It was a remarkable and compelling rise to the spotlight. But then came the stunning, confounding, and ultimately tragic fall. In the 30 for 30 film "Tommy," directors Erin Leyden and Gentry Kirby explore the story of one-time heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Morrison in a tale that's unlike any other. Born into a troubled family in the American heartland, Morrison's initial emergence as a fighter was bolstered by a starring role in Rocky V. A few years later, he beat George Foreman for the WBO heavyweight title, and seemed primed for more stardom, even in the face of blown opportunities and upset losses. But then everything changed in early 1996, when he tested positive for HIV, forcing him into retirement. From there, Morrison's life spiraled further and further downward, plagued by drug problems, jail time, and most alarmingly and bizarrely, an eventual denial that he had the virus at all. There have been other boxers, and other sports stars, whose stories ended sadly. But rarely is the loss of potential as poignant as the case of Tommy Morrison.
American Boxing Association launches American boxer retirement initiative
September 6th, 2017 -
The American Boxing Association (ABA) is excited to launch the American Boxer’s Retirement Initiative, with the goal of helping fighters to invest in themselves. Until now, professional boxing has been the only sport in the United States that does not have a nationwide pension plan that covers athletes after they retire. Boxing isn’t just a way of life for a professional. Boxing is life or death for them, yet many ex-fighters find life outside the ring harder to deal with than a life without the structure and routine that training provides.
Some boxers frivolously dwindle their wealth at the peak of their careers, only to face a harsh reality when they pass their primes. Without a nest egg to sustain their families, many are forced into a career changes. As Floyd Mayweather Jr. told the Guardian’s Donald McRae, “Boxing is real easy. Life is much harder.”
The American Boxing Association is proud to announce to all American boxers that we are offering to waive the standard sanctioning fees on title fights in order to encourage them to plan for the latter years of their lives. The Association of Boxing Commissions, and the Professional Boxers’ Assistance Foundation have raised a lot of money to help one down and out fighter per year receive retirement benefits, but the American Boxing Association felt that this is a need across boxing. “Every fighter can benefit from having the advise of a trained financial advisor,” said James Hagler, President of the American Boxing Association. “We want to help fighters invest in themselves.” The American Boxer’s Retirement Initiative will provide professional boxers with access to an independent financial planner, and the fighters’ fees will be reinvested in their future by covering all the setup costs associated with a 401k.
Ex-boxers like Riddick Bowe and Tony Tucker have become membe