The champion loses his titles after being stopped in the seventh round on a chilly night under the south London stars. Georgie was the collection of knives that sharpened those tools for me prior to that moment.”. “My earliest memory as a young kid growing up in Queens was Muhammad Ali fighting in Germany. Five national titles and a bronze at the 1986 World Championships were yet more accolades he would attain in the unpaid ranks. “One day I read in the New York Daily News about boxers representing the United States who had perished in a plane crash in Poland. “Dad,” Michael said, his voice audibly shaking through the phone’s speaker. He also sees the people who mean well. I didn’t trust the applause, it’s superficial, it’s bullshit. I wanted them to see not Michael Bentt but Sonny Liston when I walked in the door, into his office. The unexpected champion had arrived but he failed to fully invest and believe in himself. How a group of police officers pointed their guns at him “for doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time.” How they ordered him to the ground, how he complied with their commands to not move, how one officer put a gun near his head and told him he’d “blow his f***ing head off,” and how another jammed a knee into his back. “You should be calm, listening, answering questions,” he says, “and maybe you’ll survive.”. I decided to fight on for him, even though the whole time my father thought I fought because of his enthusiasm for boxing.”, After just missing out on qualification to the Seoul Olympics after a defeat to eventual gold medallist Ray Mercer, Bentt returned home determined to hang up the gloves. And we met, and Michael went to school in London, the London School of Film, I believe. Bentt shunned the opportunity to go to the Olympics knowing that one day his father would use the fact that he paid for the team to go as leverage against his son. I had no interest but Emanuel drove up to our house and wanted me to sign. Michael Bennett Sr. had been asleep beside his wife, Pennie, when he was jarred out of his dreams and into a nightmare. Bentt would soon find out. I’m getting a paycheck and I’m cool with not being the ‘boxer guy’. It was a mind-fuck. “So when you’re a black person and you raise a young black man in this world, you have to have that talk. I have experiences that will last with me forever. If he had said something, maybe he wouldn’t be with us today.”. I don’t beat Tommy Morrison without the years I spent under Georgie Benton’s tutelage as an amateur. How all he could think about was his kids and his wife, and how he thought he was going to die for no other reason than for being black. Today, that pride is even greater. Clint Eastwood told me I know what I’m doing when he was directing me; and Michael Mann, who doesn’t smile for anybody, winked at me during a take. We do have to tell our kids. “I was afraid of being exposed on that level again,” he admits. “Emanuel Steward was one of the first men to ever love me like I wanted to be loved. When you sparred with Evander, I couldn’t tell who the champion is!’. Netflix Original Series: Episode 1 of Losers starring Michael Bentt But it’s not that simple. You can’t do it. That’s not to take anything away from Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. After the fight in his dressing room, Bentt collapses and spends 96 hours in an induced coma, but fortunately lived to tell the tale. He was Bentt’s kryptonite. He said no and tried to walk away. “I went to school, thought about it all day and resolved to tell dad I wanted out. What do you think about that?’ No, f*ck that. Despite his natural ability, the sport was never a natural fit and, after a year in the ring, he finally plucked up the courage to tell his father that his nascent boxing career was over. He wanted a mascot who would become the next Ali and, unfortunately, I was that mascot.”, Bentt was born in London and grew up in a middle-class suburb of New York with a boxing-obsessed father who was intent on creating a champion, whether or not his son had any interest in the sport. Tagovailoa made his NFL debut on Sunday against the Jets. Fortunately, he would indeed make the very most of the road that was chosen for him and blossom into a sublimely skillful heavyweight. “I still had a fascination with boxing, I just didn’t want to get hit. Bentt is remarkably open and honest with me and isn’t afraid to put himself down. “It was dysfunctional. As Michael Sr. remembers it, one of those officers was sitting in his car, which was parked in the grass, watching as he and one of his best friends, a white girl named Brenda, laughed together, backs leaned up against the building. It got competitive, like it can do with brothers, then I floored him. About a week later, I knock on my boss’ door and I said: ‘Thank you for the opportunity, but I have to go’. He had my number. But that shouldn’t be the case, that shouldn't be necessary. I had seen it all after my first fight, when there was nobody there. The ‘tune-up’ who would one day find himself in acting, ironically didn’t read this script. Michael disagreed with them. Despite his significant success in the ring, Michael Bentt’s relationship with boxing was deeply conflicted. I’m a loser? Michael’s advice to others - “Take what you learn and go out there and conquer the damn world. He doesn’t blame them. He’s a content man and is enjoying his best life long after his fighting days ceased. Morrison had outboxed one of the hardest hitters the heavyweight division has ever seen in George Foreman to claim the vacant WBO World heavyweight title. “Today I’m living between LA and Atlanta and I’m still a full-time actor and director. Three knockdowns and 93 seconds after the first bell – Michael Bentt was the new heavyweight champion. “So, we had a way to compete for a gold medal at the (Olympic) Games. That’s when something clicked and I remember vividly a voice says to me: ‘You cannot go back to Queens getting knocked out by this motherf*cker, bro’.”. Queens in New York City is where Bentt’s boxing career was first moulded. “I joined the military so people like Michael and Martellus and whoever else out there can take a knee or make a stand, peacefully, and get their point across and not be ridiculed,” he says. And he remembered how one day a group of young black kids decided to break that rule, and how the town responded by turning the pool into a basketball court a week later. It was only once his fighting days had concluded that Bentt would find what he believes is his true calling in life. I said: ‘Dad, I don’t want to box anymore.’ He went ballistic. In 2020, winning baseball does not always equate to aesthetically pleasing baseball. It’s been a long experience to get to where I am but I’ve found it incredibly gratifying. There were often fights on the last day of class in Amite, so the school would bring in police officers to keep the peace. Even after this run of victories, he still doubted his decision to keep fighting. He mentions Philando Castile, who was 32 years old—just a year older than Michael—when he was shot seven times by police last year after being pulled over.