Jean-Francois Bergeron | The Scoop with Bola Ray | Talkin Fight
EPISODE: Episode 18
Watch The Scoop from Monday to Friday featuring Canadian heavyweight champ Bola Ray, who lends his vast experience in the sport and provides his comments boxing – its history and future – and joining him on this episode is Jean-Francois Bergeron, who competed in the super heavyweight division and represented Canada at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, on YouTube and TalkinFight.com/live. @first_responders_first
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Hello, there talking fight fans once again welcome to another exciting episode of the scoop with the champ bola ray and he’s got a very special guest lined up for us this evening, live in person.
Don’T you i’m sure you do very much so very much so um.
First and foremost, i want to thank uh, graham for once again upstaging me on his on his outfit and decor um.
If he just gave me a heads up uh, i can come uh with tails and bow tie too.
But okay, that’s fine! Um with that being said, um today we’re going after or we’re bringing on one of canada’s most prolific heavyweights by my opinion, um in recent years.
Not only was he a force as an amateur winning the canadian title five times, but and also winning multiple international uh tournaments but olympian and then turns pro went with an astounding, 27 and 2 record winning well, he was at one point in time: 27-0 um he’s A dear friend of mine he’s actually responsible for a little bit of my evolution in sport, which i’m sure he has absolutely no idea what the hell i’m talking about, but i’ll explain later um my name is bola raymond olubuwali, and this is the scoop today.
We have the pleasure of showcasing a canadian treasure by the name of jean francois bergeron.
How are you brendan how’s? It going very well, sir, very very well, sir, how is life treating you through this whole coveted nonsense.
Uh, i honestly i’m i’m privileged.
I can’t complain because i was – i still have my job as a firefighter and uh it.
It forced me to live like everybody else’s, more simple life.
Okay, so you know you end up.
I’M i’m cooking at home instead of go getting out eating out of restaurants.
So eating better, i’m doing alpine skiing walking a lot.
I do in french with saying you know like uh, you know when you walk uh on uh, you walk on the snow, oh uh yeah! Exactly i’m doing that right next to my home and so i’m being i’m being busy, and i got the privilege of going to work and working with a team that that’s amazing.
So i can’t complain i mean i know it’s been difficult for a lot of people and that’s why we try to that’s why we try to uh obey the laws to make sure it goes.
This thing goes away as fast as possible.
Well, once again, thank you for being a first responder and uh helping us through this pandemic and putting yourself at unbelievable peril.
You know unbelievable risk dealing with people for like firsthand who may have been affected so once again, thank you um.
How did you get yourself? How did you start in boxing? I started uh, while my first i started watching really.
I boxed when i was about 10 years old, but i trained for about a month or two, my father used to box and he he bust.
When that’s why i went to train, i was, i think it was about 11 trained for about a month or two, and he was also training and ended up.
Seeing seeing him make a comeback.
We had about like 40 50 amateur fights, oh and he was 35 years old and he made a comeback.
And i was about 10 and i really impressed it impressed me and uh.
But the year after the year after the gym kind of went away – and that was that was it – my father wasn’t training there anymore.
There was no gym in my own town and i kind of started having interest in that 13 14.
It was uh the times that mike tyson was coming was was brand new thing and it was huge and that’s i kind of developed that taste of boxing that that desire to do boxing, even though i wasn’t a kid that was, i would never get into fights And i was kind of scared and into fights and uh i wasn’t you know i was, i didn’t, have a mean streak.
I was totally the opposite of most of the boxers and uh when i was 17 when, when the 88 olympics were uh were on display in civil and uh and lennox lewis was uh uh end up winning the the gold medal there.
I don’t know why.
There’S a thought that crossed my mind.
I think i could go to the olympics.
I wanted to go to the olympics, even though i i’ve never been into a fight, and two years after my father started, went back to training just for for getting in shape with one of his friends, and i told him i’m going with you there’s no way.
I’M not, you know no way, you’re, not taking me to boxing and uh.
He was surprised and i ended up being pretty good and uh soon, because i was 17.
It was numb, usually when they’re in the 16 17 years old, there’s not many heavy weights.
I was already six five and i was 200 pounds, so all my automatic cars there was a place in super heavyweight.
I went, i went there, i won the nationals and uh, that’s it, that’s that’s when it started.
So i had my first fight in january of 91 and in a little bit less than two years in in december of 92, i was canadian heavyweight champion senior wow.
That was right.
I have i have to say that that i wouldn’t have.
I wouldn’t have been canadian champion if kurt johnson would have stayed in the amateurs he just.
He just came back from the olympics, and that was the thing we were going there for experience and [ Music ].
They didn’t know.
If you know michelle was my coach and he said we’ll see if the guys, if, if lesbian or uh kirk johnson are there if they’re there, i don’t know, i don’t know if gon na make you fight, because obviously i had about 22 fights, 23 fights or Something like that yeah so and they ended up not being there, but not boxing, because they were going there was.
They were turning pros and uh that kind of left the door open.
I was still not a favorite.
You know nobody expected me to win but uh.
I ended up playing really good then, and one and i was a national champion and that was that heavyweight yeah.
I was 91.
, so that’s the year that uh gary goodridge was super heavyweight yeah exactly exactly.
We actually did it one one trip together in florida, fort lauderdale, fort lauderdale on february, at 93.
uh we win this uh.
Can canada usa match pretty much and uh yeah? You fought a guy there, david bostes, who turned out to be a good pro and uh yeah, and that’s that’s.
When i met him.
Yeah there’s a big guy.
He was a big guy.
He was a big guy yeah.
He was my sparring partner for a little while wow he wasn’t.
He was beginning.
He wasn’t an experienced boxer at that time.
Uh he was but but uh because tom blesby wasn’t there there wasn’t he needed yeah, he won.
He won one or two fights or one fighting thing, but he felt good but yeah.
He didn’t have the experience to go overseas afterwards and uh.
No, he was.
He had, he won the canadian title with five fights exactly yeah, something like that: yeah yeah for sure for sure exactly it was a mountain wow.
Remember he stopped the guy, he stopped.
He stopped this guy, he wasn’t pei and everybody was like really impressed it.
Wasn’T you know it wasn’t technical or anything, no entertaining fight, that’s amazing, and then you that once you made the the national squad now you got to tour the world and you invest like quite a few match.
Uh international goals.
I think i won like three.
Four or five international uh tournament wow.
I want silver at the pan ams which, which made me really happy, because you know lannister whis was always one of my favorite boxers heavyweights and he won the silver medal that depend on james.
I was kind of yeah.
I wasn’t you know i was.
I was happy to be included in in the same category.
If i can say you know, you won this company yeah and uh yeah.
I did added many many tournaments uh worlds and [ Music ] traveled the world.
It was pretty pretty good experience and it’s when met some, some amazing guys guys that i still see today’s and we’re still getting contact uh by my strange uh.
We went to see my stream me and claude this summer, uh in niagara falls.
He took us out and uh yeah and he was he’s an amazing guy.
He really went.
Three olympics got robbed in 96, big time, yeah, oh yeah, yeah.
Let’S go let’s, let’s not go there, but you could have one.
He should have won.
At least a bronze wow buddy he’s he’s an amazing guy.
He was pretty much our leader in in during those years charismatic guy yeah, a guy was really talented, but a guy could could make a joke right before his fight, and you know he’s in that dressing.
Room and he means everybody, laughs, yeah and then seconds afterwards he’s doing bad and he’s concentrated like like he’s in the fight.
I mean i learned a lot from watching him.
Do you find something i i noticed is that um sociologically? You have people thinking or people being boxers to be successful.
If you hear that someone’s a boxer, you think that you’re some angry, like psychotic nut, who just needs to fight needs to punch people out always in a bad mood when actually boxers.
Actually the really good ones are some of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.
Like don’t have this appetite for violence like people would think, like you have mike strange, who should be acquired more.
You know, meanwhile, he’s actually one of the best candidates ever produced.
You know um, i think you have.
You have nothing to uh.
You have nothing to prove in that regards, i mean you know you, you train you trained it.
It didn’t happen many times, but uh.
The few times that that somebody wanted to mess around with me is like man, i’m i’m doing that like it’s, my full-time job.
Doing that every day i’m punching people and seeing guys punch me trying to punch me every day.
I don’t know, i don’t want that.
You know like it’s like uh what i uh, what i uh dare sidney crosby to to uh to to pass over me.
You know, oh i’m gon na, stop you you know, that’s like.
I totally get it like at the end of the day i for me i was doing nightclub security for a very long time and with that being said, even as a pro, i would be sitting there and people would look at me like people very seldomly.
People want to start a fight with me just because of my physique.
They think i don’t want no problems, fine, but the occasional one wants to prove something, and then i think to myself: how much is this gon na cos um? How much am i gon na make from this fight because i get paid yeah i get paid to fight? Would you pay me to fight yeah for sure when they know, and once you put in that perspective it just it really is pointless.
Now i take nothing away from somebody who wants to go off it and needs to defend themselves if they do.
But the thing is: is you’re, probably gon na have to end up paying the guy, because you heard him i mean because the guy wants to mess with you.
Even if you tell him well, i’m not watching don’t mess with me.
If you punch him you’re gon na get in trouble, yeah yeah, i try to stay away from trouble and that’s the thing that i try to explain to so many young kids.
Is it’s really not worth it yeah, you think you’re going to get something you’re, not getting anything.
It doesn’t do anything for your street cred it doesn’t it.
Doesn’T you don’t if you’re not getting paid for it, it makes absolutely no sense yeah for responsibility unequivocally.
So how was how was your experience in the 96 olympics uh? It’S always.
It’S always special for me to explain that, because in a way it was amazing, but because it went so badly, it was like a nightmare so yeah you know i.
I people never really wan na hear that they wanted.
It was amazing this and that – and it was in the sense when i, when i when, when we walked in the the stadium, you know we were, they were staying at the great the best part of it is we were staying at the old stadium, the braves Stadium yeah and they have the olympic stadium right next to it.
So we were waiting there for a while and when it was time to canada to go in go in, they had a hill where you’d walk right on the top of the new olympic stadium.
Okay – and this was the most amazing moment because when you get there and as soon as you step like that – and you see remember you’re on the top yeah at the olympic stadium and you see all the cameras going, you see about 80 90, 100 000 people That was amazing, you know that’s the moment, you’re saying you, you tell yourself wow, i’m i’m in it.
You know i trained for for six seven years and and all the hard work pays off you know, and then it was amazing and especially because right in the center of the stadium, when we were waiting and the torch was being passed on from the floor, came Up eventually feel at the level of of the the the field yeah, so we saw him right next to us and he was had a corridor and he was we were outside.
He was running with the flame yeah up until the stains which he passed, the torch to janet evans.
Oh the american swimmer, yeah gold, medalist and she went up there.
She, and who did she, give it to to light up the flame muhammad ali, so yeah being a boxers, i mean you cannot have you can’t not have goosebumps.
That was that was amazing.
It really was amazing, yeah and that’s the amazing part, but the rest was because my fight didn’t happen.
You know it really didn’t go well and – and i think um for a year before that i every night i was going to sleep and i imagined winning mail.
You know most of the time was a gold medal.
You were ranked number two going into that tournament fairly high and i ended up fighting a guy that i’ve beaten before right now i stopped actually and uh and and uh.
I was extremely nervous, uh uh.
I can say i i had a problem: have problems with the pressure i can’t kind of choke.
I didn’t know what to deal with.
That was difficult.
It wasn’t really in the time uh, where uh uh sports psychologists were there yeah yeah.
You know they were starting, but boxing you know boxing’s always had a old-minded man and it was in the beginning and uh god.
I wouldn’t need somebody to to just take the pressure away from me, and just tell me well just have fun you know and uh of all the senior scenarios that i imagine never that that was the worst.
It really was the worst.
To be honest, it it turned, it turned out.
It helped me a lot at the you know, because i had to go through that then, and – and it made me understand so many things, but if somebody would have told me like uh, let’s say a day before the fight.
Well, this is what’s going to happen.
Your olympic dream is going to end in one minute i mean whatever you do.
You cannot change that.
You know if somebody told me that i would have put myself a lot less pressure and i would have enjoyed myself more and i’m pretty sure that would have boxed way better than i did so.
It kind of helped me out in in uh psychology of of you know, fighting psychology of it actually helped me a lot when i became a coach, because when i became a coach – and i realized that i was also there to make sure boxers were were not Going to live where i live precisely so: there’s uh, there’s a a video of uh, steve jobs, doing a speech at stanford university when he said connecting the dots and when he says that he means when he did something in the 70s, which made no sense to Anybody even him, but he was drawn to that well, 10, 12 years later ended up.
He used that in making the the macintosh computer yes, so that classes ended up uh, not changing the world but uh influencing the world.
So yeah that connecting to that, when i became a coach, i realized.
Oh that’s why i went through all that in my boxing career, so i was able to bring to other marchers or young masters of knowledge and and things like that.
So that’s! That’S that’s why my uh, when i explain my my my olympic uh experience, it’s kind of bittersweet in a sense that that i cannot say i have fun during those times, because when i was there, i had fun before i had fun at the at the opening Ceremonies, but between that, after that and and my fight it was, i can’t say, a lot of fun because pressure got to me was so so big and i didn’t know how to deal with that, and people have no idea how huge this is.
I mean that’s huge because at the end of the day and and the very fact that you’re now a coach and you can actually influence and educate the next generation, this is called the evolution of the sport.
This is how the sport evolves.
You experience something that the layman will never experience, we’ll, never know, and now you take that experience and you’re, giving it and you’re imparting it on the next generation yeah.
That’S the evolution of the support and i find it interesting.
First, first and foremost, do you know, do you know when we were, we could have met for the first time we could have.
We didn’t think and if i say ring in the boxing ring, i think there was stark sometimes but um yeah.
Well, i’ve had four fights four fights and i was called i my coach got um a call, i guess from yvonne um offering us a flight to quebec to fight you on a card.
Is this how boxing works? My fourth fight or fifth fight yeah? This is how it works.
I don’t think i’m ready to fight some national champion right was it like in 94, uh 2004 or something like that? Oh no! This is amateur.
Amateur, oh okay, amateur! This was before the 96 olympics.
Oh really, oh yeah! I think it was before the 1995 nationals just before the 1994 95 nationals or 96.
It was in 96, but you know what i mean: yeah yeah yeah, the one that was in brampton.
No one is that was in brampton just before that: oh yeah, yeah, okay, yeah, okay, okay, i ended up fighting uh, patrick slaver.
At that fight.
It was like a a pram fight where stefan wallett and erika were fighting was it was about a week before nationals? That’S nice yeah yeah.
They asked me to come fight and, like i’m, fighting a form, a national team member yeah but think about it.
You knock him out you’re going to the olympics yeah about that easier said than done right, yeah, yeah yeah! I was on fire at that time.
I was really on a roll, oh god, and i was i could barely spell boxing um.
No, no! That’S all yeah wow.
So i then another thing that intrigues me about your comments is the fact that, and so many guys that i’ve been talking to like we’re talking um gallinger.
I actually gallander a lot because we fought three times and in talking to gallinger he’s like he was actually nervous fighting me and, like you never know it yeah mind you.
I didn’t realize that the size difference between the two of us because he said the first time we fought.
He was only 202 pounds.
No, he wasn’t.
He was barely a super heavyweight yeah and i was i think, to 62 55.
I was like wow you’re you’re, a brave man but darling just team challenger.
I haven’t heard that name in the water.
You know that guy beat me twice.
Did he really yeah? I never got my revenge i wanted to.
Actually, i wanted to fight him at the at nationals at that nationals, but he ended up losing to blake stevenson, so i didn’t get to fight him in the final but wow yeah yeah.
We were when i first started in uh in 2091 and 1991, when i was in the intermediate national team yeah.
You were slightly heavyweight and i was i was the super everyone at that time and uh yeah and we ended up fighting a bit afterwards.
So we kind of had a little bit of rivalry because we kind of knew we were gon na fight each other yeah.
I beat me at the brampton cup, i was 18 and he beat me at the box house for the commonwealth games and uh.
Yeah 94 yeah, you wouldn’t you didn’t go to the congo, no, no! No! I i lost that year.
That was that wasn’t a good year.
That’S my second year in nationals i lost to uh willard, lewis and uh in in the nationals, and when i went to the bar shops i ended up.
I beat and the first day i beat mark simmons, close fight and everybody was telling me because mark had just beaten, uh, the gallon jim at the um ontarios yeah and uh.
So i beat a bit more simmons and i ended up finding uh gallinger in the finals, and i had a hard time with the style he was he wasn’t committing.
I was we were kind of both counter-punchers, yeah and uh.
I didn’t know well how to uh.
Go forward at that time and uh he he beat me.
He beat me a second time he pissed me off and he went to the commonwealth games and i went i went.
I was sparring with him at the.
I was sparring with him and training came in lodgepole right before the commonwealth games and i was pissed and i was yeah.
I was going hard at him because, obviously he was going.
I wasn’t, it was a bit frustrating yeah, it turned out.
I went back home and i looked looked at the guys and uh during the opening ceremonies and i was i was.
I was a friend and at a party one of my friends, and i was looking at that and i was depressed and i ended up walking somewhere by myself in and apart.
I almost had tears in my eyes and told myself.
Well, it’s i’m not gon na watch the olympics from my uh, my couch yeah.
It ended up being good things because i worked my ass off to to get better and then to go back on the team which, which i did then uh yeah.
The rest is history, but yeah um, okay, so in that olympic year, what did steve lose to? Because i fought steve, my okay, so instead of fighting you for my fourth fight, i fought well.
I fought my fourth fight against kevin anderson and then i fought steve.
The first time i ever met steve was my sixth fight and i lost steve, ended up fighting one more fight and then went to the nationals.
He didn’t even work the olympics out here.
No, no, he uh.
He fought blake stevenson and got knocked out come and uh.
I don’t know if he had a fight before that it was.
It was the semi-finals.
I had one fight prior to that and we’re in the semi-final.
I was fighting patrick again like twice in one week and he was finding blake stevenson and uh.
I think he was winning the fight i’m.
I wasn’t really watching because i was warming up and he got caught with, i think a big right hand and he was knocked out and i ended up a change.
I would have liked to fight steve.
There was you know because, because he beat me twice, he was a challenge.
You know i kind of want to get the revenge and there was little butterflies because i knew his style was, but i improved a lot a lot because i i spent two weeks two years of national team international competition – i’m i would have liked to do it, But after as soon as the fight was over with him and it turned out, i was fighting blake stevenson.
Then change your change, your uh mindset.
I go with you with this guy and after that i was, i was almost almost the the one that that represent represent canada in the box office.
Amazing! Well, oh yeah! That’S right and there was a bought.
No, no, not that year like that was 2000.
I found the box office too, but interesting.
You then went into an amazing pro career like a highly successful pro career and then again we were supposed to fight, but this is, i guess, uh not 2004.
It was later than that.
I don’t think that yeah because uh i turned pro in 2004, when i couldn’t go in 2005 2006, maybe maybe 2006 yeah.
I think i was.
I was in school at that time.
This was right at the end of your career and i think you were injured well.
I was in just most of my career.
Oh so you have to be more specific but uh yeah yeah i had uh yeah.
I had uh many many many surgeries.
I i, when i turned pro in 98 and my like my first fight in april 3rd or something like that and thought that the end of april and the beginning of may i saw like three fights in about three weeks and then, as supposed to fight in June at end of may new york, the guy doesn’t pass a medical i’m supposed to fight in in june and and – and i i end up having a uh um appendix oh and it’s burst – wow wow.
So i was, i was supposed to fight, and i was so sometimes i had trouble on my stomach yeah.
So i and it would it would faze me.
I couldn’t do nothing for about a for about a day and then it would just go away and uh for that fight.
I was i was struggling with that you know in my mind you know you want to fight you’re, watching myself i’ll.
Do the mental and and i’ll get better i’ll be i’ll, be better in this, and that and i went back that was pa.
I passed the medical which doesn’t tell you much about medical miracles, yeah and uh.
So i go back home and then i feel burst.
I fell on fall on the floor, it it’s so painful, but i don’t know what it is.
You know i just stopped moving, i’m turning green wow.
I went to see the doctor 24 hour uh.
I want to see the doctor the next morning, the next morning.
After your appendix first yeah yeah and i when i went to a clinic – and she should tell me well you’re counting green – i mean, if you don’t feel all that good go to the hospital, and you know i’m i’m in amazing shape.
So that’s why i’m able to, but i wasn’t doing much while i wasn’t moving.
I was okay and so, at the end of the day, about 24 hours after it burst, i go to the hospital and – and i’m i’m not doing well, i mean my ex-girlfriend.
She drives me and by the time she parks the car and is trying to get dizzy.
She arrives with the wheelchair and this they put me in the emergency room.
So they don’t know what i am because my appendix is not on my right side.
It’S in the middle um under my building, but they don’t know that.
I know what the bandits were.
It’S on the right side, so i i i never thought it was an appendix wow, so it turns out that 20 48 hour after it burst they said.
Okay, we don’t know what he has he’s been 24 hours, he has the the salute and – and he hasn’t been moving so we’ll we’ll put him under and we’ll see what he what they have, what he has and as soon as he put me under, they touch My belly and they know right away what it is.
So they go see my my my family and say: okay, we he has dependencies at birth and we’re gon na hope.
We’Re gon na operate him right away, so yeah that that kind of uh that was my uh third month after being a pro so i ended up, i lost about 225 25 pounds.
I was sitting here as hell and, and it took me a while to come back then i come back.
I do fight, but i injured one of my elbow wow own.
So i got i have another operation and then that’s about.
I had about three operation about a year and a half which it totally screwed up my career screwed up my timing, screwed everything up yeah and i ended up about two years after turning pro trying to get back in shape with all with all that i lost.
So i’m basically in the gym and pretty much everybody beats me up and uh.
It feels it’s frustrating because i’m so much better than most of those guys, but i can’t get the timing and it was it was it was.
It was tough man, it was tough.
I mean i thought about quitting many times and there was one thing that i remember that, right before i i had my appendix i went to train for about a week in new york at the glen, since i ended up sparring with uh oleg master, oh yeah, And myself went on to become a world champion exactly, and i did really good against him and and whenever i felt like like because of because of a shitty spawning session, i thought about that.
If i was able to be at that level, once again i’ll be able to get back yeah, it took a long time a lot of pain but uh.
Well, yeah, that’s uh! Those are the moments and whatever whatever well i obviou.
Obviously, i don’t really think about that many times you know i haven’t talked about that.
I haven’t talked about that many times, but those are the the main things that i’m proud of.
I mean whatever the accomplishment you did in the ring, whatever the the either success that that you may have, i mean those are the moments that i’m the most proud i mean just because those are the moments i could have shift and i could have decided to Quit and do something else in my life and it would have been way easier way easier for life.
Then having this life of professional basha, with all the downs that you get just you got more downs than you got ups, i mean we’re a bit crazy to do this crazy, that’s wow! Now that i have a normal job and and get paid every week and and don’t have you know if you miss a little, you know if you miss this and that here and there it doesn’t matter but in boston.
If, if you don’t miss the bunch, you get knocked out, yeah yeah yeah, it’s an interesting way to make a living.
It really is yeah yeah, there’s something uh we’re doing this for for a reason.
We’Re always doing this for a reason, and once you figure that out and then yeah you can go on and do something else.
You know that’s the way, that’s the way it’s been for me.
I think it’s the the ability to take boxing to the level that we do is character building it.
It definitely defines you look at the look of the challenges that you had to overcome to get to where you wanted to get to like you said it could have been so much easier if you just quit, but you’re, not a quitter yeah and there you have It yeah yeah, there’s a yeah and it’s funny because uh in the this weekend, we had a series of uh articles and uh uh jonathan morale about former boxers and what they’re doing now and yeah one of the guys that that was on on the on that Paper uh, you know, because we’ve heard about the the the sad stories i mean boxing’s boxing is full after life stories.
I mean it’s mostly that well it used to be mostly that, and it was good to see some good things.
You know and uh.
Whenever i was coaching um, i was always trying to preach to the kids.
I mean think about think about something else.
You know something up, i mean it doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean, don’t put a hundred percent in what you do.
It just means people think about something else and the things one of the things that we do as basha.
We have a lot of uh, determination and, and we’re resent uh present result not resentful, but uh.
I’M not sure what the word, but i mean we try.
You know we try, we try, we try, because we want to succeed, and we sometimes don’t do that in other things.
In our life i mean i don’t want to go to school and i’m not a guy for school this and that or you know, yeah and i realized going back to school.
You just have to just keep at it.
I mean you, you may not become uh uh.
I was never a great student, i mean i was never.
I never had aids and it was okay, but i wasn’t working hard at it because i didn’t like him, but when i came when i when i went back when i was about 30 30 31 years old, obviously that the fire fighting school is uh different.
It’S more uh physical and it’s more into what i do, but when we have to go to do this two years of prevention, which you did classes that were not only for a fire fire and it was difficult.
Now, when i went to the city before when i started watching when i wasn’t doing anything when i when i was 17, i was i was in my head in my dream, doing something, but i wasn’t doing my own work.
I wasn’t studying when i when i went back.
I realized okay, i was lazy, you know when i was young, you know i wasn’t doing what i should have done.
You know when you’re 30 years old and you you you’re, chasing a dream that you realize is mostly uh smoke.
You know in the sense that there’s not a problem that thinks he’s not going to be a millionaire in world champion.
I mean you have you need that you need that, but somewhere in the land you got to realize.
Oh okay, you found that if that that was my thing, i was about 30 years old and and and we didn’t know what the pro boxing was going to be in montreal, just enter watch was was school to be bankrupt, and then we didn’t know exactly what Was happening and i was like wow, i live in my uh, my one bedroom apartment and – and am i going to be there at 35 wishing for for for a big deal for big baiting and then – and i realized well, i’m better.
I better work on some something else and i was lucky lucky and – and i wouldn’t say i wasn’t lucky, but i worked to get to do the both of them together and for three years it was.
It was not easy, but it was just what i had to do.
Yeah and when you’re donating you don’t know.
If it’s gon na work out or not, you know what did i know about being a firefighter when i was a bartender, i mean i didn’t know.
Uh, i didn’t know all that much i got in there.
I did what i did what i did with watching.
I worked and worked and worked, and i tried to split – and i was never the same boxer afterwards, because i went doing it.
I wasn’t doing that 100.
Okay, okay, but i was able to manage both of them.
I don’t i today.
If you ask me, i don’t know how i did it.
You know i.
I could not do that now because, obviously, because i’m 47 years old – but i mean i mean having the life they have now i mean it was a crazy life, but it got me to where i am so.
Why that’s why i i used to tell um the kids that were wanting to be a professional? Well, that’s, that’s great man.
That’S amazing! Go go chase your dream! No, but be aware and prepare yourself to whatever happens, because you have certain.
Your career is just a certain amount of time.
Your life is this amount of time yeah and you want to enjoy life.
You want it so that that you can enjoy the years that you spend boxing and they don’t become uh.
Your the reason why you lost everything why you know why yeah it’s it’s a cruel sport, it’s a it can be it’s a business.
It can be it.
It’S amazing though it’s it’s an amazing i i talked i don’t want to.
I don’t want to sound.
Maybe i do sound a bit negative about it, but no it’s reality um, but it’s not clear.
I mean boxing is about it’s about fighting yourself.
I mean you’re, yes, you’re, finding another guy, but you’re, mostly fighting yourself you’re, mostly fighting against yourself, you’re.
Fighting your your fears, exactly you’re right, you’re, fighting against your inhibitions, you’re you’re you’re, pushing yourself to limits that stereotypically people don’t push themselves towards how many something a punch is coming at you and you’re not running away.
It’S a bit crazy right, right, yeah, yeah man! That’S true, yeah you’re, after after boxing, after being an athlete, your life, you put some bit towards coaching yeah.
Well, uh life is life is funny here, because when i realized uh, i had my last fight in 2008 october 2008 and i wanted to get the canadian title fight because i never got fight for the canadian title and uh.
I tried to get that and it was named.
I wasn’t able to get it and uh 2010.
I go to the hall of fame with a few guys lucha day and the graphic main box and uh.
After that, i come back and i realized okay, i’m i’m not! I don’t wan na.
I don’t i’m not ready to die anymore in the rain, not that i not that i always thought about.
I want to die in the rain, but you never think about the consequences.
There’S nothing more important than winning.
There’S you know you you you, you don’t think in terms the training.
You don’t think in terms of sacrifices.
It just has to be done.
Yeah exactly question and i realized: okay, i’m not ready to die in the ring and uh.
Those are heavy sacrifices that i’m asking for and uh.
So i decide i stop.
I spend the week i spend a month uh a month or two think about it and i realize uh uh.
I know i don’t want to fight anymore, i’m done and about a month afterwards.
I get a call and we get a call that we’ve been offered.
A fight for the kingdom title for about 20 grand against two bashed, you know, but at that time i was beginning i was.
I was beginning as a firefighter so that 20 grand i needed it, but there was no hesitation.
You know i didn’t take the fight.
Yeah, because i was done – you know i maybe i could beat that guy uh not being in shape.
I obviously think i would have beaten if i was in cheap but but yeah.
I knew that wasn’t the right thing to do so that confirmed the fact that i wanted to retire, and then i started thinking to myself.
Okay, i need i need a second job, because i’m used to first fireman.
We got a lot of time out because we do long shifts.
So i i need to talk by myself.
I need to to do something make a bit of money and i think about uh taking class in uh massage therapist, because obviously, as i think, you’ve been you’ve had a lot of massages and you kind of know a bit a thing or two.
So i’m thinking about that – and i thought about that for a few weeks and called it called the the place where i was going to be uh the class and and try to set up my schedule and everything.
And then i realized.
Well, it’s going to be a pretty hectic schedule, so i’m going to at least take a year.
Just just do something else.
You know and and or just do nothing and the week after i go to uh uh golf tournament with bernoulli gadette and pierre bouchard.
They used to be my coach and uh, but my god that was trained by stephan lagos, but stefan nagos was training, lucha boute and in florida, mostly at that time of training times.
So the noigadet was almost never training with with uh with stefan and he thought he you know you were saying that was difficult.
You know he arrives, maybe a week before training cam.
We do a little bit of this and that, but i’m you know it was difficult for him.
So i asked him well then i could come to the gym, maybe two times a week.
If you want, you know, i could help you out, but i that’s about all that i wanted to offer not much you know, but washing the washing was boxing.
I went in there and obviously you know it kind of kind of feel like a fish in the water, and it went well and i kind of ended up being this coach and so and he had his first fight and well actually the first.
My first fight with a fighter as a head coach was a belt sander, which was pretty good.
You know you might be kidding me yeah and it was, and he was finding a southpaw too.
So i had all the tricks to show him and winning by knocked out and and when welcome was the first.
So it’s done as a as a part-time job.
It ended up being a full-time job and uh so yeah.
So that’s why i became a coach and uh from from then on.
You know work with that guy.
I work for that guy this and that and until until last year and and now i’m i’m out since last year and i don’t think i’ll be coming back anymore, we’ll see i i said that the first time i stopped in 2016.
So maybe i shouldn’t say it, but [ Laughter ] well.
This is amazing.
Thank you so much for coming on board um.
This has been.
This has been great.
It’S uh! It’S not every day that we get to to to see boxing from an elite.
Athlete’S point of view like yours, like you, have you brought a lot to um to the sport a lot to young athletes, either looking up to you or even coaching, so at the end of the day, we thank you.
Thank you a lot.
I thank you.
I i think i remember talking to you remember when we were in quebec city and we’re talking and i just uh.
I just lost that fight to eric martell and you had seen it and i was like i didn’t lose that fight.
I got caught with a shot, a bad shot, and but you said something that really stuck with me in that you said when he was throwing all these punches.
Why didn’t you take a step back and i didn’t have an answer for you, because i was never taught to take a step back.
You had to have stones cowards, take a step back like no, you don’t.
You can take a step back, there’s nothing wrong with taking a step back and at the end of the day, i now have designed my whole boxing game on footwork, which is something i’ve asked.
Coaches my whole career and never got so.
I thank you because uh you were, you were the catalyst for all of that and watching the next time i’m still fighting and i’m older than you you’re, better yeah.
That’S all that’s cool! That’S right! Yeah! I just want to say something uh.
I i read on my uh one of my facebook uh friends.
It was james neyward who used to fight in uh from nova scotia and he advertised something about uh.
There’S going to be a documentary about linux, lewis going to be coming out soon with uh some.
Some some things about an amateur fight.
When was 15, it says against mike tyson, but i but i doubt it no, but uh i mean have you heard something about it? No, i haven’t heard about the documentary, but i know the story between mike and um and uh lennox.
I know this part together, that’s that’s the story.
I heard that that’s all they’ve done they.
You know they didn’t realize amateurs, because i i think they might.
You might have mistaken.
I know he fought none of him when he was when he was 15 and robert was like 16 or 17.
I know their fathers and amateurs once i didn’t know that i um that’s.
I listened to uh one of this fight uh earlier in uh uh last few weeks ago, and they were saying that that that they had fought together, okay when they were younger yeah.
This is probably the fight that we’re talking about.
Well, i mean i would have liked to have uh spawn said the sparring sessions, the videos of mike tyson sparring linux.
At that time, arnie arnie, beam, uh, lennox’s, coach sat me down and explained and told me the story about how um lennox was had just won.
The junior junior worlds championships and bingo and the americans um were saying how don’t they’re like pretty much saying, don’t feel like you accomplish something, because we didn’t send our best um, there’s two guys who are better than us.
But the thing is they don’t like to fly and that was riddick beau and mike tyson.
So he went, came back home and arnie set up a sparring session with mike, so he came down and apparently the first day they are there they’re hanging out like they’re brothers, they’re best of friends um, they hung up uh tyson, went and showed lennox’s pigeons.
All was great and then the day came when he started sparring.
He thought it was going to be casual and mike ran across that ring and tried to tear his heart up.
It was minimal huh.
You just turn into an absolute animal like a completely different beast and um, apparently, by the end of the training sessions our sparring sessions, lance was holding his own he’s actually getting better at mike.
So he said you got to take care of him so and yeah that was it.
Thenx was always a smart guy.
Oh there you go next lewis, the untold story, one of the pearls of the documentary footage, is a junior belt between lennox and 15 years old.
Mark tyson, i did i i i i initially when i read that i said that’s a mistake and i’ve never heard that they fought well, it wasn’t a fight, maybe they have a, maybe see i never heard of them fighting either.
I i heard i knew they sparked.
I didn’t know that they ever thought as an amateur.
That is, is an amazing uh ambassador for watching i mean well spoken, smart and – and he’s done i mean he’s managing his money.
He didn’t get no money, he didn’t.
He didn’t he didn’t um make any international incidences.
You know get yourself in trouble.
Any problem with drugs.
Anything like that.
Just a clean cut, guy yeah, perfect uh, perfect uh, yeah straight neuro, yeah, exactly yeah jf yeah.
Thank you very much for coming on board.
My pleasure anytime, guys yeah we’d love to have you again back on uh on one of these channels, so cool take care.
Thank you very much, and that is the legendary jean francois bergeron he’s a good guy wow.
That was a pretty deep history, yeah yeah, but with that i’d like to say, if you like this interview, please smash the like button and subscribe.
It’S your boy, bola and that’s the scoop.
We’Ll see you tomorrow, night