They call Florida the wrestling graveyard because it's where we all end up. The weather is easier on us here.
When I got to Toronto, I got a job at the car wash for 90 cents an hour but you got paid everyday so I always had a few dollars.
A lot of wrestlers put on 30 to 40 pounds after they finish wrestling. Some have heart attacks because of the weight. I made working out my hobby.
I cant remember the last time I went in the ring feeling whole. The pain is something you learn to live with. Some guys don't and they don't last.
I worked with guys in Japan that were champions and they came over here for six months or a year and they treated them like garbage.
I'm glad my son doesn't have to be labeled black or Samoan or mixed. He has instead been labeled as the best.
The system in which I came up in was that every territory had to have a black, a white... if you went to Texas you had to have somebody that was a cowboy or one that was from Mexico. There wasn't that many Afro Americans in the business at the time so I moved around a lot. But every time I moved around, I made money.
I kept myself in shape, and the stuff they were doing in the South, I wouldn't go for. They wanted to whip me on TV, like they used to do with the slaves and all that. I said, 'No. I came in as an athlete, and I'll leave as an athlete.' And they respected me for that.
It seems every bouncer, every bodybuilder wants to become a wrestler. Every day, people will come up to me and ask about it. So few actually make it but if you do make it you can now make into the millions. You have to know your character and have a lot of ability.
I met Muhammad Ali in Toronto when he was still Cassius Clay... We got to talking and it was like we knew each other for 50 years. We just clicked.
Back when I was competing I had a lot of fans wanting my autograph, wanting to take my picture, but nothing like what my son is dealing with.
I worked for promoters that I couldn't stand and they couldn't stand me. But they knew if they put my name out there, I would sell out for them.
Jack Johnson was the first black heavyweight champion, so I took part of his name. I admired Rocky Marciano, so I took part of his name.
I was partners with Mil Mascaras and we were champions for about a year. We got over good because we had two different styles. The people respected his style when he was in the ring and when I came in they respected mine.
When you drop-kick someone you have maybe a second's time to jump into the air, hit your opponent directly with both feet and then land without getting hurt. If you lose your balance in the air, though, you'll wind up with cracked ribs and bruised kidneys.
I had my own mind made up in that I was going to do my own thing. I wasn't going to copy from this guy or that guy.