Feature | Nov 14 2016

My Career: Bobby Czyz

James Slater talks to a man who left his mark on boxing – New Jersey's tough-as-nails Bobby Czyz
Bobby Czyz


“RAY MERCER, in sparring. It was in the early 1990s and he weighed 234 pounds, me 195. He hit me with a right hand and I actually thought a piece of cement had fallen from the ceiling and hit me in the head! I don’t remember it, but I came right back at him and hit him in the mouth. Ray tells everyone I was the hardest he ever hit a guy in his life!”


“ROBERT DANIELS. My trainer Tommy Parks wanted to pull me out after the ninth, I was in so much pain with my feet, but I told him I’d kill him if he stopped it! Daniels was thick-set and very strong. Normally, any fighter I want to move, I can move him pretty good – I’m real strong physically myself. But I had to box and move against him. That was tough, readjusting my style so much.”


“WHEN I won the [IBF light-heavyweight] title in 1986 against Slobodan Kacar. That was not my best fight, but it was special. My name will last forever due to that win; for becoming a world champion. My best fight was when I beat Robert Daniels to win the [WBA] cruiserweight title. I was given no chance but boxed and moved. My feet were bleeding by the ninth round, I used so much movement.”


“THERE are two. The second Prince Charles Williams fight, when I retired afterwards – too soon as it turned out because I came back and won another title – and Corrie Sanders, which was up at heavyweight [June 1998, Bobby’s final bout]. Sanders was just so big and hit very hard. It was after that fight that I knew I had to bow out, that I couldn’t do it anymore.”


“PROBABLY Ray Mercer – he was the hardest-hitting anyway. I had trouble with fast guys, like Frank Tate. I liked the tough guys. I sparred a lot with Mitch Green. He was a good boxer, a great amateur, and he outweighed me by quite a lot. I was 19 years old at the time and we went at it in some good sessions. I busted his lip wide open.”


“EVEN though I’m 54, I still have the urge to fight. Could I have done more? One of the real regrets I have is never getting a fight with Thomas Hearns. But I’m doing okay and make a ton of money from working in commodities. I actually make more money in a month than I did in my entire boxing career.”

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