Scar Tissue Part 24 – Speaking of Tony ‘TNT’ Tucker
INTERVIEW By Jess E. Trail (Aug 25, 2007) Doghouse Boxing
The 1976 Olympic team took the world by storm. They stood on the pedestal of greatness and shone like the brightest star before their professional careers even started. This equated to lucrative contracts and a lot of television time. Their names were prominent and outlined with gold – Sugar Ray Leonard, Howard Davis Jr, Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, Leo Randolph, etc... enter the gang from 1980.

The group of boxers who were groomed for, and worked toward the 1980 Olympic moment turned out to be like the proverbial
stepchild at Christmas. After the favorite kid opens his presents, the stepson gets a nice backhand across the lips. When the 1980 gang ran up to the tree, Christmas was suddenly cancelled. The Soviets had invaded Afghanistan and President Carter made the decision to boycott the Olympics. One of those young fighters was Tony Tucker. Tucker was poised at a good run toward gold, after having captured gold in the 1979 PanAm games as a light heavyweight. I recently caught up with Tony and his manager, Don Hennessy.

The moments for Tony Tucker were usually shaded by a bit of bad luck. The alignment of the planets were often there, but with an intoxicated alien’s ass protruding from the surface of mars – just enough to throw things off. Not with the start however. I could only imagine the incredible frustration of the Olympic void. Tucker was far more philosophical and mature.

“You have to stick with the President.” After a little bit of goading he said, “yes, it was very frustrating.”

Three years prior to Buster Douglas’ destruction of Mike Tyson, he and Tony fought for the vacant IBF title. Tony stopped him in ten. “It was like a father and son team...good fighter... good puncher.” Three months later, he was in a unification bout with Mike Tyson. Pop the tape in and notice the style Tucker was using. It was an intelligent style that
could have defeated Iron Mike and his left jab and hook were like a whip. Most important ingredient of all, it seemed he had no fear of Tyson. “None at all... I went in there with just one hand, my right hand was broken. They would’ve said I was afraid of him if I hadn’t fought.” Again, enter the misaligned planets, the lewd pelvic grind of fate tossed another curve ball his way. But in speaking with Tony, you get the sense that all is properly categorized and in perspective.

Tucker wasn’t surprised when Douglas knocked Tyson out. “Not at all. I knew that was going to happen before it happened. Buster could’ve fought him ten times and beat him ten times.”

On Oliver McCall: “Real strong fighter, real good fighter. He just had problems in life. We became good friends. In fact, I helped him before he fought Lewis the first time.”

On Lennox Lewis: “Really good puncher... reminded me of my own style.”

After weaving through some difficult times, Tony Tucker is back and he wants all his fans over the years to know how much he has appreciated them.

Don Hennessy (Tucker’s Manager): “We have a web page up, – one page right now for information and contact, and there’s a new website in process of being built... he has overcome some things in life and he wants to thank all is loyal fans over the years.”

I really enjoyed having a few minutes with Tony. I want to thank Tony and Don for the time. And of course, I wanted to give Big Tony the last word.

“I been forgot about a little bit, but I’m coming back... My dad trained me. He was a fighter and I became a fighter. I wouldn’t have become a fighter if it hadn’t been for my dad... I got that in me too.”

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