Monday, July 22, 2024  |


Manager sees his own destiny in Mohammedi’s fight

Fighters Network
Nadjib Mohammedi at the podium ahead of his fight against Sergey Kovalev. Photo by Naoki Fukuda.

Nadjib Mohammedi at the podium ahead of his fight against Sergey Kovalev. Photo by Naoki Fukuda.

He and his kid likely won’t win on Saturday night, not if you go by the odds, the resume, the footage. But one never knows until one knows …

And there are pockets of people who believe in Nadjib Mohammedi. Like his co-manager, Vince Caruso.

The former music-biz guy, who helped rep Marco Antonio Barrera back in the day, helped craft this opportunity for Mo, a Frenchman with a 37-3 mark. If Mo does the unthinkable, defies the 45-to-1 odds against, it’s a life-changing triumph, and oh, how sweet it would be for underdog Mohammedi, and Caruso.

“I come from the gutter, the bottom of the barrel, I don’t know my real parents to this day, I’ve been up against the wall my entire life,” Caruso told me. “The odds are 45 to 1 against my guy, my life has been 45,000 to 1. I could have not been adopted or been an abortion. There are two things I’m good at: being a single father and repping athletes.”

He drifts back to one of his mentors, a fairly unlikely one, maybe, for a Caucasian kid from Jersey. “Eazy-E … if not for the day he picked me at the airport, at LAX, Oct. 16, 1994, with 80 bucks and two suitcases … he gave me a chance. All we had between us was he went on my radio show in college. For some reason he saw something in me. Before he died (in 1995), I never had a chance to ask him why he did that, to ask him why. There’s definitely a reason I’m here. And I will say we’d have no chance without ‘Honest Abe’ Abel Sanchez, Mo’s trainer.”

Caruso continued: “People who think this will be a walk in the park for Kovalev … yeah, a walk in Central Park, at 3 a.m., in 1980. It’s going to be like ‘The Warriors’ reincarnated!”

He pauses, thinks of some of his darker days, when hope was in short supply, back when he used pills and powders to lift his spirits, or tamp down internal voices of negativism.

“The reason I’m here, I’m waiting for God to tell me,” Caruso said. “I left a Vegas rehab 11 1/2 years ago, and now I’m back here. How did I get here?! There are mysteries here, with me and Nadjib, all of us. Saturday those will be answered!”

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