View Full Version : Bert Sugar

08-10-2006, 10:34 PM
Anyone have some sort of contact info for Bert Sugar?

Mike DeLisa
08-11-2006, 06:35 PM
Yup. I am working on a book with him.

Waddya need?

08-11-2006, 06:52 PM
BTW: Before somebody starts posting snarky comments about Bert, I wanna cut it off at the pass. I know a lot of people don't go for his shtick, but Bert is a performer & a great ambassodor (sp?) for boxing.

From the begining he has been a great supporter of the CBZ & he, Ferdie Pacheco & Randy Gordon gave us a lot of cred in the boxing community at the incipience of the internet boom over 12 years ago.

I've had many, many, conversations with Bert & he is a good, decent, & kind man. Off camera, one on one you couldn't find a more entertaining & facinating boxing character ... Although, believe it or not, his first & truest love is baseball.

Anyway, The CBZ & young boxing writers ftom all over this pitiful planet, have found Bert to be a man giving of himself & his time to help. For that he will always have a Tip O' The Fedora from the Ol' Spit Bucket.

SO ... this thread is about someone trying to contact Bert. Let's please leave it there because we've been down that road quite a few times over the years & we don't need any more diatribes or screeds on Bert.

& lastly, I write this as someone that does not by any means always agree with Bert's boxing views. But so what? I don't always agree with ANYONE'S views. As far as I'm concerned, Bert Randolph Sugar, is a dear, & close friend & supporter of the CBZ.

Is my view slanted?

You betcha'.


08-11-2006, 07:02 PM
Glad to hear he's a cool guy in person....I've been a fan of his since I started following the sport.

Sugar is the damn man. If I can learn half as much about the sport as he's probably forgotten, I'll be in good shape.

God bless him.

HE Grant
08-11-2006, 07:21 PM
Gor getting a bit close to a dictatorship here are we not? No one can offer a negetive comment on a passage if you say so? I respect the you pay the bills senario but either it's a forum or it's not.

08-11-2006, 07:57 PM

I meant THIS particular thread. & as I said there have already been quite a few threads on Bert over the years. BUT ... If you want to start a new thread & go after Bert, feel free. I've got no problem with that.

I guess I was hoping somebody could make a query about something without starting the usual slash & burn bullshit, when it had nothing to do with this thread.

Not every thread has to morph into vitriol, Evan.

But like I said, if you want to start yet another thread on Bert; have at it. You misunderstood my intent. Feel free to go for it.

& oh yeah, don't you think calling me a dictator was a bit harsh? What's the matter, your baby keep you up all night & you woke up on the wrong side of the tutami mat?

Just kidding,

yer pal,


08-11-2006, 10:34 PM
I have always thought he was the MAN when it came to boxing journalism. Top, top writer and historian. A guy who knows his stuff and is prepared to voice his opinions.

08-11-2006, 10:48 PM
I was definitely not going to say anything bad about him and hopefully nobody would do that, at least in this thread. I've always thought of him as one of the foremost boxing experts and could care less about anything else. He's the kind of guy I'd like to have a drink with actually...or maybe a few drinks.

I''ll PM you CBZ. Thanks.

08-11-2006, 11:18 PM

I stay away from these types of debates . But I can't help myself this time .

When I first started to post your advice to me was don't be snarky and be respectful . You told me there were many fine gentleman here who would help me . Your right .

Over the past few months I can see how Important friends of this site are . Its the fact that you make the hard decisions as to what goes on here that keeps them coming back , and helping all levels .

If some feel this is a police state I'm sorry but where else can you go and find this level . I kid my friends . I get to learn from the top historians in the world and their glad to help me . More importantly I dont have to wade through a pile of nonsense to get what I need . Some of the people you have excluded from the site since I have come . I would have kept . But the longer I'm here, the more I see its the overall site thats important . Not one poster .

We must respect the friends of the CBZ . find ways to make, or points without bashing . I may be wrong but I see this as a site for learning and sharing . Lets leave the bashing to the other sites . There are plenty of them that enjoy a good bash If someone feels the need .

GorDoom I thank you and all friends of CBZ for the chance to learn.


08-12-2006, 07:21 AM
One of the things I treasure the most is a couple of pictures I have of Bert and I together.

In one of them he's holding up a martini glass and I'm holding up a beer bottle and we've got our arms around each other. It was taken at Graziano's Bar in Canastota, New York. You can tell we're both smashed out of our minds by the look in our eyes and on our faces.

Bert likes his liquor. Me? I'm celebrating 14 months of sobriety and for the first time in almost 25 years I've got a clear head.

08-12-2006, 08:37 PM
Congrats on the sobriety! & I mean that sincerely. I work in the music biz & I know a train wreck to-be when I see one ... & when they can overcome that demon ... A Tip O' The Fedora.

From your post I see that you percieve Bert more or less as I percieve him. Flamboyant, WAY out there ... & the closest thing we have to a living Damon Runyon like character that we have, in this so far fucked up, but brand shining new, millennium.

A funny aside: Most of the times I've talked to him have been telephonicaly. It's hilarious listenening to him giving me a knowledgeable, "Bertesque", dissertation on whatever, while at the same time he's chasing his great & regular grandchildren around the room trying to get one of his cigars, shoes, or ties back ...

He spends a LOT more time looking after his grandchildren than he does doing his "Shitck" on TV. In fact, it's amazing to me, that the guy can write with all the chaos from the children around him on a daily basis unless he's lucky enough to get a speaking engagement or a gig on TV & writes while he's traveling ...

My guess is that must be it, because I know his phone is ringing off the hook, 24/7.

Bert may be overly bombastic at times ... But so fucking what?

He's a great guy ...


08-12-2006, 09:02 PM
Sugar has been around a long time. I wish he would get affiliated with a website and write more often. He was great at Boxing Illustrated and Ring.

Kid Achilles
08-12-2006, 10:14 PM
I've always loved hearing Bert's opinion and watching him do his thing on TV. He's great for boxing and really knows his history.

08-12-2006, 11:05 PM

Thank you very much for your kind words ... It really does mean a lot that we can help a guy like you, a direct decendant of one of boxings all time signature figures:

Hype Igoe.

The man whose career & "nome de plume" as a publicist & writer created today's term, "Hype" that is still in vogue, over 75 years later.

He changed the way the media operates. Editors saw what he accomplished in boxing & sports & inevitabally applied it to other areas of the news.


HE Grant
08-13-2006, 11:07 AM
Sorry, forgot about this thread...

Of course I'm with you Gor...

I do like the reference to Bert as a throwback to the Runyon type character ... I've met him many times, spoken with him a lot, find him very bright and knowledgable ...

His major fault to me is how he pushes so hard on Classic to over talk everybody else to the point of rudeness...his neediness and professional bitterness are on full display , he does not want to share a second of the spotlight with anyone else. His guts are twisting when anyone else has the mike for even a second...it shows his demons way too transparently ...

all and all , in a sport where the dispicable characters out number the good ones about 10 to 1, Bert is all right by me.

08-13-2006, 08:49 PM
Hype not a moniker . a "nome de plume" . Gordoom you know how to make a man sound like a giant. Thanks

Anyone who enjoys the history of boxing would have to like Bert . If he were around with Runyon and Igoe . He would fit right in . Bert is Just what a boxing journalist is supposed to be . Colorful and as big as the game . I wish he do some more fights on tv . They need a little more Runyon style .


08-13-2006, 09:02 PM

Here another term we still use Hype is credited for . " ALL WASHED UP "

I read it this way . Hype had a buddy who was door man for the Follies in NY.
During audictions . A man came in to try out with a parot . The pair were as dirty as could be .So they sent them back to get cleaned up . When they did not return , it was said the act must have been washed out of them .

Hype upon hearing this wrote an article that day in which he said the fighter was " ALL WASH UP " .

Now you know the whole story !!


Kid Achilles
08-13-2006, 09:25 PM
Just the other day I was wondering about the origins of that phrase. Now I know! Thanks!

08-15-2006, 01:29 PM
bert is one hell of gentleman. hes so patient with boxing fans--its ridiculous. this is one cool,nice dude. ditto to gd.

08-15-2006, 01:59 PM
Several years ago when he was running Boxing Illustrated, I ordered two videos from his magazine: Skills Brains and Guts and Sugar Ray Pound for Pound.

My check was cashed within two weeks of sending it in, but after 3 mos had passed, I still hadd never recieved my Videos (yes, VHS tapes). I spoke with a woman named Carol Davis about this who was in advertising (she was the only person I could reach at BI) on a couple of occasions who was very nice and asked for my patience. I called back a third time and she put Bert himself on.

He was funny as hell. He got on and said "Hi, this is Bert". I said, surprisingly, "This is Bert Sugar?" And without pause he came back with, "No, THIS is Bert Sugar."

Bert chatted with me for several minutes and asked for my patience and explained he was having an issue with his distribution house. He said he'd take care of me. I told him no problem.

A month later I got this flipping huge box delivered to my house. No videos, but a Check from Boxing Illustrated for the amount I sent in and with it, nearly 100 back issues of the Old Boxing Illustrated (between 1975-and 1985).

Bert, true to his word, took care of me.

I've met him on at least three occasions since and ridiculously mentioned the story to him each time. Now I KNOW he would never remember this situation in a million years, but EACH time, he said how he remembered me and hoped I enjoyed "My Personal Stash that I had to theive back from Dave Debusshere! (The Former Knick was president of the RIng back then and the two had a less than pleasent litigation going on whihc ended up resulting in Bert getting BACK Boxing Illustrated [88-to the mid 90's]).

No way did Bert recall my situation, but when he talked to me, he made me feel like he'd actually stopped the presses to Personally take care of me.

Great guy.


08-15-2006, 03:30 PM
Yes, he is a great ambassador for the sport of boxing.

He likes to have a good time and he's always got a big hand shake and bigger story to tell you about.

After the man upstairs made him - he broke the mold.

Dan Gunter
08-15-2006, 05:06 PM
GorDoom wrote: "I don't always agree with ANYONE'S views."

I agree. Sometimes I don't even agree with my own.

08-15-2006, 05:13 PM
yeah- they broke the mold with him--his humor and solicioutios[niceness] above [hawk] is many of many examples--"no this is bert sugar"--"i passed myself on the way coming in".

08-15-2006, 05:14 PM
or "i tried to be a lawyer but coulndt pass the bar-as i cant now"--or something close.

08-15-2006, 05:34 PM
His quip was, "it was the ONLY Bar (the exam) I ever passed."


Randy Gordon
02-05-2008, 01:20 PM
I know it's well over a year since anybody has posted anything here,but I'd like to get my two cents in. I had the good...make that GREAT!...fortune to work alongside Bert Sugar when he purchased Ring Magazine in 1979. As it's Editor, I watched this amazing man, who was the mags Publisher, single-handedly give boxing the good publicity it so sorely lacked. His ideas were ingenous and he was always ready to listen to every thought his staff had, no matter how ridiculous them may have been. Who would have thought that putting Tommy "The Hit Man" Hearns in a black suit and one of Bert's fedoras, while holding a "machine gun" (it was a water pistol which I shot Bert with a lot of times!!!) would go on to become the largest-selling Ring of all time. And the Howard Cosell cover was another gigantic seller.

As far as his drinking, so much of that is staged. He'll down a few post-fight drinks here & there, but Bert just uses that as part of his personna, be that good or bad.

It has been almost 30 years that I've been close with Bert. Believe me, you all would love to have a guy like this as a friend.

02-05-2008, 01:43 PM
A month later I got this flipping huge box delivered to my house. No videos, but a Check from Boxing Illustrated for the amount I sent in and with it, nearly 100 back issues of the Old Boxing Illustrated (between 1975-and 1985).When Bert was with RING I ordered a book that I believe was about the bare knuckle era. Same thing waiting, waiting, phone call waiting, waiting...package arrives back with check as book was out of print.

So what does he send me? A thin paperback of "The Mike Jacobs Story", published in 1948. As Matt Foley (Chris Farley) would say "Well La Di Frickin Da!"

The pages were yellowed and brittle and smelled musty like it had been stored in someone's basement for 35 years which it probably had been.

You got a good deal with those back issues.

I did meet Bert once at a function and he seemed like a pretty funny outgoing guy. Pretty much what I expected.

02-05-2008, 02:53 PM
At the Ring, DeBusshere probably wouldn't let him hook you up!

When he was at BI, he had a bigger stash from which to theive from!


Great to hear you Chime in here. One of my favorite pieces by you was the one you put together when you sparred with Howard Davis Jr. What a fantastic 70's mustache you sported back then!

The World Boxing issue with Davis on the cover in which you had an insert photo of Sugar Ray Robinson (Shades of Sugar Ray), that you wrote the article for, I have framed with a autograph by Howard Davis on the cover.

That one I never get to read as it wrests on my wall in my office!

If you ever run into Davis sometime, let him know the guy who went into his dressing room to meet him following the Dana Rosenblatt fight (in the Boston Garden), who got his autograph, wants his Sharpie back! HA!

I handed the Mag to one of the guys in his camp along with the black Sharpie and he ended up bringing me back into the dressing room to meet Howard. Real cool. Great guy. I've always been a huge fan of Davis. But when Howard gave me the signed magazine back, it was signed in blue ball point. You can barely see the autograph unless you look close up.

I get ribbed for that everytime someone looks at this on my wall. "Hey why didn't you use a marker so you could actually SEE the autograph?" I tell them that I did, but Howard stole my Sharpie!

Of course that story only pales in comparison to earlier in the evening when I went up to Mickey Ward who fought on the undercard and shook his hand and said: "Great Fight Dana."

He looked at me rather defalted and downtrodden and I thought he'd simply lost his marbles. Of course it struck me about 5 mins later that I had called him the wrong name! Brilliant!

Oh Yeah. Hawk knows his boxing!

One of my better nights.

Take care Randy!


02-05-2008, 03:23 PM
Too Sweet Commish! Awesome to hear from Mr. Gordon.

02-06-2008, 12:17 AM
I was at the bar with bert after the grant/lewis fight. I saw an ashtray next to bert filled with his cigar butts and joked with bert I should sell those on e-bay. Think of what a damon runyon smoked cigar would go for. Anyway, bert took out a fresh cigar and autographed it for me. I made a clear resin paperweight out of it.
At one fight, he was asked by a kid in a wheelchair for an autograph. He was patting his pockets looking for a peice of paper when I handed him some extra KAYO cards of himself I had on me. He signed a few for the kid and afterwards tracked me down and said it was a nice thing I did giving him those cards.
Bert Sugar, always a gentleman.

02-06-2008, 08:39 AM
Talk about prepared.

You have a Bert Sugar card on you when you had run into Bert? Nice.

I met Muhammad Ali at a function in Boston a while back and while a brought a copy of the SI of his win over Foreman and a SHARPIE (prior to Davis stealing it!), I didn't think to bring a camera.

Of course after getting his autograph, shortly after, while Ali was walking out, I got another chance to approach him and shake his hand. Folks were telling me to stand next to him so I could get a pic with him. But I didn't THINK to bring a camera.

The arrogance of me expecting to go up to ALi and get his autograph as opposed to seeing him from a distance and take his photo. Could have gotten both.


02-06-2008, 02:10 PM
I would love to take Bert to a small little restaurant I know of in Chicago and eat soup and bread and anything he wants, it's on me. Then I would not shut up, but keep asking him stuff to get him to not shut up. He is a very cool guy.

Mike DeLisa
02-06-2008, 04:45 PM
Bert gave me about 5 signed cards for me to give away -- first 5 who writeme with snail mail get it --


02-07-2008, 12:16 AM
Talk about prepared.

You have a Bert Sugar card on you when you had run into Bert? Nice.

I met Muhammad Ali at a function in Boston a while back and while a brought a copy of the SI of his win over Foreman and a SHARPIE (prior to Davis stealing it!), I didn't think to bring a camera.

Of course after getting his autograph, shortly after, while Ali was walking out, I got another chance to approach him and shake his hand. Folks were telling me to stand next to him so I could get a pic with him. But I didn't THINK to bring a camera.

The arrogance of me expecting to go up to ALi and get his autograph as opposed to seeing him from a distance and take his photo. Could have gotten both.


I try and guess whos going to attend an event and line my pockets with something relevant. At the jones/trinidad fight, I saw saul mamby signing scrap pieces of paper people were handing to him. Since the fight was in NY, I had a feeling he would be there and came prepared with his insert from KO magazine. He lit up when he saw it.
I got Alis autograph at a show once in atlantic city years ago. (60$) at the time. I brought my father with me and a camera. I snapped a few pictures and put the camera away. Ali looked at my magazine, then up at me, then the magazine again. It was the Ring with him on the cover yelling "I am the king" right after the liston fight. He signed it cassius clay aka Muhammad Ali. I was stunned because they had a big sign that said "don't ask for cassius clay inscription". He reached across the table and shook my fathers hand. My father wouldn't let go and was whispering out of the corner of his mouth to me, "Take a picture take a picture". I grabbed at my camera and snapped a great shot of Ali and my dad. I handed the camera to my father and he took me and muhammads picture. Of course my father is camera illiterate and I have a shot of me and muhammeds heads, no bodies, and a whole lot of ceiling.
the next guy in line asked for cassius inscription and muhammad said no. The guy asked why not and muhammad said he was muhammad ali in the picture the guy wanted signed.
I saw willie mays at a boxing event in Atlantic city a few years ago. Since he was the goodwill ambassador of the casino, i had a feeling he would show up so i brought a baseball. He was signing scraps of paper from various people when I showed him the baseball. A look of disgust came over his face and he said "I ain't signing that". I'm the only dope in the place with a ball and he wouldn't sign. Okay i said, so i got back in line and when I got up to him again, I handed him a mini baseball glove I had on me. Same look "I ain't signing that either" thanks willie.....the say nay kid

Ron Lipton
02-08-2008, 09:40 PM
When I refereed Morrison v Ruddock Bert was with us all in the hotel before and after the fight. We had a great time with him. Over the years I was with him on the Chet Coppock Newsport Talk Show and at various fights I have always enjoyed myself with him. He was always nice to me, polite, articulate and when I used to see him, I would call him "Uncle Bert," and he would always smile. He always acted like a gentleman even when we disagreed on ratings, opinions etc. I also called into a radio show last year on WPDH with the answer to Bert's boxing quesitions and had some fun with him.

Please wish him a belated Happy New Year and lots of health from Ron Lipton.


02-08-2008, 09:56 PM
N-E-S-T-L-E-S, to me, Sugar is the very best....

Larger than life personalities not trying to snake oil you are great for the sport.

02-28-2008, 07:58 AM
I appreciate the thoughtful notes and the insight on what Davis is doing with boxing down in FL.

It will be a hoot if he does recall the Sharpie swiping incident!

Ron Lipton whom I am sure you are familiar with, has been awesome in lending his expertise in his Q&A thread.

Call me greedy (I am), but I think it would be awesome if we could get a similar type of thread going with you in whihc you can led your experiences and field questions re your years of writing, being editor at Mags like the RIng and your work as commissioner for our beloved sport.

Not entirely sure how much time your schedule permits to be able to consistantly do something like this, but if it does sound at all appealing to you, let me know and I'll get a thread started so the site can also have a "Randy Gordon Q & A" thread as well.

Let me know.



Mike DeLisa
02-28-2008, 12:47 PM
Ted -- I just saw that you are looking for Bert's email address.

Bert still uses a smith-corona and white-out -- he has no idea how to use a computer. He doesn't even have a cell phone

Just call him and mention me -- his number is in the phonebook Chappaqua, NY (as he says, "in native american CHappaqua means 'big mortgage!")