Interview With Hall of Fame Champ Dwight Qawi

23.01.04 - By Shawn Darling: Dwight Braxton went away to Rahway State Prison at the age of 19 for armed robbery. He did 5 1/2 years serving from 1972 to 1977. He then turned pro at the age of 25, one month after being released. With no amateur experience, Braxton went on to become a two time world champ, winning the WBC lightheavy weight and WBA cruiser weight belts. After winning his first belt he converted to Islam and took the name Qawi.

SD - How does it feel to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame?

DQ - It is a great honor. It is a great feeling being inducted in my first year of eligibility. It gives me a sense of closure. It is the peak of my career.

SD - What are your favorite memories from your career?

DQ - Winning both titles, especially the second one against the undefeated champ, Piet Crous in his hometown in South Africa.

SD - What are your worst memories from your career?

DQ - The politics surrounding the first Holyfield fight. He was the up and comer and it was in his hometown.

SD - Do you agree the following 3 fighters were never the same after fighting you: Mike Rossman, Leon Spinks, and Matthew Saad Muhammad?

DQ - Yes I had an aggressive style and I took a lot out of them.

SD - How did you feel about going back to Rahway State Prison September 5, 1981 to fight James Scott?

DQ - It was a great feeling. I got ready for the pros there running and exercising. I even sparred with Scott while we were incarcerated together. I would have stopped him but I went into that fight with an injured right hand and had to settle for the decision.

SD - Did you know he was up for parole this year?

DQ - No, we didn't keep in touch, but I hope him the best.

SD - Did you know Holyfield said you were his toughest opponent ever?

DQ - Yes, I put him in the hospital for two days after the first fight.

SD - Is it true you took the George Foreman fight on 2 weeks notice?

DQ - Yes, and I was winning the first four rounds and then I ran out of gas in the seventh. The fans from Philly said they wished Joe Frazier fought him like I did since we had similar styles. He would have been more successful.

SD - How long have you worked as a substance abuse counselor?

DQ - On and off since 1993.

SD - What got you involved in that field?

DQ - I started off just giving motivational speeches and then it progressed. I love it. It is very rewarding.

SD - Is there any thing else you would like to leave us with?

DQ - I always gave my best. I am very happy with my career and my life with my two boys. I hope everyone enjoyed my fights.

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Article posted on 23.01.2004

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