Iranian Hulk Sajad Gharibi facing Martyn Ford on April 30, is under serious threat after the beast suffered a TV interview breakdown.
Fresh from going AWOL following a press conference, Ford vs. Hulk got postponed for four weeks to allow Gharibi more time to recover.
He also needs to train more, according to Ford, who was surprised by the shape of his opponent when they faced off in Dubai last month.
Ford said: “I am asking the question if he genuinely wants to fight me? – Because I don’t want to step in the ring and be perceived as a bully.
“I don’t want to be seen as intimidating someone who hasn’t put the same work in as I have.
“If he really wants to do this fight, tell everyone he wants to do this fight, and don’t put it on me.”
“He needs to get his a** into gear,” Ford added.
Once away the media day, Gharibi’s family complained about how he acted after being thrown around like a ragdoll by Ford as they locked horns.
The situation left Gharibi shocked, as he explained during a social media post back home. An emotional Hulk stated: “I came to Dubai without any sponsor by selling assets, with no a coach, and without any support. I wish for death [since I came home].
“Oh God, you are the witness of how much I have suffered. I am ashamed for the Iranian people.”
Later, Gharibi made an even more challenging appearance on TV when he broke down over the reaction of his loved ones.
“I cannot call my family. When I returned to Iran, I didn’t go to my family,” he pointed out in a translation supplied on YouTube. “I can’t. I can’t talk to my father.
“When I talked to my mother, she said, ‘The person that I saw in the video was not my son. My son is way stronger than this.’
“Something hurts my heart. When someone can’t talk to his family, I lost my pride. I am destroyed.
“My family said, ‘You will go there and finish him.’ They expected the other way around.”
It seems Gharibi squaring up to Ford was a realization of the magnitude of the task in front of him. Ford is six inches taller and huge compared to himself, even though Hulk is six-foot-two and nearly 400 pounds.
IRANIAN HULK BREAKDOWN
He’s now taking medication that puts his participation in the headlining O2 contest on April 30 in serious doubt.
“Now, some say you got paid to fall down. It hurts my heart. How can you say that, and how can I not think about statements?
“But how can I sleep? How can I rest? – I personally feel very bad. I cannot sleep. However, I’m taking sleeping pills.
“When a mom says that to her child, how can it be tolerated? There’s a lot of pressure. They said you got paid. I swear, I didn’t get even one dollar.
“I ate egg as lunch in Dubai. If I got paid even one dollar, I can’t continue,” concluded Hulk.
Organizers BoxStar has more time to prepare for the real possibility that the Iranian Hulk will withdraw from the fight.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.
WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.