Never trust the applause - Michael Bentt –former WBO heavyweight champion boxer, actor, writer,


Resiliency is not something that’s easy to find. Michael Bentt’s career has shown a lot of it and it’s not lost on him how the ups and downs of his life have helped him find his true calling. On this week’s episode, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a man of many talents and former heavyweight champion of the world as he talks about just how hard it is to get up when life knocks you down. His incredible story of overcoming adversity and finding your passions is a part of our open and honest discussion.

Michael and I discuss how his relationship with his father and the death of a friend made him pursue a career in boxing, what went into his celebrated amateur career, how his first professional fight shaped one part of his life, and what it’s like to be labeled a “bum.” You’ll find out more about what it’s like to rebound after an extremely tough loss, why you shouldn’t look past an opponent, especially when it’s for a title fight, how his first career ended with him in a coma, and how a book sparked his second career as an actor. This is an engaging discussion that shines a light on a man who came back from the brink of death to achieve even more great success. Sit down with us and you’ll hear how a boy from the United Kingdom who felt he needed to change his accent to fit in ended up working with director Michael Mann five different times. This is one you don’t want to miss.


  • While people may want to commit to something to impress others, ultimately, they won’t be genuinely great unless they want to do it for themselves.

  • Scars from childhood can affect anyone and some people are out there to prove others wrong based off those.

  • You never know what’s going on in somebody else’s life so make sure you try and reach out to them on a human level.

  • Being a part of a team is one of the purest feelings of camaraderie you’ll find. Working as a unit to achieve success can prove so much.

  • It’s never going to be easy to shake off a loss. People will get there in their own time.

  • Take every challenge that comes your way. You shouldn’t overlook anything.

  • ll glory is fleeting, so make sure to enjoy your successes when they come at the time.

  • When one door of your career shuts, another one can open. You just have to keep an eye out for it and be accepting of it. It could turn out better for you.

  • Make sure you look out for those who work for you and with you. You never know when they need to hear some encouragement.

  • Your current job may not be the one you have forever. Enjoy it now but there could be something you’re meant to do later on.

Michael Bentt Career Accomplishments

  • Four-time New York City Golden Gloves winner

  • “the most accomplished boxer in the history of American amateur boxing never to have made the US Olympic Boxing Team.”

  • WBO heavyweight champion

  • Portrayed Sonny Liston in Ali among other acting roles

Key Conversation Takeaways

  • 2:51: Michael’s upbringing

  • 5:08: How a friend’s death and his father’s influence led him to the ring

  • 11:15: His amateur career in the USA program and missing out on the USA Olympic team

  • 21:05: How his turning pro changed his career and what happened in that first fight

  • 27:02: What he did after that first fight to keep going in his career

  • 33:33: The heavyweight title fight against Tommy Morrison

  • 40:41: His following fight against Herbie Hide and how everything changed afterwards

  • 50:00: How Nathan McCall’s autobiography helped him find his second career

  • 54:20: What he’s learned from all his experiences and how he feels about his story

Notable Quotes

  • 3:55: “He (his dad) forced me to box. The only way I felt that I could get his love and his attention was to be a boxer.”

  • 6:11: “There was a picture of all the boxers and coaches that were killed. And there was a picture of my guy, George Pimentel, and it broke my damn heart. At that point, I decided to commit to boxing for George. My guy, George.”

  • 6:58: “At 15, I came to the conclusion that my father didn’t like me or appreciate me unless I boxed.”

  • 8:55: “My drive came from proving that I was worthy, whether my father loved me or not for boxing.”

  • 12:55: “If you’ve never experienced that, I encourage everybody to join something bigger than themselves and to experience that deep sense of tribalism.”

  • 21:06: “I didn’t want to go pro. I wanted to go to school and to college. I wanted to get away from that life, from that dysfunction of my childhood.”

  • 23:33: “I felt worthless. That’s the best way I can describe those moments.”

  • 35:50: “Tommy (Morrison) wanted that thing. I needed that damn thing. I needed that validation.”

  • 37:32: “Had I lost, I’m a goddamn bum. And that’s not fair. But, in the real world, it is fair.”

  • 39:07: “I’ve never trusted applause.”

  • 47:16: “I’m not saying Herbie Hide never would’ve beat me anyway. I’m saying I never should’ve been in that fight.”

  • 50:00: “Boxing defined me. I thought this was all I could do.”

  • 53:52: “In life, we have dreams, and some dreams die and then we replace them with new dreams.”

  • 54:35: “Boxing was my calling. But now acting is my calling.”

  • 56:43: “Acting saved my life completely.”

  • ·7:46: “Dark times are going to happen whether you want them to happen or not.”










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