I was born in the year 1950.
The first time I fought was in a boxing ring.
It was the most difficult time for me because I was scared of being knocked out, because I knew I would be beaten.
I was fighting on a card in a bar in Paris when someone in the corner said to me, ‘I want to fight you’.
I said, ‘Who are you?’
They said, I am an agent, and I said I had never fought.
‘What are you going to do?’
They told me to go and fight someone in New York.
I went and fought Joe Louis.
That was the first time anyone in the world ever told me I had to fight someone.
When I started to fight I was afraid.
I knew that I could lose.
I also knew that people wouldn’t like me.
I fought to prove that I was a man.
And I was right.
The people loved me.
My first fight was against a man who was the best fighter in the business at the time, the greatest fighter of all time.
He was called Joe Louis and he knocked me out in a matter of seconds.
I did that one fight and then I did another one.
I didn’t even know it at the start of the year.
I had just started boxing.
I think I had one fight in New Jersey.
I just fought another one in Philadelphia.
That’s how I became famous.
It wasn’t until I got into boxing that I realised I had talent.
I used that to win my first fights.
My promoter at the end of the day was Eddie Hearn.
Eddie was a very nice guy.
I won fights against Joe Louis, and then there were two others against Joe Frazier.
He fought Floyd Patterson and I fought Floyd Saunders.
Then I fought Jimmy Jacobs.
I thought he was the toughest man on the planet.
I came back and beat him.
He wasn’t scared.
I beat him in the first round and I knew he was a better fighter than me.
In fact, I was more dangerous than he was.
He had a huge chin, but he didn’t have a big head.
He weighed only about 190 kilos.
I don’t know if he weighed 200 kilos, but I think he weighed a bit more than that.
I got the fight because he said he was going to knock me out, so I thought I was going too far.
After that, I used it to win the other fights.
I started fighting at the age of 19 and then in 1950, I fought Joe Jones.
I took him out and I thought, ‘Well, this is the fight I have been waiting for’.
That’s why I won every fight.
In the beginning I thought that I would never be the champion of the world.
I always thought, I don-t want to be champion.
But then I got to a certain age and I realised that I had no future in boxing.
That is why I started taking boxing seriously.
That led to a whole new life.
I moved to New York and I became the biggest star in New Yorks boxing world.
Then when I got a fight, I won it.
I never looked back.
I lost three fights in a row to Tommy Rogers.
Tommy was a real legend.
He could box with anybody, even the best boxers, but it was Tommy who beat me.
That changed everything for me.
When he won I said to myself, ‘This is the guy I have to beat, the guy who has beaten me.’
He was Joe Louis when I fought him.
And then I had a second fight with Johnny Carson.
It’s a story that I’ll tell you.
I’ll talk about Johnny Carson and what happened in the fight, but the main point is that I got knocked out by Johnny Carson because I thought it was going well.
I believed I was on a good roll.
Then he hit me and I was unconscious.
I woke up in the middle of the night.
I called the ambulance and I called Johnny Carson, and they said, Oh, you have been knocked out.
I said what are you doing?
They said that it’s not the fight.
Johnny Carson said, You’re not going to fight me?
I said that if I win I will fight you.
He said, Yeah, but you have to fight first.
So, I had three fights before I got injured.
And he knocked out two of them, but Johnny Carson got to fight one of them.
He knocked me down in a single round.
He took me out cold, and he got to the fight in one round.
That turned out to be the most famous fight of my career.
When the doctors told me that he was done fighting me, I said ‘I have no more to lose’.
That was my moment of clarity.
I couldn’t take it anymore.
I have no regrets in the fights that I have made, because they have