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Boxer George Chuvalo urges youth to respect themselves

George Chuvalo (left) lands a punch to the head of Muhammed Ali during a boxing match in Toronto in 1966. (File/Canadian Press)

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Boxing champ George Chuvalo joins Jian to discuss his harrowing personal memoir on life, loss and a lifetime of heavyweight boxing.

Chuvalo, Canada's longest reigning heavyweight champ, not only went head-to-head with Muhammad Ali Chuvalo in a famous 1972 boxing match but also a parade of other greats, including George Foreman and Joe Frazier. Chuvalo was famously able to take hit. In his whole career, 93 pro fights, he never once got knocked off his feet.

But it's his harrowing personal life that has really tested the fighter's strength.

He opens up on the deaths of his children and his wife, how he managed to stay standing following those devastating losses, and why he is now on a crusade to knock out drug addiction among the young.

"No one starts out by doing crack, coke or heroin. They usually start off with a simple cigarette," said Chuvalo, who says all those substances involve "disrespecting yourself."

The "Toronto Hard Rock" chronicles his highs and lows in his new book Chuvalo: A Fighter's Life: The Story Of Boxing's Last Gladiator.

A look back at Chuvalo's career

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Muhammad Ali adjusts the scale for George Chuvalo at their weigh-in on May 1, 1972 in Vancouver. The two meet tonight in a 12 round heavyweight bout in Vancouver's Coliseum. Ali weighed in at 217 ½ and Chuvalo at 221 pounds. (AP Photo/File)

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Floyd Patterson delivers a right hook to George Chuvalo in the final stages of their bout at New York's Madison Square Garden on Feb. 1, 1965. The former titleholder won a 12-round unanimous decision over the Canadian champ. (AP Photo/File)


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Referee John Colon separates George Chuvalo, left, and Joe Frazier as he stops the fight and declares Frazier the winner by a technical knockout. Fight was stopped in the fourth round of the scheduled 12-round heavy weight bout in New York July 19, 1969. (AP Photo/File)

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