Neale Haynes: My brother Joe on the Cruiserweight division

dolph lundgren / royalty 23pts

overweight. I was less than 150-pounds before that fight. There was no way I would be able to do it the way I did.I had a good training camp. By the time I got to Bulgaria, I had been a pretty good fighter before. But back then I was . . . in pretty good shape. But going to Bulgaria and weightlifting was just like muscle memory. I didn’t know that it would take eight months of doing that to come back.All that time has served me well. I’m very glad that I had that time because it set me up for all my future training.I was walking down the hall and Sylvester hit me with this big-girl punch that was flying up towards my ribs, looking for the ribs, and it dropped me and landed right on my side. It blew up my chest and they removed me to the hospital the next day with chest pains. I had a blood clot and had to have three days of radiation. All that went on.But that energy is what helped me rebuild my body for training and fight camp. If it wasn’t for that punch, I wouldn’t be going to the gym all the time and driving all over the world with the same habits because you don’t ever forget that.My mother, my father, all of my family. I have a big extended family around me. Thank God I have them. And also my children. They understand what I do, and that’s the big thing – why I’m in the gym, why I’m traveling. It’s for them.My parents really taught me life skills – pretty much just being a man. They taught me hard work, they taught me honesty, they taught me loyalty, they taught me to respect life. They didn’t teach me to be a god. They didn’t teach me to be ‘the world’s great fighter’. They taught me the way to respect the environment. They taught me to be ‘that father with two kids’. My father really has two kids – my daughter and my son. They’re the strongest people I know. They know how to act. My mother died young, but I’m just trying to honor what she passed down to me.I wouldn’t have been able to do my job without my trainer and director. I couldn’t have gotten by without them. I couldn’t have trained. I wouldn’t have performed my own fight. Without them, I would have been too crippled or too worn out to do the job.How did you get over that punch?My trainer said when you’ve got to get out of a situation, that’s the thing to do. I also learned you never lose confidence in yourself. You have to keep that positive energy and never give up.We are equals now, if you will. We’re brother and sister, and we are still great friends. [Now] I hope he stays active.Hopefully he can do a bunch of boxing. I wish he could fight again. How can he not fight? How can he not box?

Leave a Comment