Monday, March 20, 2023  |



Michael Grant dropped from Crawford-Indongo card


Michael Grant enjoyed “the next big thing” status back in the late 1990s and was able to get in the ring and take a swing at the heavyweight championship of the world.

It didn’t come to fruition for the boxer, but he’s still seeking to compete and believes he can make some noise in a division he sees as “diluted.”

Now 44, Grant, who holds a 48-7 (36 knockouts) record, thought he would be gloving up August 19 in Nebraska, on a Top Rank promotion topped by a Terence Crawford vs. Julius Indongo junior welter scrap.

Now living in Atlanta, Grant was slated to fight Brit boxer Dillian Whyte (20-1, 15 KOs).

“It’s not going to happen,” said Grant in a Wednesday phone call. “I was told it was because the fight was receiving bad press.”

The boxer told me that he’s in good spirits, and “can’t complain, life is how you treat it.”

He hadn’t yet started scouting his opponent, he said, and was told by Top Rank that he would not be scrapping with Whyte, who is promoted by Eddie Hearn. Grant said that he’s been cleared by doctors to fight, and received brain scans and a battery of tests to get the go-ahead.

The Pennsylvania native last fought in April, getting stopped in Round 2 in Poland against Krzysztof Zimnoch (22-1-1, 15 KOs). His cornea was scratched, he told me, from a punch, and he couldn’t see well, resulting in a knockout loss. The scratch healed in a couple days, he notes.

“Everybody has an agenda and people gonna talk,” the boxer continued, allowing that he did note that so many people opined on his situation, but no one took the time to try and reach him and hear his side. “I’ve learned so much in this game. So my skill set isn’t the same as back in my youger days, but I can still crack. I know George Foreman got these same questions: ‘Why you doing this?’ And then he knocked Michael Moorer out, at age 45. I talked to Larry Holmes and asked how old he was when he retired. He was 48, still fighting on ESPN, kicking butts and taking names later. People will always talk.”

People will and are asking, why does he want to keep fighting? It isn’t financial need, he told me. He wants to keep competing, and sees that the quality of boxers isn’t the same when he was on the way up, beating Al Cole, David Izon, Lou Savarese and Andrew Golota, before losing to all-time great Lennox Lewis in 2000.

“As for that fight in Poland, I got two weeks’ notice and I was on nuts and guts, man,” Grant said. “My opponent was nervous, big time, and that’s what you want as a fighter, your opponent to be fearful. But I got caught with a shot I shouldn’t have and I couldn’t see him.”

Yes, Grant wants to keep on campaigning. “The only really good guy I see is Anthony Joshua, and Deontay Wilder is coming around. But the quality of fighters isn’t the same as it was.”

My take: Once again, we are reminded these fighters aren’t built like you and me. They are immensely proud and ultra-competitive. And just because hair starts going gray, those traits don’t recede completely. Fighters fight.