Alex Miteff vs Nino Valdes
I forwarded this to a friend in Minnesota who will forward it on to Jeff Flanagan. Jeff is the son of Glen or Del . He grew up in the gym watching his uncle and father box as well as all the other MN boxers. He is a super friendly guy who looks like Ray liotta. When his father was inducted into the world boxing hall of fame, he accepted the award on his fathers behalf and was overcome with emotion. he is a historian of minnesota boxing, having grown up in a boxing family and witnessed many of the area greats working out and even comming over for dinner with his family. Any Flanagan phots will be passed on to Jeff and preserved. he appreciates having his father and uncle remembered and hopes to keep their memory alive.Originally Posted by kikibalt
Back in the Day
The decline of the popularity of boxing in Minnesota remains a subject of considerable debate, theorizing, and caterwauling among local fistic elites. "It used to be boxing was a big event," laments Jim O'Hara, the executive secretary of the seven-member state boxing board, which regulates both amateur and professional fights in Minnesota, except most of those held at casinos. "I guess it really changed when the Vikings and the Twins came to town." A former state heavyweight champ, O'Hara remembers the days when Twin Cities fight fans could take in 30 or more professional bouts a year--back in the 1930s. In the '40s and '50s, aficionados used to pay admission at the old Potts Gymnasium in downtown Minneapolis just to watch workouts featuring the renowned Del Flanagan--by most estimates, the greatest boxer the state ever produced. Through the '60s and into the early '70s, amateur fights, held under the auspices of the Golden Gloves, routinely packed the old Minneapolis Armory with as many as 10,000 spectators. These days a crowd of a thousand is deemed a big success.
Del Flanagan, pictured here in 1950, is the most accomplished, and probably the finest, boxer to come out of Minnesota. He fought more than 130 times as a pro, won 52 straight, and beat some of the best fighters of his day, including legendary figures such as Beau Jack and Sandy Saddler. Flanagan now lives in Phoenix and, according to his brother, suffers from "neurological problems." Pictured at his side is young Billy Kaehn, son of Flanagan's onetime trainer Bill Kaehn.
Courtesy of Bill Kaehn
Since its heyday, the Minnesota boxing scene has cycled through erratic peaks and abiding valleys. The occasional surges are contingent on the emergence of fighters with enough skill and charisma to fill the hotel ballrooms or tavern parking lots where most fights are put on. Lately, those boxers have been scarce. "The fighters you got headlining today would be the curtain-raisers back when Del fought. These kids today aren't hungry like they were before," says Jerry Flanagan, brother of both Del and Glen Flanagan, who was standout boxer as well. For many old-timers, the decline in the quality of both the boxers and the cards has been tough to swallow. Asked to provide photographs of Del for this article, Jerry declined, saying, "I don't want to mix Del and Glen with a bunch of punch-drunk palookas and four-round fighters."
According to O'Hara, there are just 20 active prizefighters in the state--down from some 200 in the 1930s. Still, O'Hara takes pains to note, the so-called golden age of boxing in Minnesota was not without its dark side. There weren't many regulations back then: no mandatory medicals, no requirement that fighters lay off for a month after suffering a knockout. Boxers fought too often, for too long, he says. "There was a lot of fighters around when I was young, and everyone had cauliflower ears and busted noses. I saw a lot of broken people. When they were through with boxing, there was nothing left for them. I buried some of those guys."
In the past decade, professional cards in Minnesota have been put on only sporadically, most often at outstate casinos far from the inner-city neighborhoods that produce the state's best fighters and remain home to their most avid fans. Some insiders blame it on the rise of televised boxing. Anyone with a decent cable package can watch prizefighting in his living room instead of shelling out $20 to $50 for live bouts in town. Some point to the explosion of major-league sports, which has eroded both the talent pool and the fan base for boxing. Some fault boxing's anarchic organization, what with three major sanctioning bodies (all with different champions) and an expanded field of weight divisions; the traditional eight classes have been blown up to a cumbersome seventeen, making it hard for all but the most astute fans to keep up on the current ring rulers. And some blame it on the print media, which they believe covers only the soiled-and-spoiled side of boxing or, worse yet, ignores it altogether. A watershed moment for local fistiana? Maybe in the early '70s, when the Minneapolis Star newspaper discontinued its sponsorship of the Upper Midwest Golden Gloves tournament, the annual showcase for amateur fighters and the forum in which most local pros cut their teeth. Coverage of the Upper Midwest finals in the dailies has dropped to near nil.
TURNER UPSETS THOMPSON AT BLUE HORIZON
Southwest Philadelphian Dick Turner scored the biggest of his many career upsets, on this day in 1962. Turner was a streaking 11-0-1 (8 KO) welterweight when he was matched against Federico Thompson of Argentina, in an 8-round bout at the Blue Horizon.
Thompson was a seasoned veteran who had fought Benny "Kid" Paret for the World Championship in 1960, and had held the Argentine & South American welterweight titles. Entering the ring that night, Thompson boasted a professional ring record of 113-10-9, with 1 no contest and 62 KOs!! That's 133 fights for Thompson versus just 12 for Turner! Clearly the cards were stacked against the hometown boxer, but upsets were Turner's business. Once again, he managed to pull a shocker, and won the decision. Such impressive wins marked Dick as a sure title bet. But sadly, Turner's career would end abruptly in 1964, after he suffered a detached retina in his bout with Kitten Hayward.
BLITMAN DECISIONS MASSEY IN FIGHT 2
Southpaw Harry Blitman, the North Philly featherweight, faced South Philadelphian Lew Massey for the second time, on this day in 1931. This cross-town rivalry played out over three fights at the Philadelphia Arena.
The first meeting pitted the more experienced Blitman, who had beaten Tony Canzoneri in a non-title fight, against the relatively green Massey, in November of 1929. In a surprise, Massey lowered the boom on Harry in round two. It was the first of only 14 KOs he would score in his 12-year career.
By the time they fought for the second time, Massey had built on his win over Blitman, adding several big names to his resume. He entered this rematch with a 44-5-4 record, while Blitman's log read 55-4-1. Avenging his prior loss, Blitman took the re-do by 10-round decision, setting up a third fight.
The rubber-match occurred on April 27, 1931, again at the Philadelphia Arena. This time Lew Massey out maneuvered Blitman over the ten round distance to break their tie.
Blitman fought for another three years, ending with a 61-10-3 record. Massey ran to 81-34-8 and fought for seven more years
Following his ko of Alex Mitleff
jeff flanagan is the son of glen flanagan