Posted By Treasure / July, 17, 2013 / 0 comments


Posted By Treasure / July, 17, 2013 / 0 comments


Posted By Treasure / July, 15, 2013 / 0 comments

The USA, the greatest nation on Earth has had its fair share of highs and lows. No comment hurts more than the often made observation that this great nation was perhaps built on the slavery of African people.

America has come a long way from those dark days, so far indeed that an African American man, in the shape of Barack Obama, has been elected as the 44th President of the United States of America.

But there are still huge racial issues to overcome. When we say diversity in Europe, we tend to mean gender issues, when diversity is mentioned in America it is only referring to one thing, race. Many Americans are oblivious to this focus, but it hits me, sometimes literally, in the face nearly every day.

It is worth noting that Germany has rightly paid $61.8 billion to Jewish victims of the Holocaust; to this day the US has not even paid $1 to African Americans to compensate for over 400 years of brutal slavery. There are still deep contemporary and historical racial problems in America, but it could be a lot worse, and it could also be a whole lot better.

No country is perfect but personally, America has always shown me nothing but love and in return, I cannot help believing it’s one of the best countries in the world.

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X died trying to get civil rights for African Americans. The likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have tried to ‘carry the baton’ from where they left off and forcefully represent African Americans in the continued fight for their civil rights.

The Trayvon Martin case has brought strong racially charged feelings to the surface again. A mature man armed with a gun, confronting a teenager who was going about his business, going home and doing nothing wrong, was shot dead in what most other nations would see as nothing less than cold bloodied murder.

The fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman took place on the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, United States. Zimmerman was eventually tried for second-degree murder and manslaughter, but only after huge and sustained protests from the African American community. He was however, found not guilty.

For someone born and raised in the most cosmopolitan city on Earth, this looks at best to be a provocative and hazardous step, at worst it just doesn’t appear fair or just.

Celebrities in film, music and sports took to twitter to show their disgust with the verdict.

World champion Ishe Smith commented on the verdict that it was a “very sad day in American history.”  Hip-hop mogul, Russel Simmons called for peace in the streets of America and for Florida to look at their gun laws, “I know many people are very upset about the verdict, but we must remain peaceful. No matter what, remain peaceful. This is not ‘only’ about race. This is about laws that allow racist acts to go unpunished. We must change laws that promote injustice.”

Former undisputed world heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis, added to Russel’s thoughts on the laws, “these laws clearly need to be changed. This is why all votes are important, not just the President’s. That could be my son.”

Former world champion Kendall Holt, asked the question “I wonder what President Barack Obama thinks of another child murderer going free in Florida!!!”

There have been comparisons with celebrities that did time for lesser crimes; for example, American football player Michael Vick killed a dog, and superstar singer Lauryn Hill didn’t pay taxes. All did time. George Zimmerman killed a young man and is free.

Statements given by Zimmerman have indicated that on the night of the shooting he was in his vehicle on a personal errand, when he noticed Martin walking beyond the gated fence inside the community.

Statements read that Zimmerman then called the Sanford Police Department to report Martin’s behaviour as suspicious, stating “this guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about” and “looking at all the houses”. While still on the phone with the police dispatcher, Zimmerman exited his vehicle, and after concluding his telephone call with police was involved in a violent encounter with Martin. The encounter ended with Zimmerman fatally shooting Martin once in the heart at close range.

Trayvon was just innocently going home. He had bought some Skittles and a drink. He was walking in the rain with his hoody on. Zimmerman thought he looked ‘suspicious’ and consequently, confronted the 17 year old kid, which led to the boy being tragically killed.

Due to Florida’s gun laws Zimmerman was found innocent. This is a seriously dangerous and flawed law, as you can start an altercation with someone and if you become scared for your safety, for whatever reason, can kill them on the grounds of the nefarious ‘Stand your Ground’ law.

George Zimmerman’s defence was funded online, and backed by pro-gun groups who feel strongly about America’s gun laws that enable them the right to walk into a store and buy a firearm and use it.

When the police arrived on the scene, Zimmerman stated that Martin had attacked him and that he had shot him in self-defence using a weapon that he had on him. Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose and from two vertical lacerations on the back of his head. Zimmerman was treated at the scene, after which he was taken to the Sanford Police Department.

Zimmerman was detained and questioned for approximately five hours. He was then released without being charged.

The circumstances of Martin’s death, including the fact that he was unarmed, coupled with the initial decision not to charge Zimmerman attracted national and international attention and scrutiny. Allegations of racist motivation for both the shooting and police conduct were voiced by many.

If a teenager is walking home and a man confronts them aggressively, it would appear obvious that they have a right to defend themselves. The teenager was probably very rattled and scared. I am a grown man and I would also be worried about this reckless vigilante approach.

Zimmerman had a gun on him, just how much did that fuel his aggressive and confrontational approach to challenging Martin?

It is very difficult to understand how a not guilty verdict would be reached in most other states, let alone in most other nations. There was really only one witness, and that was Trayvon Martin and he was now dead.

Even though Zimmerman targeted Trayvon because of the dangerous and racist profiling of young African American men in America, I do not believe this was a race crime.

In my humble opinion, this had much more in common with the recent events in America where 27 children were killed in Sandy Hook Elementary school by Adam Peter Lanza, and The Century 16 movie theatre, where James Holmes killed 12 movie-goers in Colorado.

America has a big problem with its gun laws. Obama wants to tighten them, but the gun lobbies have big connections in Congress and the Senate. The Republicans are big backers of gun ownership, and therefore it will be nearly impossible for Obama to make any headway, but he is the first African American to be head of state, so he has already achieved the impossible in many eyes.

Tracy Martin, father of the murdered Trayvon, said afterwards “even though I am broken-hearted, my faith is unshattered; I will always love my baby Tray.”

CNN and Fox News have been televising the court proceedings like it was a major sporting event. It has been interesting (and a little distasteful) to see how different America and Britain are in their reporting of high profile court cases.

The ‘sentimentalisation’ of the court proceedings and the televised coverage of the case is something that the UK does not yet have.

Piers Morgan has been critical of the American judicial system, and he has not held back on his television show. He firmly believes that George Zimmerman was guilty of killing an unarmed boy, who just had a bag of Skittles to defend himself against George’s gun.

NAACP Florida State Conference President, Adora Obi Nweze, released a statement after the verdict “We lost a young man due to senseless violence, but justice did not prevail”. “… Last year we pushed for the arrest of George Zimmerman and a thorough investigation and trial. Today, we are still called to act. No one should be allowed to use this law to commit a senseless crime again.”

Whilst there are many, many great things about America, this case has the potential to split America in half, dangerously dividing and polarising opinions.

President Obama commented on the Trayvon Martin case that “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, if I had a son he’d look like Trayvon.”

He also signalled the need to further the debate about Florida’s Republican-backed and hugely permissive “Stand Your Ground” gun laws, which have seen the number of “justifiable homicides” from self-defence shootings almost triple since it was introduced in 2005.

Mr Obama called for a thorough investigation into every aspect of the case.

Abraham Lincoln famously said “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”


Posted By Treasure / July, 10, 2013 / 0 comments

I’ve been back in Las Vegas for just over a month now after my two week stint in New York City, sparring with former world champion Luis Collazo.

Being around Ishe Smith, IBF 154lb world champion is motivational, as well as inspiring. He is an athlete who has been through the highs and lows of the sport. He then achieved the ultimate goal as a fighter, when he won the world title in February after 13 years as a professional.

He was due to defend it on July 19th, only to get injured during a sparring incident that I witnessed first-hand. It is only a minor setback for someone who has been through so much, but he is still champion and a new date will be arranged in due course

Our careers have been quite similar, and being at such close quarters, watching Ishe train and spending time with him as a friend, pushes me that little bit more to accomplish my own goals.

Badou Jack and Mickey Bey will headline the boxing show on July 19th now. I’ve been involved with some intense sparring sessions with Mickey over the last few weeks. He knows that sparring with me is harder than fighting John Molina in the main event. He will win and then the next stop will be the world title.

Floyd Mayweather is back in Las Vegas after his promotional tour with his opponent, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez across America and Mexico. Their combined record is 86 wins and 0 losses. This will be a massive fight. Boxing fans across the world wanted Floyd to fight Canelo and he has given them their wish.

I’m a big tennis fan and watching Wimbledon whilst in Las Vegas has beentotally different, as I’m normally in London when it is on. Andy Murray is a major boxing fan, he has said many times that he treats his tennis matches like boxing fights. He has come very farwithout losing what he stands for and his ‘common touch’. He has stepped out of the shadow of Tim Henman, and hasbecome one of the best tennis players inthe world; he has won the US Open, last year’s Olympics and now Wimbledon. His rise to fame is a perfect example of Floyd Mayweather’s ‘hard work and dedication’motto. He is a shoe in to win the BBC’sSports Personality of the Year in December.

This week was a big celebration in America. July 4th, which is known as Independence Day, is a huge occasion as it marks the day America gained Independence from the British.

It’s a day for friends and family to gettogether to celebrate with food, fireworksand an authentic celebration of America’s history. As well as that, we can see army personnel (carrying army flags), fighter jet air shows, and more events that are usually intended to foster patriotism in the hearts of Americans. It was the first time in eight yearsof coming here that I have been privileged to celebrate with my American friends

We had a real fun day. It started very early at 5 am when we went to Mount Charleston for our run up the mountain. Mayweather Promotion fighters, Badou Jack, JLeon Love, Luis Arias and a few others from the Mayweather Boxing Club were the dedicated fighters that took on this challenging task. I’m currently the king of the mountain, and undefeated week in week out, just like Floyd Mayweather.

As always, we went to Baby Stacks Cafe to restore our energy levels, and fill up on protein and carbohydrates. Former world champion and trainer to champions, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad says I eat like “it’s my last meal and I’m headed to the electric chair”. Being a qualified dieticianand nutritionist I know the importance of eating the right foods at the right time.

In the tough and unforgiving industry that I have chosen to make my career, it is so rare to make real friends, let alone have this unique feeling of belonging to something so special.

The day was ended as it started, with my team mates. We are more than a team, more than friends, more like a family.


Posted By Treasure / July, 1, 2013 / 0 comments

On Labor Day 2006, California Governor and seven times Mr Olympia winner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Joe Weider protégé, presented Joe with the Venice Muscle Beach Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Achievement award. Schwarzenegger credited Weider with having inspired him to enter bodybuilding and to come to the United States to seek his American dream.

Formerly known as ‘the Governator’ and huge action movie superstar, Schwarzenegger commented on the passing of Joe. “He taught me that through hard work, I could be a champion. Joe didn’t just inspire my earliest dreams of becoming the best body builder, to live the American dream and becoming an actor. He helped me make them a reality. He invited me to America to pursue my bodybuilding career. I will never forget his generosity. He wasn’t just generous with his money but with his time and expertise and he became a father figure to me. He urged me to ‘exceed yourself’.”

Everyone needs positive, inspiring and motivating people around them. I am lucky to have my own Joe Weider in the form of René Carayol. We met in the most uncommon of circumstances, but he saw the potential greatness that lies within me, just like Joe saw it in Arnold.

My mum, my dad and Mr Isola Akay MBE from All Stars Boxing club have all played a significant role in my journey. Many more along the way have shown me genuine love and believed in me.

I come from a deprived area in London that is unfortunately filled with far too many hard luck stories and the inevitable crime that follows those without hope.

As a 14 year old I had been expelled from two secondary schools, and could not see a positive future for myself. How could I? Everyone around me was negative and pessimistic about the future. I never lost the belief deep down inside that I could achieve something positive with my life.

The British boxing industry just didn’t have any faith or support available for me – so I was by myself. I had a dream and I have had to fight hard both inside and outside the ring to turn that dream into reality.

In 1985 I decided that I wanted to take up boxing, my parents, especially my mother, was dead against the idea. She’s not one, who believes in violence, but I loved the sport and I kept asking. Persistence is a key to being successful and that is a trait I had as a young adolescent.

In 1988 after years of asking, my mum agreed to let me try it out, and my father took me to the All Stars Boxing gym in Paddington, London. That’s when I first met Mr Akay, who constantly added fuel to my fire. I thoroughly enjoyed my first session and it enabled me to find my true self. This passion and commitment to the sport of boxing has never left me, no matter what the setback.

Much like Arnie, America was always my big dream and in 2005, I set out for New York City. I was a little scared and anxious, but going into the unknown is what has always driven me. I learned that in order to achieve your dream you have to try the things that others said could not be done. This approach will inform you just how good you really are.

From the start America loved me and believed in my talent. I met Dmitriy ‘Star of David’ Salita and boxing trainer, Harry Keitt on that first trip to New York. Dmitriy would fly me to America for training camps for many years to come, to assist him prepare for his boxing matches. He believed in my talent and nicknamed me the “British Marvelous Marvin Hagler”.

I met Stan Hoffman, manager to over 30 world champions, up in the Catskill Mountains during a training camp with Dmitriy. Stan believed I had attributes that could not be taught, but that champions naturally possessed. He would get me my first fight in America.

That fight led to me getting my break out fight with former world champion, DeMarcus Corley, who had just fought the now, two time world champion, Devon Alexander, for the world number one spot. I was a huge underdog, but I caused a major upset which would lead to former undisputed welterweight champion, Zab Judah avoiding a fight with me on the Roy Jones Jnr and Joe Calzaghe event at Madison Square Garden a few months later.

After years of going to NYC I needed a new challenge. I decided to take myself to Las Vegas to watch Floyd Mayweather prepare for his fight against Miguel Cotto. Again, I felt the fear of the unknown, but I just felt it was part of my destiny and went anyway.

Floyd was welcoming and I decided to return. Training alongside and watching the best in the business is something very special.

Sometimes you have to pause and reflect on what you have achieved, as many people and athletes never get as far as I have come. Every day I wake up and I am nearer to the dream I had as a five year old child. Maybe I am deluded, but being deluded and believing in myself has got me to the ‘mecca’ of boxing.

This year alone I have trained alongside three world champions; Floyd Mayweather, Ishe Smith and Chad Dawson. Dreams can come true but you have to believe, be persistent and work so hard. It is not easy to do what I do, but it is worth it. I inspire people to achieve their dreams but René Carayol, Lucille Treasure, Zachary Theophane, Tyrone Theophane and Dorothy Edwards are people I think of everyday and because of them I push myself harder than the day before. As the man says, “surround yourself with positive people and positive things will happen. Surround yourself with negative people and negative things will happen.”

Be careful who you associate with, as that can be the difference between success and failure. I’m currently in a gym with three former world champions who are now boxing trainers. They all respect and believe in my talent; Roger Mayweather, Cornelius Boza Edwards and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.

There are two current world champions resident in the gym, Ishe Smith and Floyd Mayweather and many great fighters coming and going in the gym. I’m in the perfect place to reach my potential, but that also means that I have to give even more. There is no easy road to success and there is no-one to blame for failure but yourself. The real trick is to know that you have tried as hard as you possibly could. Then even failure can feel like winning.

The constraints and hardships I endured whilst growing up will not be an excuse for failure, in fact it has served to drive me ever further towards my destiny.


Posted By Treasure / June, 18, 2013 / 0 comments

Over the last four weeks I have been in London, New York City and now I’m back in Las Vegas.

I was back in London after nine weeks in Las Vegas, watching and learning from the highest paid athlete and number one boxer in the world, Floyd Mayweather. That was a great experience to train with, and alongside Floyd and his fighters.

My services were requested by former world champion, Luis Collazo, whose team flew me to New York from London. Luis has fought some of the best fighters of our generation in Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton and Andre Berto. It was the second time we were sparring, and the spectators would have gladly paid to have watched the action.

It was very good to be back at Gleason’s gym in Brooklyn.

Some of the greatest fighters ever to lace up boxing gloves have walked through the doors of Gleason’s gym; Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Roy Jones, Marvin Hagler, Carlos Monzon, Pernell Whitaker, Wilfredo Benitez, Julio Cesar Chavez and Alexis Arguello have all trained at this gym. They are the greatest!

I’ve had the pleasure of training there since 2005. That is now eight years. Whenever I walk through the doors when returning from the UK, Bruce Silverglade, the owner always says “welcome home”. This place is my home away from my home at All Stars Boxing Club in London.

I’ve learned so much at Gleason’s gym and I’ve made some friends for life. Many of the fighters there encourage me “to keep on doing what I’m doing”, as it inspires them and helps them push hard towards their own dreams. I try to inspire myself everywhere I go, and when it rubs off on others around me; it’s an amazing feeling and motivates me even more to keep up the hard work, dedication and perseverance.

I have sparred world champions Joan Guzman, Elio Rojas, Yuri Foreman, Paul Malignaggi, Argenis Mendez and countless world ranked fighters at Gleason’s. For all my big fights, except my fight against former world champion DeMarcus Corley, I’ve had a training camp at Gleason’s gym. My fights with world champion Danny Garcia, two time world title challenger Delvin Rodriguez, British champion Lenny Daws and European champion Jason Cook where all performances that came from my day in, day out sacrifice at the world renowned boxing gym.

Whilst in Brooklyn, I had a very interesting meeting with a New York promotional group who are keen to sign me. They believe I am the sleeping giant in the 140lb division and that I am capable of beating any 140lb fighter in the world today. This informs me just how highly I am respected in America. State to state, and coast to coast, I’m recognised and respected. I am seen by many as one of the hardest workers in America. My conditioning has been praised at Mayweather’s Boxing Club in Las Vegas and at Gleason’s gym in New York City.

I’ve set the bar high for myself now, and consistency is now the key. There can be no letting up, if it’s in the ring, on the roads or in the gym. I have to keep pushing myself harder, faster and further.

We ended the week of training in Las Vegas with a 6am run up Mount Charleston. There were eight of us from the Mayweather Boxing Club. It was hard work running 9000ft above sea level. After the run former world champion and world class trainer to champions, Eddie Muhammad treated us to breakfast at Baby Stacks restaurant.

It is good to be back with all the guys in the gym. We work hard together and support each other on our continuing quest for glory.

We are stronger together.


Posted By Treasure / June, 17, 2013 / 0 comments


Posted By Treasure / June, 10, 2013 / 0 comments

A huge thanks to George Johnson at Phenom Photography


Posted By Treasure / June, 7, 2013 / 0 comments


Posted By Treasure / June, 6, 2013 / 0 comments