Emanuel Augustus On Boxing, Floyd Mayweather Jr, John John Molina, Getting back up and Much More! Interview by Bob Carroll (March 9, 2010) Doghouse Boxing
Emanuel Augustus, 38-31-6 (20), is a fighter that all of us have seen in the ring at one time or another. He is the type of fighter that has a very television friendly style, but that style sometimes is a curse for him. Going toe to toe with opponents’ makes the crowd go crazy and make a fighter very popular, but after losing close decision after close decision, it begins to wear down a fighter. Emanuel Augustus has lived that style for quite some years now. He has appeared as the main event on everything from local cable all the way up to pay per view events. He has won numerous belts along the way and garnered the respect of many in the sport of boxing. So why now is he having trouble getting fights?
Recently Emanuel sat down with Doghouse Boxing to discuss his career and air some of the frustrations he feels about the boxing world today.
Bob Carroll: Emanuel, What brought you to the sport of boxing?
Emanuel Augustus: What brought me to boxing was the fact that it was something I did well. Fighting was a thing for me.
BC: What kind of amateur career did you have?
EA: My amateur career was only two years long. I was basically getting to a national level, but that was as far as I went in the amateurs.
BC: You turned pro in 1994 and had mixed results until you meet world title challenger David Toledo, whom you stopped in the tenth round. Did you feel that this fight was a turning point for you?
EA: Ah, to be honest with you Bob, before that I was going through so much craziness as far as fights I would win and not get the decision, so that win really helped, but I thought "Let's see what happens next." After that, all of these things happened that sounded good, but really was not good, like I was able to make a dollar out of nothing. It was like someone handed me a bucket of crap, but I was able to make it shine; get a few belts out of it on the way. It surprised me that I was able to do what I accomplished, but I knew that I would be that type of fighter. I will always give 100% and am looking to continue on today!
BC: In 2001 you fought "Irish" Micky Ward in a bout that ESPN named its "Fight of the Year" and it was nominated for their "Fight of the Decade". How proud do you feel to have a fight you were involved with, recognized by a national television network?
EA: Hey, I'll tell you what, to be recognized by ESPN was great! If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be able to still get my name out there in boxing. I definitely respect them for giving me that honor. A lot of my promise was showcased on ESPN.
BC: In the course of your career, you have met up with some great fighter like Teddy Reid, the original John John Molina and Floyd Mayweather Jr. As an opponent, how good is Molina?
EA: Well, first I have to say that John John Molina really impressed me. I had heard about him about two years before I had fought him. I wasn't really spooked by him before we fought, but he was always someone to be respected before climbing in the ring. Even though I had not seen any of his previous fights, I was very intimidated by him, but in a respect manner, not a scared manner. When we fought, I was on cloud nine, because I felt I was fighting an idol. I was fighting a man that I idolized, not someone I was scared of, but someone I had seen as a hero. I know that sounds crazy, but I could not believe it when I went out to the ring, I was fighting a guy I idolized. All I could think as I was walking to the ring "This is a dream", you know what I mean?
BC: Yes. It would be like me walking into the ring to fight my boxing hero, Manny Pacquiao.
EA: Right, I was expecting to wake up any freaking minute! That only lasted until he hit me with the first punch. Then I was like, "Ok, now it is time to give him my best." I really don't feel that I did a whole lot of playing around during that fight, like I had earlier in my career. Bob, I take my hat off to John John, it was a big deal for me to fight him!
BC: How good was Floyd Jr. as an opponent?
EA: He was very difficult. Let me explain it this way, you have someone in front of you that wants to destroy you. The way Mayweather fights though, constantly back pedaling, you basically run into your own knockout. To fight him, you have to find a way to keep him coming forward instead of inching back, not in retreat, but baiting you into him. People say a fighter involved in a fight never realizes how bad he is getting beat, but I disagree. A fighter knows when he is getting his ass whooped and in that fight, I really didn’t think he was dominating me. My corner stepped in and stopped that fight, when Mayweather wasn’t even landing the combinations he was throwing; he was mainly working the left hand at that time, none of that shit landed and if it did, it had nothing on it, you know? That’s why I didn’t know why my trainer had stopped the fight. I wasn’t okay with that decision. I have tried to come to peace with it, but now it’s water under the bridge.
BC: You won numerous belts in your career, recently winning two. In taking a decision from Russell Stoner Jones, you won the WBC Continental Americas light welterweight title and then stopped Jakkirt Suwunnalirt in two to take the WBO Oriental welterweight title. Do you have enough space to hang all of your belts?
EA: (background noise) Um yeah, wait did you ask me if I had enough shirts to go with my belts?
BC: No, do you have enough space to hang all of the belts you have won in your career.
EA: (Laughing) Oh, I’m sorry. There is a lot of noise here and I didn’t hear you properly. I wondered why you were asking about my shirts. That would be a funny question. No, but I wish I still had all of my belts I won. What I wound up doing was, the first two belts I won I gave to my parents, you know. The third belt I gave to my former trainer, he is gone now. I had another belt I gave away to another trainer and the last belt I gave to a family member.
BC: You have got to stop giving away those belts. You are going to have to get back and win another title so that you can have a belt of your own!
EA: Oh, for real huh? For real. You your right about that, I think the next belt I win I will be keeping! Really though, I can’t worry about that, I have to worry about just getting a fight so that I can fight again for a belt. First step first.
BC: Your fight against Frankie “Gato” Figueroa was judged a split decision. The fight took place on the undercard of Jones Jr-Calzaghe, on the PPV broadcast. How bad did that loss sting and did you feel you had done enough to win?
EA: To be honest with you, even though I didn’t have the workman’s type of fight, I felt that I had done enough to win. You see some fighters that do just enough to win and they get all the credit in the world, you know? But when I do it, they say “Oh well, he just went through the motions and picked the wrong day to do it”. In reality, I did enough to win but I also did some things wrong in that fight. I had the wrong trainer, wrong fight card, wrong promoter, wrong advisement team, you know, a lot went wrong just before and during that fight to hurt me. But I truly felt that I did enough to win a close decision.
BC: I read that you have a crew filming you story for a movie. Is that project still currently in the works?
EA: Yes, the project will be following me through the existence of my career.
BC: How did you become involved in this project?
EA: Believe it or not, the guys name is Sean Lynn, and he found me. I was living in Brownsville Texas with my family and he called me. The next thing I knew, a couple of months later he was living here, filming my life. I was like “What the…” (Laughing). The rest is history as they say.
BC: How is the project progressing?
EA: We have been working together and he has been upholding his end as far as doing things he said he would, at least the beginning part. Now everything is going along, he has these segments together and I like what I see. I’m cool with it, it’s better than what I would be doing with it.
BC: Where do you want to go from here and what lies in the future of Emanuel Augustus?
EA: Right now I have two plans. There is the reality as how it stands today and then there is the wishful thinking. The reality as it stands today is highly questionable because there are so many things going wrong, on so many different levels, that something good happening soon is wishful thinking, bottom line. As far as the boxing part of me is concerned, I have a strong belief that one fight can make or break a fighter, you know. I feel I can still get that one fight that can make me. I have been in the game long enough and I have somewhat of a name, and look, I am not trying to put myself over, I’m not, you know, someone like Danny Green or Floyd Jr. I’m not someone who can sit back and expect to receive the type of offers to pour in or the money that they can command. I am just trying to get back up, bit by bit and climb that mountain.
BC: Emanuel, the floor is all yours, what do you want to say to the boxing world, all of your fans and the readers of Doghouse Boxing?
EA: Honestly Bob, right now I just feel that, to my fans and the boxing public, I let them down by not giving my best to my sport. I’m going to do whatever it takes to give it my best inside the ring, and give them more of a respectful showing in the ring as well as outside of the ring.
Special Note: I’d like to thank Emanuel Augustus for taking time out to speak to Doghouse Boxing. For more on Emanuel and his future endeavors, listen to Bob, Butch and “THE Big Dog” Benny Henderson Jr. on Fightin’ Words Radio Show on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/fightinwordsradio. The show’ is live 6-7 pm Saturday nights, but is also archived on the show page. Also check out "Big Dog Radio", featuring Benny, Bob and "Big Time" Timmy Kudgis, Tuesday nights at 8 pm on the same page, Fightin' Words Radio Network". Call in and be a part of either shows at (347) 202-0832.