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Mike Weaver and Iran Barkley Interview: Boxers Stop Taking PEDs Or You Will Die!

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent


In a Real Combat Media international interview exclusive, former boxing champions

Mike ‘Hercules’ Weaver and Iran ‘The Blade’ Barkley, concerned about boxers taking steroids and other Performance Enhancing Drugs in the heavyweight division, warned boxers to stop taking the drugs or face certain death, the ultimate possibility of abusing your body at a young age and doing permanent damage.


Weaver won the WBA version of the world heavyweight title by knocking out John Tate in Knoxville, Tennessee on March 31, 1980 in the fifteenth round.  Barkley held a share of the world middleweight super middleweight and light heavyweight crowns during his career, and won the WBB version of the world heavyweight title by stopping former champion Gerrie Coetzee in Hollywood California on June 8, 1997.


Iran Barkley: “Boxing has to clean its act up. What is wrong with all these guys taking all these steroids and performance enhancing drugs anyway? They should suspend these guys for wrongly using these drugs they are using? If you cannot fight on your God given talent, you don’t belong in the sport of boxing.”


Robert Brizel: “Should Alexander Povetkin be banned from boxing? Or is he innocent?”


Iran Barkley: “Povetkin? Yeah. I think he should be banned. They all should be banned. Thoseprofessional boxers using performance enhancing drugs all should not be allowed to fight. The only world class heavyweight out there who is clean in the damn game is Deontay Wilder. He’s fighting on his God given talent. All these other guys is trying to boost themselves up to beat him, and using performance enhancing drugs to try to beat him. Deontay would beat them any old way anyway. These guys got to use performance enhancing drugs, where did all this stuff come from? That’s what I want to know. Where did everybody start using performance enhancing drugs to try to increase their speed any power?”


Robert Brizel: “Should boxers who test positive for performance enhancing drugs be given second and third chance again and again?”


Iran Barkley: “No! I think they should keep these mother fuckers out! Why do you got to use illegal stuff to beat somebody? They should take their damn purses away, and award the other man all the money.”


Robert Brizel: “Do you think many of the previous fights of Alexander Povetkin and others In boxing are now in question because they weren’t tested? Many Russian world champions have defended their title quickly against foreign opposition without being tested.”


Iran Barkley: “They were never properly tested for this kind of stuff. It just so happens a world title fight caused everything these guys did to come into question.”


Robert Brizel: “Did it require that, and should it have been done sooner?”


Iran Barkley: “It should have been done sooner. They should have tested these guys. If you can’t win on your God given talent, they should kick them (the cheating boxers out of boxing).”


Robert Brizel: “Iran, you fought Thomas Hearns twice, Robert Duran, Sven Ottke, and many other fighters, both famous and not so famous. Back in the day, none of your opponents cheated in the way they are cheating inside and outside the ring now. Why is this happening now?”


Iran Barkley: “Because they guys don’t really have the strength and the power they claim they have.”


Robert Brizel: “Do you think the drive to win makes people lie and cheat?”


Iran Barkley: “Yeah. They are starting to lie and cheat because they don’t have the power they are supposed to have. They are fighting guys bigger and better, bigger and strong with better ability. And all these guys using all these steroids and stuff. C’mon man! If these guys don’t play the game cleanly, they should just get kicked out of boxing for good.”


Robert Brizel: “In the long run, when people lie and cheat, it catches up with them, doesn’t it?”


Iran Barkley: “Yeah, it catches up with them in the end. All it is a God given sign is they are trying to cheat. If you cannot win on your God given ability, you should be kicked out of the boxing game.”

Robert Brizel: “Do trainers encourage the sort of illegal substance use amongst boxers we are seeing today? The great heavyweight champions were never so influenced”


Iran Barkley: “Ali, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, none of these guys had to resort to this. They did it (their accomplishments) on their God given talent. Some of these damn trainers should be looked at. If they don’t know what their fighter is doing, they should be suspended. How can it be you don’t know what your fighter is doing, and you’ve been around them? They already babysit their fighters in training camp, so, how is it you don’t know what is going on with your fighter?”


Robert Brizel: “In your career, back in the day, Iran, you also fought some very courageous but untalented fighters who knew when they stepped in the ring with you they were going to get knocked out. Yet, these fighters make no excuses and fought cleanly. What is causing this strange change today in the professional boxer’s mentality?”


Iran Barkley: “These guys. They already feel, they know they aren’t going to win in their careers. The problems they have in life start to wear them down. They started to turn to drugs. They start to thinking, well, if I win this fight, I’ll get the money, and I’ll do this and that. Once their get their steroid high, they are already hooked.”


Robert Brizel: “What about drugs which mask the steroids and other illegal substances?”


Iran Barkley: “All the substances which are illegal should be banned. When a doctor and a commission find a fighter with drugs in their system, they should be suspended until they come back and test positive.”


Robert Brizel:” You think the boxing cheaters today will stop using steroids and other illegal drugs?”


Iran Barkley: “They still need to stop using, or they shouldn’t be allowed a payday or to get in the ring. They don’t know what they are doing to their life. They are crazy. All this steroid junk is popping up because guys are afraid someone else is using the stuff, and they think you have to use stuff to beat him.”


Robert Brizel: “What do you think great fighters like Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis and Jack Johnson would make of all of the steroid use by heavyweight boxers?”


Iran Barkley: “It’s a slap in their face. They didn’t have to use that kind of stuff when they was fighting. They fought on their God given talent. When you enhance yourself and try to beat somebody, you aren’t going to win.”


Mike Weaver: “You have fighters taking this stuff to enhance their ability to do certain things, to fight better. It’s all cheating. It’s unreal.”


Robert Brizel: “What penalty should fighters face after being found guilty of using PEDs?”


Mike Weaver: “They should face the maximum penalty. They are just cheating. In my day, they fought on natural ability. In many my day, I never used anything. I never smoked or drank. I don’t smoke or drink. Never did. The only thing I ever did was ate right and took my vitamins.”


Iran Barkley: “We fought on our God given talent. We didn’t have to do that stuff.”


Mike Weaver: “Exactly.”


Iran Barkley: “What happens now? How many fights are taking place with fighters doing illegal performance enhancing drugs and stuff not getting caught?”


Mike Weaver: “Somebody told me the majority of fighters today are taking some kind of steroids or dope to enhance their performances in the ring.”


Iran Barkley: “Guys like Mike and me coming up, we didn’t have to use that stuff. We fought on our God given talent.”


Mike Weaver: “That’s right. We fought professionally on natural ability. No kind of stimulants, drug or needle shot. We trained and we fought. But today some of these fighters take all these drugs to make them look better and run faster. Whatever the illegal drugs do, they are used by fighters to give them an unfair advantage. They should be given the maximum penalty.”


Robert Brizel: “What does it do to a fighter’s brain and body in the long run to use performance enhancing drugs and other bad stuff on your body?”


Mike Weaver: “I never did it. In the long run, it’s going to affect the body, it will even kill you. I had a friend, a professional wrestler who took this PEDs when he was younger. He regretted it when he got older. The drugs caused him illness, and he died. He told me 90% of the professional wrestlers used steroids. He is one of them, who died. Eventually people who are on drugs and dope die. It’s going to take its toll on them. They try to do the best they can at a young age in their thirties. At a later age you are going die. When I was young I thought drugs and drinking would hurt you. When it was offered to me by another boxer, he said he had pills to make you bigger and stronger, I said I wasn’t going to do that.”


Iran Barkley: “I worked out daily, and did the job clean. The winning aspect of a champion.”


Robert Brizel: “Do you think all the boxers jacked up on the Jamba Juice are gonna die?”


Iran Barkley: “Yeah these guys are gonna die in the long run. Boxing came a long way and took a long time after Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali to get where it is today, and now this.”


Mike Weaver: “Yeah, the boxers using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs are gonna die.”


Iran Barkley: “They don’t got no faith themselves to win and fight on God given talent. Drugs won’t do you a good job to win like that. We hope they don’t die from it. I want to know that fighters fight clean like we fought clean.”


Robert Brizel: “Do you think promoter and managers and trainers are encouraging their fighters into steroid and performance enhancing drug use today?


Mike Weaver: “Some of them are, and now (in the recent news) we know all about that.”


Iran Barkley: “They are sneaking steroisd and other performance enhancing drugs in. You know it’s not allowed. Some trainers might tell their fighters some commissions and promoters don’t know about it, to test you in your urine or whatever. They try to get away with it before their fighter fights, whatever they can get away with.”


Robert Brizel: “Iran, you fought Gerrie Coetzee. Mike, you fought Gerrie Coetsee, Michael Dokes twice, Carl Williams, Johnny du Plooy twice, Larry Holmes  twice, and so on. You guys know the heavyweight division, Mike more so. Does today’s heavyweight division have a future?”


Mike Weaver: “I like to believe so. I’m not saying every heavyweight out there is using dope or drugs. Some out there are honest. There’s a place for good heavyweights out there. A few are bad, but most are still good.”


Iran Barkley: “Yeah I don’t think every heavyweight out here is using PEDs. A lot of clean guys is in the division. Those fighters doing everything (PEDs) are making the division look bad.”


Robert Brizel: Back then, in your day, fighters would never do steroids.”


Iran Barkley: “There was no need for it. We was fighters back then on our God given talent.”


Mike Weaver: “Back then, blood testing and urinalysis testing, we always had that.”


Robert Brizel: “Not in every state.”


Iran Barkley: “Places like Atlantic City and Las Vegas and New York City, their state commissions did comprehensive testing back then, but it wasn’t as critical as it is now.”


Mike Weaver: “Anti-doping tests are very critical now.”


Iran Barkley: “All that drug enhancing performing stuff in the Olympics just came out. Young amateur athletes should not mess with their bodies with performance enhancing drugs. It has an effect on them early when it catches up to them later. They don’t have their eyesight, or their body doesn’t function right. They destroy their body.”


Mike Weaver: “That’s exactly that’s what it does.”


Iran Barkley: “Guys like Mike Weaver and me, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali and a couple of other guys, we fought for the love of the sport, and the money.”


Robert Brizel: “Iran, you have dealt with dishonesty in boxing for a long time. Do you feel that it catches up with the people who do the wrong thing?”


Iran Barkley: “It catches up to them.”


Mike Weaver: “It catches up with them. It does. I can say a lot about a couple fighters who aren’t here with us today. Certain things they did, I found out over the years what they did doing themselves. I love myself too much to do anything to my body. I use natural stuff and my God given talent. At 66 years old, I still work out.”


Robert Brizel: “Robert Brizel’s education in the athletes and the evils of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs is seen in the candidness and directness of what Iran Barkley and Mike Weaver had to say, telling the truth with the hope young athletes will not use PEDs to enhance their abilities and put their lives in danger from the long term effects of such illegal usage.”




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