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.
Article posted on 23.01.2004
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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