His pride was torn to shreds and a two-year hiatus from the sport ensued. He understands. You realise your father will only love you if you get punched in the face in public for a living. That he wasn’t shot because he didn't curse or get angry when the police officer stuck a gun to his head and dug a knee into his back. “I looked into Tommy’s eyes as we touched gloves and I was on a different kind of f*cking fire,” he reveals. Their son, Michael Jr., a defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, was in Las Vegas, watching the fight ringside. He—like most logical, forward thinking people would—sees this as a pretty straightforward, right v. wrong issue. He was Bentt’s kryptonite. “That was a big thrill for me, man. The unexpected champion had arrived but he failed to fully invest and believe in himself. Bennett Jr., along with Colin Kaepernick, has been the face of social activism in the NFL for over a year now. Bentt was born in the UK and moved to the Cambria-Heights section of Queens in 1974. Fortunately for him he didn't say anything. He was the knife that was sharpening those tools for me in that moment. “I didn’t have his number, stylistically. You’re the one that should leave the country if you feel that way.”. I’m all those things. The reaction to the post was mixed and charged—as anything that deals with race and the police in America in 2017 will be.

You grew up somewhere where it doesn’t happen, so you can’t know. Michael disagreed with them. He knows that when the phone rings in the middle of the night, something bad has happened. One of the most decorated amateur boxers in US history, Bentt won four New York City Golden Gloves titles, five United States Amateur Boxing Championships and three (New York State) Empire State Games gold medals. I had seen it all after my first fight, when there was nobody there. “To this day, I don’t understand why this kid got killed,” Michael Sr. says. So did his father, who assured him that this is what he needed to do. Michael Sr. says that, like all black parents, he taught his children how to handle encounters with the police—what to expect, what to do, what not to do. I survived the round and was kind of wobbly. You love me when I win, but not when I lose.”. Sport writers fre… Copyright © 2007-2020 Boxing News 24. We get back to the States and my father is having a conversation with the president of the Jamaican amateur boxing team and my father had won some money back then, quite a substantial amount of money, by the way. “So, we had a way to compete for a gold medal at the (Olympic) Games. There’s a word for that and it begins with an ‘E’ (laughs).”. I’m getting a paycheck and I’m cool with not being the ‘boxer guy’. PSG will host Manchester United in a Champions League clash on Tuesday. “This is why you’re kneeling. Here, he explains how a brush with death ultimately led him to his true calling

Despite his natural ability, the sport was never a natural fit and, after a year in the ring, he finally plucked up the courage to tell his father that his nascent boxing career was over. I’m a loser? Michael’s advice to others - “Take what you learn and go out there and conquer the damn world. It all started in the Swinging Sixties. “I lost to Ray Mercer in the Olympic trials final and my father, in his infinite wisdom, had this plan of going to Jamaica and he felt I could beat those guys easily – and I did,” he explains. Four-time Golden Glove Champion, three-time United States Amateur Boxing Champion, and Bronze World Amateur are just a few of the crowns he held. I said: ‘Dad, I don’t want to box anymore.’ He went ballistic. He’d like them to see how Michael, as a young boy, was on every one of those Naval bases with him. He’s recently been part of an upcoming documentary on Muhammad Ali by famed documentary-maker, Ken Burns and voiced a character in a soon to be released short film about a boxer’s tragic passing. So, he packed his bags and travelled to Jamaica. Sports Illustrated host Robin Lundberg and SI's Emma ...read more. One of the boxers who died was a fighter who had shown me kindness and was really my first mentor. All Rights Reserved. Clint Eastwood told me I know what I’m doing when he was directing me; and Michael Mann, who doesn’t smile for anybody, winked at me during a take. They care about animals and they care about people that look like they look.”. I didn’t say that, but that was my feeling. Bentt made his professional debut in February 1989 against outside prospect Jerry Jones at Trump’s Castle in Atlantic City.

His story is not the typical ‘rags-to-riches’ that boxing so often produces. People don’t care about people. My dad had built a huge amount of resentment at me not making the 88 Olympics and this was my ticket out, so I said: ‘Let’s sign.’”, Bentt was an exceptional amateur but he was not accustomed to the hard atmosphere among the pros at Steward’s dank basement gym in Detroit. Mental health was a taboo subject until recently. Bentt never returned to Detroit, or the Kronk Gym, and instead took a job in a hospital.

With his back to the ropes and under heavy fire, a crippling right-hand buckled the champion who never recovered. I hate to put it this way but there not any African American people who are saying this. Bentt lost to an opponent who would himself win the Olympic heavyweight gold – no shame in that. About a week later, I knock on my boss’ door and I said: ‘Thank you for the opportunity, but I have to go’.

He also knows that there are countless stories of young black men who did just that, and did not survive. But it’s not that simple. But that doesn't make this experience any less real for him and every other black person in America. I’m a bum? He was academically gifted and a keen reader, but was also becoming more fluent with his fists. The next person he would see is the brain surgeon whose name is etched in his mind to this day. And then, when the same black kids tried playing ball on the court, the town installed parking barriers throughout the court so no one could play anymore. Having torn both her right ACL and MCL in April 2019, Azzi Fudd missed nine months before returning to the court nine games into her junior year. Michael Jr. would go on to tell his father what he would tell the public a week and a half later, in a tweet he sent at 10:01 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Michael Bentt was forced into boxing by his domineering father but now he is plotting his own path among the stars, The former WBO heavyweight champion, Michael Bentt, is taking a break from writing a screenplay. Bentt arrived for his unforeseen world title shot on a ten-fight winning streak and was brought in as a mere tune-up title defence for Morrison’s touted $8m bout with WBC champion, Lennox Lewis. “Dad,” Michael said, his voice audibly shaking through the phone’s speaker. My Whirlwind 2020: Rachel Ball on Shannon Courtenay and Ebanie Bridges, WBC creates new 224-lb division, cruiserweight now 190-lbs, Boxing Results: Edgar Berlanga stops Lanell Bellows in 1st round KO, The Story Of Michael Bentt: Heavyweight’s Forgotten King, Hannah Rankin on Marshall: “Of course she’s stopping people, I’d expect my gran to stop people with two weeks’ notice!”, Teofimo Lopez – Bob Arum lists options for his next fight in 2021, Lomachenko deserves a rematch with Teofimo Lopez, Estrada vs. Cuadras & Chocolatito vs. Gonzalez this Friday, Oct.23 on DAZN, Errol Spence targeting Canelo Alvarez for fight at 160 at Cowboys’ Stadium, Carlos Takam wins a unanimous decision over Jerry Forrest, Golden Boy: Ryan Garcia is passing on WBO title eliminator, wants Luke Campbell, Sergey Lipinets ready for Custio Clayton on Oct.24 on Showtime, Regis Prograis Interview On The Last Stand Podcast With Brian Custer, Julio Cesar Martinez faces Moises Calleros this Friday, Oct.23, Kildare’s Katelynn is Phelan on top of the world.

He mentions Philando Castile, who was 32 years old—just a year older than Michael—when he was shot seven times by police last year after being pulled over. Things We Mention In This Episode. Then I thought I should work out and I sparred with my brother at the gym. But we do.

He’s sat during the anthem, raised his clenched fist in the sky, talked openly about inequality and injustice and the need to reform—not just in regards to systemic racism and police brutality, but he’s also fought for women’s equality and against childhood obesity. Those were his words specifically.”, “It would be an understatement to say that shit was scary.”. window._taboola = window._taboola || []; I dispute how it wouldn’t exactly have been a disgrace to lose to Morrison; something to which Bentt disagrees vehemently with. It got competitive, like it can do with brothers, then I floored him. We do expect those things to happen. What do you think about that?’ No, f*ck that.

His pride wouldn’t let him accept. “I went to school, thought about it all day and resolved to tell dad I wanted out. “I was still conflicted with professional boxing. Bentt shunned the opportunity to go to the Olympics knowing that one day his father would use the fact that he paid for the team to go as leverage against his son. If you want to be in a country where you can’t express how you feel ... you shouldn't be here. Because that’s what it’s about.” And so much more! I decided to fight on for him, even though the whole time my father thought I fought because of his enthusiasm for boxing.”, After just missing out on qualification to the Seoul Olympics after a defeat to eventual gold medallist Ray Mercer, Bentt returned home determined to hang up the gloves. All Rights Reserved. There shouldn’t be two sides to racism. Bentt took a vicious beating that day, but he also won a precious victory by standing up to his father.

“I lose all respect for people if you really can’t see what’s going on in your own country that you live in everyday. Michael Sr. wants to believe that his son is alive today because he stayed calm and collected when he was stopped by police for no reason. “After the fight I didn’t want people telling me I was great.

The officer called him over to the car, and then asked if he wanted to go to jail. In 2020, winning baseball does not always equate to aesthetically pleasing baseball. Georgie (Benton) is training Evander for this fight and I had something to prove to the entire boxing establishment. If I didn’t have that contempt for my father, I would never have beaten Tommy Morrison.”, Bentt upset the odds and stopped Morrison in the first round to become a world champion. I recognised the hypocrisy.”. He was grateful for the work but “just didn’t belong”. Michael Bennett's father said that taught his son how to handle a police encounter, and he thinks that's why his son is likely alive today. “At this time I’m working at a Long Island Jewish hospital in Queens, New York. “He was really upset, he was nervous, he was scared, he was shook.” Michael Sr. says. A few hours earlier, Michael Sr. and Pennie were watching the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor at a friend’s house near their home in Katy, Texas. Netflix Original Series: Episode 1 of Losers starring Michael Bentt “You should be calm, listening, answering questions,” he says, “and maybe you’ll survive.”.

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