Montell Griffin Planning Masterful Final Performance
Former world champion Montell "Ice" Griffin says he's planning on putting on one final virtuoso performance before transitioning gracefully into his post-boxing life. Griffin (49-8, 30 KOs) will be looking to cap off his successful career with his 50th professional victory against Buffalo veteran Ross "The Boss" Thompson in the main event of Hitz Boxing's "Quest for 50" event on May 29 at the luxurious "Venue" in the Horseshoe Casino, in Hammond, Indiana..
Article posted on 11.05.2010
With the Horseshoe Casino just 20 minutes outside of his birthplace of Chicago, it'll be a rare opportunity for Griffin to fight in front of his hometown fans - something he rarely did during key moments of his 17 years in professional boxing.
Having battled and even beaten many of the best of his era, Griffin's final fight will be his graduation from the school of hard knocks.
Montell, you've been away from boxing for over two years, what brought you back?
I don't want to say I've been away; I just wasn't comfortable with the options I was being offered. I love and respect myself and I'm not going to pimp myself out like that. I wanted to ensure I got the right opportunities. Everybody wanted to offer me a fight in somebody else's hometown and I'm tired of being taken advantage of and robbed. I'd rather retire.
You've had some tough breaks and have had some controversies not go your way in your illustrious career. Do you ever wonder why it happened so many times?
Years ago I used to ask why, and then the older I got, instead of asking why, I just decided that everybody can't be Oscar De La Hoya. You play the game with the cards you're dealt. I've had a lot of bad breaks, but it is what it is. I'm not the only one. I've had guys come to me and say they think they're the most disrespected fighter in boxing.
I have been humbled. You got to make the best out of life. If you sit there saying what if, till you die, you'll never be happy. I'm a grown man. I learned you have to play the hand you're dealt. I feel that I could beat any top light heavyweight in the world on fair ground. I'll never be able to prove myself, so I have to do the best I can do with what I'm given. I never was the chosen one. I got mine the hard way.
Your opponent, Ross Thompson, says the two of you are friends. Will that affect your performance?
Ross and I turned pro at the same time and Thell Torrence was our trainer. I used to see him in the gym all the time. I can say yes, we're friends. I haven't seen him in 10 years, but this is business. He can be my friend after the fight, but when it's on, it's business. It caught me off guard taking the fight, but it's all business. He's not the first person I fought that I am friendly with.
What are your plans if you are able to beat Thompson?
After I beat him, I'm in the situation where if I get offered something worth taking, I would love to continue fighting, but I'm not here to let these young guys make a name off my name. If you're not fighting in a neutral site, that's what's happening. To me, boxing is getting worse and worse. I read last week that Fres Oquendo fought Mormeck in France and they had it 9 to 3 for Fres and he didn't get the decision. It's a dirty game. If you don't get the knockout, you're going to lose. It's even being done on national television now. I heard Beibut Shumenov (whom Griffin says he suffered a controversial defeat to) fought on ESPN not too long ago and he lost and they gave him the decision.
What are your plans after boxing?
I'm waiting to start for the academy for the sheriff's department. Once you're certified, it's for two years. If I get the opportunities I want, I can put it off, but the Sheriff's Department will be my life after boxing. I still have a life to live. Boxing has brought me a decent lifestyle. I don't need anything. I got all my mental abilities. It's been a success. I have had a good career.
Did you always want to be a police officer?
It's something I thought about the last two or three years because I knew my career would be coming to an end. I started talking to them and getting insight from them and it turns out it isn't as bad as it's portrayed to be
How do you picture your final fight playing out?
I'm going to dominate. That's how I picture it going. I have nothing against him, but it's business. He chose the fight. You have to watch out what you choose. I feel good. I've been training for six weeks. My weight is good. I feel good. I'm going to go out and give a dominating performance.
Now that it's winding down, how do you feel, overall, about your career?
Not too many fighters can say they fought in the Olympics and were a world champion. My goal is to retire with fifty wins. Even though Oscar De La Hoya got more fanfare than me, I'm proud to say I have more wins than any member of the Olympic team in 92. I want fifty for the even number. It's on the poster, my quest is for 50. I can retire without any questions asked.
The high-class atmosphere and luxurious surroundings make the Horseshoe Casino a Las Vegas-style night of boxing just 20 minutes from Chicago. The Venue at the Horseshoe Casino is an intimate, comfortable room with luxurious, unobstructed seating throughout. The casino also offers a spectacular gaming area, free parking and a large selection of exquisite dining options.
Also slated for battle are Chicago welterweight Achour Esho (7-0, 5 KOs); power punching Chicago-based cruiserweight and former UFC fighter Terry Martin (4-0, 4 KOs); Chicago middleweight Mike Kurzeja (3-0, 3 KOs); Chicago super middleweight Ninos Abraham (4-0, 1 KO) and Chicago light welterweight Russell Fiore (3-0, 3 KOs).
In addition, comebacking Chicago-based former bantamweight and featherweight contender John Lewus (23-4, 19 KOs) will have his second fight in 12 years; and Rafael Murphy, son of former cruiserweight contender Kenny Murphy and nephew of former IBF Cruiserweight Champion Leroy Murphy, will make his professional debut.
"Quest for 50" tickets are on sale now, starting at a fan appreciation price of $10, and are available at the "Venue" box office, Ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster outlets.
For more event information, visit www.hitzboxing.com.
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