30 years after it was first released, the attitude, intensity — and of course the Paris Barclay-directed music video — continues to solidify the connection between LL COOL J's "Mama Said Knock You Out," and the world of boxing.
Past and future champions, Andre Berto, Mikey Garcia, Andre Dirrell, Abner Mares, and Gabriel Rosado recently got together to reflect on what they all universally described as, "an anthem."Here are their thoughts on the song’s legacy:
Andre Berto It's iconic and definitely a record that that we used to play on a regular basis to get motivated for these tournaments, and to give us the inspiration to get in that gym and just put that pressure on.
Mikey Garcia This first time I ever heard "Mama Said Knock You Out" was in the movie Gladiator — not the Russell Crowe one — the boxing one. I'm watching the movie and it's about boxing ∏ so it's obviously attractive to me. In one of the fight scenes, a fighter comes out to that song. That was the first time I heard that.
Once you're in the gym, you're not going to be working out to some love songs. You got to have some rhythm, some beat that can hype you up, and that can motivate you to train hard. So, there's also the association there.
Andre Dirrell My grandfather put me onto it. I was six or seven-years-old when this damn song came out. But we all knew it. It played in the gym often. My grandfather always played it. He loves songs by LL COOL J, Dr. Dre, you name it.
Abner Mares I feel like this is an anthem song. That's the first thing that pops in my head. I'm an '85 kid, I'm 34, and all I see is Roy Jones Jr. walking into that ring playing this song. Or him working in the gym. It's boxing.
Gabriel Rosado I came out to "Mama Said Knock You Out" back in '07 when I first turned pro. It wasn't my pro debut, but it was one of my early fights — probably within my first four fights. I'm a LL COOL J fan. And I know he's a big boxing fan as well. It just felt right. It's a song that gets you going, makes you want to fight, it got that beat, and then it gets the crowd going. Who doesn't know "Mama Said Knock You Out?" It's a classic.
Gervonta Davis LL COOL J gets my respect as one of the great ones in Hip-Hop history. "Mama Said Knock You" Out was one of the best songs to work out to when I was coming up. When people heard that song, it made them think about knocking someone out. My fans use that song today when they make videos of my knockouts.