Growing up training, I use to get up so early I would wave to the garbage men going by. So, I had this relationship with Blue Collar America and I really liked it. I felt that lots of those people looked forward to me winning.
If you look at my career, towards the end you will see I was fighting like once a year. I was not part of the Don King top heavyweights, so I was kind of kept out. His guys were getting three to four fights a year and I could only get one.
By the time you're 30 years old, you can be on a nowhere street, if you're not careful.
I am seeing all the guys, like Earnie Shavers, Tex Cobb, and Larry Holmes all the time.
I grew up in a big Irish, Catholic family. My dad was a pretty rough guy. So one of my brothers left home when he was 15 and found his way to the gym. It gave me the opportunity to go and spend some time with him and work out in the gym.
You have a small period of time when you can perfect your career and become good at it. A lot of guys get distracted, which only hurts them. You must stay focused and work very hard at boxing.
I lost three times in my career. Losing to Holmes I could deal with, because I lost to a true champion.
I am involved in minor league baseball. I go around the country speaking to troubled youths, trying to help them understand that whatever path they choose, they'll need to really pay attention to it.
You take that walk from the dressing room to the ring and that's when the real man comes out. Then you climb up those four stairs and into the ring. Then finally, you can't wait for the bell to ring.
Muhammad Ali was the kind of guy you either loved or hated, but you wanted to see him. I happen to really love him. He brought boxing to another level and always made you laugh.
Boxing was not the sport that I thought is was due to all the politics.
I was a left hooker, and I loved hooking. I also really liked to jab and mix it up right away.
All of the sports have a safety net, but boxing is the only sport that has none. So when the fighter is through, he is through. While he was fighting his management was very excited for him, but now that he is done, that management team is moving on.
The bad press came because they thought I should fight more. I couldn't get the fights because if I would sign to fight one of King's guys I would be signed to him. I chose not to do that. In hindsight, that might have been a mistake.