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JAMES TILLIS: "BOXING SHOULD BE NAMED NPA...NO PUNKS ALLOWED"

By Percy Crawford | February 14, 2012
JAMES TILLIS:

"It ain't like when I was fighting. It's a whole different era now and I don't pay attention to it too much. It's a whole lot different. Angelo and trainers like that are rare now...Ali was the greatest heavyweight fighter ever lived, man. That's who I wanted to be like, Cassius Clay. That's who turned me on to the game. He threw all kinds of good combinations...I sparred with him 5 times. Trust me, I know him. I knew the greatest fighter to ever live, Sugar Ray Robinson. I knew 'em all. Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles, I met all them guys. Jake LaMotta is still living. He was great, man...boxing should be named NPA...No Punks Allowed," stated former heavyweight contender James "Quick" Tillis, who talked about boxing today compared to what it was like when he fought. Check out what else he had to say!

PC: How have you been my man?     

JT: Like a million dollars.

PC: I understand you are working on a documentary type of film. What all do you need to get that up and rolling?

JT: I'm looking for somebody that can produce it or somebody that's in the film industry. I'm looking for that, a fair deal, because it's going to be a true story.

PC: So you're looking to do a real life documentary on your life?

JT: Yeah, it's all about my life and all of the wars I done fought in life and in the ring and everything.

PC: We had a lot of the old timers pass recently, from Joe Frazier, Ron Lyle, and recently Angelo Dundee. What are your thoughts on those guys?

JT: I like Joe Frazier. I fought his son. I was with Ron Lyle in November at the Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame. I worked with Angelo Dundee for 3 or 4 fights. He was a great trainer. I ain't got nothing bad to say about any of them. Ron Lyle was a down home guy. Like I said, I was with him in New York in November. Me and him was inducted at the same time.

PC: You certainly did fight Marvis Frazier. I forgot about that.

JT: I put him down, but he got back up and caught his wind. He won on the scorecards against me.

PC: What do you think of the current state of boxing now?

JT: I don't even look at that stuff now. I don't even watch it. It ain't like when I was fighting. It's a whole different era now and I don't pay attention to it too much. It's a whole lot different. Angelo and trainers like that are rare now. He was a good trainer. Angelo had Ali and Jake LaMotta, Sugar Ray Leonard, and myself. I like Ang.

PC: Was there anybody that you ever wanted to fight, but you never got the opportunity to fight?

JT: I always wanted to fight Larry Holmes, but I never got a chance to fight Larry Holmes. I could have fought him one time, but it never happened. Larry was a great fighter, but he wasn't as great as Muhammad Ali. He said Ali was overrated. Ali was the greatest heavyweight fighter ever lived, man. That's who I wanted to be like, Cassius Clay. That's who turned me on to the game. He threw all kinds of good combinations.

PC: He was definitely the total package.

JT: I sparred with him 5 times. Trust me, I know him. I knew the greatest fighter to ever live, Sugar Ray Robinson. I knew 'em all. Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles, I met all them guys. Jake LaMotta is still living. He was great, man.

PC: You fell into the end of a great era when boxing was boxing.

JT: Yeah, I came right at the end of it. I was right at the end of the whole thing. They had Floyd Patterson, Joe Louis, Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston, and all of them. Sonny Liston lost to Ali twice and Sonny Liston was a bad dude. He was tough as hell, man. If he would have never fought Ali, he would still be champion.

PC: I know you are a fan of Earnie Shavers as well.

JT: Man, Earnie Shavers hits you so hard, he can bring back tomorrow, I swear. Mike Tyson was okay, but he hit me on the chin and I was okay. When Earnie Shavers hit me on my chin, he hurt me every single time. That man was bad. Ali told me he hit him so hard, it shook up his folks back in Africa.

PC: I like talking to all of you guys from the old school. You guys have a different perspective on the game.

JT: Yeah man, boxing should be named NPA...No Punks Allowed.

PC: There you go (laughing). Best of luck with your film and everything that you have going on right now. Is there anything you want to say in closing?

JT: I appreciate it man, and if you hear from a producer or anything, you make sure you get in touch with me.



[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]

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