BOXING at the beginning was fourth choice for me. I bet you all hear of guys saying that boxing was in their blood or that they were born to be boxers? Not me. I was in college playing basketball, baseball and [American] football, but because my performance in the classroom was so poor, the college stopped me from participating in those sports until I got my grades up. That was going to be a challenge for me.
I met Richard Steele in Las Vegas. The famous referee. He told me to give boxing a go, and with his support, I was able to spend a lot of time in the various gyms around Vegas. Richard helped me out a lot with money and transport, but I had to give him two hours of my time every single day so I could learn about boxing. I was a big athletic dude with energy to burn, and Richard saw something in me that made him want to invest his time and money. It didn’t stand out as a potential career choice, but it sure beat going back to school.
I decided to give it a real go. I needed the money, and people who I’d met in the gyms such as Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones Jnr passed on real sound words of advice. Evander was always there for me, and guess what? He was my best man when I got married in 1998. How messed up is that? Boxing was just this new experience for me, and then I go end up with the heavyweight champion of the world as my best man on my wedding day. Boxing does that.