Trainer Richie Giachetti speaks on the return of Oliver McCall and Riddick Bowe
Interview with longtime trainer Richie Giachetti – Part 1
Interview by Benny Henderson Jr. (November 12, 2004)  
Richie Giachetti
Long time boxing trainer Richie Giacheti knows the business just as well as anybody. With over forty years of experience he has trained a multitude of fighters and seen his share of contenders, pretenders and champions. He has trained a slew of fighters and since his start in 1962 and he’s has been in the corner with such fighters as the great heavyweight Larry Holmes in the seventies, as well as the hardest hitting heavyweight in boxing history, Earnie Shavers, along with junior welterweight great Aaron Pryor, controversial heavyweight Mike Tyson and former world champion Oliver McCall, who will face DaVarryl Williamson on Don King's 'Battle for Supremacy' card on November 13th. Now he has taken on the role of training Riddick Bowe and once again Oliver McCall in their returns to the ring. With Bowe being off for the last eight years Giachetti has his hands full, but with his no nonsense way of training he could get blood from a turnip green. He feels that the thirty-seven year old Bowe and the thirty-nine year old McCall still have something to add to this lackluster heavyweight division. In this two-part interview the well-known trainer gives his thoughts on guiding both McCall and Bowe in their career comebacks as well as his new cruiserweight prospect Steve Cunningham.

Benny Henderson Jr.: How have you been doing Richie?

Richie Giachetti: It is going good, just getting into shape. Oliver and me have been together a long time, over twelve years. A few times some hurdles and some things that had happened but Oliver, well we just have to get Oliver together first. You repair Oliver at any given time he can beat can beat anybody out there in the heavyweight division. The only one he can’t beat though is Riddick Bowe.

BH: Looking at McCall, where do you see a thirty-nine year old Oliver in the heavyweight division and do you feel Oliver McCall still has enough left in his gas tank to make an impression in the division?

RG: Oh yes, his skills are still there. He has had a few set backs and a few things that he has done he is trying to cure those things. In the past he has never been abused in the ring he has just abused his self, but it hasn't diminished his ability to box at all. And how the division is out there, you have to understand he knocked out Lennox Lewis ten years ago. He has never been abused he was incarcerated on his own choices, he just does things with out thinking. But as far as boxing he still has a good couple of years. This is his last chance around though, if he doesn’t do it this time he is done. But I have had guys go up to that age and it is not old, if you don’t abuse yourself it is not old. You keep doing it and training hard and keeping your body right, there is not a problem with it.

BH: Oliver has been off around a year and a half and his first fight back was against highly over matched Vernon Woodard, 7-9 (6). DaVarryl on the other hand just come off a big fight with Wladimir Klitschko and he has the skill and experience. Do you feel McCall is jumping the gun with this fight and should have a few more tune-up fights or do you truly feel Oliver is ready to take on the top guys in the division?

RG: Yes, see the thing is he has goals he has the abilities and give us enough time to train and the right sparring and any given time he is ready to go. He has the desire back in him now and as long as you have the desire and the fire and your body you still can succeed at doing it.

BH: What are you and Oliver McCall working on particularly to help knock off the ring rust?

I tell him to keep throwing punches, the object of the business now you have good boxers, he is a slugger puncher. He has to keep busy and work of his jab and not let guys tee off on him. He has a habit of standing in front of people and he gets bored with the fight. And it’s like guys like Tyson that if you keep them active they win easy. You let them stick around and they keep throwing punches and you’ve got a problem. You don’t have a guy that is like Riddick Bowe who has the ability as a boxer puncher and the ability to move around and use his jab and use his height as an advantage to him. It is two different styles and Oliver has to take the lead.

BH: Who are the guys that you are training at this time?

RG: Steve Cunningham, Oliver McCall and Riddick Bowe.

BH: I was there for Riddick Bowe's return when he fought Marcus Rhode and even though he fought a guy like Rhode he didn’t look bad. A lot of people are saying things about his mind but I when I spoke with Riddick he seemed as sharp as he was back in the day.

RG: Well what happened was that’s a fraud and things started by his ex-manager, sometimes people want everybody to be a puppet and all of a sudden Riddick stood up on his own and so the guys are putting up false things. And when he had some domestic problems and was going to jail they used some wrong strategy and it is nothing but his ex-manager who did this. I mean he has taken test after test and passed them, he is in the gym everyday working out with me and I have been with him now for four weeks and I don’t see anything. He just needs to sharpen the tools that he had, it is just like a carpenter with a toolbox. Now we are taking the tools that have been lying around for eight years and we are taking them out and the ones that are dull we are sharpening them up, and the ones that are sharp we are leaving them alone. This is just what you don the skills are all there and the ability and he wants to do it. We have a good strong regime, we get up early in the morning and run three miles and go to the workout gym and work his muscles and to the gym at night. We are working three times a day without a problem. So the man is doing all of this and dedicating his self, he is back on the right road. He is building his way up which is good to get the rust out of you and get sharper with the fact that you are fighting. It keeps his determination up and his desire and gets motivation. The negative people are saying things without even knowing or checking with what he can do. They're just opinions, people are saying things but doctor after doctor has checking him out and I have been there and I wouldn’t want to work with a guy that has it, but every time we do the MRI’s they come out perfect. After five and six of them and there is nothing there… The problem is that they don’t have anybody to make an example out of so they use a great name like Riddick Bowe and want to try to get there reputation off of him saying something that isn’t true, that his lawyers used against him and said it, but it wasn’t true. He just had some domestic problems and they wanted to use it as he was crazy. I really don’t know the whole true story, but that wasn’t put there because of the doctors said it and told him to quit fighting, he quit fighting because he wanted too. He was just having some problems and he wanted to get the air cleared and his head straightened out. His new wife supports him and is beside him and he has the desire and she is for him fighting and that makes it that much better. When you are fighting all the time who wants to do anything. When you have piece at home and have love for your wife and your wife is for you and with you instead of and I hate to say this but she is not after his M-O-N-E-Y and a lot of people who say they are not but quit giving it to them and see what they do to you, they treat you like hell. If there were anything wrong with Bowe his wife would be the first one to say stop fighting. It is for the love for the sport and it is how the heavyweight division is, they have no super stars. Do you have anybody that you can say that you like the way he fights in the heavyweight division, no. There is no Larry Holmes, no Riddick Bowe, no Ali and not even a Lennox Lewis, which was nothing to me. There are much better champions out there in the world to represent the heavyweight division than what they have today.

BH: What about your cruiserweight Steve Cunningham?

Well, he keeps winning and he keeps listening, and as long as he keeps listening and doing what he has to do he is already six in the world so I am going to start getting him up to win the cruiserweight title and then go for heavyweight. He weighs about 189 to 190 and he can get up in the 200’s. But you know what, some of the greatest fighters of all time, Larry Holmes was never more than 210 when he started, 195 pounds Marciano, 185 pounds Joe Louis, Jimmy Ellis was about 185 pounds. There are a lot of these heavyweight champions that weren’t these big guys, when you are a little guy you just have to move and be conditioned and work the big guy down. Mike Tyson was at his greatest at 217 pounds so even when Bowe fought he was 230 to 240 pounds. If you keep your movement and jab going and not stand in front of them and slug you can beat them, there are always different ways at beating the real big guys.

BH: Bowe’s weight has been an issue, how is his weight as of now?

You know he is a heavyweight it is going to come down. I mean it won’t go away overnight and he is doing a good job of it. We are working on the weight, I can’t get it off with one fight and I am not going to starve him and make him weak, then I would be a dumb trainer. We are working on it and it is coming off and each time you come out and see him fight you will see him more and more down, it takes time. He is working it off, no dietary stuff, no junk; just hard work.

BH: When do you see Riddick making a run for the top ten?

RG: Right around March or May or April, it all depends.

Stay tuned for part two which will include his thoughts on Tyson as well as Larry Holmes.
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