Exclusive Interview: Eddie Mustafa Muhammad

By James Alden


Exclusive Interview: Eddie Mustafa Muhammad

JA: I know that you made a great speech at the J.A.B conference, tell us about it? "J.A.B, the joint association of boxers is affiliated with the teamsters, every resource that the teamsters have, the boxers have also. We are getting these fighters, federal benefits, pension benefits, and the whole nine yards. The good thing is, if they are not successful in there career as a boxer, they can follow up and have a career with the teamsters."

JA: How has the response been from your speech?

EMM: The response has been great; I had a standing ovation 3 times. I had a great time with the delegates; it was a great experience and one that I will never forget.

JA: If a boxer is interested in joining J.A.B, what do you they have to do?

EMM: All they have to do is call me up at 202-647-5755 and I want you to put that number out there, that number goes directly to me.

JA: Is that open to any fighter?

EMM: Any fighter, trainer and even the manager.

JA: I know Joey has a fight coming up tomorrow night, how is he looking in the gym?

EMM: Joey took two weeks off from his last fight, and then he came back and went right back to work. It took us about two weeks to get him back into fighting shape; the training camp lasted about six weeks. Joey is ready to go.

JA: Has the hand been a problem in training.

EMM: Not at all. I wrapped the hand up with a special wrapping. The hand problem didn’t affect training camp one bit. I think now he hits harder than he did for the Brinkley fight.

JA: Tell us what you know about Jay Pina?

EMM: To be honest, nothing at all. Unless he grows a third arm, and I know that he isn’t I am not too worried about him.

JA: I heard that Samuel Peter has reached out to you, is there any truth to that rumor that you might be training him in his fight against James Toney?

EMM: We have had discussions, I known Sam for a while now and he is a good prospect. I know that Sam Peter and myself worked together I can help him become a world champion. I know that he is fighting James Toney on September 2nd, I like James a lot but I don’t think that he beats Sam.

JA: What do you think of that notion of Sam being a one dimensional fighter?

EMM: In a way Sam relies more on his power, it shouldn’t be like that. If he goes up against a guy who can take a punch, he will out point you. Boxing is not one dimensional; it is a multi dimensional game. You can’t go in there and say, “Well I can punch, I can knock anyone out.” You can’t do that.

JA: I know that you are good friends with Muhammad Ali. I know that the fans would like to know how he is doing.

EMM: We haven’t talked because we both go travel separate paths, but I talk to Lala and she tells me that he is doing alright. I talked to one of his secretaries in Michigan; she said that he is doing alright. The company J.A.B, we have a letter endorsed by Muhammad.

JA: He’s been always like that, if he sees someone doing something right for the sport he will help support it the best that he can, correct?

EMM: Correct. Muhammad is all for it, we have his signature and he promotes what we are doing with J.A.B.

JA: Tell us a story between you and Muhammad?

EMM: We were in camp one time; I was training for Jerry Martin. After we worked out we took a walk down to this car dealership, I am a fanatic for cars in the 1960’s. I saw a 1966 Jaguar, with a big body type with 2 gas tanks in the back. Ali saw me looking at the car; I was admiring the car for at least an hour. When we were ready to go I said to them, because we were with some friends, I told them to go a long because I am going to hang out a little bit more and look at this car. When I went back to the camp after the Jerry Martin fight, there was a 1966 Jaguar sitting in front of my cabin. That is the type of person that Muhammad is. Words can’t describe what type of person Muhammad really is. We all know that he transcended the sport of boxing, he is just a kind hearted, ear is always open and if he could do anything in his power to make this world right, he would do it. I have seen him sign hundreds of autographs. We were in the Mirage hotel one time and there had to be 200 people in the building. When Muhammad came in the room, everyone flocked to him. The guards had to set up a table so he could sit down to sign the autographs, over two hours he did that for.

JA: Does Muhammad go to a lot of the fights?

EMM: He doesn’t attend a lot of the fights because of health reasons, but when he gets better I am sure that he will start to attend more fights.

JA: Is there anything that you would like to say in closing?

EMM: I just would like to thank you for doing this interview with me. If anyone is interested in joining J.A.B, like I gave you my number before, feel free to call me at 202-647-5755 and I would be more than happy to give you all the details that you need to join J.A.B


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