The Cyber Boxing Zone Journal
A/K/A The America Online Boxing Newsletter (mid-May 1997)
EditorialOuch! You would not believe how pressed for time I am as I write this. But, here we have our first mid-month issue. The idea is that we will next publish right after the Hall of Fame weekend in mid-June.
This issue marks the return of Enrique Encinosa and we welcome him ack. Joe Bruno continues his comeback in a big way. Hell, if he loses a couple of more pounds he'll be ready to challenge for a title. Finally, we also have some very interesting pieces by Sanity Cruzer, Mike Gibbons and some of the usual gang.
PK -- I have a plane to catch -- see you in 30 days!
by Mike DeLisa
GorDoom's SPIT BUCKETTHIS BONE YARD CONTAINS YOUNG MEN'S DREAMS & OLD MEN'S MINDS ...Ever since the brutal outcome of the Gerald McClennan vs. Nigel Benn bout the Ol' Spit Bucket has had a hard time justifying his almost obsessive passion for the "sport" of boxing. Don't get me wrong, the Bucket is no neophyte to Bash Boulevard having been involved on one level or another in the sport since 1956.
My old man was a CIA operative operating under the guise of being a "diplomat". In 1956, when I was seven years old, he got assigned to Mexico City. My father, ( yeah, even the Bucket has a biological precedent ), who in his younger days had been a professional fighter out of New York City in the late 30's - early 40's; began managing & training young Mexican fighters as a sideline. As his first born, I was brought into the brutal realities of the fight game as the guy ( child ) who carried the spit bucket into the ring.
Lil' Bucket assisted Pops & the cornerman in any way he could ...
Essentially, all I did was carry the bucket & pass cut ointments, water, towels & of course, the bucket as needed.
Within those parameters I discovered a world full of blunt & bloody realities ...
As an adult four decades later, I realize it was a cathartic stripping of bullshit ideals & made Lil' Bucket get a whoppin' big helping of reality at a quite & very early age ... & though it didn't do much for my childhood, it certainly prepared me for becoming the Ol' Spit Bucket ...
In the early sixties, Lil' Bucket had the misguided notion that he should become a fighter. Boy howdy, was that a mistake ... Lil' Bucket's career totaled seven fights ... We're talkin' Golden Gloves, not pro - but back then, Golden Glovers didn't fight with head gear & pillows on their fists ...
As an amateur, Lil' Bucket was a - much less than he thought - slick stylist with absolutely no power.
The onliest reason I survived my first six fights was that the kids I was competing against were at least as scared shitless as Lil' Bucket ... & that helped a lot, 'cause I at least, had a fundamentally sound boxing background.
Or so I so misguidedly thought ...
That is, until I met a real fighter , my seventh opponent , the man who introduced me to reality - Big Time ... Was a pint sized featherweight who looked exactly like a miniature Joe Frazier; & as far as Lil' Bucket was concerned, he had the same left hook ...
Anyways, Lil' Bucket was left crumpled on the canvass with a dislocated jaw & three cracked ribs later ...
At that point, ( Spring of '66 ), perhaps influenced by living in San Francisco smack dab in the middle of the psychedelic 60's, Lil' Bucket decided that this would be a good time t' fade from the fistic scene & perhaps delve deeply into sex, drugs & rock & roll ... which in the long ( painful, but it was a helluva lotta fun! ) run stood me in good stead.
T' this day the Bucket makes a decent living in the music biz. But boxing still has a hard hold on what's left of my heart ... & now I've gotten to the point that's what left of my life should count ... & I'm wondering if watching young men brutalize each other is something I should care about ...
The first time I saw somebody die in the ring was in Cuernavaca, Mexico, in 1957.
Thankfully, it wasn't one of my dad's fighters or one of their opponents ... I'm sorry to say that at this point, 40 years later, I don't remember the fighter's name but I vividly remember the fight.
He was a skinny flyweight who got brutally battered for five rounds. Toward the end of the 5th he got hit with a wicked bolo uppercut & whip - lashed to the canvass.
He never got up ...
The next time, I saw it on TV.
It was the terminal trifecta of the Benny "Kid" Paret - Emile Griffith fight series. To this day - & I've never viewed the fight since it happened - I can still see poor Benny laying hapless on the ropes while Griffith battered him way past submission & referee Ruby Goldstein, did nothing to stop it ...
The third time was way up close & personal.
Davey Moore's ( the 60's featherweight champion, not the 80's jr. middleweight ) manager, Willie Ketchum, had been my father's manager when he was a fighter.
Back in '58, before Davey was champ, he came down to Mexico City to fight top contender, Roberto "Chango" ( Monkey Man ) Garcia ( Moore-W-10 ). That's when I first met him & as an 8 year old boy he instantly became my hero.
Flash forward to March 21,1963 ...
Moore was world featherweight ( undisputed ) champion & he was one of the featured fighters on a card that had the great Luis Manuel Rodriguez defending his newly won welterweight crown against the equally immortal Emile Griffith (Rodriguez L-15).
Also on the card was another personal childhood hero, Mexican warrior, Raymundo "Battling" Torrez fighting for the newly vacated ( by Eddie Perkins ) jr. welterweight title against unknown Filipino contender, Roberto Cruz; ( Cruz KO 1. To this day I can't believe Torrez got caught cold & went out like that ) ... Anyhow, Davey was facing the (ultimately) sternest test of his career in Ultiminio "Sugar" Ramos ... Way back then, Ramos was considered a featherweight version of Sonny Liston. Ramos, an expatriated Cuban fighting out of Miami & a member of Angelo Dundee's sterling stable of fighters ( & for those that don't know, yet another champion in the myriad of fighters whose corner that Dr. Ferdie Pacheco has donated his services gratis... ) was one of the most devastating lighter weight fighters that the Bucket has ever seen ...
A couple of weeks before the fight, Willie Ketchum called up my dad & invited us down to LA ( Lil' Bucket was living in San Francisco at the time ) & he was talkin' ring side tickets ... Father & son hopped the first flight outta Dodge & landed in LA a day before the fight.
It is something, 34 years later, that I still don't like to dwell on...
Suffice it to say that it was an evenly contested fight through 10 rounds. During the 11th round, Ramos got to Davey with a terrific combination & Davey was knocked down in a corner & smacked a metal turnbuckle with the base of his skull as he fell. Ever since that fight all turnbuckels have been padded.
Davey was counted out, got up & we all ( me & my dad, Ketchum, the cornermen & the press ) went back to Davey's dressing room. While he was being interviewed, Davey started to complain about a blazing headache & then he suddenly collapsed & went into a coma from which he never recovered ...
Yeah, well ... its a memory that still haunts the Bucket, although I've chosen as a boxing fan to go deep into denial ... but lately, especially since the tragic McClennan - Benn bout it has been getting harder & harder to ignore ...
There is no more fervent a follower of the fight game than the Ol' Spit Bucket, but jeez, as a human being I gotsta wonder ... After all these years & all the fighters I've either known or admired, the Bucket has gotta admit he's never seen a shiny happy ending to a boxing career ... Every fighter I've ever known or whose career I've followed has ended at the very least, as a minor tragedy ...
So why does the Ol' Spit Bucket so avidly follow the by ways & low ways of boxing??? That's a question that is almost as hard to answer as Mrs. Bucket asking me, "Where the hell where you all night???!". As I drag my weary carcass back home early in the a.m. after a night of communing with the wolves, baring my teeth, howling at the moon & grabbing a big chunk of it & eating it raw ...
I dunno, I just thrive on it, I guess ...
If politics is show business for ugly people & country music is show biz for poor white trash; then surely, boxing is show biz for black & brown indigent people.
Despite the sport's obvious flaws, there is a serious economic factor here: For an inner city kid to have any hope of playing in the NBA or NFL, he's not only going to have to finish high school but at least a couple of years of college. It is almost unheard of for a major league baseball player to not at least finish high school.
A great majority of boxers have never finished high school. Also a lot of them are not geared toward team sports. Boxing, like life on the streets, is a put your ass on the line endeavor with no holds barred.
A kid on the streets doesn't have a lot of options: He can get a dead end job, start pimping or selling drugs, join a gang or become a fighter ... None of these alternatives offer much in terms of long term career potential & all of them have hazardous downside's that are extremely harsh ...
The middle class has never been a fertile environ for producing fighters. There have been a few decent to great ones like: Gene Tunney, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Gerry Cooney, Vinnie Pazienza, Roy Jones Jr., Marco Antonio Barrera & Naseem Hamed that immediately come to mind. Realize though, we are talking about a handful of fighters among untold thousands ...
& all these bereft & impoverished kids with dreams of riches, glory, championships & Nintendo boxing game commercials dancing in their eyes; enter the Boneyard (it.) that is boxing ... & too many leave with mind's & body's broken.
So again, how do I justify my passion for the fight game?
One reason is that this is America & a man has the right to pursue any profession he desires, as long as it is not criminal. Boxing may be brutality in one of its more naked, atavistic forms, but it is a human endeavor whose roots can be traced back to Roman times.
Boxing has also slowly gotten more regulated & safer since the 70's, although it still has a quite & very long way to go ...
The final justification is the fighters themselves. No sport is more elemental. No sport can bring a crowd to a roaring frenzy like boxing. The gladiators in the ring are a microcosm of the struggle that is life its own bad self.
All of us who watch see something of ourselves in these clashes, or someone whose courage & will we wish we could somehow posses.
Without boxing, the world would have been deprived of Muhammad Ali & Joe Louis. Both men, towering figures that transcended their sport & were vital touch points in the social fabric of 20th century America.
For the fighters, boxing is a canvas for self expression. A way to show the world their physical gifts, just like a Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice or Tiger Woods. Unfortunately their canvas is on canvass & a lot more perilous & with the exception of an infinitesimal few, much less lucrative & rewarding.
RINSING OFF THE MOUTH PIECE
Both myself & that evil excoriator of an editor, Michael DeLisa who as Don King would put it : "... is "Satan ", have always tried to reply in a timely fashion to all e-mail no matter how bizzare some of the requests may be ... The Bucket has personally received a multitude of requests for pugilistic information from college students desperately trying to finish term papers on arcane subjects like " Should boxing be abolished" or the "Psycho-Sexual Manifestations Of Sadomasochism In Professional Boxing".
Usually these requests pour in late on a Saturday afternoon with the urgent caveat that "I really need this information by 7 a.m. East Coast time on Sunday!"
Recently I got a letter from a college student that was so misspelled & incomprehensible, all I could make out was that he was demanding a ten page thesis on boxing that he needed right away ... Here was the Bucket's response:
Date: Sun, May 18, 1997 8:44 PM PSTWell ... That's it for this month & once again I'd like to remind readers that anyone with any comments, disparaging remarks or praise is invited to send them along via e-mail ( GorDoom@aol.com ). I will respond to any reasonably intelligent correspondence ... Back at ya next issue.
Subj: Re: 10 Pages
To: Little Nemo @ (withheld by editor)
Like ... mang, I dunno- like whatcha fuggin' tryin' t' say? ... Like iffen even Steven don' hava fuggin' clue .... who can? ... 10 pages, huh!!! ...
You fucking brain dead piece of late 20th century detritus. The fact that you - as a supposedly educated person could write a dysfunctional letter like that makes me weep ...
America, you bitch angel, with peeps like this fillin' y'r britches & places of higher learnin' ...
There is no fucking hope left - when people as mentally challenged as yourself - actually reach out & try to dis - communicate ...
Jesus, Harry Truman Christ, please save me, me no more wanna communicate - me gotta go now ... Bucket
Yeah, well ... The Bucket has tried to help out some of these misguided youths in the past & because their requests usually come in as begging & imploring pleas for help & even the Ol' Spit Bucket can fall for a cry for help once in a while ... But I'ze gettin' tired of spending the time to research & write a reasoned response to all these off the wall requests & never getting so much as a "Thank You" e-mail in response.
So, to all you college students out there looking for some stupe to do your work for you - look some other damn place! The Bucket ain't available ...
For other folks seeking info on boxing, the Cyber Boxing Zone from now on demands payment for any requests for information. The payment we demand is a simple e-mail that sez "Thank You".
This is one of the few points that the Bucket & that mendacious manipulator, DeLisa, agree on & this is now the law of the cyber boxing land ...
& while I'm on the subject of e-mail - the single topic that seems to come up over & over is why we don't list Roy Jones Jr. as world super middleweight champion. Here's one of the more moderate (in terms of invective) examples of the type of passionate e-mail we get on the subject:
Date: Wed, Dec 4, 1996 10:20 AM PST
Subj: WRONG WRONG WRONG
Date: Wed, Dec 4, 1996 8:35 AM PST
From: Name withheld by the Bucket -I'm not trying to embarrass anybody.
WHY DO YOU HAVE FRANK LILES (WHO THE HELL?) DOWN AS SUPER -MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION WHEN WE ALL KNOW THAT ROY JONES, JR. (H E L L O) IS POUND FOR POUND THE BEST FIGHTER IN THE WORLD, AND IS THE SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD.
WHERE DO YOU GUYS GET YOUR INFORMATION? THE STAR, ENQUIRER,GLOBE, ETC?
That is one of the milder posts we have received on the subject. The Ol' Spit Bucket would like to set it straight one last (hopefully?) time.
We'll start with Roy Jones Jr. & the super middleweights: The Super middleweight division traces its inception back to March 28th 1984, when Murray Sutherland won the vacant IBF title via 15 round decision over Ernie Singletary.
Sutherland, who was never really more than a journeyman fighter promptly lost the title by 11th round KO to one of Korea's greatest fighters & the true fountainhead of the division Chong Pal Park.
A little over three years later Park also annexed the newly created WBA title by 2nd round KO of one Jesus Gallardo (the WBC didn't recognize the division until 1990.).
Though he was later stripped of the IBF title Park continued on as WBA titlist. The Cyber Boxing Zone does not recognize the stripping of titles except under the most extreme of circumstances, one of which has yet to pop up in the long history of boxing.
At any rate, Chong Pal Park, was the first super middleweight champion of the world & the lineage of his title can be traced in a direct line to Frank Liles. Therefore, as unpopular a stance as it may be, Frankie Liles & not Roy Jones Jr. is the world super middleweight champion. Chew on that one for awhile ...
Now, is Frankie Liles a better fighter than Jones? Of course not. Roy Jones Jr. is a phenomenal athlete & the best fighter pound for pound in the whole weird wide universe ... but he is not (it.)the world super middleweight champion, Like it or not folks, Frankie Liles is the legitimate, linear champion.
Here is another example, back in 1965, during Ali's first reign, the WBA in it's infinite wisdom stripped him of their version of the title. They had an elimination tournament & Ernie Terrell won the vacant (in more ways than one) title by 15 round decision over the star crossed Eddie Machen.
In the meantime, Ali went blithely on defending his title until he faced the less than stellar Terrell, on February 6th 1967 & soundly whipped his ass by 15 round decision.
It was one of Ali's most vicious displays as he carried Terrell the distance so he could beat on him & humiliate him by constantly screaming, "What's my name!? What's my name!?"
Ali had been grievously insulted when during the long, almost two year buildup to the fight, Terrell had refused to call him anything but Cassius Clay ... Anyhow, the question is, was Ernie Terrell heavyweight champion of the world? Absolutely not. Championships are won & lost in the ring. They are not distributed by the whim & caprice of bogus alphabet organizations.
The Cyber Boxing Zone has spent many hours poring over the records of every division & has not designated champions in an arbitrary fashion. Every fighter listed as champion has a clear claim to his title.
Sometimes its emotionally hard not to award championships to a fighter. A case in point is the great 70's bantamweight, WBC titlist Carlos Zarate. Like today's Roy Jones Jr. he was far & away the best fighter in his division ... but, he was not the world champion, KO artist Alfonso Zamora, the WBA titlist was.
Zamora's title could be traced in a line directly back to undisputed champion, Eder Jofre. Zamora & Zarate did meet, but it was in an over the weight non-title match & Zarate won by KO.
It is very tempting to designate Zarate as the champion; but his victory was a non-title match. If one is going to play by the rules, then Zarate was not bantamweight champion & Roy Jones Jr. is not the super middleweight champion.
As unpopular a stance as it may be, it is a fact - Jack.
The Bucket hopes this suffices as an explanation - but if any of you dear readers have any questions - & I know you will - let me know ...
Macho Camacho's Unrecorded fight
by Enrique EncinosaMacho Camacho bounced in his corner, all muscle and sinew, all glitter and flash, punches slashing the air as he warmed up for his performance. Across the ring from him, stood his opponent, a lanky, Don Quixote look alike, a pale Miami plastic surgeon named Joel Levin.
I sat at the ringside apron, headset on, microphone an inch from my lips, television monitor on the wooden table I shared with journalist Carlos Fournier. We both looked at the ring, where the bearded doctor stared across the canvas towards the satin trunked, pony tailed Macho Man.
Carlos covered up his microphone. He leaned towards me.
"I hope Camacho doesn't hurt him," he whispered, "This is one plastic surgeon who might become his own best customer."
I nodded. As I stared up at the thin figure in the ring, I remembered all the events that hd led up to this moment, when one of the top fighters in boxing was to face a plastic surgeon with more guts than common sense. . .
It all started with a phone call a couple of years before this night. I picked up the receiver to hear hank Kaplan's voice. "Hey," he said, "let's go to the fights tonight. Bill Medei is fighting a surgeon."
I shook the cobwebs from my brain. Was I hearing right? Had the great boxing historian taken too many punches?
"What the hell are you talking about, Hank?"
"There's this doctor named Joel Levin," Kaplan explained, "who's very active in the cause of Soviet Jewry. He has been working on behalf of a Jew in Odessa named Yakov Mesh. The soviets are hassling this guy and they won't let him migrate out of the country. . . "
"So what's that got to do with boxing?"
"Well, this Mesh was some kind of amateur fighter and the doctor came up with this crazy idea that if he fights an exhibition against a real fighter he might generate enough propaganda to force the Soviets to slack off Mesh."
I thought about it for a moment.
"Hey, Hank," I said, "This might make a good story for the next issue of "Boxing Digest." It sounds like a good human interest piece. I'll pick you up at six-thirty."
That night, as we entered the hotel where Chris Dundee was promoting a fight card featuring the unusual exhibition, I saw Bill Medei.
Medei, a former amateur star from upstate New York, had moved to Miami to start his pro career in the middleweight ranks. He had compiled a respectable six wins and on draw in his first seven pro battles. The handsome "Italian Hammer." as his managers had dubbed him, was a likable youth with a reputation for unlimited heart and excellent conditioning.
"Hey, Bill," I said, "looking for an easy win tonight?"
"Nah," he said. "This is a good thing we are doing. I met Joel after my draw with Nat King. I had a couple of gashes and he patched me up. Then we started talking and he came up with this idea. Chris Dundee went along with the whole thing, and here we are. Mesh is a human being and deserves a break."
Later that night, as Hank puffed on his pipe and I sipped a soft drink, we watched the ring debut of Dr. Joel Levin, Champion of Soviet Jewry.
Marvin Hagler had nothing to fear from Levin. The good doctor, a raw-boned jogger, lacked the basic skills of a pugilist, but tried his best. He had basic footwork, sticking out a crude jab, pawing out tentative right hands and throwing an occasional awkward hook. Medei, heavily muscled and threatening, loomed before him, allowing himself to be hit with glancing blows, pulling his punches, cleverly missing an easy target.
The exhibition went well. Local and national news networks covered the event, and I wrote a sentimental piece for "Boxing Digest," lauding the courage of the Miami plastic surgeon. I also became acquainted with Levin, a man involved in a cause.
Throughout the next couple of years, I occasionally helped Levin in his quest to free Yakov Mesh. The doctor came up with different ideas, such as a letter requesting Mash's freedom signed by a variety of boxing personalities. I was amused by my occasional visits to his office in South Miami, where the walls were decorated with fight photos of his ring debut. The place looked more like a fight promoter's office than the healing room of one of Florida's leading medical surgeons.
In the winter of 1984, I was involved in the Richie Sandoval-Cardenio Ulloa title fight, writing press releases, doing the television commentary, and matchmaking the undercard bouts. A couple of weeks before the card I received a phone call from Joel Levin.
"Yakov's situation is desperate," he said. "If I could fight an exhibition in your card, with all the propaganda of a title bout, it would really help Mesh."
"Okay. No problem. I'll talk with Medei."
"No," he said, "I need to go against a champion. A big name will generate big propaganda. How about Roberto Duran?"
I stared at the phone, awestruck. Was this guy nuts? Medei was a friend, a buddy who understood the political implications of what Levin was doing. Duran, on the other hand, might decide to see if the doctor's head could impersonate a speed bag.
"Doc," I said, "I don't think Roberto is available right now. Let me see what I can do."
I paced my living room for a few minutes. Then I called Tuto Zabala, the promoter, explaining the situation. Zabala chuckled.
"This guy is a kamikaze." Tuto said, "but maybe we can help him. Call Jimmy Montoya. If Macho Camacho is flying in for the fight, maybe we can do the exhibition."
Jimmy Montoya, who handled Sandoval, had just acquired Camacho. I knew Montoya had a reputation for charity work and Camacho needed to improve on his bad boy image. I called Jimmy and explained the situation offering to pick up the hotel and feed tab for the Macho Man.
"Sure," Montoya said, "it could be fun."
The match was made. A press conference was scheduled for the following week. Levin went into serious training, increasing his jogging, sparing daily with Bill Medei. I wrote up press releases and hoped the doctor would not need a liver transplant after the bout.
The night before the press conference, Carlos Fournier and I went to the Shelbourne Hotel, where we explained to Camacho that his scheduled opponent was a very nice man with the heart of a lion and the basic skills of a novice amateur. We implored the Macho Man to take it easy. Camacho, all decked in leather and gold, promised he would not harm the plastic surgeon.
On the morning of the press conference, Levin showed up with leaflets and photographs of Yakov Mesh. Dressed in a conservative suit, the wiry doctor looked more like a college biology professor than a man ready to do battle against a ring champion.
Camacho came in fashionable late. He exploded into the room, attired in leather boots, shorts and vest, a chunk of gold hanging from his neck his colored pony-tail bobbing in the breeze.
He walked up to Levin and shook his hand.
"You the guy I'm fighting?" he asked.
Levin nodded nervously.
"I'm going to beat the shit outta you," Camacho hissed.
Levin's eyes opened wide. He seemed very vulnerable, pale and thin.
"Hey man," Camacho said, laughing, "I was just playing with you."
The doctor nodded, relieved, but still stared at the gaudily attired figure before him, as Camacho did a dance step and performed loudly for the television news cameras.
And now it was fight time. Camacho pranced and danced during the introductions while Joel Levin warmed up in his corner, seriously determined to do his best against one of pugilism's most exotic performers.
The bout does not appear in Camacho's record, but it should, for Levin must certainly qualify as the most bizarre opponent the Macho Man ever faced. It was the novice against the pro, the educated well-mannered doctor against the street warrior from New York, the man with a lofty mission facing the bad boy of boxing.
Levin moved stiffly, his crude jab searching for Camacho's face. The Macho Man danced, stayed away from the doctor's gallant blows, flicked back harmless jabs which missed on purpose, and even placed his face in the way of a couple of shots to make the performance look good.
The crowd, knowing that the bout was for a good cause, cheered with laughter, screaming at Levin to move in for the kill. The overmatched surgeon, for all intent, tried his best and continued to fight as well as he could, jabbing with his left, swinging with his right, telegraphing wild hooks at the flashy figure before him.
Inadvertently, one of Camacho's shots did not miss the mark. One of his punches, a flicking jab, landed flush on the surgeon's nose, snapping the head back. Levin staggered, then fell. Wobbly, he stood up, as a trickle of blood covered his upper lip. Surprisingly, far from panicking, Levin threw back leather with glee. Camacho, who had seemed embarrassed that he had hit his opponent, now smiled, and gallantly placed his own face in harm's way, to allow Levin a clear shot.
As the third round ended, Camacho and Levin embraced. The crowd cheered. Carlos and I continued doing the broadcast of the title fight, until the show was over.
I saw Levin after the fights, as the arena was emptying out. He stood with Bill Medei and several relatives and friends, discussing his performance, talking about the propaganda that had been generated on behalf of Yakov Mesh.
"Well, Doc," I said, "you did it. Are you going to retire now?"
His face was puffy and his nose was swollen, slightly twisted. He seemed different now. Like one of us.
"Not until Yakov is allowed to leave the Soviet Union."
I nodded. Yes, he's one of us. Borderline insane.
A few months later I was invited to a party at the Levin residence. The guest of honor that night was a recently arrived Yakov Mesh, a stocky man who spoke bad English and had the thick nose of a fighter. I took Levin aside.
"Hey, Doc, are you retiring now?"
"Yes. We saved Yakov Mesh. All of us. Medei. Hank Kaplan. Chris Dundee. Tuto. Montoya. Camacho. You. We did it."
"That's fine Doc. But tell me, when you were up there in the ring with Bill and Camacho, it was more than just Yakov wasn't it? You really enjoyed it, didn't you?"
Joel Levin looked at me and laughed.
"Oh, yes," he answered, "I really enjoyed it."
I left the party and climbed into my car. On the way home I played the radio loud and sang badly. I had really enjoyed it also.
On Thursday afternoon of May 22nd, Don King and Joe Sayatovich held a national conference call with the American boxing media to discuss "the relationship between King, Savatovich and (Terry) Norris." First Joe Savatovich made opening remarks from San Diego expressing his anger that this suit would be filed after he and Terry had been together for over eleven years and that the suit was, "all lies" brought on by the fact that Terry is "greedy".
"Terry Norris has been talked into believing he is going to do some large PPV fight with De La Hoya. . . so now he wants to break his contract." Joe went on to defend his and Don King's treatment of Norris stating that, "Don King is the guy instrumental in getting (Norris) the rematches (to Luv Santana & Simon Brown) to regain his title. This guy believes he is the greatest thing to ever walk on water, yet he has a problem with getting in the ring and getting knocked-out and disqualified and being brought back from the dead. He's been paid over 6 million dollars in the last 3 years in purses and has a contract that guarantees him a 1 ½ million dollars, guarantees him -- no matter what his clown lawyer says, no matter if it sells a ticket -- a million and a half dollars. He's trying to break out of a legitimate contract because he believes he's going to make more money fighting De La Hoya, a contract that took almost a year to put together."
At this point Don King made his opening remarks on the situation stating that, "Joe is one of the most stand up guys in boxing" and that he was, "sadly disappointed and very hurt by (Norris)". Don went on to say that he was talked into this bout he calls, "the quest for the best" by both Norris and Trinidad. "Number one, I didn't want to make the match. These guys are not tried and tested to carry a PPV card, but I said I'd take the risk because you guys have been loyal to me and both of you are champions trying to find out who is the best pound for pound champion. From my own sentimentality, not my good business judgement, I took a risk of a minimum of 6 or 7 million dollars to prove whether or not these guys are indeed PPV fighters." King stated that both fighters also had gotten brand new Mercedes cars and if the PPV, "hit a home run", Norris could've made as much as 7 or 8 million dollars and if it failed only Don King would lose out because of the guaranteed purses.
Don said that everything in Terry's allegations are "blatant lies," and that everything was "fine until Tyson was injured, pushing back the Norris/Trinidad fight" and that's when Bob Arum began "whispering in Norris' ear and poisoning his mind."
Finally the floor was open for questions and I was pleased to be the first one through. I started by congratulating Don for his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He thanked me and then we got started with the questions:
DI: "Do you feel the situation with Terry can be resolved, and he will remain in the Don King stable?"
DK: "At this stage in the game my reputation means more to me than Terry Norris staying in my stable. . . Terry Norris don't keep his word and he's not reliable and he's erratic. . . The bridge over this trouble waters is Mr. Joe Suyatovich. I feel sorry for Terry Norris. I feel sorry that he would allow himself to be used as a pawn to denigrate and degrade me and Joe when all we've done is try to help him. I would like to see him correct himself before it's too late and he kills the uncertainty of this match."
DI: "If you and Terry could iron out your differences, how soon would we realistically see a Norris/Trinidad bout?"
DK: "This match is scheduled for August 23rd. Trinidad and his camp was 100% on board and a day or so after we concluded negotiations with the Garden (MSG) we received a law suit from Terry that was just a shocker. I was just very dismayed and disappointed after working so laboriously for this young man, to find out that he allowed Bob Arum to poison his mind, to break his contract with us so he could hold him on a shelf for a year to fight Oscar De La Hoya with promises, promises, promises -- but he's gonna give him nothin'."
DI: "Is this comparable to the Chavez situation?"
DK: "Exactly. In the Chavez situation he did exactly the same thing. In fact Bob Arum has established a pattern and I have my legal people looking at this. He did it with Chavez, going behind my back and poisoning his mind and Chavez finally came to his senses and called him (Arum) a rapist and said he used him as a pawn. He came back to me. He did it with Christy Martin. Christy sees the error of her ways and not only comes back but extends her contract for another three years. She'll be fighting on the Tyson card in June now. . . Terry sees all this pie-in-the-sky that he thinks he's gonna get, but in the meanwhile he's stabbed me in the back, he's stabbed Joe in the back. What Arum is trying to do is to play "copper" to help the US Government put me in jail. Bob Arum is also working on another one of my fighters, Keith Holmes. I made him WBC middleweight champion and now he's promising him everything in the world. All these young brothers from the ghettos, which is so very sad and disheartening, are buying all these promises from a man who is famous for saying: "I was lying yesterday, but today I' telling the truth." This is the kind of guy we got in this business who is evil. Bob Arum is an evil, evil mind and he thinks that if he could put me in jail that he would be the big man. He will never be the big man because he is so minute, you can hardly see him. He is a small-minded evil man."
DI: "If this situation with Terry doesn't work out, you have two great young champions in Trinidad and Ike Quartey. Is it possible that they would fight?"
DK: "I think Felix is one of the best fighters in the world today. He's the hot fighter on the block. It's not gonna make too much difference, from a box office point of view, whether he (Norris goest or not. As you know, Duva and Finkel are offering me Trinidad/Whittaker or Chavez/Whittaker so it's not gonna make that much difference. The sad thing is the labor, the time, the effort that Joe gave -- 11 ½ years. The love and affection I've had for a young brother to try to help him to make his way in the world. My record stands unrefutable by itself. This man got knocked out and in boxing history he would've been washed up, especially after consecutive disqualifications, and if Joe and I didn't stand up for him, he'd have been history. Everybody was fed up with him and his behavior. He couldn't go by the rules and fight ethically in a boxing ring -- and then for our pay back to be this here, I think it's deplorable and appalling. So Trinidad will fight, no matter what happens. He will continue to climb the ladder of success and I will be right by his side giving him the opportunity to display his talents. So the major loser here is gonna be Terry Norris."
This concluded my questions on this subject and even though Don never really answered my last question, it was still exciting and interesting to hear from boxing's greatest promoter. I for one, hope Don and Joe and Terry can iron out their differences and a Norris-Trinidad fight can become a reality.
They had a brief "separation" caused by an outside agitator named Bob Arum of Top Rank, Inc., but promoter Don King and women's boxing champion Christy "The Coal Miner's Daughter" Martin are reunited.
"I never really left," Martin, who owns a sparkling 31-1-2, 25 KOs record, said. "Don King is the World's Greatest Promoter and I'm the world's greatest female boxer so we belong together. Right now, I'm so excited about fighting on the Holyfield-Tyson II card June 28 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas."
King, who has played the Branch Rickey role to Christy's Jackie-Robinson-like trailblazing as a woman boxer, said he was delighted to have her and her astute manager-trainer-husband, Jim Martin back on board.
"Christy has been the premier woman boxer in the world and her future is brighter than ever. Truly, the sky is her only limit. I'm delighted to be able to help orchestrate her continual rise to superstardom. in fact, I'm working now to set up a movie about her life. Christy has been the highest-paid woman boxer and she will continue to break all records in that category."
King said that, once the lines of communication were reopened, he and the Martins had "a wonderful reunion."
King said that two different courts in two different states (Nevada and Florida) had dismissed the Martin's lawsuits which were instigated and orchestrated by Arum based on the validity of provisions of the contract.
"I am absolutely delighted that justice prevailed in these lawsuits and that the judges recognized that Christy was being manipulated by Arum. And this is Arum, a man whose trademark phrase is "Yesterday I was lying, but today I'm telling the truth," King said.
"I love Jim and Christy, but they were being lied to just like my other fighters. He did the same with Julio Cesar Chavez, but Julio eventually saw through him and came back to me. Now, Arum has put lies, smoke and promises into Terry Norris' head. But Christy and Jim came to their senses as did Julio and hopefully Terry will too. There is a pattern here of interfering with my contracts and my legal team is addressing this aggressively."
"As William Cullen Bryant said, ‘The truth crushed to the earth shall rise again.' I will continue, as I always have, to outperform my enemies."
There seems to be a concensus that the excessive number of titles in each weight class is hurting boxing. No one, and I do mean literally not one single person in the entire world, can likely rattle off at any given time the names of each titlist of each organization without a cheat-sheet. The general public (which does not include boxing fans) likely could not name two titlists! I'd guess most would erroneously name Mike Tyson as one of today's titlists. Such is the state of the fight game.
So, IMO this lack of identity hurts boxing and hurts it like a body shot. It's taking boxing's legs away. Boxing is dying on the vine. Top notch boxing writers are giving away their wares for free on the internet. Others write for small time publications such as Professional Boxing Update/Flash. The most famous boxing magazine has transformed its once respected name into just another also-ran. This is likely general knowledge for most fans, agreed? What can be done about the number of titlists and boxing's reputation? One word: cooperate!
If all of the boxing publications and networks who put on boxing got together and created a unified rating system and championship recognition system which did not acknowledge any of boxing's 'alphabet soup' organizations, boxing would have a single, reputable source for recoginizing world champions and the contenders for the related crowns. Under this sytem, networks televising fights would not acknowledge champions other than those of the unified rating system. Boxing magazines would all use the unified rating system as their sole source of champions and contenders' rankings. No acknowledgement would be give to the alphabet organizations' 'champions'. The alphabet groups would lose their clout and their 'now' meaningless 'championships' would fade off into the septic tank sunset. Boxers would not be willing to pay outrageous sanctioning fees for a meaningless belt.
With televised boxing matches and the boxing media all being on the same page, the alphabet organizations would disappear. Daily newspapers would learn that the true source of information regarding boxing titlists and contenders is from the unified ranking system.
What would it take to accomplish this? First of all, it would take an interest by the various media to have an 'official' list of champions and challengers. It would require a minimal amount of funding. It would require of various members of the media giving up their egos (especially for the boxing rags which are used to doing the rating fighters just how the rag wants it done, without having to confer with anyone on the matter).
No promoter would be allowed to participate with this program nor would anyone in the program be allowed to accept any thing (which means NOTHING) from anyone wishing to infuence the unified rating system. This would require a complete separation from any possible (real and/or by appearance) conflict of interest by anyone participating in the ratings process.
Yes, promoters, such as Don King, Bob Arum and Cedric Kushner, would be kicking and screaming all the way, but in the long run, they might even benefit from a rebirth integrity within boxing (although the shock might kill them 8-)). It would take a strong charter to keep the sleeze bags out of the ratings process, but with the proper commitment, it could be done.
How would a single rating system help boxing (just in case there is someone not previously convinced what the benefit to boxing might be)? Boxing would have a single champion in each division. This would make other fighters who are currently masquerading as titlists/champions contenders for the single division-crown. Then maybe we'd start seeing contenders fighting one another. There would be less titles for a fighter to go after, therefore competition to fight for a title would definitely increase. We wouldn't be seeing Tony Tuckers, Jorge Paez's and Pete Taliaferros fighting for titles again and again despite their not deserving to fight for a championship. The general public (and boxing fans) would start to recognize the names of champions and their challengers. Imagine that; recognizing both the champion and the challenger on a regular basis! We would stop the arbitrary stipping of titlists, especially those quality champions who have the audacity to unify a title against the wishes of one of the sanctioning organizations. Imagine that; no more of boxing's alphabet organizations.
It's in every fan's best interest. It's in boxing's best interest. In the long run it will be in boxing magazines' best interests, because as goes boxing so goes their publication. And the networks will benefit from a single champion also. They won't have the pethora of championship fights from which to choose, but they will have more quality match ups available to them. And if a challenger pulls out of a fight, there will be more fighters willing to step in as a replacement.
So, the big words that would be required for this to work would be: commitment, integrity, and cooperation. None of them readily fall out of my mouth when describing boxing, but it could happen.
Joe Bruno’s Inside BoxingLast month our pet peeve was the pay-per-view cash eating monstrosity. This month we will delve into one of the biggest banes on boxing, incompetent and sometimes downright dishonest boxing judges.
First, to understand the underlying problem we must dissect the many ways boxing judges get their licenses in the first place. Believe me, understanding how to properly judge a professional boxing match is never one of the criteria.
It was 1977, I was outraged by the many bad decisions in boxing, and I decided to do something about it. I set out to somehow be appointed as a boxing judge by the New York State Athletic Commission. But where does one start? Is there a civil service test that needs to be taken? Do you have to complete a course like an aspiring real estate agent, who must also be licensed by the state? Is there a school you can attend which teaches you the necessary minutia that is required to be memorized by boxing judges throughout the land?
The answer to each question is a resounding “Fuhgeddaboudit.”
I was a member of the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City, the stately institution that awards the Heisman Trophy to the year’s most outstanding college football player. The DAC also hosts a yearly member’s only Salute to Boxing Greats Awards Dinner, and it was at one such gala affair that I made my first query from someone in the know about how to become a boxing judge. As the dinner was winding down, and I approached legendary referee Arthur Mercante and asked Arthur,”Sir, I love boxing, and would like to be shown the golden path that leads to an appointment as a hallowed boxing judge. (or words to such effect)”
He told me, “Youngun’, the best advice I can give you is to join your local political club.”
What does politics have to do with boxing?
I found out later the answer is everything.
After spending the better part of two years making inquiries about becoming a boxing judge, one day the appointment just fell into my lap.
I was attending the yearly Heisman Trophy Dinner at the tony Hilton Hotel in Manhattan, and at a cocktail party afterward in one of the suites, I was in the company of an important DAC official, who had also grown up in the same neighborhood as I did in the lower east side of Manhattan. At this party, my friend ( who must remain nameless because I don’t want to get fitted for cement shoes ) introduced me to Jack Prenderville, then the chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission. My friend had apparently done numerous favors for Prendervile in the past (The dinner was $100 a plate in 1979, and I’m sure old Jack didn’t go into his pocket to pay for his ticket, and those of his entourage), and when he told Prenderville I was interested in becoming a boxing judge, Prenderville turned to me and said, “Come to my office on Monday and see Marvin Kohn.”
This was a Thursday night, and I spent the next three days studying everything imaginable about boxing, including the acceptable criteria for judging a fight. Surely, there would be some sort of test involved. I mean, they just don’t give out boxing judges licenses like they do fishing and hunting licenses, do they?
Well, they do, and you don’t even have to know how to bait a hook, or load a gun.
I arrived at the Broadway offices of the New York State Athletic Commisioon that Monday, met with Mr. Kohn, and was immediately given a license to judges fights on the spot. No tests. Not even a blood test. There were no questions about how many fighters are allowed in the ring at the same time, or if maybe Ring Generalship is really a military officer with the highest rank.
Nothing, but pay the yearly license fee, pass Go, and collect about two hundred dollars, and sometime ten times as much, every time I judge a fucking fight.
Is America a great country, or what?
So, now you know how judges get appointed, now I’ll tell you how they get to keep their jobs. The rules in boxing being what they are, a fight promoter can NOT pick which judges he want to work a particular fight card, but he CAN say he does not want a certain judge to work on any of his shows. So, the first thing a fight judge, interested in continuing to collect state paychecks subsidized by the promoter, does is to find out which fighters on the card he is about to work are connected to the promoter staging the fight. Of course, we know promoters are not allowed in America to actually manage fighters, but Don King owns tons of heavyweight beefcake under the false pretenses that the fighters are actually managed by his son Carl King. The Duva’s do the same, only in reverse. Papa Lou manages the fighters that are promoted by his son Dino’s promotion company Main Events. Former lawyer “Bullshit” Bob Arum circumvents the same rules by tying up fighters with heavy-handed promotional contracts.
The fact remains, the fight promoter has a vested interest in certain fighters winning their bouts, and if some fool judge sees the fight the other way, that judge will forever remain on the promoter’s (who don’t forget actually pay the judges) shit list forever, and maybe even longer.
Being the cynical fool that I am, whenever I see a close fight on the tube, and some not-so-close fights, I always fear the winning fighter will be screwed because his beaten-up opponent is somehow connected to the promoter of the fight. And believe me, I’m rarely disappointed.
So, remember one thing fight fans. If a Don King fighter is appearing on Showtime, King’s shamelessly submissive network, his opponent almost HAS to score a knockout to win, while praying the King-connected referee has not forgotten how to count to ten, or run out of fingers to do so.
King says, “Only in America,” but I’ll bet the same is true in other countries too.
If I’m wrong, the Boston Tea Party was catered by Starbucks, and paid for by the Queen of England.
An Evil Ghost Called Panama LewisWhile watching the interviews following the terrible Frans Botha-James Stanton heavyweight title fight for something called the North American Heavyweight Championships, I saw an evil ghost from boxing past. His name is Panama Lewis.
The last I heard, Lewis was banned from boxing for life after serving time in prison for doing something so abominable to the sport of boxing, only an ex-con, murdering, plundering, lowlife like Don King would dare to bring Lewis back into the spotlight. Lewis is apparently now the trainer/manager of Botha(The White Buffalo, or Buffoon), who although he is from South Africa, is now the North American Heavyweight Champion. Go figure.
It happened on the undercard to the Davey Moore-Roberto Duran junior middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in 1983. Lewis was the manager-trainer of local New York City club-fighting favorite Luis Resto, and Resto was set to face unbeaten welterweight sensation Irish Billy Collins in a ten-round preliminary fight. Collins was basically an untested face-first exciting banger, and the boxing people in the know figured Resto, with his ring guile, and having already having faced much tougher opposition, would have little trouble handing Collins his first defeat.
One of those experts was apparently not Resto’s main man Panama Lewis.
The fight was an extremely exciting affair, with the light-hitting Resto banging out an stimulating ten-round decision. After the fight, Collins’ face looked like it went through a meat grinder, and when Collins’ father, ex-welterweight Billy Collins Sr., shook hands with Resto after the fight, all hell broke loose. Collins Sr. screamed at the New York State Athletic Commission officials in attendance, “There’s no padding in Resto’s gloves.”
Sure enough, the gloves were impounded by the officials, and were found to be lacking 60% of the horsehair padding usually found in the gloves. An investigation commensed, and it was determined that Panama Lewis had somehow, before the fight, removed the padding from Resto’s gloves.
Lewis was suspended for life by the New York State Athletic Commission, and later stood trial in New York State court for attempted murder and assault. Lewis was found guilty of assault, and spent 12 months in prison.
Billy Collins Jr. fell to pieces after the fight. He took to the bottle, and one night soon after his first defeat, he crashed his car and was killed. Collins was found to be drunk at the wheel at the time of his death.
Billy Collins Jr. never fought after the Resto fight, and to this day, Billy Collins Sr. blames Panama Lewis for his son’s death.
Artie Curley was the cut man in Resto’s corner in his fight against Collins. Curley later told me, “I saw Lewis in the bathroom before the fight using a knitting needle to remove the padding from the inside portion of the gloves. I asked him what he was doing, and he told me to mind his own business.”
How the gloves made it past inspection by the New York Commission was never determined. I wrote Curley’s quotes in my boxing column for the New York Tribune before Lewis’ trial, and my paper immediately received a letter from Lewis’ lawyer threatening a lawsuit. The lawsuit never occurred, and Lewis was subsequently tried, convicted, and sent to the slammer to practice his knitting, crocheting, or whatever.
This incident was not Panama Lewis first bout with controversy. In 1982, Lewis was the trainer of Aaron Pryor when Pryor fought the great Alexis Arguello in the Orange Bowl in Miami for the WBA junior welterweight crown. The fight was televised nationally on HBO, and after absorbing a terrible beating in the thirteenth round, Pryor sprang from his stool like he had sat on a tack, and amazingly KO’d Arguello in the fourteenth round.
After the thirteenth round, Lewis was heard by millions on HBO to say to one of his seconds, “Hand me the other bottle. The one I mixed.”
Pryor drank from the “other” bottle, and like Popeye after downing his reliable spinach, Pryor was suddenly rejuvenated, and the pummeling of Arguello commensed. I had an early 11 pm deadline that night, and I was the first reporter covering the fight to finish his story in the Orange Bowl press room. When I called my sports editor to see if he he received the transmission, he told me what Lewis had said on HBO.
Wanting the exclusive all to myself, I ran to the dressing rooms that the Miami Dolphins usually used, and I found Panama Lewis staring at the TV monitor on the dressing room wall. He was intently watching Roberto Duran in the Orange Bowl ring making a comeback against some bum whose name I can’t recall. I tapped Lewis on the shoulder and asked him about the “other” bottle. He looked surprised and stunned, but he quickly recovered.
“I had club soda and peppermint schnapps mixed together in the other bottle,” Lewis told me. “Pryor had an upset stomach before the fight.”
In the days and weeks following the fight, Lewis’ story about what was in the mystery bottle changed many times. Lewis was never investigated, or punished, because the state of Florida had no boxing commission at the time. The fight card was so haphazardly handled by the head of the Florida State Department of Parks, before the first fight, there was no ring bell, and no stools in the corner for the preliminary fighters to sit on between rounds. Us saps in the press had to hand up two folding chairs into the ring for the first fight, and the referee had to yell “Ding”, to start and end each round, until some dope could find a fuckin’ bell.
We’ll never know what was in the bottle that Pryor drank before round fourteen in his fight with Arguello, but with Lewis’ then undetected predisposition for bending the rules, it’s safe to say, if the Allied troops drank from the same bottle before World War II, the war would’ve ended in a New York minute.
Naseem Hamed vs. Billy Hardy
A fight report with a differenceDue to the recent barren spell of big time boxing on TV on this side of the Atlantic (as against the actual prospect of the main event being competitive), I looked forward to seeing the Naseem Hamed - Billy Hardy IBF/WBO featherweight title bill for quite some time. The unwillingness of Mr. Tyson to entertain me on the same night somewhat dampened my eagerness, but only briefly.
(By Derek Cusack)
A few weeks before the 3rd of May I arranged to join a buddy of mine - also a motorcyclist - on a trip across the sea and across Britain to stay in London and Kent for a week. And so a bonus was added, I could watch Hamed (and three other Englishmen who were also contesting world titles on the same bill) perform while sitting alongside his countrymen in an English pub. This, I thought, should also provide an interesting angle from which to bring you, the reader, my impressions of the nights boxing. Ever true to my word, here's how it all went....
When the night arrived, we had already digested a very entertaining second division football match (involving Gillingham FC) and were in Maidstone, the county town of Kent. We spent hours looking around this town - which is home to some 1m. people - for a pub that had booked PPV and was planning on showing the fight. My mate Pad who is originally from the dump helpfully informed me that the ritual is for people to go to a pub on the weekend, get drunk and then fall out onto the street and fight each other. Therefore they had live boxing anyway, so why watch it on TV?
Another interesting angle my mate came up with was that the police there are quite fascist (ie. unreasonably strict), so they may have warned the publicans against screening the fight to prevent the attraction of lager louts, etc. The basic theory I stick with however is that because the local formula for living so rigorously incorporates wedging ones behind onto a barstool every Saturday night until truly blotted, the publicans knew they didn't need to shell out for PPV in order to draw crowds and sell barrels of alcohol. What a depressing town though: In any normal town on a Saturday night there is a real atmosphere and buzz around, with people dressed up and ready to party. In Maidstone the atmosphere on a Saturday night resembles that of a funeral in Transilvania on a drizzly Sunday morning.
Another thing that didn't aid our chances of catching the boxing was the fact that the Eurovision song contest was also on that night. For those unfamiliar with the Eurovision song contest, it is an annual competition which features representatives from European countries warbling (in a way not dissimilar to or necessarily better than your average drunk Maidstonian in the early hours of a Sunday morning) in an attempt to be judged as the best songsmiths of Europe. This collection of freshly mutated and recycled Abba songs badly sung dominated any of the pub TV screens that were actually switched on. But to use the words of my colleague GorDoom: I digress.
Pad, who practised the term "thinking on one's feet" much better than I did while we were away, reckoned that our best course of action would be to jump into a taxi and listen to the fight on BBC radio where we were staying. As time was pushing on we grabbed the nearest cab we could find, and guess what the driver was listening to? "Ding ding, round one!" Straining to hear the poor signal (those two words summarise the night nicely) while relaying what we could hear to each other we agreed that yes, Hardy is down.....He gets up for one more, and he's down again (just like a hardened Maidstonian drunk at the bar on a Saturday night really).....It's all over! 93 seconds of double world title action! Thank you WBO for choosing such a worthy mandatory challenger!
The fight literally began as we entered the taxi, and finished before we had driven out of the rank. After joking with the driver about wanting to walk the rest of the way when we had heard the fight, and how he could have earned a whopping fare had it gone the distance, we were dropped at our destination in time to hear the Robin Reid - Henry Wharton WBC super middleweight title fight. My money was on Wharton to win the belt on his third attempt (previously failed against Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank). But from what I heard - in between distractions caused by people talking about the Eurovision contest (the results of which were coming up live on a muted TV screen) - Reid matched him in every department, took his best shots and won a deserved decision.
Reid also caused Mickey Duff (Whartons promoter) to lose a whopping fifty thousand pounds in a side bet with Frank Warren (Reids promoter). Teletext dutifully informed us that the excellent WBO light middleweight champion "Winky Wright" had wiped out the feeble challenge of Manchester's Steve Foster in six rounds in the first world title fight of the evening. So after a night of mayhem I still retained some satisfation in that I hadn't paid fifteen pounds to see the action live. Having said that, I wouldn't include the above formula in the "Things to do rather than Pay - Per - View list*."
* See "Joe Bruno's return to boxing" in the May America On Line Newsletter
On April 12 , 1997 when Pernell Whitaker stepped into the ring to face the "Golden Boy," he didn't know what a strange night he was in for. Not only was Oscar the favorite but he was pratically treated as the champ and not the challenger. I mean how many times has the challenger been paid more and has his own band perform live before the bout .
This night was supposed to be a setup party for Oscar but nobody told Pernell , as he came into the ring you could almost see the confidence in his face. While the younger De La Hoya stood in his corner almost robotic like .The bout was a chess match ,one that had Oscar beating the air unmercifully and hardely any damage to the slick southpaw. While Pernell was flicking a pestering but non-effective jab into Oscars face and going to the body very nicely throughout the fight. It appeared that De La Hoyas crowd was almost like a 4rth man in the ring , constently cheering over him missing 20 punches in a row .
Even though i scored the fight 116-113 for Whitaker , he was hardely perfect by any means. If he would have taken the fight to Oscar more , he may have hurt him b/c his body punches were the most effective punch of the night. His defence was superior to probaly any fighters in history but he lacked one thing with that defence a counter-punch.So how could an judge had scored it 116-110 for Oscar is amazing to me .
I had Oscar winning 3 rounds and three even rounds , with Pernell having 6 rounds . So at the best it could have been a draw for De La Hoya . The funny thing is the W.B.C makes Pernell give Rivera a rematch and Oscar Gets to go fight David"I got whipped by an old out of shaped J.C Chavez"Kamua.I mean come on W.B.C do you think that Kamua deserves the shot more that Sweet pea , or it must be Kamuas marketing with the Mexicans. I mean that did see him stand right infront of J.C Chavez and take a beating. Thats more their type of fight.
So as Pernell gets ready to fight an un named opponent in August and De La Hoya will basically fight an unnamed opponent in Kamua , we can only hope that they both can settle this in a rematch before the end of the millenium.
International Boxing Hall of Fame ElectionsThe following list details the vote for the 1997 elections. Those who received enough votes are listed in ldface. Next issue we will have full coverage of the Hall of Fame weekend along with profiles of the inductees.
5. Antonio Cervantes; 6. Sammy Angott; 7. Lew Jenkins; 8. Miguel Canto, Jimmy Carter, Vicente Saldivar; 11. Ken Buchanan, Bobo Olson; 13. Ingemar Johansson; 14. Jeff Chandler, 14. Victor Galindez; 16. Jimmy Bivins, 16. Laszlo Papp; 18. Johnny Bratton; 19. Pipino Cuevas, Khaosai Galaxy, Sugar Ramos; 22. Tippy Larkin, Holman Williams; 24. Ismael Laguna, Nicolino Loche; 26. Randy Turpin; 27. Fred Apostoli; 28. Ceferino Garcia; 29. Harry Jeffra, 29. Duilio Loi; 31. Tiger Jack Fox, Yoko Gushiken, Ken Overlin; 34. The Cocoa Kid; 36. H. Accavallo, Rinty Monaghan, Eddie Perkins, Yoshio Shirai; 40. Al Hostak; 41. Jimmy Carruthers, Peter Kane, Ernesto Marcel, Freddie Mills; 45. Jose Becerra
5. Joe Choynski, Frankie Genaro, Kid Lavigne, Benny Lynch, Owen Moran, Ad Wolgast; 11. Freddie Steele, 12. Jimmy Barry, Eugene Criqui, Battling Levinsky, Sammy Mandell; 16. Young Corbett III, Johnny Coulon, Lew Tendler; 20. Baby Arizmendi, Billy Papke, Tom Sharkey, Jimmy Slattery, Jeff Smith, Marcel Thil; 26. Benny Bass, Frank Erne, Kid Kaplan, Sam McVey, Willie Ritchie, Billy Soose; 32. George Chaney; Harry Lewis, Joe Lynch, Memphis Pal Moore, Bud Taylor, Jess Willard; 38. Jimmy Braddock, The Dixie Kid, Leo Houck, Rocky Kansas, Eddie McGoorty, Midget Wolgast; 44. Bat Battalino, Frankie Burns, Johnny Buff, Eddie Campi, Frank Klaus, Willie Lewis, Billy Miske
3. Dick Curtis, Mike Donovan, Joe Goss, Jack Randall; 7. Barney Aaron, John C. Heenan, Tom Paddock; 10. Jack Bartholomew, Tom Cannon, Peter Corcoran, Paddington Tom Jones; 14. Dennis Harrington, Tom Owen
4. Bob Arum, Giuseppe Ballarati, Mickey Duff, Tom O'Rourke, Jose Sulaiman, Herman Taylor; 10. Irving Cohen, Jeff Dickson, Murray Goodman, Tito Lecture, Nat Loubet, Irving Rudd; 16. Seven Tied; 23. Seven Tied; 30. Five Tied 35. 35. Lou Houseman.
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