01 Rinsing Off the
02 Poem of the Month
By Tom Smario
03 Pollack's Picks
By Adam Pollack
04 Top Women Worth Watching
By Adam Pollack
05 Holman Williams Belongs
the Hall of Fame
By Harry Otty
06 Touching Gloves
"Joltin" Jeff Chandler
By Dan Hanley
07 Puppy Garcia Was
By Enrique Encinosa
08 Muhammad's Real War
By Cliff Endicott
09 Champagne On Ice
By Ron Lipton
10 "Dick Tiger: The Life and Times
of a Boxing Immortal"
By Adeyinka Makinde
11 Floyd Patterson:
Always Got Up
By Ron Lipton
12 Nat Fleischer, "Mr.
By Monte Cox
13 "Ring of Hate"
Review by J.D. Vena
14 "Gilroy Was
Book Review by Mike Delisa
From the Archives [mp3]
The CBZ presents another classic boxing-themed radio
show. This month we have the Thin Man in "The Passionate Palooka," from July 6,
Rinsing Off the Mouthpiece
In our last issue, I wrote a screed about how boxing is losing huge numbers of potential
young fans due to the great inroads the UFC has made in marketing itself specifically to
that demographic. Since then, I received an e-mail that is even more depressing than the
loss of the young fans: We're apparently now also losing older fans.
Dan Cuoco, the masterful director of the
International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO), forwarded the following e-mail to me from IBRO member Paul Stevenson, who had been one of
the most active & contributing historians in IBRO for decades:
I confess that I've been of two minds on this for the last few years. Even now, the call
for membership dues is in front of me on my desk.
However, my involvement and interest in boxing has waned over the past decade. The
culmination was probably the Tyson ear-biting incident, but interest had been declining
for several years before that. I found that I no longer liked the star boxers. They were
no longer honorable men as I saw it; they were increasingly just thugs. And unfortunately,
it seems that much of the boxing press wanted them that way.
I went from subscribing to -- and collecting -- every boxing publication on the market at
the beginning of the 1990s to reading zero by the end of the decade. I subscribed to
Boxing News ever since I was a boy in Canada in the late 1960s until the year 2000
(and I have almost every issue bound from 1909 until then), but I haven't read it since.
Boxing has been a huge part of my life for 40 years, but I can no longer name most of the
Despite this, I continued to read about the old champions, delving even further into the
bare-knuckle era over the past decade and rereading a great deal about the
Sullivan-to-Dempsey years. But I have contributed virtually nothing to IBRO in years. In
the 1980s, rarely did a month go by without me mailing in various records and corrections
-- but the output has ceased. I have not been a contributing member to IBRO for many
Even writing this I'm sad. Boxing really has been important to me, but the commitment and
enthusiasm are no longer there. I have four growing children and their interests lie
elsewhere. I can no longer find the time to seriously research anything about
Maybe one day the feelings will return, but for now I must move on.
I wish you and the membership well -- IBRO has been the best thing about boxing that I was
ever involved in. I enjoyed especially the fanatical commitment to accuracy that has
always been the hallmark of the organization. A true recording of what was at one time an
extremely important sport is an admirable goal. I hope that those who still feel the
enthusiasm will continue.
When we start losing lifelong aficionados of the sweet science like Mr. Stevenson then I
KNOW boxing is in serious trouble. But I have to say, I understand where he's coming from.
Back in '97 after
Munch in the Crunch,
my partner in this CBZ lash-up, Mike DeLisa, and I
almost shut down the CBZ because we were so disgusted. Thankfully we changed our minds &
are continuing to this day, 12 years after we started the CBZ.
& the fight game is doing nothing to help itself & gain new fans with the crap fights they
are trying to pawn off as PPV events. I mean, c'mon -- Roy Jones vs. What's His Name &
Mosley vs. Vargas are hardly worth 50 clams to ANYBODY.
But enough negativity ... In this issue we have a real cornucopia of boxing articles that
should help gets us through the dog days of summer.
Our feature article is an excerpt from Adeyinka Makinde's
magnificent bio of the great
Dick Tiger. If you're serious about boxing, this is a MUST-read.
Ron Lipton's eulogy to Floyd Patterson is a touching piece for any of us who grew up with
Floyd as our heavyweight champion. He also contributed a heartfelt
piece on Emile
Recently, Ron sent me a remarkably moving videotape. On it is a session with Emile
Griffith & his companion Luis, who was also featured in the tremendous documentary on
Emile, Ring of Fire.
Emile & Luis drove out to see Ron & they went out to a park, & I assume it was Ron's son
Brett who videotaped the session between Ron & Emile.
A few things struck me immediately on watching it: ... The first was the palpable, innate
feeling of true respect & love between these two battle-hardened men who obviously share a
deep bond & have no qualms in displaying that affection for each other.
The second was what a truly positive & lovable man Emile is despite the tragedies he's
endured. This is a man who doesn't feel sorry for himself but rather exults in the joys
that he's been able to find & somehow makes those moments the most important & spiritually
uplifting part of his incredibly arduous life.
There is no artifice to Emile. What you see is what you get. ... & the same can be said
about my good pal Ron Lipton. Among the many great moments in this video is Ron & Emile
mock sparring while Ron gives an absolutely letter-perfect clinic of Emile's, moves,
tricks, punching style, & footwork.
Emile is kinda blown away & is laughing with joy watching Ron as he re-creates his old
moves. You can see him glowing with pride that someone would remember not only his
greatness as a fighter but demonstrate his style perfectly, which is a tribute not only to
Ron's attention to every detail about ringmanship, but to his absolute devotion to one of
his personal heroes.
One of the funniest moments on the tape is when Ron tells a story about sparring with
Emile in New York. That day, Muhammad Ali happened to be in the gym -- with his usual
But Ron could tell that Ali was watching Emile spar with him. At that time Ronnie was a
young guy trying to make his bones in the hard "old-school" of 1960's New York boxing.
Young Ronnie wanted to impress "The Greatest" -- what young boxer wouldn't? -- &
maneuvered himself into a position where he could slam a right hand to the jaw & stagger
Griffith moved in on Ron & snarled through his mouthpiece, "Good right, but now
we're going to get serious!" Ronnie said that Emile started working his body with
spine-shaking shots, hurting him so badly he thought he'd been broken in half.
Afterward, Emile, being the caring guy he is, asked Ron, "You okay, Ron? You can't be
serious about hitting me with a right hand!"
Another of many poignant moments on the tape was Emile watching the great TV piece that
Ron did with Tracy Harris Patterson, after Floyd's passing. Emile & Floyd were
contemporaries and both fought out of New York, so obviously they knew each other.
It does my heart good to see great old-time champions like Floyd & Emile get their just
due when so many other great fighters have been forgotten in the bloody mitts of time
Obviously, Emile is getting up there in age, but one thing I'd like everybody to remember
if they happen to hear him speak: His speech impediments have NOTHING to with boxing
despite his lengthy career.
Back in '92, Emile was attacked by bunch of thugs who beat him unmercifully with iron
pipes. They caused severe head trauma as well as badly lacerating his kidneys & breaking
many facial & body bones.
For a while it was touch & go as to whether Emile would live, much less recover. After a
stay of many months, incredibly, the old warrior recuperated & was able to go on with his
life to this day.
I mention this only as another example of the incredibly positive spirit that emanates
from Griffith's whole being. With the tragedies that have occurred in his life it would be
no surprise if Emile were an embittered man. But Emile is a shining example of overcoming
the shit rains of life, yet somehow coming out of them as a gentle spirit still imbued
with the joy of life.
I can't thank Ronnie enough for sending me this tape as it shows a depth of humanity &
spirit that I will treasure for the rest of my life ...
& his article about that day is truly a special one.
Just like all the articles we are presenting. All modesty aside -- easy to do for the Ol'
Spit Bucket -- I believe the writers in this issue are among the very best boxing scribes
today. The reason I singled out Ron's pieces is that they involve two icons from my youth
& both articles are very personal to me.
So ... enjoy the new issue & we will be back with another one by mid-September. Have a
great summer, everybody!
GorDoom is the editor-in-chief of WAIL! Contact him at