I have had some time to digest Rico Hoyes comments about myself and Bill Kozerski, and I have moved on from feeling hurt to being angry. There are too many times that promoters are being attacked by fighters for no apparent reason other than they don’t understand the business side of boxing, and they take for granted all the hard work that promoters do to further the career of the boxers.
I went back and looked at when I joined Bill in the promotion of Rico Hoye. Here are the results, they speak for themselves.
- Since June 2003, exactly 17 months and 1 day. He was an unranked and unknown fighter from the Detroit area who was never on television.
- He had had 6 fights and of those 6 fights 3 of them have been on national television.
- When I started with him he had no belts. Today, 17 months later, he holds four belts and not the type of belts that hold your pants up.
- He was given a terrific opponent in Richard Hall in front of the executives from HBO, on a Don King card, against a Don King fighter, and I gave – ZERO - options on Rico to Don King. No small feat I might add.
- Seventeen months after I joined Bill Kozerski in the promotion of Rico Hoye, he is the IBF’s #1 contender and mandatory challenger for its world title.
Those Facts speak for themselves.
Let me give you some comparisons. Sharmba Mitchell who is fighting Kostya Tszyu this evening, and who is considered one of the elite in the 140lb division, did not get a shot at the world title until around his 40th fight. Winky Wright took 26 fights before he got a chance for a title, Bernard Hopkins 24 fights before his shot at a title, and I could go on and on. Does Rico believe with 18 fights he is being mistreated? Ask the champions. The REAL champions that are out there today, the ones who have paid their dues, is a fighter with 18 professional fights, three of those on TV, and his next fight is for the world title if he is being mistreated. I don’t think so Mr. Hoye.
I think that there are promoters out there – Lou DiBella with Jermaine Taylor; Don King with Ricardo Mayorga; and John Ruiz, and main events with Vivian Harris – Who have done great jobs with their fighters, and I’m sure that there are others that I haven’t mentioned that re equally doing great jobs for their fighters. It is the promoters who are at the world conventions fighting each other for the benefit of the fighters we represent. We are the TV networks fighting each other for the benefit of the fighters that we represent. We are trying to pick the right opponents for the fighters we represent. And on and on and on.
Rico are you telling me you got to the position you are in all by yourself? I picked you trainer, Danny Smith. I spoke to Danny about you. You didn’t call me or Bill or your manger about a new trainer. “It was all me.” If you think you are where you are all because of you, they you are delusional. Promoters, whether we like each other or not, all try to do the best we can for the fighters we represent. Period, end of story. Maybe it’s time for a “Promoters Bill of Right,” or better yet………Some act of congress to protect us from some of the ungrateful fighters – Like you Rico – who we represent, spend our money on, and then are attacked in print for no reason. I must say in all fairness that, thank God, you are in the minority in that promoters also represent fighters that are good people, who appreciate what we do, and understand that they might not be where they are if it were not for our efforts on their behalf.
Rico, maybe you should have taken the time to call some of your fellow fighters, explained you “Slavery Issue”, and listened to their thoughts and advice. Maybe you should have called some athletic commissioners and asked them for some advice as to your slavery issues, before you decided to put your ill conceived thoughts in writing.
In closing, your language was deplorable. Your comment about Vaseline only shows your background, and your comment about slavery only shows your lack of knowledge about Bill Kozerski his family and mine. I believe that you owe both Bill and I, and our families that were hurt by your thoughtless comments, an apology. You owe all the fighters all over the world that have not had the tremendous opportunity that I gave you an apology. They would trade places with you in your very very short career in a heartbeat. If Ishe Smith is your new boxing idol I really feel sorry for you. You are a truly misguided individual. If you think that going bankrupt, like Ishe, is the way to mold your life, then you are still on the wrong path. Allow me to introduce you to people like Evander Holyfield, Shane Mosley, Sharmba Mitchell, Oscar De La Hoya, Lennox Lewis, Jeff Lacy, Jameel McCline, and all of the other fighters that don’t use foul language, Vaseline comments, slavery, and everything else that came out of your foul mouth.
Some of the fighters that I just mentioned have overcome adversity, but they all share one attribute.......They are all gentlemen and champions in the truest sense. I want to say a special thank you to those fighters, promoters, and boxing writers that called me to lend moral support and to let me know what a great job I have done for Rico and how ungrateful Rico is. They all shared one thought with me, they all felt Rico lost the fight to Montell Griffin. Rico, maybe you should call Montell and ask him if he thinks you are a “Slave.” Better yet, ask him if you need the Vaseline or does he feel he needs the Vaseline after the last fight. I’m sure he would trade places with you…..Ask him. When we next meet at your world title fight instead of bringing the Vaseline, think about bringing some soap for your vile mouth. I await your apology, you can do it by telephone, you don’t have to do it on any website.