Name: Montell Griffin
Birth Name: Montell Julian Griffin
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Height: 5′ 7″ / 170cm
Reach: 70″ / 178cm
Boxing Record: click
Trainers: Thell Torrance; Eddie Futch
Manager: John Caluwaert
Griffin compiled an amateur record of 36-5. He won the 1992 United States Amateur Light Heavyweight title, defeating future Heavyweight champion John Ruiz on points on the way.
Article from Eastsideboxing.com Montell Griffin: A Career Of Peaks, Valleys, And Lots Of In-betweens
29.03.06 - By Dan Horgan: In boxing, sometimes the hardest thing that a fighter can do is swallow a loss and fight their way back into contention. Countless times we see fighters retire directly after a loss or are just never the same. However, there is one man who always seems to defy the odds and keep coming back no matter how many times he loses, and that’s Montell Griffin.
Montell Griffin is a guy who has seen it all. A 1992 Olympian, Griffin started off his career like any other prospect coming up through the ranks. He fought some stiffs and some solid fighters while running up a 14-0 record, before the opportunity of a lifetime came up in the chance to fight the just three month removed pound for pound king in James Toney. Although the fight was close, Griffin sealed the deal with his jab and overall boxing skills and all of the sudden, boxing had one of its new stars in the making.
After winning nine more meaningless bouts, Griffin fought Toney again and scored another decision victory showing that his first bout was not a fluke, and that he was ready to take on any top light-heavyweight in the world.
Montell Griffin was 26-0 and had already captured the WBU, IBF inter-continental, and NABF championships before he stepped into the ring with pound for pound king Roy Jones Jr. Although a heavy underdog to the bigger, faster and stronger Jones, for eight rounds Griffin fought even with the all time great, and in the ninth round, the break of a lifetime came. After knocking Griffin down, Jones continued to fight and was eventually disqualified in one of the most controversial calls by a referee in years. All of the sudden, Griffin became the first one to beat an all time great and was recognized as the light heavyweight champion of the world. Despite the controversial stoppage, this was clearly Griffin’s highest moment as a fighter. Throughout the fight, Griffin, using every trick in the book he knew, out-hustled and frustrated Jones, giving him the excuse that he was indeed the better fighter.
Like every great champion however, Montell Griffin had his downfall, and in arguably the largest drop in status in boxing history, Griffin was embarrassingly knocked out in the first round in his rematch with Jones. Griffin went from being a top ten pound for pound fighter and light heavyweight champion of the world, to the guy who had really beaten a bunch of nobodies and was lucky that Jones hit him while he was down.
How can a fighter come back from such an embarrassment? Just ask Montell Griffin who let his fists do the talking as he won his next seven bouts before positioning himself for a shot at undefeated Eric Harding for he NABF belt he had won just two years ago. Griffin again used his technique and even floored Harding in the seventh round, but came up on the wrong end of a split-decision and his little run was over.
It must have took everything that Griffin had to come back from Jones thrashing, so another loss was probably even harder to swallow, but instead of giving up, Griffin went back to work. Griffin scored four straight knockouts before traveling to Germany to face the universally recognized second best light heavyweight in the world in Dariusz Michalczewski. This was Griffin’s chance to put all of the troubles of the past behind him, to prove that he was a top light-heavyweight, and a chance to become a two time world champion. However, Griffin was again embarrassed as he was knocked out in the fourth round after dominating rounds 1-3.
Now at this point in Griffin’s career, it’s amazing that he didn’t just hang up the gloves and call it a career. He had won a world title, made a lot of money, and was still healthy, a rare combination for a fighter of any status. But for some reason, Griffin wanted more, and went on, in my opinion one, of the most remarkable runs in light heavyweight history. Griffin fought and beat the likes of Jesus Ruiz, Derrick Harmon, and George Jones in a six fight winning streak that brought him to the crossroads of his career: a fight for the light heavyweight championship of the world against Antonio Tarver. Everything seemed set: Roy Jones had moved up to heavyweight, Dariusz Michalczewski hadn’t fought a top contender in a few years, and by beating Tarver, he would one-up Eric Harding as Harding was starched in his second fight with Tarver. If Griffin wanted to be considered the best light-heavyweight in the world, his time was now. However, Griffin was again embarrassed as he was floored twice and shut out on every judges’ scorecard losing another decision, and essentially ending his career.
Since that fateful night with Tarver, Griffin’s career has continued to go downward. Despite a win over tough contender Sam Reese and competitive bouts with Rico Hoye and Julio Gonzalez (both losses), Griffin is considered all but done by most boxing critics and fans. But don’t give up on Griffin yet. If Griffin has proved anything over his 13 year career, it’s that he can come back from adversity and tough losses to shoot into contention again. Griffin takes his first step back Friday night versus journeyman Norman Jones for the USBA light heavyweight title in basically a do or die fight. Griffin is only human, and at the age of 35, it wouldn’t be fair for Griffin fans to expect another comeback. But if Griffin wins, he might find himself in another title eliminator for one more shot at glory. Expect Griffin to defy the odds.
Interview from Eastsideboxing.com
Exclusive Interview With USBA Light Heavyweight Champion, Montell “Ice” Griffin
09.04.06 - By Dan Horgan: With all of the ups and downs of Montell Griffin’s 13 year career, one would think that he would hang the gloves up for good and call it a career. However, at the age of 35, Montell Griffin seems hungry as ever and is ready to take on all comers. See what the former world champion had to say in this exclusive interview.
DH-Hey champ, how are you doing?
DH-Thank you very much for taking time out for this interview.
DH-You want to tell us about your fight with Norman Jones last Friday?
MG-Well I was out for ten months so I was just glad to be back in the ring. I trained for eight weeks for this fight, and I wanted it to be an easy fight and prove that I have something left.
DH-What went on in that scuffle after the fifth round?
MG-Well, he had given me a cheap shot the round before, so I was just doing the same. It was nothing dirty, I was just getting my respect in there.
DH-Are you back in the gym yet?
MG-I took a week off from training and got back at it Friday.
DH-What is left for you to accomplish at the age of 35?
MG-Well, right now I’m working on my hall of fame credentials. I’m not satisfied with my career. I feel as though I have underachieved, so I want to get to fifty wins, and become two-time light heavyweight champion of the world.
DH-You said in a recent interview that you did some soul searching after the Julio Gonzalez fight….what do you mean by that? MG-Well, basically I was just upset with my manager for making me take that fight. It was in California on Cinco de Mayo so I got robbed. It was just like the Rico Hoye fight. I won that fight, but when you’re in the other guy’s hometown, they can take the decision from you. So I changed the people around me and moved back to Chicago (where Griffin is originally from) in order to get a fresh start, and for the first time in a while, everything is going good in my life.
DH-You also have said recently that you are simply looking for some big fights, even if they are at heavyweight…would you please clarify this?
MG-Well a guy like Chris Byrd I would definitely fight because with my skill level, I would beat him. I’d also take any cruiserweight title fight.
DH-What about guys like Sam Peter, Calvin Brock and Wladimir Klitscko?
MG-Well guys like Klitscko are just too big and too long. I’m small for a light heavyweight so those guys would just be too big.
DH-If you could choose one man right now to step into the ring with, who would it be?
MG-Tarver….Tarver or Jones
DH-Do you think Tarver will beat Hopkins in June?
MG-Yeah, I think that Tarver is just too big for Hopkins. Hopkins had trouble with Jermain Taylor who is smaller than Tarver, and I think that Tarver’s reach will be too much for him.
DH-If you were to fight Tarver again, what would you do differently.
MG-Well, I don’t like to make excuses, but in the first fight (with Tarver), I was essentially knocked out in the first round. I had completely turned my back and I couldn’t believe that the referee let him hit me. I don’t blame Tarver, it was an open shot. But I got a concussion and had to go to the hospital (from the shot). If I were to fight him again, I would apply a lot of pressure. That’s what Glenn Johnson did, and Tarver seems to have trouble with that.
DH-Who’s the biggest smack talker you’ve ever been in the ring with?
MG-Like everyone says, James Toney. Although he didn’t talk that much in the first fight because we knew each other, the second fight he talked a lot and even pushed me.
DH-How do you think he is able to have so much success as a heavyweight right now, being so small.
MG-It’s all about the skill level. The heavyweights today can’t handle Toney’s skills. I’m not taking anything away from Hasim Rahman, he’s a great fighter, but if James had power, he would have knocked him out with the shots that he was landing.
DH-What do you think of the whole Joe Mesi situation.
MG-Well, if I was an outsider to the sport, then I would say that continuing on with his career would be a bad idea, but as a fighter, I can see how tough it would be to not be able to do what you love.
DH-Training for a big fight, what is a normal day like for you?
MG-I get up and run, come home have something to eat, sleep, go to the gym, come home, and watch or movie or something. I’m a movie man. I have a huge collection. It’s all about peace of mind.
DH-Montell, thank you very much for your time….is there anything that you would like to say in closing?
MG-To all my fans: The Iceman aint goin nowhere. I will become two time light heavyweight champion.
Montell Griffin beat Norman Jones on March 31st to become the USBA light heavyweight champion, and is hoping for a June return.
At the 1992 Olympic Trials in Worcester, Massachusetts, Griffin was outpointed in the final by Jeremy Williams. However, at the Olympic Box-offs he outpointed Williams twice, to earn an Olympic bid at Light Heavyweight. His Olympic results were:
- France Mabiletsa (Botswana) won on points
- Yo-Da Ko (South Korea) won on points
- Torsten May (Germany) lost on points
Roy Jones, Jr.
| WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
21 Mar 1997–7 Aug 1997
Roy Jones, Jr.