The Mothers of Boxing: Getting Momma's Point of View
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (May 8, 2005)
No matter if we win, lose, become victorious or fail miserably in what we do, Momma is there. Kissing the wounds, rooting us on and standing by our side through thick and thin, we could count on them regardless of the outcome. What would the world be without Momma’s? A mother is there to comfort, to share your joy and feel your pain, every tear every smile, every dream come true every dream broken, she was there. The same goes for boxing Momma’s, yep, even the warriors of the ring at one time were small diaper wearing munchkins who depended on Mom to wipe their derriere and make sure they drank their milk so they could grow into the strong fighter they are today.
Lamon Brewster with Mother,
Some Mom’s have sat ringside and cheered on their son on while they won the championship belt, and others have frozen mortified while opposition took out their son. They were there and felt everything their fighting son felt. But what goes through their minds as they sit there and watch their son win a battle or subsequently lose the war? What are their thoughts on their babies duking it out getting smacked around by another individual? When they win a title, battle in an all out brawl, become a boxing hero or are verbally bruised by the media, they sit back and witness all in their sons life. Through out the rise and fall, goals reached and shortcomings they are there. In this double interview the Doghouse sat down with two mothers of well-known boxers who have walked down that road as a boxing Mother, and got their thoughts on their son’s careers. You know the stories of both fighters, but what about Mom’s side? We chat with the mother of the former WBO champ Tommy Morrison and the mother of the reigning WBO champion Lamon Brewster. Here are their thoughts, enjoy.
WBO Heavyweight Champion Lamon Brewster’s Mother Pam Blakely
Benny Henderson Jr.: What kind of kid was Lamon growing up?
Pam Blakely: He was pretty much a good one he just had a lot of energy he had to exert. What happened really with the boxing side of it was, he had all this energy and I was like oh we have to do something about all this energy so I purchased a set of drums for him to try to get all that energy out but what ended up happening was he tore up the drums. So I was like okay, we have to try something else so we ended up taking him to Riverside, that is a community center and from there he got into boxing at the center and he really kind of liked it which I just thought it was going to be a one time thing but he really liked it so from there that was were he was, hooked on boxing. (Laughs)
BH: Looking at your son now what are you most proud of?
Pam: That he was able to have a dream and he has accomplished his dream because I kept on trying to talk him out of his dream per say because I kept on saying why don’t you do something else and he said no I’m going to follow my dream. He was on the swim team, he played football in high school and he was even offered a scholarship to play football and I was like that will be good but he wanted to pursue his dream of boxing and he did just that, and I am really proud of that.
BH: How hard is it for you as a mother to set there and watch your son take punches?
Pam: Ah it’s… ah, you don’t even understand, it is like the movie Passion of Christ if you have ever seen that you can see how the mother was sitting there watching him take all that punishment, that is exactly how I feel.
BH: Lamon seems like such a good guy and carries himself well with others and deals well with situations in a good manner.
Pam: He is my son and not to sound boastful or anything but he will lift anybody spirits because he has a Christ-like spiritual way about him when dealing with situations and when he goes into the ring we always have our team prayer and we always ask the Lord to use him and he always prevails.
BH: What is the one thing you can tell us about Lamon that the boxing world probably doesn’t know about him?
BH: (Laughing) Come on now.
Pam: He used to be Chucky Cheese. (We both are laughing)
BH: What, he used to be Chucky Cheese?
Pam: (Still giggling) Yes, at Chucky Cheese he was the mascot. I don’t think anybody knew that but he used to be the Chucky Cheese mascot.
BH: They’re going to know now.
(Back on the serious side)
BH: You were ringside and witnessed your son when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko for the WBO heavyweight title. As a mother what was going through your mind when he won that belt?
Pam: It was like it was predestined and I already knew, I had prayed about it I had fasted and it was like the Lord just let me know so there was no doubt in my mind. There might have been doubts in other people’s minds, but I knew he was going to win. So I just started praising and thanking God for the win.
BH: I knew you were aware of the accusations made after the Klitschko bout.
BH: How disheartening was it for you to see your son’s names dragged in the mud after he accomplished one of his biggest dreams at becoming champion?
Pam: Well that comes with fame and notoriety, that’s how you know you, have made it. (Laughs) That comes with it.
BH: What was your first initial thought when Lamon told you that he was going to turn professional as a boxer?
Pam: Oh wow, that was probably what I said was wow. (Laughs) I said okay, whatever you do I will support you, if that is what you want to do I am behind you 100%. I always have been and always will be. If he stopped boxing to day and didn’t do another thing I would still be proud of him, I am most proud of him, I really am.
BH: What is the one thing you want most for Lamon out of his life?
Pam: Him to be happy, that is all I want, him to be happy. If he is happy, I am happy.
Former WBO & IBO Heavyweight Champion Tommy Morrison's Mother
Tommy Morrison with Mother, Flosie Good
Benny Henderson Jr.: How was it to sit there and watch your son fight and get hit in the ring?
Flossie Good: Well, I would really get into the fights and of course about the first two or three rounds I was pretty nervous but then I would really get into it and would yell until I would lose my voice. (Laughs)
BH: What kind of kid was Tommy growing up?
Flossie: He was a very quiet kid and he was a sneaky kid, ornery and sneaky. The other two kids I would always catch them at doing something but Tommy I would never catch him because he such a little sneak at doing things. (Laughs)
BH: Out of Tommy’s career which fight do you think was his best, and which fight are you most proud of?
Flossie: Well, I really believe the one with Joe Hipp because not very many boxers finish up with two broken hands and a busted jaw. I didn’t know he was even injured until after it was all over with and then I was just amazed how he could stay in there and fight like he did and win it with all that being wrong with him. Joe Hipp was no push over, he was a fighter and I believe that was when I was the most proudest I ever was of him in a fight.
BH: Looking at your son what do you see as his best quality?
Flossie: His best quality is his speaking he is able to speak to people. And when he talks to people he can reach them and make them understand, and I believe that is his best quality.
BH: What was going through your mind as you were setting there watching Tommy being brutally beaten by Ray Mercer?
Flossie: Well I was very, very disappointed with his corner men, and I was very disappointed with the referee. He didn’t place himself where he could see Tommy; all he could see was Ray Mercer. I wanted to challenge that; I was disappointed with his corner when they didn’t stop the fight when Tommy was out on his feet and Ray kept hitting him. I was very upset and as a matter of fact it took three people to keep me from going ringside. (Laughs)
BH: It must have felt really good to see him win the title against George Foreman?
Flossie: I called that fight like I thought it would go, I wished I would had bet on it I would have won some money. (We both laugh) But it took me a little bit to realize his strategy of the fight, but when I finally figured it out I was really proud of him.
BH: What is the one thing you can tell us about Tommy that we may not know?
Flossie: Gosh, everybody knows everything there is to know about him. Well, he got expelled from Head Start. (Laughs) He was the only kid I have ever known to get expelled from Head Start. He locked some little girls in the bathroom.
(We both laugh) That’s about the only thing I can really think if.
BH: At times Tommy wasn’t portrayed all that well with the media, how hard was it to hold your tongue at times when he was dragged through the mud?
Flossie: Oh it was very, very hard. As a matter of fact I called this one newspaper one time and kind of road them up and down a bit because they never wanted to say the good things that Tommy had done. He gave money to people, he bought a quadriplegic an electric wheelchair because his was worn out in Tulsa. They never wanted to say the good things that Tommy did, just only when he got in trouble and they would really run him down and that really upset me to no end.
BH: What was your first thought when Tommy told you he was HIV positive?
Flossie: Well, I kind of suspected it because he called me on the phone about a year and a half before one morning about four o’clock and it was on his mind then.
BH: How many times have you watched Rocky V?
Flossie: I’ve watched it every time it has came on TV; I was so amazed that Tommy could really act. The first time I saw it I didn’t care for the person he played; that wasn’t my son, he wouldn’t act like that. Tommy had to remind me “it was only a movie”. I had to buy three tapes of it because some of my grandkids friends would still watch it.
BH: When you look at Tommy now, what are you most proud of?
Flossie: Well, I’m most proud of that he has overcome everything that has happened to him and he has tried to keep himself straight and tried to continue with different things like interviews and autograph sessions and such and really not go over the edge.
BH: What do you want most for your son?
Flossie: I just want him to live a long healthy life.
BH: Is there anything you would like to say in closing, or add to this interview?
Flossie: Yes, I just want to tell all his fans that I am very, very happy that they have stuck by him like they have with his ups and his downs. I just want to thank them for sticking by him like they have.
I want to thank Pam Blakely and Flossie Good for their time and thoughts on their son’s careers, it was greatly appreciated.
For more info on Lamon Brewster visit: http://www.lamonbrewster.com/
For info on Tommy Morrison visit: http://tommymorrison.net.
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