Many of my readers and people who know me well, will say two things, without a doubt. One is that my favorite singer of all-time is Frank Sinatra. The second, that my all-time favorite boxer is Aaron Pryor. They hear me talking about both all the time. Well, I had the chance to interview Aaron who I hold the utmost respect for as a MAN first and a true champion in the ring that gave us his all. I am here to tell all my readers; Aaron is doing well and living a very positive life. If you ever get the chance to meet or just talk to the CHAMP be prepared for a humble man with a heart of gold. He gives back to his community on so many different levels and what more can we ask of a man? He has a true love for the young fighters he is training and the first thing out of his mouth when we spoke was "Brad, would you believe that two of the young men I have trained for years are going to the Olympics"? He sounded like a proud papa who just found out he was going to be a daddy for the first time. Well, readers here is the in-depth interview with Aaron "The Hawk" Pryor.
Brad: What are you doing with yourself today? Pryor: I am working with young amateur fighters who I am so proud of. I am very deep into the church and currently am a Deacon. I am waiting to see which direction I am going to go in the ministry. I think I may be called into the ministry a little bit deeper. In addition, I am traveling around a lot and doing speaking engagements stressing to people that if you get messed up, you can get straight. (Aaron you are proof of that and I am so proud of you for it!) Brad: In boxing today, who reminds you of yourself in your heyday and why? Pryor: Shane Mosley! The reason is that he is very clever and busy in the ring. He can fight in two weight divisions like I did. As I was in my days, he is up for the challenge. Brad: What did you consider your best weapon in the ring? Pryor: My best weapon was my body blows. Brad: What big fights were you were approached with but never materialized? Pryor: Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and Sugar Ray Leonard. I called Ray out a few times on TV and knew he could hit but wanted that fight to get the recognition in my division, which, I sought. Brad: What do you think of the state of boxing today? Pryor: I think it's as exciting as the days of Jack Johnson. Even though it's not on TV like in my day when you fought on CBS, ABC and NBC. Today the big fights are on Pay Per View. Yet boxing is very much in demand and one of the highest paid sports out there. A fighter is a very special person who endures a lot and deserves any financial compensation he or she gets. Brad: Do you favor a mandatory retirement for boxers to pay into as soon as they turn pro? Pryor: That's very debatable. It's hard for a fighter when they're first starting out to pay in. Say they only make a small amount in their fights, which would make it hard to pay in after they have paid all their expenses and have little left over. I do favor a mandatory retirement fund when they start making big money. I would like to see it tax-free and through boxing not a corporation. Brad: To the young fighter who laces up the gloves as an amateur, what are your words of wisdom to them? Pryor: If you come to the gym every day and hit that bag for example, you are gonna really learn the proper way to hit it. If your only gonna come on Monday and Thursday, you are not gonna learn how to hit that bag. I had 220 amateur fights and was totally dedicated to the sport. Bottom line to the young fighters, sacrifice and dedication! Brad: Who are your favorite fighters of all-time? Pryor: I have so much respect for fighters now that I have met so many in boxing. I just don't admire a fighter inside of the ring but out as well. I look at the whole person concept. A great favorite of mine is Muhammad Ali. He was great in the ring and out. I really admire Oscar Delahoya as well. Brad: What do you think of females in boxing? Pryor: I think it's good for boxing and they fight just as hard as the men do. Brad: Do you feel that in your day you got the credit you deserved? Pryor: No. I should have gotten more even before I fought Alexis Arguello. I was undefeated for ten years. Brad: If you could have chosen and other profession than boxing, what would it have been? Pryor: Martial arts. I held a black belt and was pretty good on my feet. (I have to give my buddy John Lee credit on knowing something I did not about Aaron. John had told me that he thought Aaron was into martial arts and I said I didn't think so). Brad: If you had a time machine and could go back to that magical night in 1982 when you faced Alexis Arguello in the Orange Bowl and made so many true believers. Who would you take from today's time back with you to face instead of Alexis? Pryor: That's a tough one. I would take Oscar Delahoya. I think I would have tested Oscar's abilities. He seems to be in great shape and can throw a punch. He appears though not to be able to take a big punch. Brad: What would be the outcome of the fight? Pryor: I would stop him in about the sixth or seventh round. I am not taking anything away from him but feel the pressure I carry he could not stand up under it. Brad: What would your advice be to the young amateur who is on the verge of going pro? Pryor: Concentrate on getting a nice undefeated record of about 15-0. Than your allowed to ask for some bigger money. Don't start out asking for big money. So many fighters do that and I am here to tell you, that's not gonna happen. Brad: With all the hype and big bucks the fighters are getting today. How do you feel they would fair against the fighters of your era? Pryor: Well, first of all I think any fighter who steps into the ring today deserves any amount of money they can get because they put themselves in risk. I think the fighters of my era would beat the fighters of today because we were hungrier. Brad: Finally, On June 9, 1996, you were inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York. It was a well-deserved honor bestowed upon you. In addition to this and being WBA and IBF Junior Welterweight Champion of the world, what would you like your legions of fans to remember you for? Pryor: I would really like my fans to remember me for all the things that ever happened to me. Even though I got in trouble, I was lifted up and released by the Father. I feel that was the greatest thing in my entire life when he picked me up, turned me around and put my feet back on solid ground. This allowed me the chance to give back to the community and I am so thankful for it. Writers closing comments: We all have those special moments in life that are cherished and when I hung up with Aaron, I knew we had done something special in our interview. It was a moment that this writer will always cherish. Aaron has a neat website where you can see more about him. Go to http://sites.netscape.net/aaronpryor He has some really neat stuff there to buy if you collect and other neat stuff as well. Aaron wanted me to tell all his fans that even if you don't purchase anything, send him an e-mail and just say HI. He loves hearing from you. As always fight fans, keep reaching for the stars and all your dreams can be fulfilled.
Aaron "The Hawk" Pryor Born: Cincinnati, Ohio on Oct-20-1955 Height: 5 ft. 6 1/2 in. Record: Amateur: 220 fights; 204+ (100 KO), 16- 1973: United States Lightweight: 1° 1975: Golden Gloves Lightweight: 1° + Harris points 1975: Panamerican Games Mexico Lightweight: 2° + Michael Reid (Guy) + Clive Ellis (Jam) + Luis A. Echaide (Cub) - Chris Clarke (Can) disq.2 1976: Golden Gloves Lightweight: 1° + Gary Hinton + Thomas Hearns points 1976: Olympic Trials Cincinnati Lightweight: + Hilmer Kenty points - Howard Davis points 1976: Olympic Box-Offs Burlington Lightweight: - Howard Davis points Professional: 40 fights; 39+ (35 KO), 1- 1980-1983: W.B.A. Juniorwelterweight 1984-1985: I.B.F. Juniorwelterweight - 1976 - + (Nov-12-1976, Cincinnati) Larry Smith ko 2 - 1977 - + (Feb-1-1977, Cincinnati) Larry Moore ko 4 + (Feb-24-1977, Cincinnati) Harvey Wilson ko 1 + (Mar-12-1977, Lincoln) Nick Wills ko 1 + (Mar-26-1977, Cincinnati) Isaac Vega ko 2 + (May-7-1977, Cincinnati) Jose Resto 8 + (Sep-3-1977, Covington) Melvin Young ko 4 + (Oct-7-1977, Cincinnati) Johnny Summerhayes 8 + (Nov-11-1977, Cincinnati) Angel Cintron ko 3 - 1978 - + (Jan-6-1978, Cincinnati) Robert Tijerina kot 2 + (Mar-1-1978, Dayton) Ron Pettigrew kot 5 + (Mar-10-1978, Cincinnati) Al Franklin ko 3 + (May-3-1978, Miami Beach) Scotty Foreman ko 6 + (Jul-18-1978, Dayton) Marion Thomas ko 8 - 1979 - + (Mar-16-1979, Cincinnati) Johnny Copeland kot 7 + (Apr-13-1979, Cincinnati) Norman Goins kot 9 + (Apr-27-1979, Dayton) Fred Harris kot 3 + (May-11-1979, Cincinnati) Al Ford kot 3 + (Jun-23-1979, Cincinnati) Jose Fernandez ko 1 + (Oct-20-1979, Cincinnati) Alfonso Frazier kot 5 - 1980 - + (Feb-24-1980, Las Vegas) Juan Garcia ko 1 + (Mar-15-1980, Miami Beach) Julio Valdez kot 4 + (Apr-13-1980, Kansas City) Leonidas Asprilla kot 10 + (Jun-20-1980, Cincinnati) Carl Crowley ko 1 + (Aug-2-1980, Cincinnati) Antonio Cervantes ko 4 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) + (Nov-1-1980, Dayton) Danny Myers kot 3 + (Nov-22-1980, Cincinnati) Gaetan Hart kot 6 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) - 1981 - + (Jun-27-1981, Las Vegas) Lennox Blackmoore kot 3 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) + (Nov-14-1981, Cleveland) Dujuan Johnson kot 7 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) - 1982 - + (Mar-21-1982, Atlantic City) Miguel Montilla kot 12 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) + (Jul-4-1982, Cincinnati) Akio Kameda kot 6 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) + (Nov-12-1982, Miami) Alexis Arguello kot 14 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) - 1983 - + (Apr-2-1983, Atlantic City) Sang-Hyun Kim kot 3 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) + (Sep-9-1983, Las Vegas) Alexis Arguello ko 10 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) 9.1983: Pryor annonce sa retraite. - 1984 - + (Jun-22-1984, Toronto) Nick Furlano 15 (I.B.F., Juniorwelterweight) - 1985 - + (Mar-2-1985, Atlantic City) Gary Hinton 15 (I.B.F., Juniorwelterweight) - 1986: inactive - - 1987 - - (Aug-8-1987, Sunrise) Bobby Joe Young ko 7 - 1988 - + (Dec-15-1988, Rochester) Herminio Morales ko 3 - 1989: inactive - - 1990 - + (May-16-1990, Madison) Darryl Jones ko 3 + (Dec-4-1990, Norman) Roger Choate ko 7