Instead of fighting inside the ropes, Jose Canseco is battling with a celebrity boxing promoter from Florida over accusations that he sent his twin brother, Ozzie, to pretend to be him and fight a match in his place. The promoter, Damon Feldman, claims that “Jose” showed up for his scheduled Saturday night fight and began demanding to be paid his $5,000 fee in cash, in advance. When Feldman refused, Canseco left. It was only then that others pointed out the tattoos on Canseco’s arm, and that Feldman was actually dealing with Ozzie, not Jose.Just like in his two books, a defiant Jose is telling a different story. He claims he told Feldman a few days prior to his scheduled match that he had thrown his back out and wouldn’t be available to fight, but suggested using Ozzie to fight on his behalf. Upon tuning into the fight last Saturday, Jose heard his name mentioned and immediately called his brother to tell him to get out of there, so he did. Feldman has a shady history and just last year he was charged with staging and fixing matches. Jose seems to get a lot of bad publicity for any story involving him, and this story is no exception. But when you take a step back and look at who you are going to believe, I think the answer is obvious: Jose is telling the truth.
Jose Canseco joined 98.5 the Sports Hub in Boston to talk about what actually happened with Damon Feldman, on the notion that Damon Feldman is claiming he wore ‘tattoo shirts’, and whether he found out about the fight the day prior to the bout.
What actually happened with Damon Feldman:
“Well this thing is kind of getting laughable because I am hearing from the media that Damon said that he did not realize it was Ozzie? First of all, I fought for him four different times, he knows me, I am 6’4’’, and have tattoos on both arms and 260 lbs. My brother is 6’2’’ and 240 lbs. I mean that does not look much like me.”
On the notion that Damon Feldman is claiming he wore ‘tattoo shirts’:
“One time. I wore that one time and all of the other free fights it was a tank top. So, please. The fight they are showing on your guys’ show 24/7 with Vai Sikahema. Look at that fight. I am wearing a tank top and I have got tattoos on both arms. On the other fight, the only fight I wore that tattoo shirt was for a gimmick, it was against Bonaduce, but against Todd Poulton, again, tank top with both of my tattoos. I had another fight against Villa Leodor, which I had to cancel because my dad was very ill of cancer, I had to go see him, and of course, tank top with tattoos on both arms. To me this is laughable guys. How could he even sit there and lie to you guys and expect you to swallow this up, to me it is very disrespectful. It really is.”
Whether he found out about the fight the day prior to the bout:
“I called Damon three or four days before and said, ‘listen’. I was very stressed out because my father just passed away. My back had given out on me completely and I could not fight. Damon’s next best thing is you know my twin brother Ozzie will fight. He will come in and fight for me, you know just announce him as Ozzie Canseco, ‘He is fighting on behalf of Jose Canseco. Jose Canseco’s back blew out’. A lot of times when a fighter gets hurt, he breaks a hand and can’t fight they try to put the next best thing. Of course to me, the next best thing is Ozzie Canseco. Well, he did not agree to it. He agreed to pay my brother $5,000 cash to fight and my brother shows up, he goes through all of the scenario, and my brother is trying to be nice to Damon and try to help him out, I guess what happened was, they started. He did the weigh-in as Jose Canseco, and then a few autographs, I guess, but then, as I am watching this fight now on celebrity U-Stream and then they are about to do the fight and they announce him as ‘Jose Canseco’ and I go, ‘Wait a minute. My brother better not step into that ring because that is a fraud, you are committing a fraud if you step in, and so I called him right away.
Meanwhile, my brother is not stepping into the ring, he knows better than that, Damon is trying to entice him, ‘Please. Please. Go out there and fight as Jose Canseco, I will do whatever you want. I will give you a check. I will do this, I will do that’ and my brother was like, ‘No! That is a fraud. I am not going to commit a fraud on your behalf.’ Finally my brother calls me back. He is now in the dressing room. He goes, ‘This guy Damon wants me to go out there and commit fraud, he wants me to fight as you’ and I told him, ‘Don’t you dare go out there and commit that fraud and go out there and fight as Jose Canseco.’ So to make a long story short, my brother never came out, he never fought, and they escorted him out. That is the whole truth, and I will tell you what, I am going to setup a polygraph to prove this because I don’t know why people doubt me. I have done nothing but tell the truth, and people are still doubting me and all I do is them the honest to God’s truth. This guy Damon, look at his past history. It is just pathetic.”