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GARY TODD EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

BOXINGS GREATEST WORKOUTS
BY GARY TODD
A behind-the-scenes, fly-on-the-wall look at a training day-in-the-life of the world's best boxers
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Gary Todd is a man who walks the walk and has talked the talk with some of the fight game's biggest names.
He is an international author and has been involved in all aspects of the boxing game for over 25 years.

ME AND PEPPER AT THE WILD CARD

Me and Pepper at "The Wild Card"
Hollywood, Los Angeles.

In every boxing gym around the world , you allways come across men of character. Boxing gives you that after all. Over the years , i had met a few characters in the gyms, some serious, brooding, bad muthers, some funny , full of life, pranksters, and occasionally, some absolute nut cases.

After walking through the asian laundrette, and up the back stairs to the gym, i was greeted warmly by a little guy behind the counter. I asked him if Freddie was around. He said "what the fuck do ya wanna see him for" I told him i allways came down to see him when i was in town, and do a bit of training. He then introduced himself as Freddie Roach's brother , "Pepper"

He then whips off his t-shirt and continues to tell me what his tattoos meant to him. After i read them all, i continued to get ready for my workout . In the middle of getting ready, and me standing half bollock naked, he shouts over, "no motherfucking spandex in this gym Scottie" then the whole gym laughs. Blacks, whites, hispanic, united in laughter at the expence of this Scotsman. What could i do? laugh of course.
After warming up, shadow boxing, then skipping, i was ready for the bags.

Pepper had other ideas. Just as i was finishing my 3rd round on the heavy bag, he motions me to the ring. I waited until the buzzer sounded then climbed through the ropes. Pepper slipped on the mits and we go at it for a couple of rounds, before we sit down for a bit of a chat .

We talked about the boxing business, but mostly about him , which was almost as good. It turns out Pepper Roach was a promising fighter , with a good record [ W12 L2 D1 ] until he was forced into retirement. I asked him, " why did you retire, ? were you injured ? " He replied, "Nah, the cops caught me robbing a liquor store, and they sent me to jail" "I did 53 months and im not going back. Some bad mutherfuckers in there and i had to become one of them to survive.

I was crazy then.[ he says with a loud laugh] Once we talked 53 months of jailbird jive, i asked him what he thought about James Toney, and his fight with John Ruiz. I asked him about the steroids, which he was taking and being stripped. He replied," Toney didn't need to take any drugs to beat John Ruiz, he would have kicked his ass anyway"

Pepper Roach lived and breathed boxing, and i wasn't going anywhere until i interviewed him.

Q. What was your favourite fighter?
A. Ken Buchanan.

Q. Favourite fighter to train?
A. Irishman, Bernard"Ben" Dunne. he's a good kid.

Q. Highlight of your career?
A. When i quit, ha ha.

Q. Toney, Ruiz, Do you think there will be a rematch?
A. yeah, i think so.

Q. If not, where does he go?
A. Vitali Klitscho.

Q. Mike Tyson, Do you still think he can bang with the best?
A. Tyson can still hit very hard. Freddie trained him, not me. He said he is the hardest hitter.

Q. Who's gonna win? Gatti or Mayweather?
A. I hope Gatti wins.

Pepper, thanks for your time.

After saying goodbye to my new found friends, i made my way out to the Santa Monica Boulevard, and caught a cab home, all the while thinking about my training session, and my time at the Wild card.


© Copyright Gary Todd 2004.
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BOXINGS GREATEST WORKOUTS
BY GARY TODD
GET IT AT THE ABC SHOP || GET IT AT AMAZON

 

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