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Interview with Greg Haugen – Part III
By Boxing Reporter and Writer Chris Cercola

I fought Gert Bo he was he was 26 and 0, 24 knockouts, he was the European champion… I love Denmark, it was one of the Greatest countries I ever been to. It’s a beautiful country, the women are beautiful, sunny. You know, I got over there and I was loud and obnoxious and boisterous, and they thought I was crazy because the people over there are pretty quiet you know, and I’m going, “I’m gonna break your fuckin ribs, I’m gonna break him down, I’m gonna bust his ribs”, because he was a little taller than me you know, so I was just psyching him out every time with him at the press conferences, it was, “I’m gonna break your ribs dude, I’m gonna bust your ribs”, trying to psych him out, and people in Denmark thought I was crazy… It was the best places that I ever got to travel for boxing that I can remember going…

Gert Bo was 5’10, good puncher, good puncher, but he had a bunch of wins against a bunch of fading, once good fighters from America you know. When I got over there, I had Eddie Aliano, as my cut man in the corner, so I had Eddie go over there in the dressing room to watch them wrap his hands and they were trying to use that fuckin gauze where it always turns to plaster after a few rounds, so we made him re-wrap their hands and he wasn’t gonna re-wrap his hands, he was refusing to re-wrap his hands so I told the promoter I said, “Here’s the deal dude, you have 10,000 people out there, and you are gonna have to explain to them why there is not a main event because I’m not going out there, I’m not fighting until he re-wraps his hands with legal gauze”, so they bitched and moaned about it, and finally they did, he was a good fighter. He was a typical European fighter, he was a real stand up, straight up fighter, but he was tall, about four or five inches taller than me so he had a reach on me, and I was confined to fighting an in-fight…

He was pretty much like Jimmy Paul you know, you have to avoid the jab, you have to get inside, and you have to break it down, so I think I stopped him in the eighth round but you know, he was a real tough guy. Nobody is invincible you know, he hadn’t lost, 26 and 0, knocking everybody out, so I got over there and I was talking like I was going to destroy him and being an obnoxious American, didn’t matter what they thought at that point, it was more head games, trying to psych him out. Get into his head to where he’s thinking about you and not thinking about the fight, because you got a guy who’s constantly thinking about things in the fight. Fighting the fight over and over in his head can be mentally and physically wearing, you can only fight the fight one time, you got a do it in the ring, but you know, you start worrying about all this stuff. There were certain things I would do, I would drop hints at press conferences you know, I am here, I am in great shape, I mean, I trained hard for this fight and you know, only he knows if he trained like he should’ve… When he’s alone, and he’s sleeping when he’s in bed by himself, and he doesn’t have all his buddies around telling him how great he is. Only he knows if he did the right thing, if he cut corners, or if he did the right thing and trained as hard as he could’ve and should’ve. If the guy didn’t, it starts wearing on him you know, he starts thinking about that two or three days before the fight you know, and it’s something that consumes your thoughts all the time, and that’s psychological warfare, and that’s an advantage for you. It’s a rough tough game, and if you could get a little advantage here, a little advantage here, it’s gonna add up to one big advantage so stuff like that, you get in a guy’s head, you try to psych them out… Psychological warfare.

Pernell Whitaker… That was a nightmare! Any time you’re fighting a good southpaw that’s quick, fast, hard to hit. Southpaws are a totally different game! I mean they got the advantages on you because of the fact that there are so few southpaws. It’s like when you see two southpaws getting in there and fight, they’re looking at each other like, “What the hell do I do?” They’re lost because that’s something that they don’t usually see. With southpaws, everything is opposite, it’s like a jab usually doesn’t work on them, it’s more right hands, left hooks, and keeping your left foot outside his… It’s more foot control, it’s a lot more that goes into fighting a good southpaw. If you’re fighting a good smart southpaw that’s fast, it’s a nightmare. And Whitaker, of all the guys I fought, Whitaker is by far the best guy… I was a little frustrated, but he’s the kind a guy your not gonna hit him with two shots. You might hit him with one, but you’re not gonna hit him with two or three good shots to hurt him you know, it’s going to be one big shot and he’s the kind of guy you can’t get frustrated… You have to fight your fight.

And the part that I wasn’t real happy about, fighting, I am a champion, and I had an idiot for a manager, “Yeah sure he’ll fight anyone, He`ll fight in your hometown no problem, you know for a couple thousand dollars more, we’ll fight in your hometown!”, you know, he’s an idiot. I was tired of being a champion, fighting on the road all the time. I mean, I like some hometown cooking now and then… I mean I like people cheering for me you know… I also loved going in and quieting down 10-20,000 people. Quieting them down, not giving them anything to cheer about, that’s also a great feeling too, but it’s nice to have a little bit home cooking. It just got to the point where I was frustrated having to fight Whitaker in Virginia and you know, it wasn’t my best fight, he beat me in a 12 round decision you know… It’s not something I’m embarrassed about because he beat a lot of good fighters and those are the kind of fighters you can’t get frustrated with, you got a just keep plodding and keeping your game plan, and even though you’re not able to land a lot of shots on the guy, you’re missing more than your landing, you just gotta keep from getting frustrated which is pretty hard to do when you’re fighting a guy like Whitaker…

Third fight with Vinny was supposed to be at 140 but he couldn’t make weight, gave him an extra 2 pounds, which was a stupid thing on my part. I should’ve never done that, I didn’t really know the rules, so we ended up letting him slide on the 2 pounds, and he came out and he ran like Carl Lewis you know, he knows he couldn’t beat me standing in front of me out-boxing me, so came out there and he ran, pitty-pat, pitty-pat, run, run, run… Pitty-pat, pitty-pat, run… So they gave him the decision, and it is what it is…

I started dating a girl from California. She decided she wanted to buy me a computer… I went out with her, out on the first night and I still talking to her, and I said, “If you wanna know anything about me, just Google me”. She went home and checked me out and she found out that I have about 35 or 40 pages in Wikipedia or whatever it was, and she was pretty surprised at that. So we started talking, and she tells me I needed to get online, I said “Why do I need to get online?”, well that’s the new thing, you know, the computers are new age, so she bought me a computer. I started getting online, then sooner than later, I have 5000 friends! I still respect Vinny, we’re still buddies, I like to think we are still good enough buddies, if I see him, we’ll have a beer together and reminisce about old times you know, there’s no hard feelings, I don’t have any hard feelings against anybody that I ever fought. If they have hard feelings against me, oh well, that’s their own fucking problem, it’s not something I can control… They’re in there to try to win, I’m in there to try to win, you know, it’s just the way it is. That was a long time ago, and if they still have problems and issues with me, then I don’t know what to say because you know all, I can say is I know that I respect everyone I ever fought, because you know, it’s not for everyone, it’s a rough tough game to be in the spots that we were, to be the very elite of the elite… Less than 1% of the guys are fighting. I knew I can fight, I knew I was a good fighter. There was just a matter of getting out there and matching your skills against guys that you’ve seen on TV you know? That you got a good fighter there, and you’re holding your own against them… That tells you, you belong. You just got to the point where I knew I could fight, I was the best of them if I was in good shape. I couldn’t fight if I wasn’t in good shape, they wouldn’t be that good of a fight because my fight depends on pressure, I had to pressure guys, and pressure them guys down…

Real Combat Media wants to thank Mr. Greg Haugen for taking the time to give this interview.  It was most enjoyable to say the least.

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