Sampson Lewkowicz Talks About Ibragimov-Holyfield
03.08.07 - By John Martinez, BoxingRealm.com: Moments ago, I spoke with world class manager to five champions, Sampson Lewkowicz about one of his charges, WBO heavyweight champ Sultan Ibragimov, to confirm the details of the transatlantic showdown on October 13 for Ibragimovís WBO heavyweight title. Lewkowicz said the fight was agreed to in full in a span of just three hours. Here is what he had to say..
Article posted on 03.08.2007
JM: Sampson, talk about how this fight came to fruition.
SL: Well first of all it was our side that contacted Main Events after we found out that Ruslan Chagaev was not going to make it. It was a very smooth negotiation that in fact only took three hours to complete.
JM: What is Sultanís position on fighting the only four-time heavyweight champion of the world, ď The Real DealĒ Evander Holyfield?
SL: Well actually, our champion, Sultan, is very disappointed because he cannot comply with his promise that he gave to his fans to unify. However, Holyfield was the only one that was not to be mandatory that deserved a shot at the title. So, I contacted Pat English from Main Events and the deal was closed within three hours.
You know these types of deals donít usually go this easy and quick with other promoters because they are always trying to take advantage of people and they let their greed take over too much. But that was not the case with Main Events and Evander Holyfield. They were very easy to deal with and all Evander wanted was one more shot at the belt so I thought why not? He deserves after everything heís done in and for the sport.
Boxing is like politics. You will only win with honor and loyalty and Main Events is like family to me and of course, Holyfield is a class act on his own.
JM: What would you like to say to the few boxing fans discussing this fight in boxing forums charging that perhaps this fight came about too quickly in their minds? Some are speculating that there might have been some ďstep asideĒ money offered to Chagaev by promoters with vested interest in Ibragimov in exchange for a bigger name marquee match up to be viewed on PPV. What are your thoughts on their conspiracy theory?
SL: First of all, I donít like people talking about my family. Golden Boy Promotions, Warriors Boxing, all of them, they are all my family. I want to say that Iíve been dealing with GBP for years. Yes, Oscar has a big stake in the fight, but it is me that brings my reputation to the table.
My reputation has consistently shown that I am fair and always honest. I will say this; I bring blood to boxing, period. I find people that the States havenít heard of like Michael Katsidis and Celestino Caballero and I make them significant. I am a true soldier for boxing. This fight will be very good for the boxers, promoters, and the fans.
JM: Letís talk about your philosophy on management for a minute. How are you able to maintain such a strong stable of fighters without a written contract with them?
SL: You know, I have five world champions and I keep them as a result of loyalty, honesty, hard work and respect. I am proud to say that I have never been betrayed by any of my partners or fighters. Not a one. My business is to work hard to bring exposure to my fighter(s) and help them get a world title.
I help make them champions and after they become champions, I help retire them. You have to treat a fighter with dignity and respect and be honest with them when you donít have an answer for them. If they ask you a question, give them an answer. If you donít know the answer, tell them you donít know it and find it for them. You know, itís always better to give the cruel honesty rather than the sweet lie.
JM: What are your thoughts on the only living, active four time heavyweight world champion Evander Holyfield?
SL: Well this fight is going to be very tough for Sultan. I truly respect Evander so much for his body of work and all that he has done for boxing in and out of the ring. I told my partners that there was nobody else that deserved a title shot like Evander does.
He is great for boxing and he will bring everything to this fight. I know it. But I will tell you something. I havenít told Evander this, but I am telling you now. I will tell Evander to retire after this fight should he win the title. My reason is because I donít want him still chasing the title at age 50 and also because no one else will give him a title shot after this. I believe that he should retire after this and I will advise him to do so.
Sampson will be ringside for tomorrow nights championship double header broadcasting live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING as one of his fighters, WBA junior featherweight champion Celestino Caballero will take on the hard hitting Mexican, Jorge Lacierva in the opening bout to the main event between WBC super bantamweight king Rafael Marquez and former champion Israel Vazquez. Lewkowicz predicts Caballero will stop Lacierva in six and Marquez will retain his title with an eight round stoppage over Vazquez. The telecast will start at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
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