EPISODE: Episode 15
Manny Sobral | The Scoop with Bola Ray | Talkin Fight
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 – on YouTube and TalkinFight.com/live. #vancouver #youth #community
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Graham okay, folks, today we are dealing with, or we got, a friend of mine who is more than deserving of being in the canadian boxing hall of fame, to say the least um.
This is one of the only one of the only i i can think of.
Like than five world champions that came out of canada on the pro on professional ranks, not to mention he’s he’s a throwback from way back in that he is that he was on that iconic team that went to the 88 olympic games.
This is the modern day as far as i’m concerned, gabe cotter, from welcome back cotter, the teacher extraordinaire, mr manny sobral.
Thank you ray.
Well, that’s a pretty good introduction.
Buddy i mean you know like, for all intents and purposes, i did win a world title.
I’M proud of that, but you know like it wasn’t like a wbc, but it was an ibo and ibo is a pretty respected world title just precisely.
No man like honestly, like think about it from from a canadian standpoint.
No, you, you are boxing royalty um to actually bring a a world, strap back home yeah, you represented us fantastic, yeah, yeah, yeah, being canadian and being like.
I mean i mean i went through ups and downs and in boxing i i i super exceeded.
I think any expectation that most people had of me and uh.
I was just a chubby kid that walked into the gym.
One day when i was 12 years old thinking, i was going to look like arnold schwarzenegger or something and lift some weights and the guy there, an old, an old gentleman by the name of steve valencia, says no, but no you’re, not you’re, not going to lift Weights you’re going to box, and then he started doing hand pads with me and it was kind of the tough part of town.
A area called the it’s kind of the skids in vancouver called the.
I don’t know what they call it, but it’s on main and hastings, and it’s one of the worst places.
You’Ll ever see people shooting up heroin and crystal meth.
You know that area i’ve heard of that area.
I’Ve never been there.
It’S like! It’S like you’ve, never you’d, never believe you’re in like a world country, because there’s people just all over the streets and it’s just nuts and it’s like a six block radius, six blocks like six blocks and it’s just it’s a different.
It’S a different world and what’s happened, is in vancouver.
They had a mental institute called essendale in riverview and they basically slowly have started shutting it down.
But the problem is the people that were living in these institutions.
The government’s not given them enough money to go.
Get themselves like a more affluent sort of place to stay they’re giving them.
I don’t know what they’re getting.
I think it’s like 1500 bucks and what can you afford to pay rent and to pay food and pay for the hell, so they end up in the skids yeah.
So all this mental illness brings the drug dealers, so the drug dealers got a clientele.
That’S never going to go away because, there’s more and more coming, so it’s almost like the you know the government’s almost set it up and that’s vancouver uh, that’s the only part of vancouver the rest of it is beautiful, like vancouver is a beautiful place to live.
Don’T get me wrong, but i think um there’s got to be changes made to the downtown east side.
That’S six block radius, wow.
That happened to be where i started boxing.
It’S called the inner city gym.
The inner city.
Gym was at maine and hayes things.
It was called the inner city gym the western sports center and back in the 80s, when i started in 1982, that area was was not nearly what it is today, because there wasn’t the mental illness stuff.
It was more people that loggers and things that worked from out of town.
They would stay in hotels around that area and there’s this gym that had like a 20-foot ceiling, and it had this big mural of muhammad ali and joe frazier and had a big mural of uh rocky marciano and that another mural of joe walcott – and it was Just iconic, it was just amazing.
It was one of the best places like i’d love, to see a gym like that around now, and i never have since that time and it was like, i said it was called the inner city gym and there was a heavyweight out of there at that time.
Out of vancouver and by emma gordy rossette cory, rossette was uh managed by sylvester stallone and he he became one of the like a fringe top ten contender.
He didn’t have the training ethic to get him anywhere.
He was uh.
He was kind of like the net.
Next great white hope that’s what salon was trying to build back in the 80s was like a real rocky rather than a rocky movie.
You know, okay, this gordy reset was part of it.
You could you should google them up.
Gordy ross said he had probably 30 or 40 professional boxing matches um.
I think he got it thrown in with tony tubbs or one of the sort of top heavyweights, and he didn’t do so well.
He fought trevor berbick, went 10 or 11 rounds with trevor berbick right and heavyweight title.
He lost, unfortunately, but he you know he he stood up to burbank.
So he was.
He was a fighter and i was lucky to have a guy like that.
To look up to and and there’s also another fighter by the name of jamie olenberger, who was a top welter 85 in the back, then the espn had um had these tournaments back in the 80s, where you could be the espn champion, and i think there’s restrictions You couldn’t have more than 20 fights type thing and and jamie made it to the finals and fought a guy named santana, unfortunately lost the decision, but he was another guy i looked up to and because he was close to my weight jamie and i sparred hundreds Of rounds – and i was really fortunate to get that work because, as you know, ray if you spar with someone that’s better than you, it can only make you better.
That’S exactly it! That’S exactly it! Um! No, no you’re uh those scenarios, though those uh, what’s called yeah those scenarios where you have down and out yeah town, yeah yeah for whatever reason breeds some hungry fighters.
I agree like in a lot of the movies like jake lamotta, you look at jacob.
You look at you know a lot of tough, tough guys that come out of the hood right literally it’s you know.
Like i mean, i was i’d, consider myself being brought up in a middle class family with a mother and a father, and i had a sister and we lived in just a regular vancouver.
It’S called the vancouver special, it’s a house, that’s like two levels, and it’s got like two.
Two bedrooms downstairs three bedrooms upstairs and a kitchen downstairs in the kitchen upstairs and they started building these things in the 70s and that’s what we lived in.
Just a vancouver special, just a regular home and in a 33 foot by 122 foot lot, that’s the regular lot in vancouver, so nothing special, just the run of the mill and back then this is what’s crazy about vancouver, because in the 80s my parents bought that House, for, like i think, 80 000 in 1981, or something well now that home is worth one point, probably 1.
It’S crazy real estate is just nuts i mean i, i agree.
80 grand was probably a lot of money back in 1980, but uh yeah yeah, but it wasn’t 1.
No, it’s nothing like today, yeah, oh dear god, yeah.
I heard toronto toronto real estate’s, pretty high too right.
It’S ridiculous! Um there’s tear downs for a million dollars.
I know it’s not somewhere like halifax or something by halifax, yeah yeah.
No, no, the pricing, the housing pricing is is gone.
It’S it’s looks like it’s their.
The objective is to get on par with new york, which is just an absurdity.
I know it’s absurd, but i heard halifax still got good house prices, actually very good yeah yeah montreal’s, getting up there too.
I heard, but it’s still not as much as toronto or well vancouver is a i think, a surpassing toronto.
It’S about the same.
It goes back and forth every year, but i think it’s around the same yeah tell me you went you, you went to that.
Iconic uh olympic games.
As far as i’m concerned, it’s like b games.
Oh simply, because of all the controversy, oh, a certain part of me is happy that aiba is out um simply because of what happened to me, the one time i was supposed to go.
I, like i, had the opportunity to go to the olympic trials and they said that i was too old, yeah, so yeah yeah they’ve always had a bet.
I have had a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to aiba, but now, like they’ve, been exposed for the the corruption, yeah and whatnot, nothing, nothing will surpass that of 2016.
Hence why they’re gone but 2008, ours, 1988 yeah.
That’S a long time! Man: 32 years 33 years, yeah yeah wow what a mess yeah that was a mess and that changed boxing, because it was that was well now they’re back to the regular scoring 20 point system, but yeah that year 1988 was the last year that they had judges Scoring the boats, then they came to this computer scoring, which of course didn’t work, and they figured that out for a while.
They also changed boxing because it was three three minute rounds in the 1988 olympics.
The 1992 olympics they went to five two minute rounds was something: did you ever box those two in a round i i did.
Okay, i started my boxing in 95 um.
We were fighting three three minutes and night.
I incredibly ambitious.
I attempted to qualify for the 96 olympic games.
Nowhere with that, but um by the 2000 games so 98.
It was five two minute rounds.
No, no! No! No! Ninety eight! It wasn’t.
I think i thought it was 92.
They changed the five two minute rounds that olympics i i’d have to check.
I i’ve actually either five two minute rounds or four year rounds.
No, it wasn’t.
It wasn’t those it wasn’t.
Uh 92 olympics because i remember chris johnson’s fight with uh chris and he lost uh.
His three victories.
So maybe it was the 90s.
It was probably the 96 olympics they did.
They did two minute rounds.
Uh it may have been.
Then it may have been then and then 2000 by 2000 and or by 2000.
It was four two minute rounds, yeah four jags yeah they kept changing it around, but then see the problem that they didn’t figure out is the like the abc that that was filming.
It they couldn’t cut in, like their timing, was wrong right.
So then, back to the three minute rounds – and i mean they just overlooked a lot of things.
Aiba i mean yeah, like you said it was very corrupt.
There was envelopes changing hands up in seoul.
Korea, apparently there was envelopes and then you know there was a korean that lost to a bulgarian.
I think there were featherweights and then all of a sudden, the lights of the whole arena go out, and then security guards are taking their jackets off.
Jumping in the ring to beat up the referee that was from new zealand, then they had to fly that guy out the next day.
Oh wow, it was crazy and then roy jones gets ripped off in the finals against uh.
A south korean yeah who didn’t touch roy and roy, loses a 3-2 split decision.
Yet after that they vote him the best box for the turbo tournament.
So how does that work? I didn’t.
Oh, i didn’t realize that yeah he was voted the box of the tournament, yet you took a silver one: yeah cool, interesting, yeah yeah.
It was there’s a lot of interesting things during olympics and i mean it was.
It was an amazing thing.
Like i mean i was 19 years old, i was on top of the world.
I felt i mean walking into the stadium there’s like 90 000 people, you see like ali explains one day when he’s fighting the henry cooper.
You see one row and you see the next row and you think that people are following like it was crazy, like it was just nuts grant that you know like not not everyone’s eyes on you.
But you know what i’m saying very much so very much so and watching like we were on the track watching ben johnson uh race i mean it was it was.
It was a crazy olympics.
I mean that was one of the you know known well, okay, the young people of today you ask who ben johnson is they don’t know, but if you’re in your 30s 40s 50s, you know ben johnson, you know, of course, and more more importantly, if you’re in Your 40s and 50s and up you remember where you were yeah, that’s right when when happened, but a lot of people, remember the great lenox lewis, the lion taking the gold medal, knocking out radic whoa.
But you know you look at those olympics.
I mean look at the heavyweight athletics lewis, the the super heavyweight, the heavier it was reddick or ray mercer ray mercer became a hell of a great provost man, and then the guy that beat eggerton marcus for the gold henry mosque became one of the best middleweights.
In the game and um there was uh, there was junior, who won the well, he didn’t win, he got the silver at the in super welter and then the welter was kind of the guy that won.
My division was weird.
His name was robert wangila.
He was from kenya, he was knocking guys out.
He had a real, powerful punch but uh what they did is they ripped off a guy from germany, a guy named saint frank, menhurt men hurt his name was that guy was pretty amazing, but he got ripped off.
I think, like roy jones, i forget who he lost to, i think they might have been a south korean that he lost to, but he shouldn’t have lost.
I mean he would have won that division.
I think, but uh this way.
What’S that you’d have beaten the kenyan the men hurt, i think he would have, but i mean it’s all depending right, because you got that punch and the gloves were so [ __ ] excuse the language.
The gloves were so small.
I don’t know what kind of make they were, but they were just like a leather piece of they’re small man there’s a lot of knockouts in that olympics, but um yeah, i think menard would have been able to get by.
In my opinion, i don’t know, i mean uh, that’s boxing for you, though, because i mean you know, there’s i don’t know if you remember big john t, yeah was winning the who’s he fight in the 15th and final round mike weaver.
He was beating mike weaver and mike weaver lands a right hand or a left hook in the last, like minute of the 15th round.
Yeah and hey there’s a new heavyweight champion, yeah racer yeah like so many heavyweights, do yeah and um, but it was uh yeah.
It’S memories and then i didn’t box for a while, after that, i decided to go to school instead and took a little bit of time off in boxing and then in 1991.
Like three years later, i still kind of went to the gym and messed around and stuff, but in 91 there’s this thing called the bc.
Tough man, competition and i went and watched it in vancouver.
It was at this place called the agridome and then uh.
I was watching these guys, i said man, i can beat these guys because it was, it was kind of it was modified box rules that you weren’t able to kick or nothing like that.
You just punch it.
You know bc competition, i’m sure they had them around.
There as well yeah and um, like what the butter beans sort of, did right, yeah watch these guys.
So then, there’s a two more cities that you, because there’s eight cities in bc that qualified and then they were going to have those eight people back for the finals right.
So they did the vancouver one i watched.
I said i can beat these guys.
So i went to the 911 i qualified for the finals and then i won the finals and uh that was in 91 and then i tried qualifying for the 92 olympics but uh because of uh.
They said well, you made money and you’re professional.
I said yeah, but it wasn’t in boxing oh wow enough man really wouldn’t let me box amateur so i may have may have been able to make the 92 games.
I don’t know because it was greg johnson that went for canada that year and uh.
No, i don’t think greg was on the team.
Yeah chris johnson was on that dress.
Okay, yeah! I don’t remember who was uh? Well, you know what happened.
Maybe greg didn’t qualify to make it, but i think he was canadian champion that year.
Maybe, but i i mean he was a guy that was one of the guys that had to be in 88.
I had to beat greg too, like i boxed greg at the 88 game or the 88 trials and stuff yeah, and i beat him that guy could punch man okay, see chris chris doesn’t stop talking about how, if i was around back in those days, greg would Have knocked me out even at welterweight, i’m like why, wouldn’t you like, you wouldn’t believe man yeah, i i the problem with greg is that you knew if you got past the second round.
You had nothing left, so you just made him work for a couple rounds and then the third round was always the it’s always yours, if you’re still around yeah, if you’re still around, but he knocked a lot of guys out.
Man wow and he yeah greg, was good man uh i mean, and chris was good, they’re a good family.
I mean kitchener ontario.
They they had a lot of great fighters because arne bowman coached, all those guys he’s a great coach and of course he started linux too.
That’S actually where i started with arnie no um.
There was another gym called uh grand river boxing club uh with uh bill.
Longmire so i started with bill and the the vanderpools yeah, the vanderpool sid and spitz fitz was training out of grand river.
When i was when uh i started so i started with fitz yeah, but then they go to the end.
Then they ended up going to ernie as well.
No, they were starting with arnie.
Well, they started with their dad and then they went to arnie.
Oh okay, yeah yeah, okay, yeah, because ernie had a lot of canadian champions.
Man like a great a great coach yeah.
It must have been, and you know like i mean in boxing as you know, it takes coaching, but it takes so much.
You got to have the athlete you got to have a guy that or a woman nowadays back in the 80s, but you got to have a an athlete that can withstand a lot and can stay calm cool collected when everything’s going awry.
Sometimes you know what i’m saying i mean so there’s so many variables in boxing by all means at the end of the day, we’re i was just talking with uh mark ramsey yesterday and we’re talking about the the uh attributes that coach brings to the equation and The ability to excite the the fighter yeah if needed or calm them down and just say, pace yourself yeah.
You know these.
The game of boxing is incredibly cerebral.
It’S a champion game right, um! It’S a chess game! First yeah physical! Second.
So it’s a question of how you have a you: have a an angry beast coming at you.
What are you going to do? Are you you want to turn into a slugfest against the flipping.
Nut depends, depends exactly it’s a choker.
It’S a chess match, yeah right.
So, no i mean um, it’s uh, it’s a crap shooter to what you get, but i that arnie was just absolutely legendary, um and yeah.
I know two families full of fairy mj.
I don’t know how to do.
I don’t even know how to use this uh.
I don’t even know how to use the the stove right, but she you got it beeping girl.
What time? Oh yeah, you got to turn it off yeah good thing i get dinner made.
Thank you um! So yeah we were talking about yeah and then you know.
What’S weird about coaching too, like you know like when you hear about great coaches and stuff, you know [ Music ].
To my mind, people like um ray arcell, who coached yeah, maybe angelo dundee, who had sugar ray and uh and 20 other world champions.
But you know a lot of the great people that go down as being the great trainers.
They just never started the actual fighter.
You know what i’m saying from day one someone like that right.
Like i mean there, isn’t too many, that’s the thing and arnie was one of them, yeah, that’s what i’m saying.
Ernie started them all and got him.
I know i know.
Lennox went with um adrian to the rescue there and there’s a lot there’s a long story with that.
Arnie um lost his gym, so he started like and you have to.
I still can’t wrap my head around this jim.
He lives in kitchener.
The gym was in kitchener and he’d, throw all the guys into a van and drive him down to adrian’s gym to train out of adrian’s gym.
Jim was over an hour away in toronto yeah, and he did this every day why he wasn’t know that yeah and that’s how adrian uh well also adrian was, i think, the national team, coach and whatnot yeah, i’m not sure if he was like.
I mean he’s from romania, so he i mean he had a lot of experience.
I think, but i don’t think he was a national coach at the time he might like.
I mean there’s a lot of controversy in the 88 games too, because uh taylor, gordon and the guy from on napper napper right now, reynapper.
I think their coaches they’re they’re supposed to be our two coaches right.
So there’s a lot of infighting because they said no adrian, you can’t go in the corner.
Only the head coaches can go right.
So then lennox and eggerton says: oh, i guess we’re going home, then exactly it changed.
It went in the corner.
Right adrian told me about some of the wars that he had and the politics oh too much at the end of the day.
Um, i’m surprised, i’m surprised that the athletes did as well as he did.
Even linux, linux was on the national team for what five years and then adrian told me a story about when uh once they tried to screw over letters.
Nationals was that in ottawa and they’re, trying to say oh yeah lennox doesn’t have to be here.
He’S he’s good because he’s already on the national team adrian gets there and uh yeah well.
If lennox’s fight is scheduled to fight tomorrow.
Really so adrian calls lennox says: get your ass down here: linux sleeps in his bed um in his room yeah morning.
He just or shows up wait more than yours, okay and you thought everyone’s a slack job.
I’M just like this infighting.
This nonsense, yeah, i like, and you guys were like we haven’t – won a medal in the olympics since 96.
yeah, so in the 80s, was the glory years.
You guys, i don’t know how many medals you guys got in uh yeah right.
We there’s still infighting going on, but like nothing like how people succeed, when we can’t succeed like what what’s what’s missing in the equation today, yeah, it must have been like i mean it’s, i’m sure it’s all the same in fighting is today that there was back Then, if not worse, because of all this uh, these chat rooms everyone’s on and all this uh social media, like you can’t get away from it.
It’S around you, 24 7 man, like i work with kids at risk youth in vancouver, i’m a high school teacher in vancouver, and i work with the poor party dave carter.
What’S up, that’s why i call you gabe cotter you’re gabe connor, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah.
There you go now, i hear it.
I got it uh.
It went over my head a little bit but anyway yeah like they there’s no there’s no end to it, because they can get bullied 24, 7.
man and then a lot of these kids, like, unfortunately, they don’t have.
You know some of the boxing skills as you should have and be able to ignore it right and yeah react to everything right and uh.
It’S a tough, tough, tough go when you don’t have the the skills to be able to deal with it right by all means by all means.
It’S uh, it’s a tough goal to say the least yeah.
How did you get into your program pro well after that 91? I couldn’t do blocks amateur boxing anymore, so then i you know i was pretty much done my university by that time and uh.
I started just doing local cards in vancouver here and then eventually.
Well, i got lucky because there was in in washington state they.
They started doing these uh um aboriginal, casinos or native casinos yeah.
So there was one called the lucky eagle casino and it was remote.
It was like in a place called rochester washington out of nowhere, but they started doing these fight cards and the guy that was doing the fight cards that they hired to do them was a guy by the name of benny giorgino and bill.
Gergino was a real good boxing person, he was from california and he managed a guy named little red lopez, uh danny little red lopez.
He managed a bunch of other guys, and i mean benny’s so well known in boxing and a lot of people.
You can google him after he’s, unfortunately passed away.
He was already old at that time.
He was probably in his 70s or 80s, so he died in his early 90s.
I think but uh so i mean when i was down in vegas, training and stuff like i was with benny and then i remember being i’ll.
Never forget this.
We were at caesar’s palace and then you hear benny and who is it the guy with the big hair walking over there? Um, king, hey batting in there hugging and and everything, and so we had lunch with the don king man and benny – knows everybody in boxing and um.
So benny got me the right people put the right guys in front of me.
He got me some.
You know some guys that were pretty you know high ranked guys at one time, but benny knew that there was flaws that could be infiltrated bought some guys that were yeah.
Some pretty good high names and benny got me.
Those fights got me ranked in the wbc and then this ibo world title shark came up, so it all went by so fast behind, like it’s like a blur.
Everything goes but uh.
That’S how pro boxing started and um i moved to las vegas.
I i i boxed in sort of out of vancouver until 1990 until the at both the end of 1996, and i think it was january or december 19, either december 96 or january 97.
I moved to las vegas.
So then, i because that by that time i had a manager by the name of jerry gilroy from edmonton and he was paying all the expenses.
So i said: okay i’ll take school because i had a job and i took a leave, went down to vegas, got some matches down there and stuff and um.
I was training at the top ranked gym.
I was training at this place called the nevada partners where floyd mayweather started training in 97 because he just got out of the 96 olympics.
That was the gym.
He was training out with his father and his uncle roger sparred lodge with roger quite a few rounds with roger sparta number around just floyd himself too, at this nevada partners and uh.
I don’t know it was.
It was living sort of the dream, but in retrospect it was the wrong way to do it, because i was sparring a lot with a lot of world title contenders and everything.
So when the time came to make matches things just didn’t sort of work out because they said well.
No, you don’t want to fight that guy, because that guy’s ready to go because we just saw him in the gym last week – wow that’s right yeah.
So it would have been better for me, i believe, to just go for two or three week periods.
Maybe do it again to to vegas or to l.
a or tour, because i went to l.
a for a while as well.
Actually, i worked out at a place called the la boxing which was owned, uh part owned by by ken norton, believe it or not, and and um yeah.
So i was, i was trained with a guy by the name of bill slaton who bill satan was one of ken norton’s trainers actually as well, and he i trained with him.
I think for two matches and then i went over to vegas and i was training with a guy named jerome coffee who also trained scotty olsen.
I know jerome well, yeah jerome.
He was a good fighter back in the day, but no it wasn’t really a fit for me to tell you the truth, though.
No not really like i mean you know you got a mesh as a team.
I didn’t totally mesh with jerome.
You know, and it just is what it is: man and uh and uh yeah i went on and uh did what i could and when did you, what was a? What was your signal that you know what i’ve had enough? Well, it was really see.
I boxed a guy named tony bedia twice and yeah twice in 96, and then i think i box them again in 98.
Maybe – and there are 98 or 99, it was probably 99 actually because that’s when i moved out of vegas, okay, 99, so after i’ve, the se, the first fight with the uh, i i beat him like, i mean he’s he was quitting and then he found a Way to get out with a head like he said it was i headbutted him, but he was cut before i was cut as well and whatever by the 11th round.
I was coming on.
He just quit and uh.
So i won, but they went to a decision because he cried and said that he got him blah blah blah.
So they went through the scorecards and i want a decision and then i had a couple more fights.
He had a couple more fights and he actually beat greg johnson too.
I think right, one of his fights yeah, i’m pretty sure he did yeah and as a pro as a pro yeah um see that’s what’s weird about greg.
He didn’t have a great record, but that guy could buy.
He was so fast and hit so hard.
You know what i’m saying like it’s kind of it’s kind of a it’s a matrix in a way right, but um yeah, i’m pretty sure he beat greg and uh, then yeah buddy and i rematched and what happened in that match.
Was you know, i just wasn’t sharp? I wasn’t i wasn’t it wasn’t my day.
I wasn’t it.
Was it wasn’t my day that day and it was kind of a weird thing too, that like in the second or third round, i went down on my ankle kind of weird and then i had a compound fracture.
My tibia popped out of my leg.
Basically, but wow is the boxing boot kept it all together right, and i think i went to the sixth round, if i’m not mistaken, you’d know in the record, whatever the record’s there like ground or something so i kept fighting on.
I did what i could and but just wasn’t my day and uh, so i took my boot off and it was soaking in blood and a compound fracture and you can i’ve.
I broke my hand in a fight my right hand, actually, the first uh it was.
My first six rounder against paula, bongo, yeah, cracked him with the right hand, yeah and didn’t felt sort of funny, cracked him again yeah yeah, it’s broken.
I think, fight with the left hand, yeah but my hand is different than my feet.
I know i mean i mean if you watch the video too, like you’ll, see that i’m kind of limping around and most of my weight, because it was my right to my right ankle.
So look my weight to my front foot.
So i’m leaning forward – and you know we banged heads so many times i mean again not to take any away from jerome, because this happened in the second round right.
When i broke my ankle and i went back, i said [ __ ], my ankle’s killing me.
He goes [ __ ], your leg, you got ta, get out there and freak, that’s what i can vaguely remember, and then we were banging heads.
So much like i was cut.
I was cut for over.
I think 60 stitches by the end of that fight and if it was before the fourth round, it would have just been a no contest.
Yeah like angelo dundee, the referee over, because he knows my ankle’s done.
Yeah hey, i don’t know if he can continue.
Look how big that cut is open it up some more.
You know what i’m saying: uh yeah yeah, and that was your first loss.
That was my first loss and uh yeah and i i sort of knew it was over then because yeah i moved back to vancouver and then i did have one more.
I had because i wanted to go out with a win right, so i thought the guy by the name, eric holland and they’re, calling, even though he didn’t have a great record.
He was a pretty good fighter because he beat some good fighters and he was you know, good journeyman.
You know you know and i beat him i think in an eight or ten round decision.
So then i called it quits.
That was it, i’m done.
But what was crazy about it, then i i couldn’t believe how many calls i was getting and some big money fight calls like you know.
You know six figure fights because i was formerly world ranked and uh and i had the ibo title at one time, so they could say yeah and stuff, and but you know people would know that you’re damaged goods and uh.
One of the big calls i got was from hbo.
They wanted me to fight jermaine taylor and they offered whoa good money and uh.
I turned that one down because i says to myself well germain taylor’s a vicious puncher and i don’t want to have.
I want to be able to be able to speak after i’m done so um [, Music ].
You know i wasn’t training either and it was it was not that short like, i think they they’re gon na, give me five weeks or something to train for so i contemplated a bit, but i said i turned it down and then uh i don’t know.
Maybe six months after that or four months after that, i got a call from denmark for seven days.
We did a replacement in seven days to fight a guy named mikkel kessler and i googled them and i didn’t google them at that time or i might have, because i was like 2001.
I might have.
I don’t know if google was around, but i looked them up on the internet somehow and um.
He didn’t look that vicious or that bad and i said ah kessler wasn’t vicious well.
I didn’t think so from when i was like that, but and uh, but he turned out to be like once i got in the ring with him because it was two-way clockwise that was a junior or i was a junior middleweight he’s a super middleweight but yeah.
Whatever so i gave russ my buddy russ amber a call and said: hey russ.
You want to go back to denmark because i fought.
I fought at a pla at a tournament there.
In copenhagen, the copenhagen cup in 1986 or 87 with russ and russ, was the head coach right.
So that’s when russ and i first met and russ realized that i was fluent in spanish and he wanted to learn spanish.
So i was kind of a spanish instructor and we became really good friends with us and we’re great friends to this day and uh.
So i said: hey russ, you remember going to tivoli gardens and you remember going over like doing going to denmark when we were in denmark there and you because i got cut under the high.
So he went to the hospital with me.
You remember going to the hospital yeah yeah.
Those are great days and you know so, whatever 10 not 10, like 15 years later, we’re back in denmark fighting kessler a good man, and it was good it was.
You know i mean i.
I tried what i could do, but i couldn’t hurt the guy.
He had some shots, so kesley was a bad man yeah.
He was he’s a bad man yeah he was.
He was one of the better uh super middleweights i mean he was.
I mean he wasn’t too far off from andre ward.
Really i mean no, he wasn’t very close, no, he wasn’t yeah.
So i couldn’t complain and i knew after that – it was done, and i mean what uh i don’t want to get punched out.
I don’t want to, i don’t need it and uh went back to work teaching and that’s something i love as well.
I think that’s one of the big things with a lot of boxers that keep coming back is they got to find something something else.
They love something else.
They can do to to stimulate the brain right, yeah and um.
You know teaching did that for me and still does it for me and i love going to work in the morning and you know having different things to do, and people to see and probation offers to talk to social work with and yeah.
It becomes interesting right.
It’S an interesting thing for me and uh rewarding is what it is yeah.
I think that’s the bottom line at the end of the day where you know got a lot of kids that were trying to help out and supports weren’t there and um.
Who knows right? I mean i don’t know how many kids i’ve given grades to that kind of you know: hey, let’s figure it out together.
You know and who’s doing most of the work man he’s doing most of the work, but whatever he shows up or she shows up and they get through right, because you know you know at the end of the day.
It’S not just your marks that are gon na get you through in life.
It’S it’s a lot coming from the heart and being able to have a work ethic and, and so many other things other than just doing, uh, arithmetic or smoking or whatever right.
There’S a lot of variables to that equation.
Many multiple, multiple and you’re not going to hold the kid back by not giving them their grade 11 math.
So they can’t graduate and move on to doing something else that they might do well at right.
Why stumble them there and keep them at that impasse? Good feeling! That’S like! That’S! That’S a noble gesture! That’S a noble profession! I’M happy i mean i know like i said i don’t have to like yeah, i’m glad i i chose the profession i chose.
I was going to go into policing and policing is not too bad, but this is the better end of it, because i’m not dealing with the scum all the time i’m dealing with young kids that just had a hard done.
Buyer here, like most of these kids, i’m working with they’re in during during youth uh they’re in foster care, they’re, they’re wards of the ministry because they unfortunately were not born with a mother and a father like i was that you know cared and loved me.
You know what i’m saying: if you have that one person in your life that unconditionally loves you yeah, it’s amazing and you can get by so many things.
If you don’t have that, imagine that imagine not having snowing deep down.
You don’t have because foster care sure these people are taking care of the kids but they’re getting paid to do it.
Man when the going gets tough, you know, like i don’t know.
I screwed up a lot when i was growing up, but my mom okay, i got disciplined, but i still knew she loved me.
Yeah i mean, if you don’t have that [ __ ] it’s hard to get my life man, you compared you compared uh police, police uh.
Please work to uh yeah, a teacher.
I i see them as two opposite ends of the spectrum they sort of they.
They go off and they punish yeah.
You actually try to mend yeah and build.
I i don’t see themselves it’s changing, though the policing is changing in a way because, like you know, i work very closely with the police liaison officers in vancouver, which most high schools have a police liaison officer and realistically they’re trying to do more prevention than anything And try to instead of you know, just locking them up like very they’re, going away from just putting youth in custody.
They’D rather have alternative measures out in the community which works for some, but doesn’t work for others.
Sometimes, but very few.
Very few youth are being incarcerated nowadays and i think that’s a good thing, because what what good does that? Do? It just makes you a better criminal because you’re there with everybody else.
Of course it’s called the school of hard knocks for a reason: yeah yeah manny.
I got ta, let you go.
This was a great interview, but, most importantly, i want to thank you well, thank you for having me on.
I really appreciate it nice to meet you graeme.
We really wanted to uh showcase you and let mankind remember what manny soberall did for canada.
So i appreciate it.
Thanks for man cheers you do this every day.
We do this five days a week, wow yeah at 8, 30 at 8 30.
And where do you see it live somewhere? It’S yeah you can you can uh stream.
This live stream live, so i can just go.
Google, your name and it will come up.
The show is um, the show is the scoop on the channel is uh talking fights the scoop.
So it’s online though it’s streaming online, yeah, okay, i’m gon na google.
It sure thanks, buddy check out uh two world champs as well.
Like i brought you tell you about it, yeah i got you i’m watching you tomorrow awesome.
You got uh.
You got my friend uh howard on uh.
We had howard on last week, but then it didn’t work out so well.
So we’re going to have one on uh next thursday, but then we splice it up and then boot out it’s not live right.
Yeah we had.
We had howard on two days ago.
Yeah he was saying.
Howard should have got a medal too because he beat that guy from sweden a guy named large member.
He beat him, but they just didn’t give him the decision.
He lost the 401 eh, but then looking i.
I wanted to talk more about winnie picking him, but yeah i mean packing them really got ripped off man because he knocked that guy down three times, but the referee was the only time exactly.
No that’s that was an iconic year, but so many things happening.
Maybe i want to bring you back sometime thanks ray, it’s always good.
Talking to you.
It’S always great talking boxing with barking people.
My friend couldn’t agree, more couldn’t agree more good night cheers have a good one, bye yeah, i don’t know.
What’S up my mic, i don’t think my mic is working it’s working now, oh great yeah! That was an awesome interview yeah that was that was great.
He is he’s a special guy, like he’s so easy to talk to and there’s no machismo and there’s no ego like you see what he’s that’s just what he’s like he’s just he’s achieved so much like almost to celebrity status and yet look how down the earth He is yeah a very humble man and giving back to the community help helping out all those kids out there, and i want.
I was going to ask him uh, but i was having trouble with my like.
I was going to ask him whether the kids he teaches knows about his history.
You heard me, ask him: he said: yes, i’m bringing him back yeah, it’s cool, that’s awesome! No he’s uh he’s doing well for the community and i really appreciated hearing about his history and where he’s coming from and yeah just what he’s giving back for uh.
Why he’s giving that back? It’S uh he’s learned so much he’s.
Given that knowledge back precisely, i didn’t, we didn’t even touch on the fact that he’s actually still coping.
So, oh, i didn’t know that exactly yeah he’s cool coaching, so i got the impression he was out out of the ring and uh focused on teaching like classroom teaching.
No, i didn’t realize he was that’s cool.
Well then he gives him a give.
Some reason to come back on the show and bring us up to date as to his coaching and what he’s doing in the ring there you go there, you go so with that.
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