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Fighters need a good team to succeed

Sugar Ray RobinsonBy Robert “Big Moe” Elmore: When I was courting my beautiful wife, I had two things in mind. Of course I wanted to her to yes to my proposal. Two, more than anything I wanted her to trust me. I was able to accomplish both and now our trust grown beyond measure. We trust each other with our lives that’s, we don’t do things behind each other backs, we are up front and honest with other, and all these things have made our marriage very strong. But one huge misstep can tear it all down.

This is the type of relationship a fighter needs for him to succeed. There have been many in the game that has had/have great teams while others weren’t as fortunate. The object of a great team is to make sure the fighter feels comfortable so he can concentrate on what he does best.

The fighter has a big part to play in this as well. He must try to live for now, but also think about the future. Sugar Ray Leonard had one of the best teams in boxing spearheaded by his attorney/manager Mike Trainer.

Before Leonard made his professional debut, Trainer had Leonard incorporate himself. This eventually led to Leonard getting top dollar for every fight, secure his future, and eventually becoming the first boxer to make 100 million dollars in purses. Leonard has been retired for some time and seems to be doing very well. Larry Holmes, Roy Jones, Oscar De La Hoya, and Floyd Mayweather, are just a few more names who has major success outside of the boxing ring. These fighters had a leg up because at some point they began managing themselves. Floyd Mayweather seems to have surrounded himself with one of the best teams to make him the richest athlete in the world. One thing he did before the Pacquiao fight, was he sent out letters to all those in his camp. He let them know that his fighting days were coming to end and that he couldn’t take care of everyone like he used to.

Then you have those who did well at first, but somewhere things went wrong. Ray Robinson retired with a record of 100 wins against 1 defeat. He invested greatly into a number of things and had an entire block in Harlem New York. Those ventures did not last long and this forced Robinson out of retirement. If anybody noticed, it was then that Robinson began to accumulate losses. I don’t know if his businesses failed because of those he put in charge or he didn’t train them correctly. Robinson’s documentary Bright Light/Dark Shadows of a champion squarely puts the blame on Robinson. I disagree though. In certain situations, one tends to want to help those around him come to the next level even if they are not qualified for the position. There may be those in his camp who were out for themselves and did not have Robinson’s best interest at heart. Robinson also fell into debt with the IRS.

Former light heavyweight/heavyweight champion Michael Spinks sued former promoter Butch Lewis’s (RIP) estate stating that Lewis promised to take care of his invested money. Mike Tyson was also not surrounded by those who had his best interest at heart. In his one man show Undisputed Truth, he stated that promoter Don King was charging him 8,000 a week for towels plus other outlandish expenses. Understand in no way am I trying to disrespect any fighter, but to show how a trust worthy team can go a long way. I believe the focus is different when there is no money in the account or when a fighter who once accumulated a great deal of wealth and then loses it. The fighter is starting all over again.

At the beginning of a fighter’s career, they are willing to take on any and everyone, but the pay is not that great. Then they get that big pay day and fight and build from there. Coming toward the end of their careers, they began to look for the most lucrative fights they can find to maximize earnings. I think every fighter wants to have this option; to fight because they want to and not have to. But for that option to be even a possibility, they have to have a good team around them.

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