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August 09, 2018

By Doveed Linder

RINGSIDE: INTERVIEWS WITH 24 FIGHTERS & BOXING INSIDERS is a trilogy of books that includes interviews with fighters, trainers, promoters, managers, officials, and others who have had an inside look into the sport.  Each interview in the RINGSIDE books is presented in Q & A format, featuring photographs of the people and events that are discussed.  The topics cover how each person got their start in boxing and some of the experiences they had along the way.  Readers will learn facts that have never been revealed and get a feel for the personalities that exist within the fight game.  Written by Boxingtalk’s Doveed Linder, the first edition of RINGSIDE is now available on  Below are highlights from all three RINGSIDE books, which came from interviews with Angelo Dundee, Jose Antonio Rivera, Don Turner, Duane Ford, Dr. Stuart Kirschenbaum, and Roy Jones, Jr.


Topic: A trainer’s limitations with their fighter

DUNDEE : “I’ll give you the best story in boxing.  This kid came down to Miami and I get him a fight in Las Vegas .  Guess who his corner is?  Eddie Futch, Freddie Roach, and Angelo Dundee.  Guess what happened?  The kid lost the fight.  A trainer is only as good as the guy he’s training.  You can’t tell me any different.  You can only bring out the best in the individual you’re working with.  Thank God I’ve had a lot of guys who brought out the best in me.”

JOSE ANTONIO RIVERA, former two-division champion

Topic: Jose Antonio Rivera vs Alejandro Garcia

RIVERA: “That fight with Garcia was the kind of moment I always dreamed of when I was a kid.  What made things come together for me, what made my victory inevitable was that the day before the fight at the press conference, Garcia and his team made a big mistake.  They brought the belt with them.  Right then, right when I saw the belt, I knew it was my time.  My motivation as a boxer was always to win that belt.  Every time I traveled as a pro, if there was a champion fighting that night, I would find a way to get into his dressing room so I could see his belt.  I didn’t want to meet him, or get my picture taken with him.  I just wanted to see his belt, because I knew that one day it would be mine.  So, when I saw that belt the day before the fight, it motivated me to put on the best performance of my career.”

DON TURNER, trainer

Topic: Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson I

TURNER: “That was the best fight that Holyfield ever fought in his life.  Everything worked perfect.  Before the fight, one of Tyson’s guys came up to me and told me that I was going to have to throw in the towel.  He said, “We don’t want to see Holyfield get hurt.”  I said, “Let me explain something to you, man.  First of all, you don’t know nothing about boxing.  I’ve been going to the gym since 1949.”  He said, “I don’t care how long you’ve been going to the gym for.  Don’t let Holyfield get hurt.  Throw the towel in.”  I said, “I want you to do me a favor.  Tomorrow after Tyson gets knocked out, I want you to come here and apologize in front of the same people you’re talking to.”  And he did.”

DUANE FORD, professional boxing judge

Topic: Erik Morales vs Marco Antonio Barrera I

FORD: “Morales-Barrera I was probably the toughest fight to score.  I had Barrera winning, but the other two judges had Morales.  I gave it to Barrera just on the basis of one punch.  And that one punch made Morales take a knee.  It was the last round.  That was the toughest by far and I remember it quite well.  Barrera would land a punch and he would be winning, then Morales would land and he would be winning, and then Barrera would land and then he was winning…  It just went back and forth.”

DR. STUART KIRSCHENBAUM, Michigan Boxing Commissioner Emeritus

Topic: Regulating boxing in the state of Michigan

KIRSCHENBAUM: “The first week I was put on the commission, before I was the commissioner, I went to a fight and watched Detroit fighters fighting these out of town fighters.  What I noticed was that all these out of town guys were wearing the same trunks.  They usually got knocked out in the first round and then another guy would come in wearing the exact same pair of trunks.  I went up to one of these guys and said, “Don’t you have your own trunks?”  He said he didn’t and he confirmed that they were all using the same trunks.  I said, “Have you ever boxed professionally?”  He said, “No.”  I said, “How did you come to be here tonight?”  He told me he was playing basketball and this guy came up and said, “Who weighs 120 pounds?  Who weighs 147 pounds?  Is there a big guy?  Who weighs more than 200 pounds?”  The matchmaker was filling up the undercard with these kids and paying them a hundred dollars.  When I became commissioner, I told the matchmakers and the promoters that I had to approve of each and every fight in the state of Michigan .  It wasn’t going to be a joke anymore.” 

ROY JONES, JR., former pound-for-pound king

Topic: Getting robbed at the 1988 Olympic Games

JONES: “In the last fight when I fought Park Si-Hung, I was robbed of the gold medal.  Everybody knew I won.  Even HE said that I won.  I thought it was the darkest day of my life, but it showed me how God can turn darkness into light.  I was devastated at the time and I felt like if I can beat a guy and not get the win, why should I keep doing it?  But I still had the drive.  When you have talent, you can’t deny it.  If I quit, how could I ever explain it to the people who were behind me?  There were people who would have been disappointed if I didn’t turn pro.  After seeing that look in their eyes after the Olympics, I couldn’t quit.  I learned that if I can keep going after what happened, I can come back and do other things like be one of the best pound for pound best fighters who ever lived.  I think I did a good job of that.”

Doveed Linder is the author of RINGSIDE: INTERVIEWS WITH 24 FIGHTERS AND BOXING INSIDERS, a collection of in depth interviews with various fighters, trainers, corner men, promoters, and officials, including “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Roy Jones, Jr., Angelo Dundee, Emanuel Steward, Larry Merchant, Bob Arum, Steve Smoger, and Jackie Kallen.  The foreword was written by Boxingtalk publisher Greg Leon.  This book is now available on

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