy that was 16-0 with 13 knockouts and we stopped him in the 3rd round. We just looking for better fights, man, and I'm happy with that. I got a couple of more years left and I'll be ready to cut it loose, but I always wanna be involved in boxing in some way, form or fashion. I also got Livingston Bramble, an ex- champion, working with me. He's been out here with me every day almost. He don't live too far from me, so we hook up every day.



[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]

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