Exclusive Interview: Tarick Salmaci

By Ray O. Campbell Jr


Exclusive Interview: Tarick Salmaci

Salmaci to Gilbert: "Let's do this Super Bowl weekend in Detroit!"

Boxingtalk.com recently caught up with Season one Contender participant Tarick “The Arabian Prince” Salmaci 19-3(5) to get the latest on what’s going on. “I have been doing the real estate thing.” Stated Salmaci who added “Being on the show really helped me out publicity wise; the publicity was priceless, so it has really helped me in my other career” After his close decision loss to Jimmy Lange on the undercard of the shows finale this past May, and his absence on last weekends “Rematch” undercard, rumors had been going around that he may have decided to hang emm up. In this one on one exclusive, he sets the record straight. “I love boxing, I want to box, and I still want it to be my career. It is just that I am 33 years old right now and I only want meaningful fights.” Read on as we discuss a wide range of issues in this another must read, we discuss Mora-Manfredo II, Brinkley-Bonsante II, his take on a possible Peter Manfredo-Ishe Smith match up (With the winner to face Sergio Mora), his contender experience and much much more.

RC: What is going on with you Tarick? I have been hearing different things about you continuing your boxing career, rumor has it that you are retired is that true?
TS: Right now honestly bro, I am back in Detroit, I have been doing the real estate thing. I was in the real estate business before I made my comeback. I am a broker out here with Remax, so I am actually back in business and busy as hell. Being on the show really helped me out publicity wise; the publicity was priceless, so it has really helped me in my other career, which is my real estate career. As far as boxing, I love boxing, I want to box, and I still want it to be my career. It is just that I am 33 years old right now and I only want meaningful fights. Whether or not I lost or not, yeah I did loose on the contender and you know what the first fight was a really close fight with Juan De La Rosa. But it was the 3 ½ year layoff and only having two months to get ready for that messed me up. As far as Jimmy Lange is concerned, hey watch the fight. Everybody who was there knew I beat Jimmy Lange, and….well I don’t know about you but I thought I beat Jimmy Lange.

What did you think? Do you think I beat Jimmy Lange?

RC: I thought it was close but I do think that you did win. (Let us not persuade you in anyway, take a look for yourself http://contender.tv.yahoo.com/01/fanfavorites.html )
TS: And the judges had me loosing by four points that is ridiculous, but that is boxing. We saw that last week with those fights in L.A.

RC:  Speaking of the fights that took place a little over a week ago, give us your thoughts on the Peter Manfredo-Sergio Mora rematch?
TS: I haven’t seen it on tape yet, but over there watching it there it was a close fight.

RC: A close fight with you giving the decision to?
TS:  Well you know what, over…..

RC: (Jokingly cutting in) Tarick don’t get all tongue tied on me baby, speak it! This is Boxingtalk.com where we keep it real
TS: I am not getting……. (Starts laughing)…………Honestly man I am not going to hold back Bro, I am being honest with you, I was like damn, this fight is close I don’t know what can happen. But then again I am over there and every time Sergio threw a punch the crowd would scream and roar.

RC: So what was your final decision on the fight?
TS: But then people will call me up, and all of the people I spoke to back in Detroit. They all said Manfredo won, Manfredo won, Manfredo won.

RC: Tarick Homey, the people in Detroit opinion doesn’t matter, you being ringside as a professional prize fighter and knowing the difference from punches actually landing effectively, or the crowd oohing and aaawing. I recently spoke to Jonathon Reid and he personally feels that judges should be fighters that have actually stepped in the ring before. So with you being a fighter and all, and being there ringside at the time of the fight, who do you think won the fight?
TS: Being there I had Manfredo winning the early rounds and Sergio winning the later rounds.

RC: With the end result being?
TS: Really I thought it was going to be a draw honestly. And I am being honest I really thought it was a draw.

RC: (Jokingly) well we will see how honest you are being when I ask you who do you think won the Brinkley vs. Bonsante fight?
TS: Man, that you seen it right there. Honestly, honestly when I watched that fight over there, to me when I watch it, and I did watch that fight on tape, to me the first three rounds were close. I don’t know about you, but the first three were close. The last two went to Bonsante big, if those Judges gave Jessie the first three, he could have won the fight. But watching it, everyone saw the first three rounds going either way, and the last two were Bonsante big. So it could have easily been 5-0 Bonsante, or 3-2 Brinkley.

RC: You really think so?
TS: Yes if the judges gave the first three rounds to Jessie.

RC: Now I know that in the past you have taken the defense of the handlers for the Contenders, many boxing insiders feel that people from the show have a lot to do with the outcome of the fights, in your opinion do you think they have anything to do with that?
TS: Hell no, Hell no. that is boxing Bro. You have been around for a while; you have seen some of these decisions. Those are the judge’s man that has been the problem with boxing. These bad decisions have been a problem for I don’t know how long. It is terrible that we had to have bad decisions. I felt that in my fight with Jimmy Lange, and these guys felt it last week. As fart as my career is concerned right now, I just want meaningful fights.

RC: Now when you say meaningful, do you mean meaningful that can take you into world champion status or do you mean meaningful money wise?
TS: No, I mean for example on the last card I was offered a fight against a non contender opponent which I don’t care, but it was for minimum minimum money for a non contender opponent a guy that is going to do nothing for my career. I want to fight somebody from the final four on the show.

RC: So you’d prefer to keep it contender?
TS: I will fight somebody off of the contender, as long as if I win it is meaningful fight and does something for my career. Plus I want to get paid a little bit for it too, I don’t want to fight somebody who when I win they say “Oohh he just came off a loss and beat a guy who aint winning nothing anyway” I want something that is meaningful that is going to do something for my career. I want it to be that either I was televised; or I fought a good fighter. Something that is going to be good for my career. Fighting one of the guys in the final four would be great in my career.

RC: If you had your choice to pick who would you fight from the final four?
TS: Really it is my weight class man; if I fight I am fighting Super Middleweight. Out of the final four, I know Alphonso is not a Super Middleweight; Manfredo is a 154lb fighter. Jessie Brinkley is a Super Middleweight; I think Jessie Brinkley would be a good fight for me. Even Joey Gilbert who is not in the final four but made a good name for himself on the show, I would love to fight him. You see I called him out, but he won’t fight me, he is in my weight class. Jessie and Bonsante are in my weight class. I would have fought either one of them on the last card; and like I said, I was offered an off T.V. fight with a no name opponent, for minimum money. I was like you know what, it is not even worth it for me to go train, and I make more money doing my real estate thing than that. Now don’t get me wrong, I am hungry, I am hungry in boxing world because I always wanted that championship that I never got.

I still want that shot at the championship. I know that the best of me wasn’t seen on the contender, and what was seen on the show was a rusty and STUGGLING, I use to struggle to make weight. That is the reason why I tire out in the fights, not only am I am tiring out, I am a ten round fighter how am I getting tired in five rounds. I am so drained from making the 160lb limit that I actually had nothing in me.  I am 6’1”, in shape I walk around in shape at 180lbs, but when I made the show it was like do it or you are not on the show. I had to make 158lbs; I was like you know what, crash diet, no carbs, starving myself for two days and yo by fight time I have nothing left. It is not an excuse it is a fact, there is no way. I can never make that weight class again. I know right now, after having two fights back, and me fighting at my normal weight class it would be a different Tarick from before.

RC: Recently Peter Manfredo came on the record exclusively here on Boxingtalk.com, and stated that he no longer wants to be a part of the contender. And I know in the past you have come on the record in defense of the powers that be when you felt Ishe Smith was complaining for no reason, what are your thoughts on Manfredo’s gripes?
TS: I think he is kind of speaking out of anger, out of disappointment that he lost the fight. I don’t blame him, I can see him being disappointed too, and disappointed at the whole thing. And you know he is kind of pointing the people at the contender, but my opinion is that the judges aren’t part of the contender. The judges are judges and he got a bad decision, I think he is kind of upset right now and maybe speaking out of anger, But personally I think he will work things out with the contender and I think he will get an shot again, I think he is a smart guy so….

RC: (Cutting in) Against? You think he will get another shot against Sergio right away?
TS: You know what? I won’t be surprised if it happens in Providence, which would be a big fight over there.

RC: Some insiders feel that Ishe Smith has a legitimate gripe with his controversial split decision on the show, do you feel that Manfredo should again get the first shot at Mora again, or should they let the two complaintants Peter Manfredo Jr. and Ishe Smith see who fights the winner of Sergio and from what I understand before all of this controversy it was said Bronze Medal match up winner Alphonso Gomez would face the winner, which ended up being Sergio?
TS: Well I know Ishe complained about the decision, but you wanna know something. There was so many close fights on that show. Soo many, Najai against Sergio was close as hell, me against Juan De La Rosa was a close fight. It was so many close fights that if you did the show again it would be a totally different final four. It won’t be the same. It would be totally different

RC: Well in all fairness I wasn’t there, but one highly respected participant from the show actually told me in person that had there been a 6th round Sergio might not have been able to answer the bell, and after speaking…
TS: (Cutting in) Like I said that comes with boxing, there was a lot of close fights on the contender there are a lot of fights that could have gone either way honestly man. It is whether you had that good day, or you had that luck. It is sad to say but….. in boxing it is how hard you work, and it is true but when it comes to five round fights and when it comes down to a decision with these judges in boxing today, it is about luck man. A lot of these guys that won their fights, it could have gone either way.

RC: Do you think it would be a fare to put Manfredo directly back in with Sergio, or do you think they should match him up with maybe another tough fighter like Smith who probably is the next deserving one in line, to see who gets a shot?
TS: I think Ishe against Manfredo would be a great fight.

RC: Who do you think would win that fight?
TS: Ahh man…(starts to think)

RC: (I start to taunt) come on Tarick you are on Boxingtalk.com… we don’t want fluffed up answers.
TS: Hey you know what I think that would be a war. Peter has been active and Ishe has been inactive. That is a tough one, it would be a war. Before the Contender I would have gave it to Ishe Smith because of the experience, but Peter has more experience now that he has been on the Contender. Even so, now I still think it would be a toss up. It would be a war. They both can box, and they both can punch. Ishe is the faster guy, but I think Manfredo is the bigger and stronger and that would be a great fight to see. I have been telling people all along that they should make that fight happen and the winner fights Sergio. Believe it or not, the best thing for Ishe might be if he looses the arbitration and continue fighting for the Contender people.

As far as myself, I would like to get a couple big fights then come back and fight Juan De La Rosa and avenge my losses. I would want him to win a couple of big fights and I get a couple of big fights and then avenge my losses.

RC: Well you are running out of time Tarick at age 33 you aren’t getting any younger.
TS: Well you know what I am telling you right now, if they don’t give me a meaningful fight on that card then hey forget about it. I walked away from this sport 4 ½ years ago, 3 ½ years before the contender and I was done with boxing, and honestly man I was never coming back, and the sate of boxing, the way it is I was never going to come back. I was wasting my time. I was rated in the top ten, I was 18-0 and I was broke man, because of boxing. All of the false promises, all of the lies I was given. I walked away and I came back only because of the contender. Because they gave me a shot, and if I can capitalize off of it, and continue to get opportunities I will do it.

You know from there like I said it helped me out in my real estate career, I am doing commercials here in Detroit, I have even taken acting classes Bro, I am trying to get stuff done; I have a couple of agents out there working in L.A., working on some stuff for me. Also I would like to do some commentating for fights as well, if someone gave me an opportunity, I know I would do well with that.

RC: So your contender experience has been a good one overall?
TS: My experience was great. It was very great; whoever is complaining has no right to complain. Because of this show, look at what it did. Look at what it did for everybody, everyone has name recognition.

RC: Okay, let’s take it back a little bit, a few month’s back Ishe gave his opinion on Boxingtalk.com on what he felt there wrong doings were, and you came back on the record with a follow up in defense of the Contender people. Some felt that by you doing that you could have been genuine, but some felt as if it was your way of siding with the Contender people to get in good with them, what are your thoughts on that?
TS: I have no reason to side with the contender people because I am not signed with them. I was offered a contract but I didn’t sign it.

RC: Well then you can say….
TS: (Cutting in) Let me tell you if Ishe went on record and spoke about him being upset with his situation and his fights and so forth, that is his business. I respect that, if you want to complain about what you have to complain about, then he has to do what he has to do for his career. But when he came out and said those personal things about Mark Burnett and the death of Najai Turpin, he is kind of representing all of us. So I felt that you know what, that is not true. I don’t feel Mark Burnett is this way or that way, I don’t feel that they are responsible for the death of Najai Turpin, we don feel that way as a whole. But I just came out to say we all don’t feel that way.

If I wanted to speak against him I would have first came out when Ishe said something about them. I would have came out and said Ishe is full of S#@t, he is complaining about nothing, but no he wants to complain about his fights or his contracts that is his business, with all due respect do what you gotta do whether I think it is right or wrong it doesn’t matter. I may not agree with some of the decisions that he has made, but it is his business and I respect his decision.

RC: Since then how has that affected your friendship? Do you guys still communicate?
TS: Yeah we are cool, I spoke to Ishe and I explained everything to Ishe. I told him it is nothing against. I never said anything bad about him; I never said he was crazy or anything; I just said how I felt. When he says those kinds of comments about the integrity of the show and Najai Turpin’s death that represents us, and you know what he understood. At first he was a little upset because he didn’t understand, but afterwards he was like “You know what Tarick I really like you and your family, and you are a great guy and I know that you didn’t mean it personally” so you know we are cool. Ishe and I are cool, I have nothing against him.

RC: Well other than Ishe Smith and your best friend (Being sarcastic) Joey Gilbert, do you keep in contact with any of the other fighters on the show?
TS: Yeah I do….

RC: (In Shock, and confused) With Joey Gilbert?
TS: Hell no! I seen him out there (In L.A. during the October 15th show) too, and I was like what the hell fight me. And he was like “Make the fight happen, make the fight happen”

RC: Is that what he said?
TS: Yeah but I know he is just bulls&!ting. When you speak to him he is going to say I lost twice and why should he fight me. But I really beat Jimmy Lange and all he wants to do is fight a bum. Tell him to fight an opponent with Credibility; all he wants to do is fight a bum. He wants to protect himself, he played that game throughout the whole show, and he is trying to play it now. But it is going to catch up, because you know the cream rises to the top and the reality is going to show, sooner or later it is gong to show.

RC: So who are the other contenders you keep in contact with and speak to on a regular basis?
TS: I speak to all of them, I speak to Manfredo, I speak to Sergio, Alphonso just called me the other day, he called me saying “What’s up Bro, I am just calling you to say what’s up” this and that, I mean I keep in touch with a lot of guys, they call me and I call them, I spoke to Ahmed yesterday. I just talked to Manfredo a couple of days ago. A lot of the guys… Miguel I talk to, and Jessie I always talk to Jessie.

RC: Is there anything else you would like to add in closing before I let you go?
TS: I just want to thank everyone that voted for me and made me a fan favorite, I would like to thank everybody that voted me back and I appreciate your support. And the contender man, I never got a chance to thank the contender for the opportunity they gave me. I think all of us, I think everyone should be happy with eh opportunity they got man. It was an opportunity of a life time and hopefully I can continue my career and achieve my goal.

Shortly after this interview ended, Tarick contacted Boxingtalk.com to keep us up to date on the latest going down

RC:  What’s going on Tarick?
TS: I just got a text message from Joey Gilbert asking me “Where do I want the fight to be at in Chicago or Detroit?”

RC: (A little skeptical at first) are you serious?
TS: I think he is probably bull S*%tting Bro, I think he is just talking S*#t.

RC: Are you sure it came from him?
TS: Yeah it is him, and I told him why don’t we do it in Super Bowl weekend in Detroit. ESPN is having a show in Detroit; I told him lets do it Super Bowl Weekend when everybody is there.

Hey I also watched the Manfredo-Mora II fight on Tape for the first time and it was a close fight. And I gave it 5-3, what did you have it scored?

RC: I had it scored 6-2 Manfredo, and yes it was a couple of close rounds.
TS: Those rounds were close and it was a hard fight to judge, Manfredo landed more punches and threw more punches over all buy a wide margin. Over there I thought it was a draw, I watched it on tape now and had it 5-3 Manfredo, but man it was a very close fight.

Also be sure to check out Tarick’s website at www.tarick.com


Send questions and comments to: rayocampbelljr@hotmail.com