I was totally ignorant to boxing other than throwing punches, … That’s when I became eager to learn why did it happen, how did it happen and how to prevent it.
There are no pleasures in a fight but some of my fights have been a pleasure to win.
I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘’Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'’
Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up.
I suddenly got obsessive about boxing and Muhammad Ali around the time he was fighting Joe Frazier. I went off and did boxing. I looked incredibly good in the gym.
After awhile, when I started boxing, and started really fighting within myself, my animalistic qualities, and I started letting out all the aggressions that I've learned to suppress throughout my life, I realized how beautiful it is, to let loose and feel free.
We wanted the boxing to look authentic. To do that, we had to go in there and dish it, and give it.
To capture boxing on film I think is the hardest thing. No helmets, you can't hide the guy. I took some shots and gave some shots out.
I'm an avid boxing fan, so that was an attraction as well. And to work with Meg Ryan, Charles Dutton... and I just thought the story was great.
Boxing, for me, it's the beginning of all sports. I'm willing to bet that the first sport was a man against another man in a fight, so I think that's something innate in all of us.
Jim had to go on the dole, but he didn't wear the pain on his sleeve, ... He accepted it and kept trying to do the best he could for his family. The Great Depression is a character, and I think the villain in this piece is poverty. If there's a single moment in Braddock's life that I think makes him important in history, it's the fact that he went to the Social Security Commission and repaid the money he'd taken when he was on the dole. That shows you more about his character than anything in his boxing career.
I never saw Jim as a man who really lived for boxing at all. To me, the story was interesting because of his change of fortune. I thought, 'This is a great story, because it's true. You couldn't make it up.' Braddock had been a very responsible young man when he was doing well as a boxer. He'd saved his money, he hadn't wasted it. He hadn't lived outside his means. He did the thing everybody said to do at the time, which was to invest his money in the stock market. And in October 1929, he lost 85 per cent of his total net worth and was brought to the brink of bankruptcy. Suffice it to say, things turned bad.
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