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Thread: Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

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    Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

    Happy Birthday Chuck!

    Chuck Bodak was born in the year 1916. He turns 90 years young this Saturday June 3.
    We wish Chuck the best of all birthdays and the best of all luck. And another 90 years so we could keep learning from him.

    After almost 75 years of being around the sport of boxing. Chuck Bodak remains one of the most recognizable figures in in the sport. Known all over the world as the guy the puts stickers on his head, this legendary Cutman, Teacher,Friend and subject of an upcoming documentary (to be featured on chuckbodak.com) has worked with over 60 World Champions including Jorge Paez, Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya,and "The Greatest" Muhammad Ali.

    Inside the boxing community Bodak is also known as one of boxing's most knowledgeable and respected teachers. Chuck is a living encyclopedia when is comes to "fisticuffs". His upfront and honest personality has made him both beloved and respected personality by not just the boxing community, but by many fight fans all over the world as well.

    "Mastering boxing builds both a strong body and a strong character," says Bodak "Most importantly, in striving to reach your goals, you are also laying down a foundation for a happy and successful life"

    Chuck may all your birthday wishes come true!

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    Re: Happy 90th Bithday, Chuck Bodack!

    I sure didn't realize he was 90 years old. A real character of the game who should be in the hall of fame for bald guys along with Julius Cesar, Michael Jordan and Telly Savalas!.

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    Re: Happy 90th Bithday, Chuck Bodack!

    Our CBZ magazine has a two part interview we ran on Chuck. He's quite a character! & frankly, I believe a guy like him belongs in the HOF for long & meritorious service to the fight game. I'll dig up the interview in the next couple of days & post it here.

    Chuck has really had an amazing career ...

    GorDoom

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    Re: Happy 90th Bithday, Chuck Bodack!

    >>>I believe a guy like him belongs in the HOF for long & meritorious service to the fight game.<<<

    I completely agree!!!

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    Re: Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

    Yes, Happy Birthday Chuck! You never forget the first time you see him on TV with those stickers. Shawn

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    Re: Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

    THE CBZ CHUCK BODAK INTERVIEW

    Chuck Bodak

    Interview conducted by Thomas Gerbasi

    Despite its seedy reputation and the sordid actions of a few, boxing still has some good guys left. Chuck Bodak would definitely fall into the good guy category. Known worldwide for his practice of placing his fighters' pictures on his forehead while he works their corners, Chuck is nonetheless one of the sport's most respected trainers and cutmen. Well, let me rephrase that. Chuck doesn't consider what he does training. To him, training is associated with animals. He teaches human beings. And what a teacher he has been. In one capacity or another, Chuck has worked with 52 World Champions. From marquee names like Muhammad Ali, Julio Caesar Chavez, and Evander Holyfield, to the unknowns fighting four rounders in the Forum, Chuck has been in the corner.
    And even with a hectic schedule like that, Chuck is always quick with a kind word or an autograph for a fan. How many interviewees will sit by patiently as an interviewer fumbles with a new tape? Chuck does: "Don't worry. I'm home. I ain't going anywhere." And when I brought up every interviewer's nightmare, a blank tape, Chuck responded "If it doesn't come out, we'll do it again." Luckily, the interview came out fine, and we now get a glimpse into the mind of a great teacher, a walking boxing history book, and one of the sport's good guys. And next month, we will do it again, with more of my conversation with Chuck Bodak.

    TG - How did you get started in Boxing?

    CB - Well, I was raised during the depression, and the way of life was: acquiring something, fighting for it, and maintaining it. I was a tough, rugged kid, always into something, and I loved contact in all sports, and especially boxing. That's how I got into boxing. I loved it.

    TG - So you boxed yourself?

    CB - Yes, I boxed for about eight years. I had about 135-140 fights in the amateurs, never turned pro. I started out when I was 13 years old. I was always mature for my age. When I was 13 I could pass for a 16, 17, 18 year old kid. I hung around with older guys, and I wanted to fight. There was no novice, no beginners, no nothing at that time. In fact, the first five guys I fought were Gold Glove champions. That was the way of life then, during the depression.

    I had no desire to turn pro because I wanted to teach, plus it was almost impossible to make anything unless you were a real outstanding fighter, a contender or a champion. There wasn't that kind of money around professionally during the depression. And in the amateurs, you could fight twice in one night, you could fight seven days a week. They had fights every day of the week all over the Midwest. On Saturdays and Sundays they had picnics, different outside events, and stuff like that where they always had a boxing show. So, as a result, I practically supported a family with the money that I made.

    TG - So you were able to make money as an amateur?

    CB - In those days, when you fought they'd give you medals and awards of different types, and you'd turn 'em in and get money for 'em.

    TG - How did you go from amateur fighting into training?

    CB - That's what I always wanted to do. When I quit I went back to the guy that taught me. He was a great teacher, a great psychologist, and I went back to him, and I was his assistant. I always loved it because I had a lot of respect for people that gave me all their knowledge in different sports. In school, I was an all-around athlete, plus boxing, and I always had a desire to teach because I'd observe them and I look back at what they've done, and the things that they've done to help kids. That's what I've wanted to do. I look forward to it.

    TG - Once you started training, who was the first fighter you had exclusively to yourself?

    CB - In the amateurs, I had a lot of kids locally. All the top notch kids, cause I was at the CYO where I started out in Gary, Indiana. Then I made a big name for myself and I was selected on the Chicago Tribune Gold Glove coaching staff, which handled inner city, international, and stuff like that. And I got to know a lot of these guys that I had on teams. Also later on I worked with a lot of these guys that turned pro. From the amateurs, the pros, working as a cutman, and on the training staff, I worked with 52 World Champions.

    TG - What is more important as a teacher, the physical or the psychological aspect?

    CB - Mental and psychological, yes sir. Because anybody can get in shape. Anyone can have the requirements as far as the body is concerned, the different intricacies that are necessary to develop and educate an athlete. But the mental aspect is a big thing. Like I tell a guy, if I raise my finger, I don't raise it up instinctively or automatically, I raise it up because mentally I sent a message through my body, raise my finger. It's really that simple. Even if you're working with a guy who's, so to speak, an illiterate. How much simpler could it be?

    TG - Do you believe training is a lost art today?

    CB - Teaching is a lost art. There are very few teachers around. Everybody's a trainer, and to me, not to condemn anybody or anything else, but just the word in itself, training, is associated with animals. Training is domination, dictating, giving instructions, stuff like that. When you teach, you educate. To me, that's the difference.

    Every pupil that I ever worked with, I told them, I was very explicit, I said it's all mental. You teach. I use a mechanic as an example. He goes to a trade school, and they teach you everything that there is about the tools; what goes where, how to use it. They teach you the machinery. And it's the same thing with boxing or any sport. You give the guy the tools to work with. He's the guy that does the work. Like these guys, especially in the old days, "Shit man, I taught this guy everything he knows, man." and all this damn crap, that's bullshit. You teach a guy that has a good mentality, picks it up, and in time, a lot of them even surpass the teacher. Cause like with me, the average guy, that will probably be insulted, if a student surpassed him, I'd be honored, cause "man, I must've done a hell of a job. This guy's better than I am." And that's the truth.

    TG - Who do you consider some of the best teachers, past and present?

    CB - Well, there's a lot of them. A guy in New York who worked with the NY CYO, a guy by the name of Pete Mello, was a great teacher, and a great psychologist. He was on the NY Golden Gloves coaching staff besides the CYO.

    It's like anything else, you've got to have some ability, and you have to have time. Some guys think that you can get a guy in a short period of time, run him through a short routine, give him a pair of gloves, put him in there, and box, and that's bullshit. Like I tried to explain to a student. It's like you start off in kindergarten, and you work your way up through the grades. When you get in high school, you're pretty well set. You go to college, it's an advancement. You get out and you're a finished product, and that's the way it is, especially in boxing, or any sport, really. But more so in boxing because boxing is so intricate and it's all one on one, and you really have to be well educated in order to compete.

    TG - As a sport, boxing doesn't have the greatest reputation. Has anything happened that made you want to pack it in?

    CB - Never. No. You know why? Because even besides the boxing, I spent time in youth work too. I worked with handicapped kids. I worked with retarded kids. In the program in the CYO I always had a lot of these kids that would come down to the center. I was the recreational director of a center and I also had sports. Naturally, boxing was the number one sport. A lot of these kids would come down, and I started classes for them. A lot of their parents would come down cause right after the war, when the CYO opened up this particular center in one part of the town, and we were the first ones in the whole damn town that had a TV set. It was donated by some furniture mogul in Gary, Indiana and everybody and his brother, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers came down to watch the football game, boxing, and everything else. So it was quite a place. And some of them had retarded kids, they'd bring them down. They'd fool around in the gym, for example, next thing you know, I started a class and worked with them.

    So beside boxing I was very interested in youth work because even boxing, I used to explain to guys "I'm not teaching you boxing in the sense that it's boxing, I'm teaching you life. All the facets that we work with, that we deal with, that I'm educating you in, are things that you're going to be taking in everyday life with you. Because an athletic lifespan is very short. The thing that's going to be important is you going out into the world and putting all this stuff to use where people accept you, where people are willing to do something for you. Not being a big stupid lug where you're lucky to get a job as a porter or something.

    TG - Do you ever run into fighters who don't want to listen or be taught?

    CB - Yeah, you have all types of kids. And there's a way to beat around that. For example, a lot of ridicule and humor, cause with ridicule you draw a person's attention, you stun 'em and then insert humor to where the guy can laugh about it. And then you can get serious about things and the guy will accept it. But you get guys that are headstrong. For example, like you're teaching them something, the type of guy, if you were able to read minds, it's almost like you do read the mind, and you walk away from the guy. And the guy starts thinking, then you ignore the guy completely, and you're working with everybody else in the gym. The guy finally walks up and he says "Hey man, I notice you're walking around, working with all these guys, you talk to me for a short while, and then that was it, you ignore me and everything else." I said "No". I want to spend time with these guys cause they don't know, and they're willing to accept my knowledge. But you, you're smarter than I am. You don't need me. I'll just stand there and watch." "No, no, man" You know, they start with all kinds of excuses and stuff like that. Then you know you've sold yourself. Psychologically you defeated a guy. He's willing to go along.

    TG - Any problems with a fighter's entourages?

    CB - No. But I've had experiences with these guys around. After a couple of times these guys read the handwriting on the wall and they back off and then you hit 'em every once in a while and they get the message.

    TG - What are your thoughts on Muhammad Ali as a fighter?

    CB - Here's the way I categorize him. They always talk about the greatest. There's no such thing, not in my book. It's like when they tell me "You're one of the greatest cutmen in the world" I said bullshit. I may be one of the best, but as far as the greatest, there's no such thing. Because for every guy that's considered great or the greatest, there are people out in the world, with the exception of Ali, and I'll explain that later, there are people behind you that are as good, if not better. There are thousands of them. So how can one be considered the greatest?

    But Ali was different. Ali had perfected instincts and you could categorize him as one of the greatest because he was so different. Everything was there plus he nurtured it with the type of person that he was and the different escapades in his life. So that's why you could possibly say that he really was the greatest. But in boxing, Ali was one of the greatest instinctive fighters. Joe Louis was one of the greatest fundamental and basic fighters that ever lived. In other words, if you were to teach and you run films of Joe Louis; tell a kid "when you watch this film, everything this guy does, you do, because this is basics and fundamentals to perfection." Willie Pep, Sugar Ray Robinson, guys of that caliber, they're very creative. They were great. Willie Pep, for example, he done things you never saw anybody do. Everyone he fought, it was amazing the things he'd done. Sugar Ray Robinson was the same way. Very creative. The guy was just a fantastic, perfected machine. That's really my analysis of the people in different categories.

    TG - Barney Ross?

    CB - Barney Ross was a great technician. Plus a lot of those guys like Barney held three titles. But today there's so much to offer a fighter, so much to gain, that I don't know what it is, plus modern technology, modern education, everything else. Things are elevated because when you explain it to people you explain it in terms like a car. You can't compare a car in the 30's, the 40's, the 50's, with the cars in the 80's and 90's. There's got to be improvement. Time don't stand still. Technology gets greater and greater, year in, year out. Plus the mentality today. Look at all the technology you have. All the geniuses, the brains that are responsible for stuff like that. In every phase of life. It's the same thing with sports. There's got to be a difference, although there are certain phases of life that were as good during them days as they are today. But they never had the exposure to a lot of the things that they have today which enhances a lot of the kids today.

    TG - So you believe that today's athletes are better than those years ago?

    CB - I'd have to say so because its been proven record wise in all sports. They break records constantly. And that's got to be, because you have a better man, a super individual. There's a lot of technology associated with sports that enhances their ability so you have to face facts. You've got to call a spade a spade.

    TG - Rocky Marciano?

    CB - Rocky Marciano was a devout, dedicated, tremendously conditioned athlete. Tough as nails. Hit like a mule. He could hit you on the arms, the shoulders, in the chest and hurt you and stun you. But they had a tape where him and Ali fought an exhibition, and he won the decision over Ali. Now if you're really knowledgeable about boxing and compare the two, in a regular match, with both of them even in their primes, Ali would have toyed with Marciano. Sizewise, ability, and everything else, the technology. Big difference. Ali was very scientific. Marciano was just a rough, tough, aggressive fighter. Very little technique, very little technology, but determination and the ability to punch and absorb punches. He was a Superman. You've got to give him credit and respect. The people that he fought, the record that he amassed. What else can you say? There's nothing negative, other than when you go into technology.

    It's like IQ's for example. There's five people with high IQ's and one may be smarter than all the rest of them or vice versa. Yet they're all in the same category. But I studied this tape and the ability of the two. There would have been no question that Ali would have had a field day with Marciano. And a lot of it too, you hear this so often, it's one of the oldest cliches in boxing, "who'd he fight?" He fought so and so, who was an old man, and all this bullshit. Well, so did every other champion coming up or winning a title, or defending the title. It's the same damn thing, the guys that were around, he fought em all and beat em all, regardless. After the same guy winds up losing the title, the same damn thing. They match up with up and coming fighters, who are potentially great, and you just haven't got it anymore and you get beat.

    TG - Sonny Liston?

    CB - The guy had one of the greatest jabs. In fact, his jab was like throwing a right hand or a hook. He was so powerful, the way he threw them seemed like he had everything behind him. Where most good technicians, they pop that jab out, it's nice and relaxed and snappy, with zip to it. But he was the type of guy, he hit you with the jab, he hurt you. And he was a much better boxer than a lot of people give him credit for.

    TG - How do you compare the 50's and 60's, when the mob ran boxing, to today, when the alphabets run it?

    CB - In those days, they controlled everything, the fighters, the managers, the promoters. And they done whatever they wanted. You know a lot of these guys today, even though they might as well be the mafia too with the way they control everything and the fighters, it's a legitimate in a sense because it is legitimate, nothing shady, although in comparison there's a lot of similarity in my opinion.

    TG - Do you think the alphabets are good or bad for boxing?

    CB - I think it's good. I'll tell you why. When you have 1,2,3 organizations, they will accommodate the clique, the certain guys that they push in the ratings to become champions, and if a guy's not in with them, then what chance does he got of becoming a champion? Now with all these organizations that are around, good or bad, however you want to see it, to me it's good, because you get an opportunity to make a lot more money than he would trying to fight his way into the 1,2, or 3 organizations that control everything and the fighters. He has an opportunity to beat that clique.

    TG - So having multiple champions doesn't bother you?

    CB - No. Plus there's gonna be a time where these guys are gonna be fighting one another, and you end up with true champions, like Tyson. He won all three of the titles.

    TG - Tyson?

    CB - The thing is, I don't think he had an opportunity to be taught. Believe me, all the people that I know that he had been associated with are people that helped him, they did more harm than good. Plus, a lot of these guys I know personally, I wouldn't let them teach my dog. And that's a problem, cause here's a guy that is completely a psychological problem. His environment, his background. From the reformatory he comes up with Cus D'Amato. They only done so much with him, psychologically. It was all boxing. Instead of having some great psychologist to work with this guy, become associated with him, real close. Nothing. It was all boxing. All these crude trainers is what I call them, that worked with him, and that's the result of it. But it's mostly the people that were associated with King because a lot of them guys I've worked with myself and I know what the results are. I know their philosophy. Half of them weren't even trainers.

    TG - Tony Canzoneri?

    CB - Great, great, great fighter. I have to laugh. You hear this a million times "God, this guy keeps dropping his left hand, he's getting hit with right hands." To me, that's bullshit. You're getting hit with right hands because you don't do anything about sliding away from it, catching it, or slipping it, and countering over it. That's the reason he gets hit, not because he dropped his hands. Tony Canzoneri used to carry his hands down around his waist. And the things that he done, both offensively and defensively, and countering, was unbelievable. It doesn't make any difference where your hands are at as long as you make a move to do something about the offensive part of punching. That's the object.

    Another thing you hear, a guy says "move your head". You don't move your head. Like I used to explain to students, it's the same principle as firing a rifle. You don't move your head, you don't blink your eyes or anything, right? In boxing that's the first thing you teach. This is your general position. You never move your head. You move your body. Because your eyes are glued on to your opponent. When you move your body, you never take your eyes off your opponent. These are all simple things. All common sense. Just like all technology, when you break it down, it's all simplicity, all common sense, but it comes from a genius, because it goes beyond that. But that's the basic principle, the basic thought of it.

    TG - Tony Zale?

    CB - I grew up with Tony. I was on amateur teams with Tony. Tony Zale was not a technician at all. He knew enough about boxing to where he looked like a boxer. But one of the toughest damn Pollocks you'd ever seen in your life, and a tremendous puncher, and especially a body puncher. That was his greatest asset.

    TG - Billy Conn?

    CB - A master technician, and a typical Irishman that belongs in boxing, with all the tools and mentality that go with it.

    TG - Ray Leonard?

    CB - In my opinion, when they refer to greatness, I think they're way out of line. He fought everybody that came along, but he never had a record of super fighters like a lot of them old-timers who fought 4,5,6 times a month. And they had wars with guys that were rated, guys who were champions, ex-champions. You can't say that about Sugar Ray Leonard. Plus he was a TV darling, and let's face it, boxing is a business. And who are you gonna support, a guy who can't draw flies, or a guy who can draw? That's the object. And he was a super darling, and they had the talent around. His opponents were also champions for these fights, and they made millions and millions. Like Tommy Hearns, Duran, Marvin Hagler, guys like them. And in my opinion, the time him and Hagler fought, Hagler won that fight. And when he fought Tommy Hearns the second time, Hearns, in my opinion, won that fight. But like I say, it's a business. One guy can draw, and one guy can't.

    TG - Roberto Duran?

    CB - Duran was a good journeyman. He had a little of everything. Nothing sensational, other than he accomplished a lot. Because it had to be, because of his environment, his background growing up. And that's why, when I hear a lot of these guys during the time after the fight, and even today, from time to time, say that he had no guts, that turns my stomach. Here's a guy that was born and raised in poverty, lived in the streets, fought for everything he had, fought to defend it. And all through life, in different phases, would do the things, in reference to that, that made him what he was.

    TG - Julio Caesar Chavez?

    CB - Well, he's not one of my favorites. I worked with him and I have very little respect for him because of the type of person he is. He's not a good person and it's sad because he's a national hero, he's an idol, an icon, and he should be the opposite because I feel if you have the ability to do what you're doing, to accomplish what you're doing, you should have these other assets to go with it. But when you talk about an outstanding athlete, he was an outstanding athlete. That I'll give him credit for. He won three titles. He was the champion for many years.

    TG - Do you think fighters like Chavez and Duran have hung around too long?

    CB - Yeah. It's the same old thing. They made millions and they blew it. What other do they have going for them but what they're doing? Nothing. Whereas a smart guy looked around, feathered his nest with people that he met, and the possibility that when he's through, he'll wind up with a decent job. And these guys have none of that. Plus they blew all their damn money and the only resource left is boxing.

    TG - Roy Jones?

    CB - Very talented. Good athlete. But in my opinion, he's over exaggerated in reference to talent. He does so many things that are amateurish and why he doesn't progress to a different level is beyond me because he's got talent. He's proved that. He just does a lot of things that are completely amateurish and he gets by with it because he's talented.

    TG - How do you think he'll do if he jumps to heavyweight?

    CB - Well, that's hard to say because he's jumping from 175 to heavyweight, which run well into the 200's. It's hard to say because even though he puts weight on, he puts it on normally. Like a lot of times you'll hear this old cliche "Well, he's a natural light heavyweight that blew up". Bullshit. You can't make the light heavyweight division, you're a heavyweight, whether it's a pound, two pounds, or whatever. But how much can he mature weightwise, plus the ability to compensate for all the disadvantages that he'll have with guys like that, who knows? But still, there ain't that many great heavyweights around. He, in a sense, could very well be that he has a lot of perfected instincts.

    TG - Speaking of amateurish, what are your thoughts on Prince Naseem Hamed?

    CB - Crude, unorthodox, awkward, but very effective. And a guy with confidence unimaginable. The guy says he could beat anybody, he's the greatest, he's this, he's that, and all along he's proved it, right? You can't contradict it. If you could foresee the future, will he cave in like some overnight sensation? Will he get better with his unorthodox, crude, and unethical methods? Who knows?

    There are so many question marks in regards to how smart you are, an analyzing guys. It's like picking a winner. You could be the most knowledgeable guy in the world and you pick a guy, and some guy who don't know a left hand from a right hand, will pick out a guy like he knew what was gonna happen. "This guy can't lose. In fact, I'm betting $10,000 on the guy" and all he's doing is guessing. Where you know the technology, and it didn't turn out that way.

    TG - Evander Holyfield?

    CB - Holyfield? Another one of my great friends. I had to sue him to get paid one time. One of the cheapest guys in boxing. But a great athlete.

    TG - Jorge Paez?

    CB - Paez is as smart, as clever as you and I, as normal as you and I. Being born and raised in a circus environment, he has done so many things on a circus level, that he brought that into boxing, and became a sensation. People love him, even today. I worked a show at the Forum last night and Paez was there. People were lined up for autographs, taking pictures and everything. And he's on his last lap. Him, like the rest of them too, blew everything he made, and the only thing he knows is boxing.

    And incidentally, he's responsible for my trademark. He was always dreaming up things to wear, clothing, the face, the head, haircuts and everything else, and he always used to get on my ass, him and his manager, and the guys in the entourage, about me duplicating what he does. I said "bullshit. I'm no goddamned clown" And Paez was always ribbing me, he says "pendejo", which is like jerk or character, or something like that. "Whatsa matter? You wanna be Paez, no?" So then it got to a point where they were so persistent that I start doing this stuff. And it became a big hit. In this respect, people accepted it. They enjoyed it, and they got a big bang out of it.

    Like a lot of times they come up to me and want to know "what are you gonna wear?" and stuff like that, or "Let me have what you've got on your head for a souvenir." I said OK. And it got so popular that I'd work with other fighters, like basically there are 3 or 4 stables that I work with top priority and I get hired here and there for different guys and a lot of times with preliminary fighters, which I never charge, "Yeah, if I'm not booked, I'll work with you." And I'd be in the dressing room, especially the Latinos, they'd be saying something in Spanish that I didn't understand, and I'd ask one of the guys who spoke fluent English, "What the hell is he saying?" "Well he's kind of perturbed that you're not gonna have anything on your head for him." "Hell, I don't know. You want me to do something, I'll do it." And then I'd get a couple of pictures, I use two inch tape, put it on my forehead and I get tape with his name on it, and he's as happy as a lark.

    And the public's the same way. I feel that I'm not a crackpot. Like that article that was in the paper, he says one of the big screwballs in boxing, or something like that, Chuck Bodak. And I'm not a screwball, I'm not a character. I'm doing something that the public wants, the public enjoys. I'm giving back something that I've taken away from boxing, and that's the purpose. I could care less about ego. It's like autographs and taking pictures. A lot of times I take more pictures and sign more autographs than some of the guys on the cards. And I always thank the individual that comes up to me, or I have something funny to say to the person, and the guy looks at me like I'm crazy. He says "No, thank you." "Bullshit" I said, "I'm not doing you a favor, you're doing me a favor. Plus , if it wasn't for you guys, they'd pass me up like a dirty shirt." And that's the truth.

    TG - Oscar DeLa Hoya?

    CB - Oscar is a very, very intelligent kid. Oscar is very talented. His philosophy is that he can do anything. There isn't anything that's impossible with him. In reference to confidence, he's not cocky. He's not abusive. He's so extremely talented.

    TG - How do you feel about him changing trainers?

    CB - I don't know why that is. Here's a guy that's been talented all his life. He's been in demand as far as the people are concerned. And you bring all these guys in, for what? And my philosophy is this: a guy is made, literally, when he's born. Like a parent, you start teaching this kid, you start developing mentality and gestures and everything else till he gets to a point where he matured enough to where he can function mentally. Then he goes to school. He is being educated by teachers who are professors, in high school, in college, and everything else. This is where a person is made.

    It's like Dundee. Dundee with "My man, Ali, my man this" and shit like that, well when Ali was an amateur, there was not one guy, there were hundreds of guys that predicted that he'd be a champion, a great champion one on these days. It was so obvious, he was so talented. He was made all along, when he first started with Joe Martin in Louisville, 12,13 years old. And as he progressed, even in his youth, 15, 16, 17, 18 years old, the guy was destined to be great.

    TG - Where do you see Oscar going in his development? Do you see him going down as one of the greats?

    CB - I think if nothing goes wrong. At the way he's progressed, with the accomplishments, and everything else, yeah. I think that he's got the structure, to possibly even be a middleweight or light heavyweight. He's won four titles already and he could be one of the All-Time greats. Sure. The big thing in all of them, if you really notice, the type of person they are, that's the important thing. Anybody can be an athlete. Anybody can perform as an athlete, but what kind of person are you? That's the big thing.

    TG - So that's not an act, the smiling, personable DeLa Hoya?

    CB - No. He's a super person, a real terrific kid. Even if he were to fire me tomorrow, I would never bum rap him. And yet, like I left Chavez. I worked with him 4 1/2, 5 years. I don't bum rap him, but I don't have anything nice to say about him, because there isn't. But with Oscar, like I say, even if he were to fire me tomorrow, I could do nothing but praise the guy, because he is a good person. And I feel this way.

    TG - If you could pick one fighter through history to work with, who would it be?

    CB - Well, I worked with one of the greatest, Ali. You can't go beyond that. Cause the guy was so great, and like I say, not only as an athlete, but as a person. Unbelievable. There's nobody to compare with him. And that's a fact. They claim, that besides Jesus Christ and God, he is the most revered, the most talked about, and the most in demand on earth. And that is the truth. Cause I've been in situations like when I was with Muhammad Ali Sports. We made quite a few trips when Ali was with us. Some he done exhibitions, some he made personal appearances to promote the show because he was affiliated with the organization, Muhammad Ali Sports. We went to Jakarta, for example, and there must have been hundreds of thousands of people just around the airport, and it was all fenced off, they wouldn't let anybody in. And they were all over the place, chanting "Ali, Ali, Ali". Then he went to the mosque in downtown Jakarta and they estimated that there were half a million, three quarters of a million people. I've been on trips to Africa. For example when I worked with Ali, I'd wear an Ali T-Shirt or cap, and also when I worked with Muhammad Ali sports, and the peace corps built training centers, they built schools, and stuff like that in the heart of the jungle. And as soon as they saw me, here you are, no communication, nothing, you're in the jungle. These kids were chanting "Ali, Ali, Ali", and practically ripping the stuff off me. I gave away all the stuff that I wore. When I was on that tour in Africa, I came home with just the clothes I had on my back, just ordinary clothes. They chanted. Unbelievable.

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    Re: Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

    CHUCK BODACK INTERVIEW PT. 2

    Chuck Bodak - Part II

    Interview conducted by Thomas Gerbasi

    TG - Let's use Oscar DeLa Hoya as an example. When you're working with him, do you have to go to camp with him, or are you just called in for the fight itself?
    CB - It's not compulsary, because I have a lot of other work, but I try to go up as often as I can.

    TG - From a technical standpoint as a cutman, have you ever come in contact with a cut that you couldn't close?

    CB - Not really, because sometimes it takes around two or three rounds to really seal it completely to where you have it under control. And other times you get a kid that's a bleeder and it's real tough to stop it. In fact, I had one one time, very small, about a quarter inch cut, and I couldn't stop the damn bleeding. No two human beings are alike and one guy, I guess the pressure's so great, blood just squirts out. Even the small arteries. But the general capilliary cuts, when they open up, are not hard to stop really.

    TG - So there's not one magic formula that will stop any cut?

    CB - No, not really. You're not a miracle man, you just know what you do, and what you're doing, and the time you have to work with and stuff like that. There are different methods, like I work a lot with freezing, besides medication, and that helps too because a lot of times you can freeze a cut and it literally seals itself. But when a cut is too bad, I myself will try to attract the attention of a referee, so I'm not involved with humiliating a fighter or something like that, or sticking my neck out, and shake my head or something that it's too bad or the guy doesn't have a damn chance, you know, what's the use?

    TG - Is this something you picked up over the years, or was there someone in particular who showed you all this?

    CB - When I quit fighting and went into teaching, I made sure that whatever there was pertaining to working with a fighter, besides teaching them, all his needs and desires and stuff like that, I've learned. You know like dealing with doctors. I deal with a lot of commission doctors that I know real well and I'll discuss different things with them. I read up on different medications. There's always modification over a period of time where things change. Some commissions permit you to use it, some don't. And I check out all kinds of stuff that is new on the market or that they use in surgery. It's amazing, they even use that super glue for a lot of internal bleeding and brain surgery and that. They use super glue but you'd never use it in a fight. It's stupid to even think about it because the jostling in the corner, one guy pouring water over a guy. I mean you have some very erratic situations in a corner and it wouldn't be practical to work with the thing. It's bad enough working with adrenaline, where you have a pad underneath the cut so it don't drip in the eye where it could cause quite a bit of irritation. But there's not any miracles to perform, you just have to know what the hell you're doing, and know the person, that's it.

    TG - What are your thoughts on Whitey Bimstein?

    CB - During his time he was great. A lot of it too is that you create a reputation and you're very fortunate in people wanting you for your reputation, and the publicity you get, and the contacts you make, and there's a lot of luck involved. A lot of times there's a lot of weird things that happen too. Like for example, you work with one guy one time and you do real good work or sometimes you're not even doing anything cause they don't get cut or something, and the next time they don't call you, they call someone else. To me that's luck. You got a reputation that you can do the job. If a guy hires you once or twice and what happens the third,fourth, fifth time or whatever? Did you lose everything or what? It's weird. Plus I guess fighters, to a point, are eccentric, and a lot of it deals with managers, the way the guy feels, or something.

    TG - Ray Arcel?

    CB - He's another guy that I had a lot of respect for because his philosophy was "you don't train, you teach". And that's the truth. You refer to training as working with animals because you can't educate an animal. You train an animal. When you deal with a human being, boxing is a science, regardless of what the product is in performing, and if you don't educate a guy, he's got nothing. Like the old adage "he's got balls", but that's garbage to me. When I hear that I want to throw up. It's not a question of balls, it's a question of mentality.

    TG - Eddie Futch?

    CB - A good teacher. And a lot of it too, besides being a talented individual, it's the type of person that you are. Your philosophy.How you sell yourself to an individual.How you can function with him as a unit. He's in that category, he's a nice person. Because you can be a great athlete, but what kind of person are you? Which is more important than anything.

    TG - Eddie "The Clot" Aliano?

    CB - One of the best and a nice person. He's a laid back individual, he does his job. And Eddie's the type of guy that you would literally have to walk up and talk to him. He was almost like shy, but a good person. Teriffic guy. He's a very good friend of mine.

    TG - Is there a competitive thing among trainers and cutmen, or is it more of a camraderie?

    CB - Well it all depends on the relationship you have with a person. You know, if a guy's got a lot of faults in reference to what you're looking for, for harmony and cooperation and stuff like that, you're sort of evasive, you walk away from situations and stuff like that because how can you deal with something like that? It's like I'm not going to go to your house if I feel uncomfortable or if I know you're an asshole or something like that. I wouldn't even go there. And it's the same way with people. The way they are a lot of times, the things that they do, and their whole philosophy in the business and the way they treat people, you just don't deal with them. Like a lot of them, I just walk by them, and I can get along with anybody. But so many of them will screw you, bum rap you, try to hurt you, why? I could never understand that. If anything, you want to help a guy, or if he isn't compatible, you just ignore him or walk away from him. Why get ulcers, why lose sleep over something that's not important.

    TG - Are there any good young trainers around today?

    CB - There's a lot of them. They ask me questions and tips and I help them because I feel this way: if I have something you think you need, or advice, you ask me, I'll tell you. Why be a hog, or why if you have talents or something of value to someone, why keep it to yourself?

    CHUCK ON DREAM FIGHTS

    TG - Julio Caesar Chavez vs. Roberto Duran

    CB - That would be a tough one because they're both literally in the same category. They were very talented in different respects. Some of those matchups are really tough because you have two tremendous talents, it's almost like flipping a coin.

    TG - Barney Ross vs. Oscar DeLa Hoya

    CB - Well, at this stage, you'd probably have to say Barney Ross because, Oscar, as great as he is, with the potential of being greater, you'd have to give Barney the shade because he was always in tremendous condition, he had a good philosophy, he was a tremendous person, which I think is a huge asset in boxing when you deal with mentality in teaching. That would probably be the answer there.

    TG - Tony Zale vs. Marvin Hagler

    CB - I'd say Marvin Hagler because he was a greater technician than Tony. Coming from me, I'm originally from Gary. I was on amateur teams with Zale, I worked with him at the Chicago CYO for 25 years, and in reference to an honest opinion, I'd have to pick Hagler. See Tony was tough, but he was not a great technician. Tremendous condition, desire, devotion, and everything else, he had all that. And he became a success. But when it comes to great technology, he didn't have it, not in comparison to Hagler.

    TG - Archie Moore vs. Roy Jones Jr.

    CB - No question, Archie Moore. At this stage. After a few years of accomplishments you might change your opinion. But it's nothing to do with the time that he fought, or the guys that he fought. Like they'll compare the old timers with the modern day fighters. Look at the difference in records with a lot of them. Look at the difference in the opponents that they fought, and not only champions. There were guys in the old days who never had an opportunity to become champions because of the control and everything else. Today, if you can't get a break with one organization, you get a break with another organization, and become a champion, which is nothing wrong. There's so much to give and they can only give so much and somebody comes in and adds to it, which is good. The other guys, who are not in the top three , for example,they have an opportunity to became a champion,they have the opportunity to make a decent buck in preference to being nothing or a nobody and just making an ordinary payday. Paying you for what a promoter thinks you're worth. When you become a champion, you have some prestige. It demands a little more money.

    TG - Evander Holyfield vs. Ezzard Charles

    CB - That's a tough one too, because Ezzard Charles was a great, great fighter. In fact, one of the most underrated fighters that ever lived. Another guy that was so talented. That would have to be a toss up too.

    TG - What do you think about women boxing?

    CB - I think it's all right, I'll tell you why. If that's what a woman desires and she becomes talented, devout and dedicated to the sport, why not? Look for example, in track. Can you imagine a woman pole vaulting? Because they're not the muscular type, and it demands a lot of muscular reaction. Plus today, women that are participating in sports develop themselves, they have a great desire and determination, they love what they're doing, they become masters at what they're doing. What's wrong with that? Maybe not in comparison to the male, but on the other hand, what they do in performing sometimes amazes you.

    TG - What would you say to someone who thinks boxing should be banned?

    CB - That's idiotic. Why don't they ban all the contact sports? Because these detrimental incidents happen in all of them. You can get hurt, you can get killed. You can do the same thing in your own home. You can fall down and break your neck, break your shoulder, your arm, your leg, or whatever. You can walk out of your driveway, get hit by a car and get killed. Those things are inevitable. They happen. How can you say that it shouldn't be or they shouldn't jeopardize themselves? So what? It's an individual's choice, right? And if there's a penalty to pay or there's success involved, it's yours, you earned it, you're entitled to it.

    In a way it's really idiotic. If you feel that way, don't even look at it. How can you look at something when down deep in your heart you're condemning it? How can you enjoy it? You've got to be a real hypocrite. And these things that happen, no one wants to see it happen. It's sad that they happen, but hell, that's life. There are a lot of things that happen, both pro and con, in life but who are we to judge or condemn it?

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    Re: Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

    The last time I seen Chuck in person was about 1991 or 1992, he and Jerry Boyd, AKA F.X.Toole who wrote " Rope Burns" from which the movie " Million Dollar Baby " was made from were working the corner of my son Frankie's opponent, Charles Kirk Young, who after the fight took off without paying them, Chuck and Jerry were all over the place looking for Young an I don't think they ever found him.

    But any way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHUCK


    Frank B.

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    Re: Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

    Chuck has discussed the fighters that have burned him with me in some detail. I remember he told me that the cheapest guy he ever worked with was Evander Holyfield.

    He'd drop a couple-three hundred grand at the tables while Chuck was waiting to get paid which was like pulling teeth with Holyfield. A lot of the time it would take some time to get his dough & it wouldn't be what he was told he had coming.

    GorDoom

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    Re: Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

    Happy birthday, Chuck, and many, many more!

    - Chuck Johnston

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    Re: Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

    A very Happy blessed birthday to Chuck a boxing treasure and icon to me.

    Rocky Alkazoff told me he spoke to Chuck many times and he thought I was a good ref, which meant a lot to me.

    The interviews with him were a masterpiece and Kudos to Tom for a job well done.

    Many of his insights are right on the money and Chuck is the type of man who tells you exactly how he feels with dignity, respect and honesty.

    It is easy to see that when a fighter shows good character it is not lost on Chuck. His knowledgeable observations of boxing legends are priceless and I wish I had the opportunity to sit down with him and say hello.

    I wish he was asked about how he feels about some of these referees, and I mean scores of them through the years that never really paid their dues by having a lot of fights themselves, or having any sense of boxing history being given the great Honor of doing a title fight over and over again, instead of a referee who paid his dues, loves boxing history and does a good job, but does not have the political connections they do.

    How these refs affect a fight, causing injuries and death, mistakes which affect the outcome of the fight and are still rewarded with more work.

    I think DeLahoya might have been too tall and quick for Barney Ross but who knows, as Ross was like iron with a will that captured the Medal of Honor.

    He was sure right about Moore v Roy Jones Jr.

    Great thread!

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    Re: Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

    Good news! I called Tom Gerbasi, one of the editor's at Max Boxing. Tom was an editor for many years here at the CBZ before he moved on. However we have remained close friends over the years.

    I called him up & told him I had one more CBZ assingment for him. Tom groaned, "What now, Bucket!" & I told him iI wanted him to do a 3rd installment of his interview with Chuck.


    Tom cursed me for a couple of minutes but then said sure, he's do it. Tom's a stand up guy. & in the near future we will have a 3rd installment of the Bodak interview!

    I figure now that he's basically retired, Chuck won't have to worry about consequences & REALLY tell us some stories.

    GorDoom

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    Re: Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

    CHUCK BODAK UPDATE!
    As many of you might already know, Chuck Bodak suffered a stroke about six months ago. I am happy to report that he is doing well today, and thanks to the many that have contacted him through these difficult times.

    My good friends Michele Chong and Steve Harpst have kept me well informed, so I can relate any news to the many that I reach out to on my website here.

    Here now is the latest up-date from Michele and Steve … please continue your prayers, and feel free to offer a phone call or card to Chuck … may God bless!
    David Martinez / Boxing Historian

    Hi all,
    An update about cutman Chuck Bodak:
    He’s doing great and continues to show progress after suffering a stroke in August 2007.
    As you know, he’s one tough guy and is never down for the count!
    His speech is completely back and he has full movement in his left side of his face again.
    Chuck does have partial paralysis on his left side of his body, but through therapy, he is thriving and even back to his famous collage-making.
    I’m sure he’ll have some newly-decorated watches, rings, and hats out very soon!
    Below is a photo taken this month.
    Best wishes,
    Michele & Steve
    Please continue to write, call and visit at his NEW location:
    *Chuck Bodak*
    25881 Pinewood Lane
    Laguna Hills, CA 92563
    949-458-5704 Chuck’s private line
    949-859-8547 B and B Facility
    Visiting hours: 10:30 a.m.-12 noon and after 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
    (1-3 is nap time)

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    Re: Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

    God bless you Chuck! You are strong as a bear. Keep going on and reach that 100 mark. Lets get you in that Hall of Fame too and with the quickness. Thanks also for mentioning how strong Tony Zale was and how hard he could hit. You know it kid.

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    Re: Happy 90th Birthday, Chuck Bodack!

    Cutman Chuck Bodak 2009 Update
    January 10, 2009 by Michele Chong

    Veteran continues to win battle of physical challenges
    Chuck Bodak, one of boxing’s premier cutmen, will turn 93 on June 3 of this year. After suffering a stroke in August of 2007, the legendary veteran is now residing in a private care home in Mission Viejo, California. Winning past bouts with both pneumonia and a staph infection, the gritty cornerman continues to fight through his recent health ailments. Chuck’s heart and will is a testament to the fortitude he has–just like the countless world champions he has assisted in corners throughout his career.

    Chuck may be in a wheelchair with his speech halted at times, but his spirit is still strong even in his twilight years. There is no quit in this cutman.

    After previous stays in Anaheim and Laguna Hills locations, he is now comfortably entering his “12th Round” of life in a sunny and cheerful environment in the south Orange County residence he has called home since August of last year.

    Well-known in corners, Chuck has worked with over 60 top fighters including Muhammad Ali, Tommy Hearns, Julio Cesar Chavez, EvanderHolyfield and Oscar De La Hoya. He continued to work in the ring, still active in the boxing world right up until the time of his stroke. The cutman is famous for his unique headbands, his salty jokes and for his handmade jewelry, caps and art collages that he gave away as gifts.

    He spent decades giving tirelessly to the boxing community as a fighter, trainer, cutman, author and even as an unlikely movie star. His family is appreciative of everyone who has called, written or visited the popular Bodak.

    And the fight community has not forgotten him. The hallmark of 2008 was Chuck receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award in person at October’s WBC Legends of Boxing Museum ceremony. At this event, Chuck was in fine spirits and had a great day giving an acceptance speech, flipping off the crowd with his famous middle-finger salute, even chatting up a bevy of beauties who were in attendance. Trust me, Chuck’s feisty personality still shines through even at 92 years “young.”

    One month later, the World Boxing Hall of Fame bestowed another accolade upon Chuck with a special Recognition Award at their annual Banquet of Champions in November. The organization had already inducted Chuck into the “Expanded Category” of their Hall of Fame a few years ago but wanted to give the cutman this additional honor which was presented by Board of Director Steve Harpst

    My boyfriend, Steve (a boxing trainer and sculptor) and I have known Chuck for over a decade. The cutman had twice traveled to Canada with Steve’s Burbank Boxing Club for amateur shows and we have stayed in contact with Chuck as much as possible especially after his stroke.

    At the beginning of this year, I called one of the fight game’s best cutmen to wish him a “Happy New Year.” His main caretaker, Henry, said Chuck was doing as well as could be but was not able to come to the phone at that time. Currently, with his speech in decline since the stroke, it is difficult for Chuck to talk at any length. Close family friend Ray Marconi says, “It’s harder for Chuck to converse right now, but everyone is welcome to send Chuck cards.” Friends and fans who would like to say hello to the cutman are encouraged to snail mail a greeting to the address provided at the conclusion of this article.

    In paying tribute to one of boxing’s best-known personalities, I’d like to share with you my interview with Chuck (from January 1, 2008) that was originally printed in Ringsports magazine. Now a year later, I would have loved to have done my annual New Year’s Day interview with him. Unfortunately, due to the effects of Chuck’s stroke and other health ailments, it is not possible at this time. But exactly one year ago, the famed cutman was able to chat with me about our favorite sport as you can read below.

    -INTERVIEW WITH CHUCK BODAK FROM JANUARY 1, 2008-

    On New Year’s Day of 2008, we went to visit one of boxing’s most colorful cutmen, our friend Chuck Bodak. After suffering a stroke in August 2007, Chuck is now in a private care facility in Laguna Hills, California and continues to undergo therapy to regain movement in the partially paralyzed left side of his body. But his speaking skills are fully intact, as I quickly learned.

    As we all watched the Rose Bowl game together, Chuck and I had a chance to talk and he reminisced about the things he’s learned over 91 years of life, in and out of the boxing ring. Chuck was rooting for the underdog Illinois team, but as USC scored another easy touchdown, I realized that he believed the underdog could somehow make a comeback. This is an example of Chuck’s philosophy about giving anyone a fighting chance and always believing in the less fortunate underdogs.

    Vasil “Chuck” Bodak was born in Gary, Indiana, and worked there for many years, before moving to Chicago, Illinois, where he was involved with the Golden Gloves. He moved to California in the 1980s to pursue coaching opportunities with the World Fighters Inc. owned by Dick and Ray Marconi.

    Chuck is an icon in the boxing world and was easily identified by the photos he stuck on his bald head and his one-of-a-kind glasses that he decorated himself. He has been in the corner with over 60 champions, including Muhammad Ali, Tommy Hearns, Oscar de la Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, Evander Holyfield and Azumah Nelson.

    His room at the new location is large and cheerful. Many boxing mementos, accumulated as a boxer, trainer, and cutman are displayed all over the room. Various framed handmade collages, awards, plaques, greeting cards, and photos of friends and family adorn his walls and shelves. It is obvious that Chuck has touched the lives of many people throughout the years. He has a work table set up with overhead lights, magnifying glasses, and boxes of stones, trinkets, and photos that he uses to decoupage watches, caps, and rings. He likes to give them away as gifts. The recent stroke has not deterred his favorite hobby. He’s enlisted a fellow housemate to cut the photos, as his left hand is still affected by the stroke.

    A unique individual, he comes off as a curmudgeonly old-timer with salty one-liners. But underneath this crusty exterior, you know there is a kind soul. Anyone who’s ever had the opportunity to meet Chuck is aware of his generosity. I’ve known him for ten years now and I’ve witnessed him signing autographs for hours and also giving out his prized pieces of handcrafted jewelry. I’ve seen him give a lucky buck to small children he has just met and I’ve also seen him slip money to proud, fallen ex-champs, certainly in need of a helping hand.

    His contradictory mix of toughness and kindness is what has made him stand out to anybody who has crossed his path. Perhaps this is because he had a hardscrabble youth and is grateful that he managed to carve out many successful career paths along the way. He is a survivor and arguably has built a lasting legacy in boxing.

    HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME A CUTMAN?
    After my amateur career, rather than turning pro, I decided to go into teaching boxing. I prefer calling myself a boxing teacher, not a “trainer.” You teach boxers, you don’t train them…you train animals! Then I became a self-taught cutman. When you love something, like I love boxing, you enjoy being around it all the time. I loved being a cutman and and teacher and sharing my knowledge and experience with young boxers. I actually liked being a boxing teacher more than I liked being a boxer. I enjoyed being able to help others. I do miss being in the ring. Watching boxing matches on TV is not the same as working with them in the corner and getting to know the fighters while seeing them progress and grow.

    WHAT GENERAL TRAINING ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO BOXERS?
    Try to run every day or take one day off if you have to. Run five miles or more. Your body will tell you when to quit. For young boxers, my advice is to listen to your teachers and stay in shape!

    DESCRIBE YOUR OWN BOXING CAREER.
    I was always into sports and even competed in hurdles and pole vault while in high school. My neighborhood was active in all kinds of sports and a buddy of mine, Peter Lello, inspired me to fight. I was a “boxer” style fighter and fought for 13 years. I worked with Mickey Dudak of Gary, Indiana.

    WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FIGHTER OF ALL TIME?
    I like Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Willie Pep, Tommy Hearns. I liked Joe Louis because he wasn’t egotistical. But my favorite fighter? There is only one choice: Muhammad Ali. I worked with Ali in the amateurs, in the Chicago Tribune’s Golden Gloves Tournament. He really is one of the greatest human beings of all time. No one in any sport compares to him. Ali is exceptional. His fight with George Foreman in Africa is one of my favorites. I never doubted that Ali would win.

    WHEN DID YOU FIRST CREATE YOUR TRADEMARK COLLAGES?
    I’ve been doing this for years. I made one for some kids and I presented it to them. That was the first time I made a collage. I never, ever sell them! I only give them away as gifts.

    WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE YOUR LONGEVITY TO?
    I have a tough mental aspect and the “big guy upstairs” takes care of me.

    Chuck’s longevity is evident as he never officially retired. He went back to his roots, working with young, amateur fighters right up until the time of his stroke.

    As the football game ended, with a lopsided score of 49-17 for USC, my visit with Chuck was coming to a close. He had told me over and over during my visit to go pick out a watch that he wanted to decorate for me. Apparently, I didn’t move as fast as he liked, so he finally barked out in a loud, commanding voice (that took me by surprise), to pick out a watch “now”! When Chuck tells you to do something, you do it! I laughed and couldn’t help but see the no-nonsense taskmaster that he must have been decades ago. I looked in several plastic bins holding all of his treasures and I picked out a watch with a photo of Chuck and actor Antonio Banderas on the face of it. Chuck had a role in the 1999 film “Play It To the Bone,” starring the Spanish actor.

    Just one more chapter in the long and colorful life of Chuck Bodak.
    -Update for JANUARY 2009-

    If you’d like to send a card or letter to Chuck:

    Vasil “Chuck” Bodak

    B & B Country Manor IV

    26711 Valpariso

    Mission Viejo, CA 92691

    Special thanks to the Marconi family.

  16. #16
    Registered User
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    Mar 2006
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    Re: Happy 90th Bithday, Chuck Bodack!

    Quote Originally Posted by BDeskins
    >>>I believe a guy like him belongs in the HOF for long & meritorious service to the fight game.<<<

    I completely agree!!!
    I would have voted for Chuck a million times before I voted for Suliaman once...

    And many happy returns to a master of his game.
    Last edited by doomeddisciple; 01-15-2009 at 10:53 PM.

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