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Thread: Kindest souls in boxing.

  1. #1
    Kid Achilles

    Kindest souls in boxing.

    Who would you considers the "nice guys" of boxing who were true gentleman and sensitive, selfless men outside of the ring, or at least very friendly towards the fans.

    Here's some of my picks, but I'm sure there are hundreds.

    Joe Louis
    Emile Griffith
    Rocky Marciano
    Muhammad Ali
    Jack Dempsey
    Marvin Hagler
    Lamon Brewster
    Chris Byrd
    Vernon Forrest
    Gerry Cooney
    Archie Moore
    Joe Frazier (not entirely sure of his conduct out of the ring but a true gentleman within and rarely fouled which indicates to me a strong character and sense of honor)

    There's so many that I don't think I could possibly do it justice myself. Lots of great guys in boxing. I personally think boxing has seen some of the kindest, strongest (in regards to character) human beings of any sport.

  2. #2
    I always thought of Floyd Patterson as boxing's true gentleman, followed closely by Dick Tiger.

  3. #3


    all the above- patterson all the rest- umm joe louis for his modesty- he was a realleydown to earth and live and let live guy- kind and modest.

  4. #4
    Kid Achilles

    Re: reply

    I can't believe I forgot to list Patterson. In photgraphs he even looks like a kind person.

  5. #5
    Kid Achilles

    Re: reply

    Add Earnie Shavers to that list as well from what I've been told by people who've met him.

  6. #6
    Ted Spoon

    Max Schmeling

    How did he live till 99?

    Ted Spoon believes, Save Dempsey's massacre of Willard, and Schmeling may be owner to the two worst beatings in ring history against Baer n' Louis.

    He was never on the wrong side of the tracks during his amazing life. Did not follow Hitler, selflessly saved Jews, and paid for Louis' funeral expenses after being life long friends with the great man.

    He was still watching Vitali fight before his death, but explained he was having trouble staying up late at night.

    Helluva guy.

  7. #7
    I'm glad someone thought to mention Schmeling....whether he was trying to atone for a nation's errors or his own, or if he was just a good guy by nature or just grateful for his own good fortunes...he led a good life and was obviously a kind hearted gent....doing all that he did for Joe Louis speaks volumes.....

    Also, Ernie Shavers fought and was in Canton/Akron frequently, both as an amateur and pro....the nickname Black Destroyer was just that...a nickname....he had a look that could make a guy piss in his trunks.....but he was really a soft spoken, genuinely nice guy.

    Now that we have a good guy/kindest souls thread going...maybe next we should do an "all time prick" award........just to keep it balanced, of course...........although I doubt anyone could measure up to the scum/sleaze/prick level of Don King.

  8. #8
    kid gavilan
    gene fullmer
    beau jack
    jeff chandler
    jimmy young
    ernie terrell
    larry holmes
    Hank Kaplan
    emile griffith
    teddy atlas
    joey giardello
    johnny saxton
    lou filippo
    Alex ramos
    boom boom mancini

    especially gene fullmer, he still runs his gym and teaches kids for free.

    larry holmes appears at many of cooneys FIST fund raisers. He also has a banquet once a year for a fund raiser for st anthonys youth center.

    ernie terrell has quietly donated a lot of time and money to various charities

    I'm going to include teddy atlas because he always speaks up when he sees an injustice being done. He also has a fund he set up in his fathers name.

    Alex Ramos and his retired boxer foundation are trying to help as many down and out boxers as they can.

    mancini is trying to open a boxing youth center in his town so kids can have some place to go instead of joining one of the many gangs in his area.

  9. #9

    its interesting you mention that... David Margolick was recently on c-span 2 in a forum discussing his recent book: Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink... did anyone else see it?...

    he took a few shots at max & intimated some of the same attacks vrs max... he claimed the louis family says that max actually didnt pay for joe's funeral... & further that max and joe were never close... he also claimed that max would shun many reporters (himself included) & would only cater to reporters who would protect or not probe deeply into his image...

    finally, he also claimed he wasnt as distant from hitler (at least early on) as he tried to play off...

    i'd be interested to hear what others who saw this program or read his book think... c-span 2 tends to repeat a lot of things, so it may show up again... I also know you can get recordings from them of anything that shown on the network by contacting them via their webpage...

    Margolick was also interviewed recently online, he makes many of the same type of comments... link to the interview:


    i havent read the book yet... but my take from watching the writer on c-span was that to some degree he had an axe to grind w/ max... granted max played the political game back in the '30's & did his share of ostriching as hitler upramped his vicious terror... but on some level, max had no choice if he wanted to continue as a pro fighter... as a German citizen and major celebrity he was bound to the dictorial regime if he wanted to practice his craft... secondly, dont kid yourself that american promotors themselves played to it to chum up controversy & ticket sales....

    max wasnt champ at the time of louis II & he wasnt a citizen of a free nation like the usa.... he was a very good boxer who wanted to capitalize primarly on his talents... I think its unfair to cast the blood of nazi sin onto him in the role he was playing... sure he couldve said more in that decade... & i'm sure in retrospect he wished he had... but its easy to judge from the outside, esp when you live in the nation that was the victor & had the blessing of liberties of speech that nazi Germany was far from having...

    Margolick shouldve also pointed out... that if max had.... he would've been destroyed in Germany & probaly cast aside as a unmarketable commidity here in the states... those were the facts he was facing while he practiced his craft... again, imo its unfair to put him on the guilt cross for that...

    lastly, Margolick failed to mention the dire straits schmeling found himself in the last 2 years of the war & the decade after it.... schmeling saw combat & was injured... & then was left destitute afterwards to fend for himself for literal basic needs survivial... he like so many in that event paid his share of dues...

    what specifically happened between joe & max from the '50's on I cant comment on in re to the book since i havent read it... i'll be interested to hear what others say... but i do find it interesting neither joe or his family pubically criticized him... how much of their good cheer was only public show, again I dont know for sure... but I do know symbolically it was one of the many gestures many made after the war that helped the healing process... solely in that context it had its redeeming value.

  10. #10
    It's interesting since many seem to think Schmeling was the ultimate manipulator/survivor , playing different faces to different audiences....this was written about at length in one of the recent books about Max and Joe...

  11. #11
    There's a certain quality I always liked about Mike Weaver.

    In his interviews he was always soft spoken and did not brag. His eye rolling and smiling interview after that DQ win over Tony Anthony [with Keith Jackson maybe?] was classic.
    And that interview with Roy Firestone about learning to play piano and contemplating suicide was touching.

    A friend of a friend once called him at the gym when he was at the top of his game because she wanted to take photos of him. He came to the phone and talked for quite a while, then finally said he had to get back to what he was doing. She said he was really friendly, considering it was a cold call from a total stranger, not having anything to do with a publication or anything.

    He seemed a bit of a gentle giant to me. And very shy.


  12. #12
    Kid Achilles

    A gentle giant...

    I can't believe I have forgotten the most gentle of all the giants, a man who should have never stepped foot in the prize ring but for the cruel men who manipulated his fate for financial gain, Primo Carnera. He was a 6'7" 260 pound lamb and his story should never be forgotten.

  13. #13
    My "nice guy" list is topped by two Georges: Chuvalo and Foreman. Others that I've met who were genuinely friendly and approachable: Ali, Frazier, Patterson, Tyson (pre-Buster Douglas), Greg Page, Oliver McCall, Lennox Lewis, Mike Jameson, Willie deWit, Donny Lalonde. Biggest jerk? Sugar Ray Leonard, hands-down.

  14. #14
    Steve McV
    Ali was and is one beautiful guy. He just glowed when he was with kids; at that time (1967-68) I think he was just a big kid himself. Alive and funny and encouraging to every kid he met that day, I've never forgotten that day, never will.

    The man was just magical.

    And I've rarely heard a bad word about Frazier. Just a good, decent, down to earth, old-fashioned gentlemen.

  15. #15
    Good call on Mike Weaver. In a timeframe when lots of heavyweights had drug problems and were on police blotters for one reason or another, he never was. He was a favorite of mine and the only guy I ever recall talking badly about him was Dokes

  16. #16
    TKO Tom
    I don't know about Joe Frazier guys. I've met him on three different occasions and he was never very cordial in any of the circumstances. One of the worst is Christy Martin. Another bad one is Hector Camacho, Sr. Michael Grant was an idiot the last time I met him. Michael Dokes was a moron.

    My personal favorites in terms of friendliness (and these are guys I have met) are:

    Carlos Ortiz
    Emile Griffith
    Shane Mosley
    Gerry Cooney
    Diego Corrales
    Ruben Olivares
    Alexis Arguello
    Leon Spinks
    Iran Barkley
    Aaron Pryor
    Larry Donald
    Micky Ward
    Juan LaPorte
    Buddy McGirt
    Bob Foster
    Arthur Mercante, Sr.
    Gil Clancy
    Oscar De La Hoya


  17. #17

    Thanks for reminding me about Arguello. I can't believe I left him off my list. Super guy! Ditto for Tommy Hearns and Manny Steward. All three of these guys have always been class acts, both in person and in the ring.

  18. #18
    On Mike Weaver, I took my son to the fights while Mike was still WBA champ and ran into him. My son was seven at the time and I was impressed with the way he took the time to sign an autograph for him and actually knelt down to get eye to eye with him to chat for a few minutes about boxing. Truly a nice guy, he sure was huge too!

  19. #19
    Steve McV
    I've never met Arguello, but from all I've heard, the guy is just a class act all the way. A real gentleman.

    I'm sorry to hear that about Frazier. All three of the folks I've known who met Smokin" Joe said good things about him. Sigh, One more myth punctured...

  20. #20

    danny lopez

    one of the top guys on my list would have to be danny lopez. he was the kind of guy that you could go up and talk to and he would always make a point of asking your name. another is our own rodolfo "el gato" gonzalez an unbelievably kind and classy person.

    on the down side...i have never heard a good word about j.c. chavez and mike rossman apears to have some serious social issues from what i have heard. actually heard a story of mike trying to pick fights with fans.

  21. #21
    Roberto Aqui


    Peter Jackson was not called the Black Prince for nothing. A gentleman from all accounts.

    Jesus Chavez is about as nice and humble a person you can find on this planet.

    Never heard a bad word about Eder Jofre.

  22. #22

    Re: nice

    I've never heard a bad word about christy martin, met her about a dozen times and always seen her friendly with everyone. Smokin Joe is hot and cold. Not the friendliest of people but always cordial. I agree that arguello, corrales, and el gato gonzales are also extrememly fan friendly. Arturo is a super nice kid, but very shy. Mickey ward super fan friendly. Most of the philly fighters, buster drayton, johnny carter, boogaloo watts, kitten heyward, nate miller, tim witherspoon, ivan robinson, george benton are extremely nice.

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