JULY 2006


01 Rinsing Off the Mouthpiece
By GorDoom

02 Poem of the Month
By Tom Smario

03 Pollack's Picks
By Adam Pollack

04 Top Women Worth Watching
and Televising

By Adam Pollack

05 Holman Williams Belongs
in the Hall of Fame

By Harry Otty

06 Touching Gloves With...
"Joltin" Jeff Chandler

By Dan Hanley

07 Puppy Garcia Was
Something Special

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:
He Always Got Up

By Ron Lipton

12 Nat Fleischer, "Mr. Boxing"
By Monte Cox

13 "Ring of Hate"
Book Review by J.D. Vena

14 "Gilroy Was Here"
Book Review by Mike Delisa

15 Audio 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, 1948


Rinsing Off the Mouthpiece

By GorDoom


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:


Dear Dan:

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 champions.

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 years.

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 boxing.

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.

Paul



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 The 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 Griffith.

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 bombastic presence.

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 Emile.

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

GorDoom is the editor-in-chief of WAIL! Contact him at editors@cyberboxingzone.com.

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