Those who are familiar with me know by now that I say what I mean and mean what I say. I have seen and have been through too much to be passive on issues that are hurting the sport that I love. Since my last bout in June of ’03, I have settled into the role of opinionated objector. It is necessary for me to be verbally aggressive on all matters pertaining to the betterment of boxing.

I’m only slightly different than the other 2 million writers in the world, because I’m one of the few who have stepped between the ropes and experienced it all on both the professional and amateur levels. My ring experience does not make my opinion better than others, but it allows me to state facts based on experience, and not just opinions. It also gives me a direct connection to some of the biggest names in boxing. Being a former boxer, I will always be more pro boxer that writer when speaking about what hurts the sport.

Of course there will be situations that are unexplainable that I cannot and will not defend. Some issues reveal why boxers should police themselves in order to improve the sport. On the rare occasions when I do speak negatively about a boxer, the readers should keep in mind that I have nothing personal against any boxer out there. I am actually friendly or know practically every boxer fighting today. But I have also been lucky enough to learn the business side of things. I have been lucky enough to develop relationships with promoters and managers. I have a good sense of how a boxer can put him or herself in a position to succeed in and out of the ring.

I just ask the readers and fans to give me an opportunity to make my point. I don’t mind criticism as long as it is done in a respectful and professional manner, because that is how I treat everyone. Debate and disagreement are part of the life that I love and with which I can deal. I also have one more rule that is important to me: I do not believe in making predictions to bouts, because in my opinion it’s disrespectful to the boxer who puts in the hours of training and sacrifice. Besides, wasn’t Mike Tyson supposed to destroy Evander Holyfield in their first encounter? Wasn’t Prince Hamed supposed to knock Marco Antonio Barrera into La-La Land? How about the easy time Kostya Tszyu and Francisco Bojado were suppose to have against Jesse James Leija? The point is: I know for a fact that anything can happen, so predictions from me won’t happen.

I am looking forward to joining the family here at The Sweet Science. I just want to blend in and be one of the team players. Someone once told me that once a boxer leaves the ring he will fall on hard times and never be heard from again. Well, guess what? I left the ring, times are not hard, and I’m still here, to be heard from again.