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Thursday, July 14, 2016

No Holds Barred: Eddie Mustafa Muhammad on Boxing as Business Not Sport, Police-Civilian War, What Must Be Done 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with former light heavyweight champion and current boxing trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.

Originally from Brownsville, Brooklyn, he is now based in Las Vegas where he trains fighters at the Mayweather Boxing Club, including WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack and several other fighters.

We spoke with Eddie Mustafa Muhammad by phone Wednesday.

"I make world champions," he said, as we discussed recent fights by Badou Jack and other fighters he trains, including a string of highly questionable judges' decisions. Badou Jack has also recently been named by the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame the "Nevada Fighter of the Year."

"Boxing," he said, "is a business now. There's so much money involved in boxing which pay-per-view provided, it makes it a business. It's not a sport no more. That's just plain and simple."

While Eddie Mustafa Muhammad is a fighting man inside the ring, outside the ring he is a man of peace. And he does not like what he is seeing with so many young Black and Latino men being shot down in the streets by police.

"The civilians in the street are not starting this war," he said. "It's the police officers that are starting this war."

Note also that this statement is coming from a son of a New York City housing police officer.

"I'm not saying every officer is a bad police officer, because they're not," he continued. "But, you have these guys that have that that God complex because I carry a gun, I can basically do what I want to do.

"Remember, officers: When they made your gun, they made one for a lot of other people also. And you saw what happened in Dallas, Texas. May God rest those guys' souls and find a greater peaceful resting place in paradise. That was never supposed to happen."

He thus believes that these problems will not go away soon, and "It's going to get worse before it gets better."

But he does advocate a dialogue between members of the communities, civic leaders, and the police.

"I'm willing to do anything that turns this negative situation into a positive situation," he said. "And I know a lot of guys that grew up the same way I grew up, in the inner city, and made something out of themselves, are willing to go back into the inner city and put their celebrity on the line and do what they got to do."

Since so many boxers came from impoverished areas, he argued, they can play an important role in trying to solve this crisis.

As an example, he noted that the elementary school he attended in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in the 1950s and 60s, P.S. 125, has sat abandoned and in ruins for several decades.

"It's going to take money. Talk is cheap. It's going to take money for jobs. Talk is cheap," he reiterated.

We also discussed why he believes that the PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) has been good for boxing; how he has a gun and a concealed carry permit; why social media has been so important for boxing; how he is "on the Internet all the time"; and much, much more.

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