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I was an alcoholic. Even when I was fighting I was drinking. When I was drunk I would want to fight anybody, I guess it was my way of getting rid of my tensions and anxieties.
I was never really into boxing. I had a family to support, so I couldn't travel. I had fought in Texas, Peru and Italy, but I couldn't keep doing it. I never made much money out of fighting. I think my biggest purse was about $2,000.
The worst thing I ever did through drink is what I served seven years for. I had been drinking and my girl friend was drunk, too. we got into a fight and she came at me with a butcher knife. I was carrying a gun, so I shot her. She died later in a hospital.
I'm a reformed alcoholic and have found Cod. I counseled for AA while I was in prison. If I hadn't had a drink, I wouldn't have been in that joint
I just came out of jail for unlawful entry and fought Ali when I was 28 years old. I used to like going to the gym on Fifth street in Miami. I was working out one day when Chris Dundee asked me if I wanted to fight some kid called cassius Clay. I was broke, so l said yeah, O.K.
I wasn't in any shape, though. I knew he could box, but I didn't know how much heart he had. At the time I fought him I didn't think he had much heart. Now I think he's all right. I think he's a nice guy, and we became friends.
That happened when we were both in the Dade County jail, when he was getting harassed and they put him inside for five days on account of a traffic violation.
He was helping in the kitchen while he was inside. I had been inside for two years. When he saw me, he said, "Hey, that's my man, Tony. How long you been in here?"
When I first met him he was a very quiet nigger. They are always like that until they become famous. I call every one of them niggers because that's what they call each other.