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See what Evander Holyfield and director Bert Marcus had to say about their new documentary Champs

This boxing documentary shows the industry from a whole new perspective, and highlights how the industry has given a voice to marginalized people and yet ironically has caused the downfall of the champions it created. Champs depicts the stories of Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins and how boxing became an outlet for each from violence and sometimes crime. Yesterday we got exclusive interviews with the Bert Marcus and Evander Holyfield about the corruption within the industry and reliving the past, checkout the interviews below:

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Bert Marcus

What drew you to the topic of boxing? Were you a fan growing up?

I’ve always had such a love and respect for boxing. I think the inherent irony of boxing is escaping violence with violence is something that always drew me to the project. I’ve always been fascinated with the fact that these guys had to leave the toughest situations in life, on the street, to now go risk their lives in the ring. To me these guys are American heroes, icons. It was really interesting to me to see three of the greatest athletes of our time and get behind their mentality so you can understand what helped them be successful in and out of the ring.

 

The documentary discusses a lot of the corruption that exists within the industry, do you think that it has progressed or gotten any better over time or do you feel that these issues might be worse today?

The issues have been there, it’s kind of like the wild west unfortunately. Boxing is not federally regulated on a real meaningful level. The safety regulations are not what they need to be, they don’t have the proper resources for fighters to be successful. Finding the proper lawyers and accountants and doctors to take care of these guys. Boxing has got a long way to go, but that’s kind of the point of this film; to be a spark plug through entertainment and through getting behind the mentality of three of the most iconic fighters of all time and how that can change and hopefully this is the spark plug to do that.

 

Evander Holyfield 

The movie talks about a lot of the ups and downs in the boxing industry, was it difficult to relive some of the past?

No, it wasn’t because, coming up, the youngins and I – a lot of things don’t go right. You always got to do what everybody tells you to do and so you find that you don’t get all the things that you want so you get accustomed to having to do it over and over again. What people don’t know – the repetitive thing allows you to become successful because life is about competitive stuff, if you’re ever going to be great, you gotta do it over and over again. When I look at the setbacks that I had, if I didn’t have any setbacks then I wouldn’t be good at anything.

 

 

The film also discusses themes like coming out of poverty and the corruption within the industry, do you think there are any similarities between the boxing industry and the music industry?

It’s life. There’s nothing you’re going to do in life that’s going to be all smooth sailing, that’s just a fantasy. A lot of people got the fantasy that they’re going to find something where they won’t have to worry about nothing, they’re wrong. Theres always going to be ups and downs.

The film is now playing in theaters and on Demand and on iTunes.


-Nishat Baig