View Full Version : Favorite Old Timer Story?

Kid Achilles
01-20-2006, 01:08 AM
What are your favorite old time boxing stories that may or may not have really happened?

One of my all time favorite boxing stories has Sam Langford drawing a black x on the canvas prior to a fight and then knocking his opponent out so that he falls directly onto the marking.

Another is the Jim Jeffries hunting story where he puts a stag over his shoulders and walks back to camp at such a brisk pace that his unencumbered friends have trouble keeping up.

Finally there is the story of how Luis Firpo used to work in an Argentinian slaughterhouse where he was known to kill beef cattle with a heavy right handed blow to the skull.

01-20-2006, 05:55 AM
Duran knocking out a horse on a bet

Jimmy Young, walking out of Joe Fraziers locker room carrying a jockstarp and saying to Larry Holmes, "Hey Larry, am I good enough to carry this?"

Leon Spinks attending a 76 olympic team boxing meeting wearing only a diaper and sucking his thumb

Tex Cobb saying to the ref, "your white, help me"

Ref asking a fighter if he knows where he is, fighter responds, "yes I'm at madison square garden getting the crap knocked out of me" (might also have been tex cobb)

01-20-2006, 06:57 AM
Read this one in the Atlanta Journal just after Jack Dempsey's passing.

Back in the early Sixties, Dempsey was making a public appearance in Atlanta and staying at one of the city's more fancy hotels. About four in the morning, a University of Georgia (or Georgia Tech, I forget which) football player who was all the rage in the local media and one of the biggest and strongest athletes to ever play for the school, found himself stinking drunk and spoiling for a fight. He had heard of Jack, of course, but he didn't believe the stories the old time boxing fans told him about Dempsey's toughness and power. So said college man tracked down Dempsey's room number and pounded on the door, demanding that the Old Champ come out and "take a hiding."
Jack ignored the idiot for awhile, but when hotel security didn't show up to cart him off, the nearly seventy year old Dempsey finally rolled out of bed and opened his door. The footballer immediately challenged the much older man to a fight in the hallway.

"Kid," Dempsey was quoted as saying by roused fellow tenants, "we'll settle it this way: since you're drunk, I'm going to give you the first punch. Let me have it with everything you've got." Jack paused. "And then it's my turn."

The collegian looked into that weathered, scarred, but awe-inspiring face with its hell-hound eyes and instantly sobered. Like "Johnny Tyler" (Billy Bob Thornton) in TOMBSTONE once he found out that Wyatt Earp had just bitchslapped him, the kid mumbled an apology and retreated, leaving a "Thank you, Mr. Dempsey," hanging in the air.

The paper swore the account was the truth. I can believe it.

Many other boxers have been credited with similar meetings. I can't vouch for the veracity of any of them, but one reported by Malcolm "Flash" Gordon in his Tonight's Boxing Program seems to have a truthful ring to it. When Tony Lopez was still reigning as the Jr. Light champ, he was approached in a bar by a martial arts practitioner who challenged him to a fight to see which discipline was the better to use in real world situations. According to Flash, Tony sat his beer on the counter, turned to face the ninja guy, and answered with, "Tell you what: I'll let you take the first two hits. And then I'm going to hit you faster, harder, and more often than you've ever been hit in your life." That ended the "confrontation," as the other man beat a hasty retreat. PeteLeo.

01-20-2006, 11:22 AM
jyoungfan - One of the Tex Cobb stories you mentioned is true, tho the location was different. When Cobb fought Eddie Gregg in 1985, he was literally being beaten from pillar to post most of the night. At one point the ref (I think it was Mills Lane) stops the action and says to Cobb, "Do you know where you are?" Cobb says, "Yes. I am in Reno getting the shit beat out of me."

Another Cobbism that I don't know for sure if it's true (the tape I have doesn't have any between round action), but against Holmes it's said that the ref came to his corner after a round where he's taken a particularly bad beating and checked him out. At one point he allegedly says, "Can you see me?" Cobb replied, "Yeah, you're white. It's the black guy I'm worried about."

Mr E
01-20-2006, 04:42 PM
I always liked the line from a Harry Greb opponent that John D. McCallum quotes in his "Encyclopedia of World Boxing Champions" about what it was like to fight Harry-- 'it felt like somebody opened up a freight train and dropped a carload of boxing gloves on my head.'

My grandfather used to tell a story about a tough Utah middleweight from the 50s named Milo Savage, who, due to the number of fights he threw, had a record of about 30-30, but who used beat the bejeepers out of Gene Fullmer in the gym 7 days a week. [The middleweight division was loaded in the 1950s.] The story goes that Savage was talked into taking a last minute fight up in Seattle or somewhere against a local middleweight, only to discover upon arriving that, not only was he fighting a heavyweight, but that heavyweight was Harry Kid Matthews. Furious at the double-cross, Savage went down during the instructions-- Matthews never laid a glove on him.

01-20-2006, 04:49 PM
Tex Cobb could have his own thread it seems!

I remember watching his full contact karate title fight with champion John Jackson on tv and during the instructions when the ref was saying "no hitting behind the head", no this, no that and said "any questions?", Cobb said "What about biting?". [pre-Tyson but post-Cummings I think.] Jackson could not stop his grin.

Mine are tame but I find them funny in a weird way-

Mace v Coburn, I think, where the crowd gathered along a remote train stop after the fight was stopped at an earlier date. The local sherriff rides up and informs them to stop, they all laugh at him, and he rides off. They posed and never threw a punch for like an hour or more until it was called a draw, if that's the one. What a day.

John L. Sullivan wandering down the isle drunk to announce in the ring to the crowd that he is sick and can not fight that night.

In the Kahn book the story of Battling Nelson taking a long-overdue bath in the lemonade tub before the Dempsey-Willard fight, and they didn't know which tub so no one wanted to buy any on a hot July 4. [This has gaps in it- how did word get out to everybody who came the next day? No matter]
I told non-boxing fans this one a lot after I read it.


01-20-2006, 05:23 PM
According to A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF AMERICAN SPORTS, during the weigh-in for their title fight, Max Baer occupied himself by plucking hairs from the chest of Primo Carnera and whispering, "He loves me, he loves me not . . . ."
This sounds more than a bit apocryphal to me, because how long would even Placid Primo allow it to continue? I mean, that hurts. PeteLeo.

01-20-2006, 09:21 PM
I'm as bad as bert sugar on the facts..
oh well, at least I relay the gist of the story

Smoking Bert cooper was asked by the boxing commission
about rumors he was going to throw the fight against richie melito at madison square garden . Bert grows indignant and says "I never threw a fight in my life" He goes on to knock the bull out in the first round.

Sonny Liston is in England . Mickey Duff sets him up with a lady of the evening, for the evening. The next morning he gives her a few quid. She gets angry and asks is that all she's getting for him banging away at ther all night. He says "yeah, but what about all the sandwiches you ate on my tab"

01-20-2006, 11:35 PM
The Dempsey story where as an old man he got out of a cab in NYC late at night and flattened two muggers who attacked him, mistaking him for "any" old man.

01-21-2006, 12:11 AM
I have found the following quotes by Randy "Tex"

1. "Courage isn't the absence of fear, it's the dealing
with it."

2. "Larry Holmes doesn't hit as hard as Earnie Shavers.
Nobody hits like Shavers. If anybody hit harder
than Shavers, I'd shoot him."

3. "If you screw things up in tennis, it's 15-lover.
If you screw up in boxing, it's your ass."

4. When asked if he was a "White Hope":
"Well, I'm white and I'm hoping."

5. When asked if he won the fight with Larry
Holmes: "Larry Holmes didn't beat me, he
just won the first fifteen rounds."

6. When asked about a possible rematch with
Holmes: "I don't think his hands could take
the abuse."

7. When asked what he learned after the bout
with Holmes: "Well, it wasn't how to get out
of the way."

8. "People always ask me if success is going to
change me and I tell them I sure hope so."

9. In response to a reporter who said that Cobb
was a fat, cocaine snorting drunk: "I'm not

10. When Cobb was asked he didn't want to
retire, he replied, "I'll do anything to keep from
making a living. If I've gotta fight a circus bear,
then let's get the draws on him and get it on!!"

11. "I don't do nothing but hit people!"

12. "The measure of a man is what happens when
nothing works and you got the guts to go

- Chuck Johnston

Roberto Aqui
01-21-2006, 12:47 AM
Ali had won back his title and was feeling pretty fiesty, but uneasy since he was taking a rare jet flight.

Stewardess: Sir, the plane is taking off, could you please put on your seatbelt?

Ali: Superman don't need no seatbelt.

Stewardess: Superman don't need no plane neither.

Ali put on his seatbelt.
There was the time he and Ernie Terrell stopped off at a black college in the South in his new caddy.

Ali gave a lecture to the crowd who gathered, talking about how Canadians come from Canada, Japanese come from Japan, ect, but "Where do Negros come from?"

He then launched into a tirade about Africa and Africans, and finally some kid pipes up and says "I ain't never heard of no country called white folks neither."

Ali folded up shop and left mumbling about kids.
I think it was after the Evangelista fight. Ali was interviewed and gets all bugeyed and goes off flappin': "I'm the heavyweight champion of the world. I can whup any fighter, any man in the world. I don't care where you live, (wagging finger at the camera) I can whup you. I can whup you. I can whup you!"

Walker Smith
01-21-2006, 01:11 AM
Thank you for those quotes, Chuck. They have lightened up my day.

The great thing about those quotes is you don't even need to be a boxing fan to appreciate them. I suppose that's why Cobb starred in Hollywood films. He was a tremendous character.

01-21-2006, 05:58 AM
Walker Smith- Thanks for the compliment. By the
way....I made a mistake in a quote by Tex Cobb
pertaining to the circus bear. I wrote "draws"
instead of "drawers" in the said quote.

There are variations of the following Tex Cobb
quote: "Philadelphia is the only place where
you see two winos in a street jabbing."

He also was quoted saying the following in
so many words: " Philadelphia is the only
place where you see two winos hooking off
the jab."

- Chuck Johnston

01-21-2006, 07:14 AM
Before he won his first title, Ruben Olivares became involved with a snake oil salesman who claimed to have a sure-fire hair growth restorer. Ruben was so convinced that the "remedy" was real that he bought into the "business." While being interviewed following one of his last fights prior to the Rose match, Olivares spent most of the time extolling the merits of the worthless substance and expressed only one regret regarding it:
"If I was a bald man, I could give this miracle the best publicity in the world. Before every fight in the ring I would rub some of the cure on my bald head, and I would have more and more hair every time the people saw me.
"Why did God curse me with all of this hair?"

Luckily for him, Ruben stuck to boxing. PeteLeo.

01-21-2006, 08:43 AM
still has all his hair tho...

01-21-2006, 06:47 PM
cobb and baer and then ali- were funny as hell; jim jacobs interviewing ali befor liston fight- i just saw liston-ali- aint he ugly- he wasnt to friendlt- now he must go down- makes a funny noise with his mouth and then ckiks his tongue. also a friend said he saw him on the screen before one of the spinks fightsshown in the crowd drinking soda and eating popcorn. a wepner fan asks liston if wepner was the bravest man he fought and said no but is manager is.max baer and jack dempsey fooling with a real bear- i think max was suppoed to box him- but its funny.lew jenkins going any woman he wished sayibg im the lightweight boxing champ of the whole world want to get laid- it actually worked more times than not.

01-22-2006, 03:21 PM
Mickey Walker, 'The Toy Bulldog', had always been irritated by the legacy of Stanley Ketchel. It seemed no matter what Mickey did, in the eyes of the average boxing fan, he could not compete with 'The Michigan Assasin.' One day, however, Mickey met a man at a bar who appeared different. The guy was profuse in his declarations of how great Walker was. Flattered, Walker bought the guy a beer. The guy went on gushing about Walker-this and Walker-that. Eventually, Mickey got up the nerve: how did he feel he would do against Ketchel?
Without blinking an eye and with beer still in hand, the fan said: "He would've moydered you!"

Eddie Simms immortal line against Joe Louis is a classic in my opinion. After clambering up from a first round knockdown at the hands of Louis in a non-title fight, Simms was asked if he was okay by referee Arthur Donovan.
"Sure," he replied. "Let's take a walk - anywhere - up on the roof."

01-22-2006, 07:02 PM
I like the Maxie Shapiro story where when he fights Ray Robinson, Ray holds out his hands to touch gloves at the start of the third (?) round. Maxie says "Ray, it's not the last round." Ray says "for you it is" and proceeds to flatten him a minute in.

Kid Achilles
01-22-2006, 09:14 PM
Was that Robinson? I've heard the same exact story attributed to Sam Langford.

01-22-2006, 10:01 PM
Could easily have been both,,,it was actually from Shapiro's lounge act...

01-24-2006, 12:09 AM
ruben navarro before his fight with mando ramos being told by a reporter that mando was training seriously for their fight ,replied.. "that ain't so ..mando has been partying every nite...i know cause i was with him"

01-24-2006, 12:29 PM
In the documentary "The Last Round" that dealt with the Ali/Chuvalo fight, the interviewer asked George about the amount of punishment he took in the fight, and how after the last round Ali looked totally unscathed. George replied,

"Yeah, but after the fight he went to the hospital and I went dancing with my wife."

01-24-2006, 12:30 PM
Back in 1965 or 66 i had a kid fighting in the JR. G.G finals , when it came time for our fight , my fighter started to climb into the ring , he had one leg over the lower rope , when he looked across the ring an he see's his opponent who is none other then Andy ( The Hawk ) Price who was about 11 or 12 years old then, my fighter turns around an face me an tell me " i don't want to fight tonight " an start getting out of the ring so i push him back in the ring , well he fought an lost a close UD

Frank B.

01-24-2006, 12:33 PM
The time when "The Bucket" bounced Nunya off the Board... (a joke guys) ! :rollin

01-24-2006, 02:11 PM
Yeah, that was right after you wrote a long screed excoriating Buff for some "stupid" post "he" wrote and when it was quickly pointed out that he had nothing to do with the piece (by the guy who did write it), you didn't even have the balls to admit to your bungee jump off of Mt. Reason. That was awfully funny, wasn't it, Granny? ("Just joking.") PeteLeo.

Roberto Aqui
01-24-2006, 03:02 PM
How about the time that sportswriter tried to pin down Louis by saying, "Joe, they say you don't like it to the body very much. What do you say about that?"

Joe, "Who do?"

I would've cracked up right then in there had I been there!

01-24-2006, 06:32 PM
I read in this old magzine about how a lady drop her tissue cloth they had back in the 1880's or so. And Sullivan pick it up to give it back to her, the lady thought Sullivan was going to attack her or something, so she hit the champ in the jaw. When she found out, it was John L she hit, she said I sorry, I did not mean too ete. Sullivan just said, I was trying to give this back to you, I appolise for any offense I may have done.

It was something like that. Not word from word. Maybe some one knows the story better.

01-25-2006, 12:28 AM
Pee Wee, are you drinking again ?

Kid Achilles
01-25-2006, 03:56 AM
Let's stay on topic guys.

01-25-2006, 04:49 AM
Not drinking, just reminding you of another in your long and ignominious record of self-humiliations, Boobie. Bet you thought those were gone with the wind after you hacked the board, didn't you? PeteLeo.

01-25-2006, 10:51 PM
Nasty and stupid is a pathetic to go through life Pee Wee...for once, check your facts before putting your foot in your mouth.....

01-26-2006, 02:01 AM
"Facts"? When did you ever give a fig for facts, pissface? PeteLeo.

PS. You know, you might look into the possibility of doing a little proofreading once in awhile. " . . . is a pathetic to go through life . . ." makes less even sense than usual for you. I'm resigned to your poor spelling and lack of punctuation, but even a butt muffin can read over his silly little squealings before posting them. Just a friendly suggestion. PL.

01-26-2006, 02:36 AM
I would if I deemed you worth it Pee Wee ...your not, simply an amusing diversion while I'm at work.

However, if you checked your history, you would see I had nothing to do with anyone being removed from the Board. Your attempt at claiming so is full of fragmented half truths...actually exactly much like your boxing observations...Instead of making false claims, review the facts before putting your foot out of your mouth again.

01-26-2006, 03:27 AM
If you'd check your history, Sweetiepie, you'd see I never mentioned you having anything to do with having anyone removed. Oh, I forgot, reality is what Granny wants it to be, isn't it? Tryin' to be a big boy and stickin' to da troot am so difficult for widdle peoples.

Why not make up a few more "quotes" and accusations and toss them willy-nilly, since it seems to relax you while you're "at work" (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). PeteLeo.

Kid Achilles
01-26-2006, 04:24 AM
From now on, can you guys keep it to personal messages or e-mail? This is getting out of hand. Thanks.