Lights, Camera, Action!


The Future of Boxing author Alexandre Choko

Alexandre Choko is the 38-year-old former Tristar gym owner, fighter and boxing promoter who completed an eight-year labour of love recently with the publishing of his 324-page coffee table style book The Future of Boxing.

It features 55 intimate interviews with boxing’s all-time greats.

The Crossfire had an opportunity to speak with Choko, who was in town to promote the book.


The Future of Boxing

MMA Crossfire: I have to say Alex, unboxing this book was like buying a new car or a pack of double-mint gum. It has that distinctive “new car smell.”

Alexandre Choko:  (Laughs). Well, I guess we owe that to our printer, Friesians, in Altona, Winnipeg. They are the best in the country. And they use acid-free products! Mind you, I paid extra for the books to be shrink-wrapped. It keeps the form, and the smell.

MMA Crossfire: You interviewed 55 all-time greats for the book. Was there anything that surprised you during the process of interviewing?

Alexandre Choko: I would say the candidness. These guys had I would say between 10 -15 journalists covering them, depending on where they’re at in their careers.  They had hundreds of cameras just shooting at them. When I was with them, it was always one-on-one. In their homes, sometimes in their car, sometimes in their hotel room, or in a private section at the International Boxing Hall of Fame. And the questions I had for them was geared towards finding out where they came from. Their background, their childhood. Memories growing up. How they got started in boxing. And they were very candid. They were not asked these questions in years, if not ever. I was more than once pinching myself during these interviews.

MMA Crossfire:  Did you have any particular ones that you felt like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I got this guy?’

Alexandre Choko: Yes, many times. Mike Tyson. You can’t just knock on his door and get an interview. Oscar De La Hoya, who took me four years to actually nail it. George Foreman. Gosh, leaving his place, I remember he is a very intimidating man. But out of all, I think the ones I think I had the best bonding with – and actually I was with him a week and a half ago – and five minutes into the conversation while he was browsing through the pages for the first time, I said, ‘Ray, Can you do me a favor? Can you pinch me? I’ve been pinching myself for five years but now the book exists.” and he started laughing, asking why. I said, ‘Ray, this surreal. I’ve been to your house. You’ve granted me an interview that I will cherish for the rest of my life and now we’re sitting down and discussing ideas on how we can go out there and promote the book. This is unreal. You’re the reason why I love boxing.’ So those moments truly… Have you ever met Oprah?

MMA Crossfire: I haven’t met her personally, no.

Alexandre Choko: Is she someone you would like to meet someday?

MMA Crossfire: Absolutely.

Alexandre Choko: So imagine you’re having a conversation with Oprah and then she tells you, ‘Why don’t we continue this tomorrow over lunch?’ Then you’re like, ‘Are you for real?’ (Laughs). These guys are my heroes.

MMA Crossfire:  So you were a boxing fan from the beginning.

Alexandre Choko: I was a boxing fan at an early age. My grandfather still lives in France and will be 90 in April.  He survived the war, is from a Jewish-Polish background and fought at an early age. He always loved boxing and he introduced me to the old-timers and learning how things were done back in the day when champions fought three times in two months. Now they fight twice a year. And one thing led to another; basically I was given by my parents a punching bag when I was 8 years of age. I started judo at 5. I really got into it when I was 14. I must have rented Sugar Ray Leonard’s fight against Marvin Hagler. Back in the days, it was simple VHS; we would rent at the store. The fight went down in 1987 and by the time I got my hands on the VHS, it was 1988. And my passion just kept on growing. I never thought I would I would own a gym one day or fight myself, but yeah.

MMA Crossfire: It is amazing how you went on to create Tristar and all of that…

Alexandre Choko: I can’t take credit for creating Tristar though; it already existed. I joined in 1992, created in 1991 by Conrad PlaMichel Lavallée and Ron Di Ciecco [who were owners with Pla for a very short time]. Three guys, that’s why it was called Tristar. I joined in 1992 but I purchased in 2001. But I created what it is now.

MMA Crossfire: Right, the Tristar that we know.

Alexandre Choko: Exactly, with the extension. When I bought it, people would not take their shower there. I hate to say it, but it was a dump, you know. Which is fine, for fighting gyms. I’ve been to lots of places where taking a shower was a challenge and-a-half. But my goal was to make it accessible to more than just the tough guys. The Tristar that you know now is something that I’m really proud of.

MMA Crossfire:  GSP is going to be fighting soon at UFC 154 soon in November and will have Firas Zahabi and Tristar in his corner. Are you still keeping up with the MMA side?

Georges St-Pierre. Photo by Glenn Dextras.

Alexandre Choko: You have to understand something.  While I was the owner of Tristar, one of the responsibilities I imposed on myself was to create the best environment possible for these guys to do whatever they wanted to do. Whether it was a 5-year-old kid coming in for karate, to a kid that wanted to take boxing to become more confident in himself, or a lady taking Kendo, or a kid coming in with no money wanting to learn grappling because they think they have a shot at something – and the kid is Georges St-Pierre. As I said, my responsibility was to really make sure under one roof, everybody was treated equally and everybody would get a chance to accomplish what they wanted to do.

Am I still keeping on top of things as much as I used to when I was at Tristar? No. You can’t be good at everything. My passion is boxing, and I truly focus on being in boxing. Do I still want Georges to do well? Absolutely. Was I with the vice-president of UFC two and a half weeks ago in Las Vegas? Yes. Because, when you open the book and the first thing you see is all the collection of tickets in the inside cover. Do you see it?

MMA Crossfire:  I do.

Alexandre Choko: Well, that collection belongs to Marc Ratner and he was the Las Vegas commissioner for 20 years. He was hired by the UFC to become their vice-president and to open up these markets. So Marc and I, we worked together and we’re boxing fans. That’s what solidified the relationship…

MMA Crossfire: Fight capital of the world…

Alexandre Choko: Exactly and it is the capital of the world of boxing in Las Vegas. With that being said, I don’t know who Georges is fighting in November (Carlos Condit). I know he is fighting in Montreal. I really hope that’s he gonna be impressive making his comeback. It’s a show. Everybody forgets that entertainment is the most important thing in the fighting game.

MMA Crossfire: Exactly, that’s what it says in the introduction of the book. It’s not just the skills, but the ability to make things exciting.

Alexandre Choko: Yes, absolutely.

MMA Crossfire:  So what is the thing about the book that you’re most proud of?

Alexandre Choko: The first sentence that was going to come out of my mouth was ‘everything’ (Laughs). Seriously, it’s only 2-3 weeks that we have it in our hands.  I see people flipping through the pages, oohing and aahing. Great. I went through actually 17,000 images just to choose the cover.

MMA Crossfire: Fascinating.

Alexandre Choko: Yeah. And hundreds of thousands of images to select the 600 pictures that are in the book.

Alexandre Choko
Future of Boxing author Alexandre Choko and boxing great “Sugar” Ray Leonard. Image courtesy Boxing Bob.

MMA Crossfire: So what is it about this picture that made you choose it for the cover?

Alexandre Choko: It’s a fighter going to the ring. Everybody’s looking at him. It’s a very important moment in boxing; it’s the entrance. The person who watches this picture does not know who it is. We’re all waiting. And that’s what the future of boxing is. At this moment, there are very important things that I think need to be done in boxing, but a lot of people are on their toes, waiting for them to happen. Understand? And the viewer – the fans who stands where we stand when we look at the book, don’t know the fighter. I like the sentence Lennox Lewis said: Boxers are like volcanoes. We’re just waiting for the next eruption. Isn’t that great? To answer your question, when I thought of it, I think this book is unique. It has never been done before. Never someone  – and my wife was polite not to say it out loud – was crazy enough to put everything on the line. Sell his car, mortgage his house, sell his gym. To be able to meet all these greats, but to go to the end of the journey and to actually produce the book he said he was going to produce. I hate to talk about myself in the third person. I feel like I’m in a Seinfeld episode (Laughs). The truth: Many many times I said it to myself: I owe it to them. I’m not even supposed to be on this earth when you think of it. My grandmother is a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau. I’m not supposed to be here, that’s the honest truth. When you think of that, you say, ‘Well you know what? While I’m here, how about I give it a shot? I’ll just go to the end.’ A great human being said, ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risk, will accomplish nothing in life.’ And that fellow is Muhammad Ali.

MMA Crossfire: I see.

Alexandre Choko: So I have to say I’m really proud we have a great book. Because not only do I think it’s going to help boxing – if decision makers are nice enough to read it and actually take notes and take action. But I also believe that a lot of the things that these greats were kind enough to share with us and whoever will be smart enough to read the book. I think there’s a lot of people who will read the book even if they don’t like boxing. I take the example of Oprah that I asked you earlier. Put this book in front of Oprah and she’ll say, ‘You know what? There’ some really interesting life sections in here.’ And I think any student of human nature can learn from this.

MMA Crossfire: I think that’s one of the main characteristics of the book. It invites the reader to check out the book in a friendly way.

Alexandre Choko: And you’re right. I’m not in the business of making anybody look bad. Some guys cook everything for themselves like Don King and just turn their back on the future of boxing. And if you look at the page of Don King… do you have the book in front of you?

MMA Crossfire: Yes.

Alexandre Choko: If you go to Don King’s page (pg. 160). Look at the picture.

MMA Crossfire: (Laughs). There he is.

Alexandre Choko: That represents him. Cooked everything for him and he’s turned around and this is what he’s leaving us with. His big happy face on his jean jacket. And boxing is hurting in some ways because of that attitude. Can we learn from this? Absolutely. If you give too much power to one man, unfortunately, history has proven that he will have a tendency to use it in a bad way.

MMA Crossfire: So I guess MMA would be wise to pay heed to this sort of thing.

Alexandre Choko: Well, MMA is actually doing well because everything is under one umbrella. If you talk to the fighters, they’re going to say they’re super-super happy to be part of the organization, but they all should be making more money. That being said, I’m pretty sure that in the near future – like in the next 3 to 5 years – there will be a better equilibrium between the sharing of the revenues.

Don’t forget that the UFC owners Zuffa took a humongous risk back in the days. They bought the business for a million bucks but they sunk about $40 million to I think $100 million before they started seeing black. That being said, to this day they continue to invest a lot of money into their sport. Boxing, that’s not necessarily the case. Only recently you have other smaller promoters who are trying to reinvest into the sport. You don’t know who’s first, who’s second, even for people in the industry, it’s very hard to follow. Where, you ask anybody on earth who follows the UFC and you ask them who’s the best fighter pound-for-pound, three names are going to come up. It’s [Anderson] Silva, or Georges when he’s on top of his game. Boxing , UFC and [pro]wrestling have a lot to learn from each other, but I think they have to think outside of the box. Learn from other sports that are not necessarily fighting-oriented. I don’t know if you had a chance to get to my conclusion which I call ‘The Next Round,’ but I believe that sports like the NFL, tennis, hockey, Formula One and golf can have a positive influence on the decision-makers for a sport like boxing.

MMA Crossfire: Those are all very successful and viable sports and they continue to sometimes begrudgingly, but for the most part they continue to look for ways to keep themselves relevant.

Alexandre Choko: Exactly. They continuously re-invest in their sport. And the truth is, when you win that Super Bowl, you’re on top. There’s no one better than you in the world at that moment in time. And typically in boxing and the UFC you’ll have a champion, the guy loses, they come back in three months after and regains his championship, which is cool. You can’t always win; that’s impossible if you fight the best. If you don’t fight the best, you’ll win all the time but… I always take the example… Take the best tennis player in the world, let’s take [Roger] Federer. Take him out, make him play just in the United States for three years. He’s going to win every single tournament. Then bring him back to Wimbledon and he won’t be able to return a serve, because he will have not played against the best players in the world. The same applies to boxing. I think that there’s a funny expression in boxing: The 0 has to go. If the 0 still exists after you fight the best, then great! That’s one thing they do really well in UFC, but they do it because they control the fighters. They’re capable of saying, “Georges, you know what? You’re fighting Matt Hughes again. You’re fighting B.J. Penn again.’ He can’t say no. He can’t go to another organization and fight someone else. You see what I mean?

MMA Crossfire: They do seem to have better structural control.

Alexandre Choko: Because they apply the same recipe as I mentioned as they do in hockey. If you watch the Maple Leafs… people go see them because they love the team. And those poor guys they haven’t won.. When was the last time they won?

MMA Crossfire: There should be a criminal inquiry into the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Alexandre Choko: (Laughs) Why is that?

MMA Crossfire: Because they haven’t won in 45 years and Toronto is the only town who will accept a loser for 45 years, yet pay top dollar every year and say,  ‘Go Leafs Go!’

Alexandre Choko:  (Laughs). But it’s a good example if people love the sport, they’ll go see it even if your home team doesn’t win. If you have a favourite fighter like Arturo Gatti, or Mickey Ward, guys who went through wars. They don’t win all the time. OK, big deal. But man, you know you’re going to get a good fight every time you watch them. Those are the things that I think are needed in boxing. The level has to be raised, not lowered.

MMA Crossfire: You said you are an amateur, but in reading your background, you were into things for a long time as a trainer. Let’s go back to those training days for a moment. When did the idea for the book pop into your head.

Alexandre Choko: I became a trainer because Conrad, who at the time was the sole owner of Tristar, needed a replacement for a kickboxing class and I was in his class and he knew I was good with people. So he asked me to replace him. He said, ‘You can teach the class. You’ve been doing it for so long, you know it by heart.’ OK. Both of my parents are academics. They went into university and never came out. And I actually went to good schools, but I didn’t do so well (Laughs) because I was more interested in doing business and being out there hustling and doing things in a constructive way. I normally always do what I say I’m going to do. To answer your question, back in 2004, I’m at Tristar gym. (married?) I’m three years into my own co-ownership at the gym. I had at the time, promoted maybe 50 boxing shows, kickboxing shows, “Tough Man” contests. I did it all. Legal, illegal, whatever. I started tapping into… To get my license to promote professional fights, I was obliged to go in front of the jury here in Montreal at the city court and say on oath that I would no longer hold my boxing fight nights because they were actually illegal. They were in a grey zone. I was taking you and your cousin and putting you in the ring, and saying, ‘OK, Give it your best.’ And the crowd, with all your family and friends, were deciding who gave the best show. You would go home with a tape and T-shirt saying ‘Champion.’  So that being said, when I wanted to do pro boxing they said, ‘You gotta say no more to this and we’ll give you your license,’ which I did.

So back in 2004 I had already started [my pro shows]. I married my sweetheart Sandy Martinez the March before. But I realized very fast that I could not do what I wanted to do in this field without having the proper network. And I’m being very honest. I say it in the book. I confess; one of the main reasons why I started doing this book was to meet the greats. I figured if I could meet them, and if these guys can know me for more than a half an hour, hopefully they’ll like and remember me, and when it comes time to do bigger things in the field, they’ll be receptive. You know? So I wrote the list of questions in 2004, and I registered with the Writers Guild of Canada. I remember talking with one of my best friends, Eloise Gratton, who’s a lawyer, and was working on a book. I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to do a book too.’ My father has written books, my grandfather has written books and so on. I thought, ‘OK, I’m just going to start; I have the funds to start. Let’s do it. Believe it or not, it took me more than two years to actually find the anchor on how I would meet these people. Because having the idea to meet them is one thing, but getting their phone numbers and the address and talking to them. And most importantly, having them grant you an interview that is worth $15,000 to $100,000 because every interview is filmed for the contents on the DVD. And keep in mind, not being able to pay them was it was worth. It was like mission impossible. Was their time where I doubted and said, ‘How am I going to do this? Yes. But I managed to nail an important relationship and deal with the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the fall of 2006. It was only in January in 2007 that the first interview was conducted. So this is almost three years after having the idea and registering the questions with the writer’s guild and the title The Future of Boxing. It’s true; it took a little over five years to conduct the interview. But altogether between having the idea, 2004, and having the book in our hands, 2012, it’s eight years. Was there some times during that process where I doubted? Yes! Of course! I’d be lying when you go to your naturopath and he tells you your back is cracking because your heart is pumping too much because you have money worries and so on. This is reality. But this the only way you can accomplish something. Unless you won the lottery or have very rich parents or wife or whoever is going to fund everything you want to do. That was not my case.

MMA Crossfire: Have the fighters seen the finished product? What were their reactions?

Alexandre Choko: Oh man, that’s a nice question. Well, yes, five of them. I was in Las Vegas as I mentioned to received the book and meet a couple of people there. The first fighter that I actually gave the book to I will remember for the rest of my life because not is he only part of the book but he is one of the greatest fighters of all-time and he’s still alive. Roberto Duran

MMA Crossfire: Nice.

Alexandre Choko: Who has lost a ton of weight, 40 or 50 pounds since we did the interview. Looks great. He speaks Spanish and believe it or not, he never speaks English. He never speaks English. He started speaking English to me: ’Man this is good! I want to come to Montreal. I was like, ‘You rat! You said you didn’t speak English!’ (Laughs) But I knew he spoke English. And we took a picture and was really happy. Then two weeks went by there was another event; the WBC [World Boxing Council] was raising funds with those Hugo watches and then invited twelve champions and ten showed up. The WBC offered the book to all those champions. So they had a little ribbon. You know the WBC green belt? We customized a version and there was a green belt around the book and it said  ‘Please accept this present from us.’ So they wanted to offer it on their behalf. They purchased those books from me and so everybody got one. Then later, I brought a copy of me at the actual event. I have a picture with George Foreman… Some said, ‘Are you crazy? Why are you selling it for such a low price?’ It was funny. Foreman was in awe. His son came to get me.. Because some of these interviews I did them 3 years ago, 4 years ago, 5 years ago and they probably thought I was hit by a car or something (Laughs).I never thought I was going to have to self-publish this book.  At some point, I had an important conversation with the owner of Firefly [Lionel Koffler], a big publisher in Canada. He said, ‘You know what? The business model of the book industry is really bad in America. You’re catering to such a niche market and you have such appeal to a wider market. Why don’t you publish it yourself? You’ll be able to put all the pictures you want, the design you want, the shape you want.’ I said, ‘Lionel, Thank You.’ He’s the publisher of my father for that Canadian Pacific book. I appreciate a man instead of trying to pull the carpet on his side, decided to give me the right counsel and made sure that it would be good for everybody.

MMA Crossfire: And I guess the rest became history.

Alexandre Choko: And the rest… yes, exactly. Now we have to sell a lot. Putting together a book like this… If Sports Illustrated came to us tomorrow morning and say, ‘We want the same book, same names, same pictures, same content and same videos,’ it would cost $1.5 million.

MMA Crossfire: $1.5 million.

Alexandre Choko: Yeah.

MMA Crossfire:  I don’t doubt it though. The book is high quality and the pictures you have in the book are hard to find.

Alexandre Choko: You’re right. There is a lot of effort put into finding the right images that are not only boxing but that were human.

MMA Crossfire: They tell the fighter’s story.

Alexandre Choko: Right It was every important to find images that were… I don’t want to say not seen before. There are lots of them that were not seen before… Also

I don’t know if you noticed but throughout the book there is a CMS color which is that silver finish. We really played with that; when we have those full pages like George Chuvalo on page 76…

MMA Crossfire: Right.

Alexandre Choko: But yeah, the reaction overall. They loved the way we treated their family. Mike Tyson has been covered more than you can possibly imagine. Sugar Ray Leonard too. They see the book and they get all excited. I’m like, ‘Yes!’

MMA Crossfire: Look at you with Sugar Ray. They say a picture is worth a thousand words… And you with George Foreman… I don’t think I’ve seen a smile on George that big since the George Foreman grill.

Alexandre Choko: (Laughs)

MMA Crossfire: I have the George Foreman grill.

Alexandre Choko: It’s awesome!

MMA Crossfire:  It is.

Alexandre Choko: My cousin who’s a health freak and lives in Europe and that’s the only thing he uses to cook in his apartment.

MMA Crossfire: It’s a lifesaver.

Alexandre Choko: You know how much he made with that?

MMA Crossfire: How much?

Alexandre Choko: $147 million.

MMA Crossfire: Wow.

Alexandre Choko: When they bought the rights, it was $147 million.

MMA Crossfire:  Well no wonder he’s smiling.

Alexandre Choko: Exactly. I felt like sitting on his lap, it was amazing.

MMA Crossfire:  Well, good for him…

Alexandre Choko: He said, ‘Stand by me, we’re gonna take a great shot. Check this out. Grab my shoulders,’ (Laughs). You can’t reproduce that…

MMA Crossfire:  (Laughs) And where was that exactly?

Alexandre Choko: This was in the Bellagio in Vegas. Like I said, last week Hugo watches were auctioned to the crowd that was there. I think they paid like $1000 per person to be with these champions and they raised a million dollars, 12 watches. And that money was used to create a fund to help retired fighters with their rent and so on because some of these guys they make millions of dollars but they spend twice as much.

MMA Crossfire:  I think not only the casual fans would fall in love with the book but I think a lot of boxing and MMA fans… and even professional wrestling because pro wrestling fans are big boxing fans too…

Alexandre Choko: You’re always spot on man! You know who actually got the book? One of my good friends who sometimes hosts me in Las Vegas to save me the hotel. His name is Luis Vasquez and he is one of the personal cameramen for Vince McMahon [Chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment].

MMA Crossfire:  Get out of here.

Alexandre Choko: I swear to you. And two years ago, I said, ‘Louis, I want to interview Vince because I want to hear what he thinks. I need a villain in this book.’ Apparently every time they go to a event they have those offices. So he’s eating his meal. He just received a big meal. And Luis comes to the office. He knocks and says, ‘Can I come in?’  And I had a mockup of the book – maybe 20 pages just to show the design. It was about a year ago. Vince shoves aside his meal – Luis describes this way better than I do. He tosses it aside and says, ‘This is nice stuff!’ or something like that. He completely disregarded his meal and flipped through the pages, reading through the whole thing. He asked Luis my friend if I was willing to do the same thing on wrestling.

MMA Crossfire: Amazing.

Alexandre Choko: But I said no…

MMA Crossfire: Aw.

Alexandre Choko: I don’t anything about wrestling. Come on, man (Laughs). Even about boxing, I don’t know anything.

MMA Crossfire: (Laughs). But look how the book turned out.

Alexandre Choko: Well…So last week I’m at Luis’s place in Las Vegas and I brought him 3 copies; one for him, one for his brother and one that he insisted on purchasing for Vince!

MMA Crossfire: Incredible.

photo MMA Crossfire Conversations Future of Boxing author Alexandre ChokoAlexandre Choko: I don’t know the reaction; I don’t know if he liked it or not… Did you see the competition page in the book or not yet?

MMA Crossfire:  Not yet.

Alexandre Choko: I’ll invite you to flip through because it was very important for me to approach the world around the sport. So I talk about the gyms, the equipment, the sanctioning bodies, the boxing venues and those things because those are important matters.

MMA Crossfire: Yes, I see.

Alexandre Choko: For every one of them I say what it is and where I think it should be going. And on very last part, which is page 300 and 301, I talk about the competition.  Remember The Godfather, the movie where Don Corleone when he says, ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies close.’

MMA Crossfire Yes, there it is (Laughs).

Alexandre Choko: That’s why I was referring earlier to sports within the fighting industry and we neglected to mention K-1. And at the time there was another sport in Japan that was very popular that got purchased by the UFC and now they just shut it down.

MMA Crossfire: PRIDE. 

Alexandre Choko: PRIDE, exactly. But those sports, you have to learn from them, because sometimes they get more creative than you do, at showcasing the actual activity. And one the guys that is doing that right now is Todd duBoef, the president of Top RankBob Arum’s son-in-law. He’s very close to the Fertitta’s because they went to school together in Las Vegas. And I don’t want to say he copies, but he often inquires himself on what the UFC is doing.

MMA Crossfire: I see.

Alexandre Choko: Did you know I talk about more than 750 human beings in the book. I had somebody count them.

 MMA Crossfire: I don’t doubt it. This book is quite beefy.

Alexandre Choko: (Laughs).

MMA Crossfire: On a bit of a somber note, one the interviews is with famed trainer Emanuel Steward, who recently passed away. What were your thoughts on him and the interview?

Alexandre Choko:  I met Emanuel the first time in 2007. He kindly granted me the interview for our Future of Boxing book at the Paris hotel of Las Vegas. At first he was very distant and obviously testing me, but when he understood my intentions and goals, we really hit it off and actually became friends.

We saw each other every year at the International Boxing Hall of Fame induction ceremony after that and then, in 2010, he was in Montreal and spent a Sunday with me. We came to Little Italy where I lived with my wife and 1-year-old daughter Jolie.

At our condo, Emanuel said that he had never met such a special young princess with beautiful blue eyes. Insisting that she had an old soul! Amazed at the fact that, after an incident, I reanimated her when she was only 6-weeks-old.

We had a nice meal together and I drove him back to his hotel, in a nice English convertible car that he liked a lot. He truly enjoyed the day and valued all the hard work I was putting into realizing the book.

I had tears in my eyes when I found out. I had tried to find a way to get the book to him couple of weeks ago, but no one was getting back to me. Only Larry Merchant, who left me a message saying that Emanuel was really not well. I will always be grateful for his friendship and his precious advice.

MMA Crossfire:  We appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today Alex.

Alexandre Choko: Thanks very much, Kenai.

Alexandre Choko is the former owner of Montreal’s Tristar Gym and the author of The Future of Boxing.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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