RC: You were just on Boxingtalk not too long ago when you spoke briefly with our very own Greg Leon on what Sechew Powell had to say about you. Why don’t you give us the rundown about your current promotional status and when will you fight again? "
That is still all up in the air, I am still waiting. I think we have done everything that we could possibly do. I have two great advisors in Jamaal Lesane and Keith Jackson that are backing and supporting me. It feels good to have two great people that have a lot of confidence in me, and they are doing everything that is great for my career. On my end, I have done everything that a fighter could do, but I haven’t been allowed to fight. It has been a while since I last fought (May 05), and it is has been three months since my arbitration started. So as a fighter I am getting a little restless, and right now it is definitely a lot on my family with the things that we are going through."
RC: How does that make you feel that you just have to sit and wait, and not be able to do anything in the mean time?
IS: It is depressing at times to have to look at my expecting wife everyday, and know that I am not able to go to work to provide for our child on the way. So sometimes I am down and sometimes I am up..…I mean this has been a long and tough road for us recently
RC: You said that you are waiting, exactly what is taking so long, isn’t arbitration supposed to be like a two week process?
IS: I followed the process, and I followed the protocol of arbitration. We did everything that we can do, and once again I want to thank my advisors, they have been great with that. Not only with the case, but they have also advised me on countless other things. I feel very confident. For once in my career I have people around me that are looking out for my best interest, and for what is best for me as a fighter and as an individual.
I am not going to penalize myself, and I don’t regret anything because I stand up for what I believe in. I didn’t feel like I was getting treated fairly, I am very outspoken and I express my feelings. I don’t have one regret, but at the same I have to be able to work. You see a lot of people like to compare me to Terrell Owens, but boxing is not a team sport that is number one. And yes we are both outspoken, but the difference is with his suspension he is going to get paid. I don’t get paid while I am awaiting a decision, and I don’t have any income coming in, and that is the bad part about everything.
Like I said I have a kid on the way, my wife is pregnant, and she is due in March. Christmas is coming around, the holidays are coming up and I am not able to provide for my family like I am suppose to be able to. Things are rough man.
RC: Any idea on when they may come to a conclusion and you’ll be able to resume your career?
IS: I really don’t know and I wish that I had more answers. At this time, we really don’t know what is going to happen. It has been a long time and I know I am eager to get back into the ring. Sechew Powell had a lot of things to say about me, and he is saying he wants to fight me and I want to fight him too. But right now, Sechew Powell isn’t really on my mind. It is a good fight, and I would like to take him on in the future, but I gotta get my career back. I gotta get back in the ring; if I cant get back into the ring there is no use discussing Sechew Powell. So he can call me out all he wants to, if I am not able to fight and do what I love to do, he is wasting his time.
RC: During this waiting process have you spoken or thought of any promoters you would possibly like to work with if the decision goes your way?
IS: No I haven’t done those types of things. Everybody else is moving on with their career. The Contender has moved on, and let me just set something straight, you know a lot of people say I owe them (The Contender People) so much, and that they did so much for me. Which isn’t the case, they did for me what they did for 15 other fighters as well. As fighters we did a lot for them too, we took a lot of chances in those five round fights in that little itty-bitty ring. We all sacrificed, so I get tired of people saying “They did so much for you”… my thing is and I did a lot too. But, no I haven’t (thought or spoke to any promoters) I don’t think a lot of people; understand the severity that his case is having on my life. I mean the toll it is taking financially, mentally; it is taking a lot out of me. Especially on the financial part, it has really cost me a lot of money the last couple of months; it has done its damage. .
It is hard to sit back and not be able to do the things that you love to do. People just don’t understand that. People expect me to be up, joking, laughing and giving advice. But I am human too. I cry just like the next person, I have feelings too and this is all taking a lot out of me. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I am not able to do what I need to do as a man to take care of my family. I feel like somebody took my boxing away from me with out me having any say. I haven’t been able to step in between those ropes, to see those lights, to get that feeling when you are walking through the tunnel; all of those things have been taken away from me.
I talked to Marc Ratner (Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission) a while back and he said, “I am just ready for you to get back into the ring”. I really respect Marc Ratner, he has always been supportive of me in my career and what I am trying to do, and not matter what people may say about me, I am trying to become the first Las Vegas born champion, and I will do that, I will become that. So I don’t care what the doubters or the haters will say, and I think with him being a Las Vegan himself, he is ready for me to get back into the ring. It has definitely taken a lot out of me though, like I said my wife is pregnant, I am able to feel the baby moving and see her stomach getting big. I don’t want this on her anymore; I don’t want this stress on my family anymore. I am ready to move on with my life and with my career.
RC: I know all sorts of things can go through a fighters mind during a time like this, has there been a time throughout this whole process where you thought to yourself “Maybe I need to get out of this game”?
IS: I have thought about taking a break, or maybe doing other things. I have thought about trying different things. But I am an athlete, and this is what I love to do. I know if I did that it would make certain individuals happy. It would make lot of those haters and doubters happy; they will be going around saying “I told you he would never be nothing” and the bottom line is I am a great fighter. I believe in my heart I am going to be something great. And no I don’t want to, I don’t want to give up, it is depressing when you deal with things like this, it is very depressing. But I am remaining confident, mainly because before I never really had the knit type group that I have right now. That boils down to my two advisors always advising me on the right things to do, you know I am not use to having people say “That would not be good to say right now.” Or “Hold off, don’t say that” They advise me on every aspect. What I really like about them is it is more than business I mean we can talk about football or anything, I consider them not only advisors and business partners but I also look at them as friends.
You know, everybody speaks out of frustration and everybody speaks out of anger and did I say some things in the past that I don’t mean? Maybe… was I wrong? Maybe…. I don’t know! It is up for the individual to judge, everyone has done it, and it just mean that I am human. It just shows that I have emotions just like everyone else. But at the time, I just didn’t feel that certain people had my back. But now that I have them, it is a little bit different, they are able to come in and speak their piece. When it is just you, you kind of speak out of emotion and maybe out of frustration, but now that I have them, they can look at it from the outside and say “Ishe, you gotta consider all things here, you gotta take it for what it is worth” They always talk to me and let me know all of the possibilities from a business perspective.
I am happy with the direction we are going in. I have a lot of confidence in what they are doing and I trust them, but like I said I don’t even think they know how, as a fighter when you have been doing this since you was eight years old, and you are watching tapes of when you fought Zab Judah in the amateurs, and watching old fight tapes of yourself when you were a little boy growing up fighting in Las Vegas at Golden gloves gym, it is tough to sit back and do nothing. I watch all of these tapes and I get stressed because I am not able to do what I love, and to see people get to move on with their lives and careers it has a huge affect on me. They already have fights being planned in January, February and March, and I basically have to sit home, and not do anything. I have a son and a pregnant wife, and I just sit here twittling my thumbs. It is very disappointing.
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