Our friend Adrian Clark is launching a book, Protect Yourself at All Times. You should check it out. Clark, who created AC Sports Management, helps young and talented boxers go in the right direction in their career in and out of the ring. Clark was recognized by Forbes “30 under 30” which looks at some of the brightest minds in sports under the age of 30.
Leading up to the release of his book we’ll be exclusively sharing chapters of his new book on #TeamEverlast along with a few video blogs. Here’s episode 1.
“Protect yourself at all times…” Boxers have been hearing this since their amateur days. Inside those ropes, no matter the circumstance or situation, boxers know to look out for their best interests and safety.
After fighters exit the ring, protection diminishes when too many fighters walk around open and seemingly careless to the unfairness of the industry. It is easy to point the finger for the boxing industry’s being … shitty, for lack of a better word. Yet, the fighters have to hold themselves accountable for being taken advantage of for damn near a century. Yes, the Muhammad Ali Reform (Ali Act) was created to help further shield the fighters from being taken advantage of by promoters and managers, but since its birth in 2000, it has been relatively ineffective for the protection of the fighters. Most of the fighters today could not tell you three things about the Ali Act and what it does for them.
The boxing industry is not required to send out a memo to each licensed, professional fighter to alert him to changes in the industry. The fighters have to seek knowledge on their own; or, in most cases, have someone who actually gives a damn to educate the ones who would like to understand more.
A boxer’s job is not only to fight! In their 12 rounds, fighters will be informed on why they have to do so much more in order to protect themselves. Just as much as this book is to educate the professional boxers, it is also to educate the trainer, friend, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, mother, father, girlfriend, or wife. If you have a fighter in your life, then you should look to read this for, or with, him. Mom and Dad, you want the best for your boy and you don’t want anyone taking advantage of him, right? Coach, you see the blood, sweat, and tears in a literal and physical sense. You want to make sure Champ is protected, correct? Wifey, don’t you want to be in the know of what your husband needs to know so that you are on the same page? The saying is, “a happy wife makes for a happy life.” Life can be happier for everyone involved if the 12 rounds you are about to embark on are taken seriously. More than that, fighters: You ALL should want to understand more and learn how to protect yourself in this business. There is a reason why most of the greats before you are struggling financially, or have died with nothing. It’s because of lack of knowledge and failure to educate themselves on how to be successful businessmen in this industry. You guys spend countless hours, days, weeks, months, even years working toward your ultimate goal of being world champion. Spend the next hour going 12 rounds to learn how to protect yourself on the way to the title and riches.
You were given your instructions in the locker room. You are a professional and are expected to conduct yourself as such. Obey my commands over the 12 rounds. I want a nice, clean read. PROTECT YOURSELF AT ALL TIMES! Next page, come out reading… Touch ‘em up …. Let’s go.
A wise man once told me, “In this boxing business, you can get your brain shook, money took, and have your name written in the undertaker’s book.”
In this beautifully grotesque sport that we love, things usually go right until we begin to think wrong. The most important thing in this business is trust; maybe the most important thing in life as well. When you begin to second-guess the motives of your inner circle, that is the very day you begin to think wrong; thus the beginning of your demise. Now part of your focus is set to not being screwed; not totally on the fight.
Your performance will suffer if you are not “all there” mentally. You will be fighting not to lose rather than fighting to win. Once your performance goes south, your money follows. Being 100% acute on your mission is vital. This is the “focus business” when the stakes are your life. If you choose to play this game and take the gamble, be smart. Then you can gamble to the bank.
– 26-2 (19 KOs) welterweight, Mike Jones (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)