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By Dennis Taylor
Earlier generations fought to keep the lights on and put food on the table for their children. Today's fighters dream of owning a $30-million mansion with a garage full of Bentleys. Which era was more motivated? That's one of many questions we pose to the legendary Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, an all-time great whose 17-year pro career included wars with Matthew Saad Muhammad, Michael Spinks, Marvin Johnson, Victor Galindez, Bennie Briscoe and James Scott (an inmate at Rahway State Prison at the time.)
 
We also ask this world-class trainer about the challenge of keeping fighters focused in Las Vegas, with temptations and distractions on every corner.
 
Our conversation with Muhammad is preceded by expert analysts John J. Raspanti and Rizwaan Zahid, who lend their perspective to HBO's tripleheader featuring big wins by Ryan Burnett, Demetrius Andrade, and Alberto Machado. Raspanti and Zahid also weigh in on the talent of Murat Gassiev, plus three intriguing upcoming match-ups: Spence vs. Peterson, Stevenson vs. Alvarez, and Saunders vs. Lemieux.
 
Dennis Taylor is host of The Ringside Boxing Show, editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com, and co-author (with John J. Raspanti) of the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame's 2017 Book of the Year, "Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy," currently on Amazon's Bestsellers list.

 

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A few months ago, Sergey Kovalev was an undefeated world champion and undisputed king of the mountain in boxing's light heavyweight division. Then came his two collisions with Andre Ward, resulting in two losses -- both bubbling with controversy.

Our expert analysts, Travis Hartman, Rizwaan Zahid, and John J. Raspanti discuss Saturday's stunning eighth-round TKO victory by Ward, which Team Kovalev insists was the result of multiple low blows that went unheeded by referee Tony Weeks. The loss becomes even more bitter in the light of their first fight -- a unanimous decision to Ward that was unpopular with at least half of the boxing public. So, where do both fighters go from here?

Our Ward-Kovalev coversation is followed by an interview with welterweight prospect Alan Sanchez, and our classic interview from January 2016 with Hall of Famer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.

 

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Dennis Taylor (host), Travis Hartman, Rizwaan Zahid and John J. Raspanti (expert analysts), and Christopher James Shelton (boxing historian).

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When he was a boy growing up in the ruthless Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (then known as Eddie Lee Gregory) got a couple of valuable pieces of advice from his father:

"You make the money. Don't let the money make you," his dad said.

The other nugget of guidance: "Hands up, chin down, and keep your behind off the canvas."

The legendary light heavyweight, now a revered trainer, joined us Jan. 3 on The Ringside Boxing Show  to discuss his life and career, which included sensational fights with Victor Galindez, Marvin Johnson, Bennie Briscoe, Renaldo Snipes, Michael Spinks, and Matthew Saad Muhammad. As a trainer he has worked with Iran Barkley, Johnny Tapia, Zab Judah, Chad Dawson, and, nowadays, super middlweight belt-holder Badou Jack.

This is a wide-reaching and energitic conversation with a man who ruled the light heavyweight division during a renaissance era for that weight class, before becoming one of the most-respected trainers in the game.

The Eddie Mustafa Muhammad interview is preceded by a conversation with our expert analysts, Travis Hartman and John J. Raspanti, who tell us, among other things, whether they'd take those 33-1 odds currently being offered by a British sportsbook that Lennox Lewis will come out of retirement for a 2016 fight with Anthony Joshua.

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 Only 23, Rico Ramos appears poised to vault into boxing's limelight with an 18-0 record that includes 10 KOs. The former amateur star grew up in the Watts section of South L.A. -- one of America's most-infamous neightborhoods -- but stayed clean and now stands on the threshold of glory in the super bantamweight division.

 Alesia Graf, a native of Belarus, is a two-time super flyweight world champion from Stuttgart, Germany, who grew up in a Russian orphanage. The 30-year-old boxer, nicknamed "The Tigeress," currently is exploring the possibilities in the United States.

 Hear both of these interviews from our Nov. 28 edition of The Ringside Boxing Show.

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