Ahmad Baby Face Kaddour RCM Interview: Comeback Goal is Ishe Smith Rematch
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
In a Real Combat Media international exclusive interview via video link from Denmark, Danish Lebanese super welterweight Ahmad ‘Baby Face’ Kaddour, best known as Sylvester Stallone’s favorite fighter on ‘The Contender’ television series, plans to return to the United States to train and fight after a two year hiatus. His comeback goals are to defeat Ishe Smith in a rematch, and go on to win the super welterweight championship of the world.
Old video footage shows the rivalry and apparent emotional static electricity between Smith and Kaddour is worth a belt rematch. Smith, who won the IBF World Super Welterweight championship at the Masonic Temple in Detroit Michigan in 2013 and lost the title later that year. Smith also challenged Erislandy Lara for the WBA world title in 2014.
Kaddour, 27-2-1 with ten knockouts, Aarhus, Denmark, appeared his eager and ready to go after a world title. Unbeaten in his last ten bouts, his last appearance in the United States was a stoppage of Vance Garvey at the Motor City Casino in Detroit, Michigan in October 2011. His comeback plans call for tune up bouts in Mexico and the United States. He has also been offered a comeback in Canada.
Kaddour is best remembered for his October 2004 and November 2004 bouts on ‘The Contender’ television series, controversial decision losses to Ishe Smith And Alfonzo Gomez. After losing to Smith, Kaddour was eliminated, but was subsequently voted back by the surviving boxers (after Juan De la Rosa withdrew from the competition). The spirit of bringing Kaddour back was to make for a hard bout between Gomez and Kaddour to the extent both fighters would be so beaten down after the hard bout no matter who the winner was, they would have little left to fight the next participant in the next round of the competition. Gomez went on to fight Miguel Cotto for the WBC world title and Canelo Alvarez for the WBA world title at 154 pounds. Kaddour has never fought for a regional or world title bout in 30 professional bouts. Smith and Gomez are still considered to be among the top 20 ranked super welterweights in the world.
The question is, after the two year ring layoff, where is Kaddour’s place at age 34 in the super welterweight division?
Robert Brizel: “Back in 2004 on The Contender, you had Alfonzo Gomez in trouble. You stopped fighting. You hesitated because Gomez was falling backwards, and you thought he was going down. You let Gomez back into the fight. You might have punched yourself out. Why didn’t you knockout Gomez?”
Ahmad Kaddour: “I got tired. I lost focus. (There were) too many cameras.”
Robert Brizel: “Where did you go after the Ishe Smith loss, after you were initially eliminated, to the extent that you were not mentally prepared to fight Alfonzo Gomez?”
Ahmad Kaddour: “They pulled me out of the show (‘The Contender’ after I lost the decision to Ishe Smith). I was not training, and not planning for another fight. O|I only had three days for the Gomez fight when they brought me back in.”
Robert Brizel: “Why did they bring you back?”
Ahmad Kaddour: “Somebody, Juan De La Rosa, got injured, and he pulled out of the competition with minor injuries. They needed to bring somebody back.”
Robert Brizel: “You stayed with Sylvester Stallone for two years.”
Ahmad Kaddour: “We had a house, and I had a car, a manager and a trainer. I was getting fully paid. However, I was divorced twice. I have a son, Jordan, by my first wife. I eventually left the United States, and returned to Denmark.”
Robert Brizel: “Baby Face, you now have a ten bout unbeaten string. You are planning to make your presence known in the super welterweight division. What motivates your comeback at this time?”
Ahmad Kaddour: “I don’t like Ishe Smith. I beat Smith, and they did not give me the decision on ‘The Contender’. I want to be world champion. Ishe Smith talked about me, but he had never seen me fight and did not known what I went through to accomplish what I did. I want to settle the score with Ishe Smith once and for all in the near future. It’s gonna happen. Since defeating me, Ishe Smith has lost eight fights by decision. He beat K9 Bundridge, who was like 40 years old, when he won the title. I’m unbeaten in my last ten bouts in a row. What’s Smith done? Lose eight decisions. This time, I’ll knock him out when we fight again.”
Reader’s Note: A belt fight would be a great way to take Kaddour’s career to a new level in his comeback. The International Boxing Federation North American Super Welterweight title is vacant. Higher quality opponents such as Ben Tackie and Vivian Harris would be a significant challenge step up bout for Kaddour at 10 or 12 rounds in an IBF bout.
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