By Juan C. Ayllon
CHICAGO – “Mike definitely was a hard worker and was already tough when I met him,” boxing trainer Carlos Jones says of the late Michael Walker, 35, who was discovered shot to death on November 14th in the Chatham neighborhood after walking his daughter to school.
A two-time Chicago Golden Gloves winner, the late Mr. Walker ran-up an impressive 20 fight undefeated streak in Chicago and northwest Indiana from 2004 to 2008 before stepping it up to the national level. Rugged and aggressive, he went onto fight and lose to such notables as Daniel Jacobs, Fernando Guerrero, Andy Lee and Ricardo Mayorga. His final record was 19-19-3 with 12 knockouts. His last bout in July this year ended in a first round technical knockout loss to Willie Monroe, Jr.
“He was the only fighter who believed in what he was doing 100 percent,” says Jones, who trained him while he was undefeated. “He was my first pro fighter. I miss Mike every day.”
So do we.
Carlos Jones informs us that funeral arrangements for Mr. Walker will be held this Saturday, November 23, at the Ali and Seals Funeral Home in Chicago. The viewing will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 AM and the wake will take place from 11:00 AM until noon.
Ali and Seals Funeral Home
8354 S Marquette Ave, Chicago, IL 60617
(Cross Streets: Between E 84th St and E 83rd St Neighborhoods: South Chicago)
CHICAGO, November 14, 2013 — Legislators are debating Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s gun control bill in Springfield, but, meanwhile, the carnage goes on. This time, it’s a boxer. In an ironic twist, Michael Walker — who’s nicknamed “The Midnight Stalker” — is dead, quite possibly the victim of a late night robbery gone bad.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the two-time Chicago Golden Gloves winner was found unresponsive in a narrow walkway on the 8200 block of South Drexel Blvd. at roughly 8:45 A.M. this morning and was pronounced dead at 9:31 AM at Northwest Memorial Hospital. (continue reading…)
Memorial Service to be Held at Brady-Gill Funeral Home in Tinley Park on Wednesday
By Steve Wilburn
Craig “Gator” Bodzianowski, a champion boxer and inspiration to millions, has died.
He passed away at 52, in his sleep Friday, July 26.
Mr. Bodzianowski made one of the greatest professional sports comebacks of all-time. He was an up and coming cruiserweight boxer in the early “80s,” on his way to becoming a contender when he had a motorcycle accident which resulted in the amputation of his lower right leg. Gator defied all of the critics and naysayers to become the toughest man who ever stepped into the ring by doing it on a prosthesis. Not the best fighter but the toughest.
He recaptured his winning ways as a slugger and by refusing to ever quit. With 103 amateur and professional fights, he won 94. No one ever stopped him; he finished every fight.
To the amazement of fans, Mr. Bodzianowski went on, fighting with his prosthesis, to win the Illinois Heavyweight Championship and the Intercontinental America’s Cruiserweight Championship. Eventually he won the right to fight for WBA World Championship belt. Suffering two broken ribs in the second round, he still managed to finish the fight, ultimately losing by a few points.
Mr. Bodzianowski inspires all who are physically challenged everywhere.
“Gator” is survived by his children Kenneth Gator and Paige Margaret, mother Gloria, sister Denise Worley (Stephen) and brothers Howard (Kristen) and Kenneth (Christine). Preceded in death by his father, Patrick, brother William and sister Donna Tamberlin. Proud Uncle of Jeff ,Bruce, Frank, Pat, Bill, Kenny.
After retiring from boxing, Mr. Bodzianowski went onto physical training and construction work. Later he graduated with Honors from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School and became a professional chef.
A memorial service will be held at Brady-Gill Funeral Home 16600 S. Oak Park, Tinley Park, 60477, Wednesday, July 31, 2013 from 2 P.M. until 9 P.M.
A movie entitled “On the Ropes” about his amazing comeback is in development. For more information, go to:
By Juan C. Ayllon
It is a sad day when yet another vestige of a glorious bygone era passes. So many have gone in recent days. Our Editor-in-Chief, Stephen Gordon, says it best: “I can’t convey how much this saddens me. Another piece of my youth dissipates into the ether. Emile, Jofre, Luis Rodriguez, Dick Tiger, Davey Moore, Carlos Ortiz, Jose Becerra and, of course, Cassius Clay — where are the god–like heroes of my long gone youth? We are losing them one by one, and with each passing, a piece of myself goes also.”
Born Emile Alphonse Griffith in the Virgin Islands on February 3, 1938, he resided in New York City for years and passed away on July 23, 2013. In between, he reached the pinnacle of Sport and fame, yet he also suffered a troubled personal life. (continue reading…)
By Kevin Iole
Emile Griffith was one of the toughest guys in one of the toughest sports on Earth, a kind man who wasn’t so kind in the ring. He was one of the best fighters in an era loaded with elite fighters and, despite his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, was never given the credit he was due. (continue reading…)