Michael Moorer talks about his career, training Ryan Coyne and ‘Find A Dream’
By Ian Aldous: After a professional career spanning just over twenty years, former light-heavyweight and heavyweight world champion, Michael Moorer (52-4-1) can look back upon his time in the ring with great pride. Now he continues to use his boxing skills to help prepare Ryan Coyne for his upcoming world title fight and his life skills as a board member of ‘Find A Dream’. This week Michael took some of his time to talk with me.
While talking with Michael, he informed me of the fact that a friend had just called to let him know a replay of his first fight with Evander Holyfield was currently being shown on the TV. Eighteen years after that fight and probably the greatest night of his career, I get the impression that life is treating him well. “I train guys now, I’m a teacher of the game now. A buddy and I started a sports marketing talent agency called F&M group and I’m trying to do some executive protection work. I’m just trying to get my hand into everything I wanted to do.”
Very early in his career, Moorer became the inaugural WBO 175lbs champion and helped to put the organization on the map as he went on to defend the belt an impressive nine times in less than two years. All of those wins were inside the distance. “It was a title. My twelfth pro fight I fought for the WBO light-heavyweight title and it was a prestige title. I didn’t care what other people thought about it. I knew it was a title that a fighter like me would give some recognition. Today that is one of the major titles and as a matter of fact that title that I fought for, my guy that I’m training now, Ryan Coyne, The Irish Outlaw, he’s fighting on November 10th against Nathan Cleverly for the WBO light-heavyweight title.”
It’s a chance to win the same title not as a fighter, but now as a trainer. November 10th will be a big night for both Michael and Ryan Coyne as he gets an unexpected shot at the Welshman, Nathan Cleverly. “I think that the fighter makes it a difficult fight or an easy fight. This is what I believe, everything you do inside a gym and when you work on certain things then you’re able to display that inside the ring for the fight. I can’t take nothing away from Nathan Cleverly, he’s a champion, he’s a well-respected champion but also I’m taking my guy up against Nathan, so me being a former light-heavyweight, I think I know how to beat someone like that and all Ryan has to do is listen to me and be able to go out there and do what I ask him. Everything will just fall into place.”
Getting back to the career of Michael himself, I had to ask him about a personal favourite fight of mine. His WBO heavyweight title fight with Bert Cooper in May 1992 was a brutal five-round classic. It was a ferocious contest that saw both men down twice, a great fight to watch, very tough to compete in. “Back then it was a good fight and I’d never been down and fighting Bert Cooper, that was an experience. To go down and to get back up and continue to fight but not only to continue to fight but also knock him down and then knock him out to win the fight and my first heavyweight title.” He continued “You don’t see those kind of (heavyweight) fights anymore.”
Being a former holder of the WBO, WBA and IBF versions of the world heavyweight title, I just had to get his thoughts on the domination of the heavyweight division by the Klitschko brothers and the lack of genuine contenders to challenge them. “They have boring fights at times but you can’t take anything away from them. They have the height advantage, they have the boxing skills and they get in shape. There’s a lot of American guys who want to fight for the title but they don’t wanna get in shape. These guys now just wanna make the money and fight for a title not being in shape and they don’t have the experience to even be put in a situation to fight for the title. There’s nobody out there for Wladimir or Vitali, they’re great champions and they know how to use their height advantage and their reach advantage.”
On November 2nd, ‘Find A Dream’ will host a couple of boxing legends events to help raise awareness and funding for their terrific youth boxing program that helps disadvantaged children in Myrtle Beach. As a board member, Michael clearly enjoys giving up his time for the cause. “Being a part of ‘Find A Dream’ is something that I look forward to because it’s dealing with the kids and I have children of my own and thankfully I’m a great father and a great dad where I’m not going to allow anything to get my kids out of place. For me to go to ‘Find A Dream’ and be there for these young kids and see other outlets that’s out there for them. To be there as a mentor, I think it’s a big thing for me because I can relate to children and being a parent, it’s always easier to relate to the kids when you’re a parent because you know what they expect, what they want and you know how to do things. I’m very happy with it.”
FIND A DREAM to host Boxing Legends Events in Myrtle Beach, SC on November 2nd
The Boxing Legends golf tournament at River Oaks is open to the public, with registration starting at 11:00 AM and a shotgun start at noon. Those interested in participating as a four-man team or as an individual should contact Deby Emmanuel of Quantum of Myrtle Beach (843-293-0107 ext 222).
Boxing Legends Night at RODEO Bar & Grill at Broadway at the Beach is from 8-11:00 PM and is open to the public. The legends will ‘meet & greet’, be available for photos and autographs, and speak about their great boxing moments and their involvement with Find A Dream. General Admission tickets are $10 at the door. VIP tickets are $50. Those interested in tickets should contact Mark Krom of NextMedia (954-554-6374).
About Find a Dream
Find a Dream is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that reaches out to community youth and young adults and provides them a healthy channel to find and work towards fulfilling a dream. For more information on Find A Dream, to donate today, or to learn how to get involved within your community visit www.findadream.org.