Interview: Murad Muhammad Speaks Out, Part Two
08.01.04 - By Keith Terceira: Murad Muhammad Continued: As far as motivating fighters and Bonusís, I have done this thru my whole career. What comes to mind is Razor Ruddick, when the doctors thought that his arm was cracked and I made them put a plaster cast on it for 10 days. The doctor had told me that the arm was bruised but I didnít want to make any assumptions and said Razor you donít use your right arm anyway so we are going to train for the fight, so three days after taking the cast off, the night before the fight I gave him a Diamond Bezel Rolex. He said I didnít win the fight, and I told him you are a winner to me. He cried tears and ask what round do we get him in. In the fourth round he hit Michael Dokes with a punch that was unbelievable. History says the first greatest knockout was Marciano-Walcott first and the second is Ruddick-Dokes.
Article posted on 07.01.2004
I have a habit of motivating my fighters. Whether its spiritually or financially, I tell them you can make a great deal of money if you stay focused. When I meet Roy Jones Jr., he called me, he was at a standstill at HBO and everyone said that I couldnít do it, Lou DiBella said Roy ainít gonna listen. When Roy came to me he was a star. I made Roy a Superstar but I said to Roy, are you rich, Iím quite sure you have a lot of money before you meet me, I said Let me ask you a question are your parents rich, he said ďNOĒ, how about your children, he said ďNOĒ , How about your childrenís, children, he said we got a lot of work to do. Thatís your motivation. So when Manny Pacquiao came from the Philippines, and was turned down by all the promoters and none believed in him, and I delivered him $560,000 he told me donít worry Iím knocking him out, even in the dressing room he walked up to me and said donít worry Iím knocking him out. Thatís how positive this young man was. Someone said to me ďWhy are you giving him all this kind of moneyĒ I said this is nothing compared to where we are going. Same with Roy, I told him this is nothing that we are going to the PPV one day and I will get you paid. Roy Jones Jr. went from three million to 17 million dollars a fight purse. Cause thatís what I do. And thatís what I do Well.
So now we pull the greatest upset, and remind people that Freddie Roach said in the media that we were not ready for Barrera, that we were 1-2 fights away. The only controversy I ever had with Freddie Roach in my entire life is when I sent a message to him that you do not tell the public what you feel. This business is not based on feelings. This fighter wants Barrera. No one believed that Ali was going to beat Liston, and they damn sure didnít believe he was going to beat Foreman. But Ali believed it. And Roy Jones Jr. is the only one that believed he was going to beat James Toney, he even had to leave his father because his father didnít believe it. So you donít ever put in the mouth of a fighter that someone else out there is better. Manny believed that he could win. With Those words the management, the team, and Manny Pacquiao concurred with me and the fight went on. Now everybody is giving Freddie Roach the credit. After the fact.
Now Roach is out here saying that Manny isnít ready for Marquez, now he is saying that Marquez is a fight the line.
Keith; Murad, let me get a question in. We have reported that at the same time that Freddie Roach was calling you a ďThiefĒ, and after he admitted that you have an exclusive contract with Manny, heís working with Nick Kahn and Ten Count Productions to sign Manny to a promotional Contract in Manila, what is your take on those facts?
Murad; You hit the nail on the head. Now we are getting to the nitty gritty. So I say to myself, what is really the real deal here because he only got $110,000 and 3 percent of Mike Tyson. He didnít get three percent of the gross, he got three percent of the bottom line that Mike took home. Now he wants $50,000 out of $500,000 which is half of what he got from Mike Tyson when Tyson made 10 million. So somethingís wrong with that. Then he wants 10% of the gross. I have known some of the great champions of the world including Angelo Dundee, when a fighter goes near seven figures you never get a percentage of the gross you get a guarantee smaller percentage. What is this, would he sacrifice Manny for $20,000 dollars, would he sacrifice Manny for peanuts? WHAT IS THE REAL DEAL? The real deal is that this was a smoke screen, he wanted to steal Manny. For these guys who torture and interfer with my contact. They went all the way to Manila, they sat down in Manila and offered my fighter 10 million dollars. 10 million! Keith, and told him he could make twenty-five million! And told him that I was at HBO negotiating for 20-30 million dollars without his knowledge. So I said to the manager, tell them to put their money where their mouth is. Let me understand this, they are gonna give him 10 million in six fights, you are going to protect him from the lawsuit thatís definitely coming from Murad Muhammad, And you are going to put us in the ring by April, Yes. So the management says give us $500,000 none refundable that you are going to do all this and you got the deal. They ran! Because what they were doing Was playing broker. If they can grab the best fighter in the world, then they thought they would run to HBO and get HBO to pay them then pay Manny with his own money. But thatís not what promoters do Promoters go out there and get the impossible, and create the situation.
Keith; What have you told Manny about these fights that have come up in the press?
Murad; I told Manny donít worry about the money, what you are building is exposure, exposure is money .We had to be on all type of cards so people can see who we are. Then I got him on the Vargas card, cause people would tune in to see Vargas. I built my fighter. Also Keith, I want you to know, I wrote the Muhammad Ali Law, when Murad Muhammad got his license in the state of New Jersey, you know why because I opened my books to all my fighters, and I say to them you got two choices. Here it ways yours, wheres mine. So youíll know what Iím going home with and you know what youíll go home with. Or if you are going to stick me up and ask me for money thatís not there and I give it to you then the sky is the limit.
Keith; What other fighters has this happened to?
Murad; Ask Oscar, Oscar wanted 11 million Arum gave him 11 million. Arum made 14 million, so when it got to Oscar, he called Arum a crook and sued him. He went on his own and realized that he canít make that money that he can make with a man that has the ability to perform. He went back with Arum and they are doing wonderful today. People come around and poison these fighters.
Keith; Letís get to the contract , Murad and tell readers the details please?
Murad; When, I signed Manny for this fight Manny signed no less than five contracts. The first one he agreed that I got $700,000 and $500,000 is his. Thatís the first one. The second one Was when I negotiated with Golden Boy they wanted Manny to be a part of their twenty page contract.
I said I will not do that, Iím not hear to teach Manny legal terminology , nor am I hear to let Manny spend a fortune on an Attorney thatís going to stick him up to teach him the terminology. The Muhammad Ali Act states as long as the fighter knows how much money is involved he does have to learn all that legal stuff. So we signed another letter of the gross money that I was receiving and we attached it to that Golden boy Contract. The first on was 4-5 weeks before the fight. The second was 3-4 weeks before. The third one was signed and Manny called me and said Murad, through his manger Nazario , put $350,000 on the contract because $150,000 we are going to have for expenses. Rightfully so he has the right to do that. You canít tax the man on what he has to pay for expenses.
Keith; Wouldnít Freddie Roach be one of those expenses?
Murad; Whatever those expenses are I have know nothing to do with. I have nothing to do with Freddie Roach! Iím just giving you my side. So what happen is $350,000 was put on my standard contract from Texas. He signed the Texas license and I sent them off. That was three weeks prior to fight.
The day before the fight was the weigh-in he signed another boxing contract without my knowledge.
The morning of the fight I was sitting in the hotel suite with the commissioner and we were going over the contracts, so the commissioner shows me the contracts and it said Golden Boy and my name wasnít on it . I said it wasnít acceptable. My name wasnít in there. I ím Mannyís promoter, Iím co-promoter of this event. I said whereís the boxing contract that I sent you. He said he didnít know about it and that Manny had signed it yesterday. He asked if I agreed with the figures which were the same that Manny had signed and was going to put my name in it. $350,000. $25,000 I advanced him cash, he was going to reimburse me, $20,000 as insurance to the IBF. I asked him to take out some insurance so he was still 122 pound world champ. So that $20,000 was put into the contract to be deducted from the $350,000. Thatís why it left $305,000. So I had to take the contract to Manny the day of the fight that they left my name off to sign. Then these lowlife people tried to say that I brought Manny a contract and for the first time he saw $700,000 more important that I threatened him that if he didnít sign there wouldnít be no fight. As you can see and hear its all lies. The thing that puzzles me here is that Freddie Roach is crying for accounting, crying to see my books but guess what Manny Pacquiao nor his manager ever asked for anything of the sort. You know why, Keith, because they have it already.
Keith; You have agreed tomorrow to meet with JAB about the dispute have you not?
Murad; Let me tell you about that, I read that in your article so let me tell you what happened. Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, I am the first promoter to introduce boxing to HBO. I walked into HBO, with my people and I saw Seth to discuss an Idea. It was to do a boxing show behind the prison walls. Seth said we donít do boxing. I said this is not just about boxing you are coming behind the bars with criminals men that are dangerous, massive security walls. They said oh man this would be a good program. They asked who would be the fighters. I said James Scott and the number one mandatory of the WBA named Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. Eddie was named something else then. When they checked the record they learned he was a great fighter. Scott was pretty decent so they said done deal. They gave me $26,500 all the money they had. My theme was ďwould you pay to get into jail.Ē I asked Joe, Eddieís manager how much they were getting to fight Victor Gilianta and they said $25,000 so I said Iíll give you $26,000. Scott hadnít been in the ring in three years so they say itís a deal. James Scott whooped Eddie from one round to twelve rounds and I became a hit. I brought in 12 TV shows behind the walls and put money in the victims funds, inmates children off welfare. I became large. Peltz gave me two tickets to a fight one day so I went, I was at the gate and I saw Russell arguing with Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, he canít come in if he donít have a ticket. I said Russell give him my seat. When the fight was over Eddie came over to me and he asked if I would take over his career. I said yes if he did it my way. The rest is history. I went to see Bob Arum and told him I was his mandatory, he wanted to give Eddie a hundred thousand for the first fight, then 125,150, and 200,000 for the fourth fight. Pretty good I said what about me so Bob offered me 50,000 a fight. Not bad I said what do we have to do, we had to sign an exclusive and turn the fighter over to Bob. I said Iíll be back. Eddie says what about you Murad. I said Eddie this is your life. He asked if I was going to be out and I told him yes. Eddie said ďI am not leaving you ď We went back in and told Bob no and Arum jumped up and threw the ashtray against the wall and started calling Eddie yellow and a coward. So I stuck my finger at him and I stopped him and I said ďAre you GodĒ he sat down real humble and said no. I sayĒ Donít you tell me what Iím not going to do ď We went to purse bid. I called Mendoza and went back to Arum and Arum offered 25,000 then threw in ten grand for training. So I went to Eddie and told Eddie the deal. $125,000 was a lot of money and I didnít want Eddie to lose it now with Arum only offering $25,000. But Eddie said the hell with the exclusive and he stayed with me and fought for the $25,000.
I got Mike Rossmanís trainer who was out of work and he came on board, then he calls me one day and tells me we got a problem, our guys lazy he wonít run. So I called my sensei and he came to work with us And he would go in and kick the door in and get Eddie working. So one day he calls me, we have a problem he says, I can only get Eddie half way up the Mountain, I canít get him to the top. I say what are we going to do. He said Iíll get their I just wanted to tell you we had a problem. So he calls me one day and says I got em there . I asked how did you do that. Sensei says ďI told him there was Freedom at the topĒ Everytime it looked like he was going to quit I yelled ďFreedom Road, Freedom RoadĒ.
So we came into Indianapolis, the first thru fifth heís doing great, all of a sudden he gets cut, and he retreats. We are getting our butts beat. I called my sensei who was taking photoís , I said put the camera down and talk to him. In the ninth round he started yelling ďFreedom Road , Freedom RoadĒ. Eddie came back in the tenth, In the eleventh we knocked out Marvin Johnson. Eddie was Champion. So Eddie knows me, so he made a statement about Manny being robbed, so I called him and he says well I didnít mention your name. So I thought about it when Eddie offered to show the world that I was an honest man. I offered to show Eddie everything including the letters from Manny thanking me for making Barrera happen.
Keith; What about Freddie saying that Manny came to him for help?
Murad; Let me put that into perspective, if someone goes to you claiming that I am negotiating for some huge purse behind your back then maybe you ask for help. Its like yelling fire, without there being a fire just to get a reaction. What he did is he went to my boxer and told him that I was stealing 20-30 million. That I was negotiating with HBO for a multi-million dollar contract. Why would I insult my dignity to ask HBO for something they are not going to give Manny Pacquiao. They are not going to give Manny a multi-million dollar contract. Why , Because he donít deserve it. You donít get that kind of money based on one win. This is crazy. Then to say Iím negotiating 20-30 million. These are amateurs at the Apollo. But my fighters not from this country so he had to accept what they were saying. So of course , giving Manny the benefit of the doubt he said help me. Well Hell Iím not a foreigner and if you told me someone was stealing 20-30 million from me Iím going to ask you to help me. Now I find out the reason all this was sent to the media was it was premeditated, this is all a plot. I found out how they got the number($700,000) is that Freddie called Larry Merchant. So I went to the source, I said Larry, ever since Rahway we been together, twenty something years, how is it you allow this to happen. He says Murad Freddie came to me and told me that he needed a Lawyer and he needed help because Manny is being robbed. I said since when did we start listening to trainers. Larry said he thought he was doing the right thing. He asked what he could do. I said clean it up. Go and tell the real truth. Freddie just used Larry and apparently Larry told Freddie the truth. It worked using Larry because it got on the air and Freddie convinced people he was being robbed.
Keith; How does Freddie get involved with you if Manny owes him training feeís that come out of Mannyís end;
Murad; There it is the plot, what I didnít tell you is after Lou DiBella went and said my kid was incompetent and shouldnít fight for the world title. The next day or two Lou DiBella is sitting with a lawyer and trying to convince management, and Manny to leave me and come with him. But I didnít say anything it was hearsay. Remember the contract I said I signed for a year. They were under the impression it was running out. So they went to the Philippines and told Manny they would give him a contract for two point one million. So now a kid that I have signed for a minimum of ten thousand, who was making much more he never got the minimum cause we negotiate every fight. I got a guy saying to him heís worth 2.1million. So, I have to go hired a gun slinger from New York, who sent a letter to Lou DiBella and threatened to sue for contract interference. Lou, called me an apologized and we are doing a fight together. But I had to sign Manny to a 2.2 million dollar contract for three years to prove Lou couldnít beat me. Now we are going into the third year and here comes another sabotage , and they offer my kid ten million dollars. This is getting ridiculous and they fill his head with a bunch of nonsense. So Manny is coming in to sit down. Freddie Roach along with this team, I will find out what diabolic, grafting, skunk, low licensed individual that is manipulating Freddie Roach.
Keith; Does that mean you think Freddie is a victim?
Let me tell you about justice, that young boy that went around killing all those innocent people because he was brainwashed . He didnít get death sentence like the other, but he got life, he is going to pay for this but I want the guy that is manipulating or all those people that are manipulating him because it is evident now it had nothting to do with 10 percent. It had nothing to do with $700,000, it had nothing to do with Murad Muhammad stealing, they had to paint a picture to go and steal Manny Pacquaio away from me. We are investigating now to see what our course is, but this is bad for boxing, this is nasty. I have children and a wife and they hurt them over this.
I am telling you that this is a plan that they are trying to destroy me to take what I have. Here I have a kid that I brought along, that I helped make famous and here they all come.
Murad Muhammad ended our interview with this quote.
ďThey plan a plan, God plans a plan, God is the best of planners, and I seek refuge in GodĒ
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