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Thread: Q & A for Randy Gordon

  1. #31
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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    To Wingmaster: You know, I've often thought about how great it would have been to get Joe Frazier & Muhammad Ali together for a night of fun & memories. It took a lot of work on my part, especially getting Joe to agree, as the bad feelings he had towards Ali ran very deep. going back to before their first fight.

    To get Joe to agree, it took more work than you can imagine. I had to play on the religious side of him, the side which tells a man to "turn the other cheek." And after all the work--the visits, the phone calls, the letters--there was the paycheck. Both guys were going to do this, but there was money to be earned from this, too.

    Ali was no problem. He and his wonderful wife, Lonnie, accepted both the idea of the event and the money--$150,000 per man--right from the start. Frazier didn't. The mental anguish and verbal beating he took for years from Ali during the time of their three wars left long, ugly scars in Joe's memory. No matter what money I offered Frazier was not going to be enough. I had to convince Frazier that, by standing in front of Ali, and, instead of wanting to hit him with that big left hook, extending his right hand and shaking Ali's right hand, then following that with the biggest hugging clinch you've ever seen--and doing it on national TV--would make him bigger than life and more popular than ever.

    Now, remember, each man was going to get $150,000. Then there were celebrities who were going to be invited. Personally, I wanted Lou Gossett, Jr., to be the emcee. And I wanted a ton of celebrities on the dais: Billy Crystal, Diana Ross, Gene Hackman, Eddie Murphy, and many, many more. The bill would have been well over $1 million. But remember, I was working for Foxwoods, then. It was going to be from their checkbook that all these people were paid. That was in 1997. Who is going to pay these people today? That's the problem.

    Frazier has shown signs of forgiving Ali, and I know Ali has nothing but love for Joe. It would be nice to see both of them hugging each other and mugging for the cameras, but those images are only played out in my mind.

    But what great images they are!

    -Randy G.

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Randy --

    I finally got a chance to sit down and welcome you to the CBZ -- believe it or not this is our 13th year on the internet!

    Best, Mike DeLisa

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Hi Mike,

    Thirteen years...I know...Wow! Congrats. You may remember my wife, Roni. She says hi.

    Thirteen years. That's how long I've been out of the NYSAC. Are you still on L.I.? If so, let's get together. Frankie G. is putting on a boxing show at the Huntington Hilton in two months. I'm his ring announcer. Hope to see you at the show.

    It's a great group that's here on a regular basis. I love reading their posts. As for you, my head is spinning with the stats you come up with!

    Tell my "cousin" Stephen Gordon I send my best. Heck...I'll do it right here: Yo, Cuz, give me a shout when you get a chance!

    Thanks for the welcome, Mike. Speak to ya' soon.

    -Randy G.

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Randy, do you know became of the memorabilia from the old Ring Magazine Museum after Nat Fleischer died?

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    Gil Clancy & Emile Griffith


  6. #36
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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    .
    Looks like Frazier doesn't need the money.
    .

  7. #37
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    Funny

    I read your posts, see the caustic, abrasive, combative style they are written in and immediately I think of "Smokin Joe" too.

    Hawk

  8. #38
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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Frazier had no interest in being part of the media sales pitch for Ali.

    Sue him.

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Obama fan: To many, if not most, Ali's pre-fight sales hype was exactly that--hype. But to Frazier and his children, Ali's talk cut deep. Marvis got into fights with bigger and older kids over the things Ali said. It's easy to understand just how hurt Frazier was by Ali's words, which helped turn the fight into everything the promoters wanted it turned into--"The Fight of the Century." But when I spoke to Frazier in 1996--25 years after "The Fight"--he was still seething and wanting more pieces of Ali. Finally, I believe Frazier calmed down and understood that Ali never meant for Joe to be injured by his words, that he was just being himself and stirring up interest in each of their contests.

    I believe that today, each guy is totally at peace with the other. Hey, all you have to do is look at what happened when both attended a New York Knicks game a few years back. Ali and Frazier were sitting next to each other. When they got up to leave, Muhammad had trouble getting up from his seat. Frazier reached over and helped him up. The packed crowd at The Garden gave both of them a standing ovation.

    From "The Fight" to "The Rematch" to "The Thrilla in Manila," Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali performed like nothing less than the champion warriors they truly are, and will be forever.

  10. #40
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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Gordon

    . . . Ali never meant for Joe to be injured by his words . . .
    You could have fooled me.

    And apparently Frazier, too.

    "Uncle Tom," huh?

    Just friendly banter.

    What I liked was when Ali called Frazier an "Uncle Tom" for accepting an invitation to the White House after he beat Ali.

    Then later, Ali did not call himself an "Uncle Tom" when he went to the White House after his fight with Foreman.

    Not exactly consistent, is it.

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Obama - did you read what Randy wrote? All of Ali's antics were meant to build interest in the fight. He never meant anything he said. Was it mean spirited and thoughtless? Definitely. But him calling Joe "Uncle Tom" (among other things) was to generate public interest, not to make any statement to Joe.

    Your "not exactly consistent..." statement shows you appear to have missed that whole concept.

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    TKO11 & Obama: I have spent hours with Muhammad Ali, talking to him about his fights, his boxing career, his life, his relationships. I have spoken to him a lot about Joe Frazier. He knows that, from the time he was stripped of his title in 1967, until the time he fought Frazier in 1971, he said some pretty awful things about Joe.

    "I never really meant them," Ali told me. "I know Joe is no 'Uncle Tom.' But I wanted to get under his skin every way I could. So, I said everything I could."

    All I know is what I heard from Ali. I could choose to believe him or not believe him. I have chosen to believe him. And so, by believing him, I know that he holds nothing at all against Joe Frazier. And in talking to Joe, while there are remnants of intense dislike for Ali left inside of him, I also believe Joe has basically forgiven Ali. Give it a small amount of time and Joe will totally forgive Ali.
    Friends? Well, I doubt that the two of them are gonna' be having pajama parties in the future. However, there is a mutal respect each man has for the other and a new-found understanding of each other's feelings.

    I am just glad the world has had two such great warriors in Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali--with all the baggage that goes with each man.

  13. #43
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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Quote Originally Posted by TKO11
    Obama - did you read what Randy wrote? All of Ali's antics were meant to build interest in the fight. He never meant anything he said. Was it mean spirited and thoughtless? Definitely. But him calling Joe "Uncle Tom" (among other things) was to generate public interest, not to make any statement to Joe.

    Your "not exactly consistent..." statement shows you appear to have missed that whole concept.
    I certainly have "missed" that concept.

    So has Frazier, apparently.

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Please excuse me if I ask again: Randy, do you know became of the memorabilia from the old Ring Magazine Museum after Nat Fleischer died?

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Ray: When Nat Fleischer died, I believe in 1972, his son-in-law, Nat Loubet, took over as Editor-in-Chief. The Ring offices moved soon after Fleischer's death from somewhere around the Times Square area to 120 W. 31st. Street, which was just down the block from Madison Square Garden. The old, dusty glass display cases went along with the move, containing Rocky Kansas' Ring title belt, a bunch of plaster fists, some pocket knives owned by champions, pre-1900 hand-wraps and gloves and a few other items. They remained in those offices and followed us in our move a few blocks uptown in 1984, the year I left Ring to become a fulltime sportscaster. From that point, I have no idea what happened to any of The Ring material. Perhaps a note to good guy Ring Publisher Stu Saks can fill us in on the rest.

    -Randy G

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Thanks.

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    Ray

    Not having visited the Old Ring museum and having only visited Canastota once about 5 years ago, do you or anyone for that matter, know if any, several or none of the items in the IBHOF are from the Old Ring Museum?

    I don't know the answer myself, as I really don't know what was in the old Ring Museum.

    Any Idea anyone?

    Hawk

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    Re: Ray

    Hawk: I believe some of the items that were in the old Ring Museum were shipped off to the Hall of Fame bythen-Ring owner Stanley Weston somewhere between 1989-1992. Also, I gave the IBHOF a few old boxing tickets from my collection which are on display up in Canastota. I may even loan the IBHOF my most precious piece--a ticket to the John L. Sullivan-James J. Corbett fight, autographed by John L. himself. It really is a beauty.
    But, Hawk, only one visit to The Hall? I'm telling you, and you've got to believe me on this: Go to the IBHOF during Induction Weekend...The live fight card, the Saturday run, golf outing, barbeque, memorabila show, one-on-ones with boxing celebs and of course, the big dinner, followed by the Sunday induction is unlike anything you've ever seen. When Gil Clancy went for the first time years ago, he had so much fun he has been to every one since, including his own induction. This year I'll be there again, but this time probably doing a live weekend boxing show on Sirius Radio. Hey, make plans on going...you'll sit at my table (only if you want to, of course!).

    -Randy G

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    All of Stanley Weston's research files are at the Notre Dame library. These are quite extensive, but with some pretty big gaps. Notre Dame acquired them from Weston's daughter about 5 years ago.

    I bet old John L. was just thrilled to sign that particular ticket!
    Last edited by raylawpc; 03-10-2008 at 12:17 PM.

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    Randy

    I know. Shame on me!

    As a HUGE Larry Holmes fan, I am going to try and do what I can to make it this summer.

    With a little bit of luck, I will be able to pull some strings this year and get there.

    Plus Sharkey mentions that there are bars that are within walking distance, so that pretty much is the clincher.

    Hawk

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Hawk: Know what? I might be able to save you a bit of money. Last year I went up with referee Wayne Kelly for the weekend. We stayed about 10 minutes away at my daughter's sorority house at Syracuse University, which was empty except for her. She is basically the "House Mother" this year, finishing up grad school in May. However, she will be in the house until the end of June as she completes her thesis and and few labs. I am going up with Kelly, another friend of ours, Peter, and my wife Roni. We all plan on staying in the sorority house (it holds around 40 kids during the year). I'm sure there will be no trouble putting you (and a guest?) up for a day or two. As far as bars, there are a few right across the street from the IBHOF, where so many of the celebs go to schmooze between events. I promise you will be on a "boxing high" from the weekend, wearing a smile that goes from ear to ear. The BBQ is my favorite event. You'll walk around, bump into Aaron Pryor, "Bonecrusher" Smith, Alexis Arguello, Carmen Basilio, and a list that goes on and on. Just be sure to bring your camera! I'll see if I can get the man whole "stole" your Sharpie to come up, too.

    -Randy G

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Oh, and as a HUGE Larry Holmes fan, you absolutely MUST be there for his induction. If you don't already know him, I promise I'll introduce you and take the photo of you and the "Easton Assassin," which you'll wind up framing and putting on your office wall, or, who knows, maybe even above your bed!

    -RG

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    Re: Ray

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins
    Not having visited the Old Ring museum and having only visited Canastota once about 5 years ago, do you or anyone for that matter, know if any, several or none of the items in the IBHOF are from the Old Ring Museum?

    I don't know the answer myself, as I really don't know what was in the old Ring Museum.

    Any Idea anyone?

    Hawk
    I think those plaster casts of champion's fists came from the Ring Magazine HOF. I can't imagine there being two collections of fists like that.

    One of the things I've kicked myself for over the years was my failure to visit the Ring Magazine Museum. The magazine always made it sound like the Ring had a lot of really neat memorabilia. Randy's description makes is sound like it was mostly junk, so maybe I didn't miss out on much.

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    Well

    how can I refuse an offer like that?

    I just need to clear it up with the bosses (WIfe and three girls) and I'm putting in my reservation!

    I'll confirm with you later this week.

    Thank you very much Randy. That was quite generous of you. And thank your daughter as well.

    Camera WIll be in hand (a Drink and or sharpie in the other!) the whole weekend!

    This is going to be sweet!

    Hawk

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    Re: Well

    Hawk: All those bosses! I know what it's like...four daughters! I'm among the world's leading authorities in PMS (they're going into it...in it...just ending...thinking about!). I'd say "bring 'em all," but the Saturday night dinner is kind of pricey for five people. If your girls are old enough, leave 'em home and just bring the wife...I guarantee she will have a great time. My wife loves the weekend. She's already talking about it.

    A warning, though: Once you go with us, you're gonna' want to go every year!

    -RG

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Randy, wondering about Ron Scott Stevens choices of refs in the big New York City bouts. Seems like these guys lack many of the qualities of the New York refs of the past. Without naming names it seems Ive seen some mistakes over the last few years. I just wonder what it might take to ref in New York. Who does the choosing and why. Is it friendship, is it political or is it actually a test of who has the best experience and judgments. Curious...I see a lot of critics of the choices and I just wonder what goes into it. Thanks for coming to answer questions on the board also. Its takes heart to sit there and answer questions. Thanks again.

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    I think I can make that sacrifice!

    The girls are 8, 6 and 20 Mos. So they will be staying home and I assume the wife will be staying with them and I'd make the trip solo. The Wife's "sports interests" are........lacking.

    Plus, the drive from Vt, would not be up her alley.

    The last time I did make it to Canastota was when we were on the way back from Erie PA going home to Boston. She was a sport along with the two girls who were I think 3 plus and 1 and a half at the time. Yet I think I only got in maybe 45 mins there.

    No I think solo would be much better!

    And I'm guess the ladies in my life would agree!

    Hawk

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Rocky: To begin, it's truly my pleasure to be here talking to some of the most knowledgeable boxing fans in the world. All I ever have seen myself as is the luckiest fight fan who ever lived. I am one of you who happened to get a few real great jobs.

    Picking, choosing and selecting officials (judges & referees) is a political job, a personal job and a professional job. Sometimes, officials are chosen because they have political clout (their uncle is the mayor, etc.). Although that never happened to me, I know other commissioners who were forced to take in officials who had "juice." Then there are the personal and professional sides of this business. Sometimes, they go hand in hand. Sometimes they don't. I can't stand when a commissioner appoints a judge or a ref judge because they happen to be friends. I am dead set against that. The professional side of the business is exactly that: giving a position to a man or woman because he or she deserves it. On only one occasion did I ever appoint a person because of friendship. But, I made that appointment not because of our relationship, but on the belief that person would become a world-class official over time. I was proven to be right. Had that person shown me they couldn't do the job, I would have removed them right away, friendship or no friendship.

    I can't speak for Commissioner Ron Scott Stevens. Only he knows why he does the things he does and why he appoints certain officials to high-profile fights. I can only answer for the things Commissioner Randy Gordon did between the years of 1988-1995. Not all of those things worked out the way I had planned and the way I had hoped, but I know this: Now, 12 1/2 years after my last act as Chairman of the NYSAC, I can look in the mirror and know that what I did, I did honestly and with the best intentions of boxing in mind.

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Hi Randy,
    I was watching an old vcr tape I have. You said you had 38 amature fights. Could you tell us more about your amature career? Why didnt you go into the pro ranks? A little more background would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Randy

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    Re: Q & A for Randy Gordon

    Wing: I did go into the pros...for one fight. That one took place in the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island, New York, on March 31, 1976. I fought a last-minute replacement named Gerard Odum. I weighed 122. He was announced at 128, but later told me he was closer to 135. I won the first round, but unfortunately, the fight didn't go to the scorecards after the first. Then came round two. Three right hands had me taking a snooze midway through the round. I covered my fight in the August 1976 issue of International Boxing Magazine. I wanted to have a rematch, but my wife said she'd make it two KO losses in a row if I continued to talk of fighting again. As for Odum, he dropped Ring Magazine top-10 contender Paddy Dolan with a single right hand in his next fight, but a severely sliced lip ended his evening, I believe in round three or four. A few months later, Odum faced Dolan again, was KO'd and retired. I have long looked for Odum, hoping to take him to lunch, but I haven't had any luck. I wonder if he still lives on Long Island?
    So, there, in a nutshell, is my pro "career." What a career it was!

    -Randy G

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