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Happy Birthday Phil Anselmo, A Tribute From Boxing Insider’s staff and Friends

Posted on 06/30/2011

By Ezio Prapotnich

“My birthday? Same day as Mike Tyson: June 30.” Phil Anselmo told methe last time I had the pleasure of meeting him in person, backstage at the Download festival in Donnington, UK. Is it a coincidence that two men who left such a vivid impression in their own fields of expertise and grew beyond the limits of their professions in the hearts of millions of people were born on the same day? God does not make mistakes.

In the second half of the 80’S, Mike Tyson revitalized not just the Heavyweight division, but all boxing captivating the attention of the masses in a career that would span into the new millennium and full of controversial moments. Phil Anselmo is one of four men that in the 90’s revitalized heavy metal music and shoved it by force down the throat of the mainstream. His career and personal life had some controversial moments too, but as in Tyson’s case, when you watch in retrospective, the positives outweigh the negatives by far.

The staff of Boxinginsider would like to thank him for his contributions and wish him a happy birthday. As a tribute to our fellow writer, we put together a series of quotes on Philip from us and other friends of his:

Emanuel Steward: “Of all the people I know in the boxing world, Philip Anselmo is the most intelligent when it comes to boxing knowledge. He is an expert analysis, has a great eye for the small details and he’s able to foresee certain situations. I trust his judgment more than anyone else, and I call him before every fight. I have so much respect for him, not just as a fan, a friend, or musician, but also as a consultant.”

Lou Di Bella: “Phil Anselmo has been a friend of mine for a long time. I always want to discuss Pantera and rock ‘n’ roll. Phil only wants to talk about boxing. Not only is he one of the great voices of hardcore rock ‘n’ roll, but he is one of the most knowledgeable boxing historians and passionate boxing fans that I have ever met. Phil is great with a microphone on stage, and he would be just as good behind the mic on a boxing telecast.”

Scoop Malinowski: “I first met Phil because he and Ray Pop invited me to a Super Joint Ritual concert in Sayreville, NJ. He is a strikingly unique person in many ways. He has so much joy and love about him and a heart as warm as any that ever beat. He is a naturally uplifting and inspiring person and the best kind of friend anyone can hope to have.”

Mad Max Hammer(Anselmo’s former trainer) “Phil’s passion for the sport of boxing goes back to his youth, and as a man grows so does the devastating power of his right hand. Keep punching big-daddy!”

Charles Jay: I remember lying in the hospital, in unbelievable pain. My back was out of commission and, of course, I was in one of those situations where I didn’t think I was ever going to walk again. Then I get a call from Phil Anselmo, because I left word that I wanted to talk about Boxing Insider. Well, what I find out is that the guy has been right where I was, and a lot worse, and what followed was an hour-long conversation where he offered a lot of inspiration for me to move forward and deal with my problem. And on top of that the guy is a big-time boxing fan and historian, and a wild man ace writer to boot? Jesus, what more could you possibly want in an individual? Happy birthday!

Ray Poplawski: I first met Phil inthe summer of 96 when Pantera was touring with White Zombie , at the Meadowlands in NJ. When I met Phil ,with half his head shaved & tatooed I was a little worried at first but looks can be decieving. Phil is one of the most generous & down to earth people I know & I’ve met many celebs through my involvement in the sport of boxing. And Phil KNOWS boxing . It’s scary how Phil has the heavyweights catagorized in levels ! After Phil & I were on our first 3 way call with Emanuel Steward & the smoke had cleared Emanuel rang me back & tpld me how impressed he was with Phils knowledge of the sport from ALL aspects . And coming from a hall of famer like Emanuel that says it all. Some of my best times have consisted of just hanging & viewing fights with Phil & Kate & the various fight friends/fans over the years .

Ezio Prapotnich: “A long time ago I never knew myself. Wherever they put me in the small town where I grew, in school, in church, in the youth centres, I just could not fit in. There was nowhere I felt I belonged. I thought there was something wrong with me and that I was alone in the world. That was until I heard Pantera for the first time when I was 17. Even though I could not understand English at the time, there was something about that music, particularly in the voice, that resonated. Slowly I discovered heavy metal and I realized I wasn’t the only one who felt in a certain way about certain things and that there was a whole world out there to discover. To be a Pantera fan in my home town did not make me more popular or made me more friends. But, it gave me the strength, the drive and the will to follow my heart in spite of all the negativity around me and here I am today, living in one of the biggest cities in the world, pursuing my passion for boxing and happy with my life. And for this, I will always credit Philip Hansen Anselmo. On behalf of all the metal kids whose life you changed with your music: happy birthday, brother!”

Larry Goldberg: Phil is a boxing genius. It is a real honor to get to work with him on the site. Happy Birthday!

Johnny Walker: I’ve been writing about rock music for a long time, and about boxing for a far shorter time, and I’ve always admired Phil Anselmo for the passion he brings to whatever he does, whether it is kicking ass onstage with Down, one of my current favorite bands (Phil shares my love for rock music informed by Black Sabbath and Pentagram), or whether he is flying the flag for the underappreciated (in the US, at least) Klitschko brothers in Boxing Insider. It was Phil’s writing in Boxing Insider that made me finally decide to give the boxing media thing a go myself: Phil’s boxing writing proves that you can be intense and still maintain a sense of irony and humor, something that many other boxing scribes forget when they get too close to their subject matter. Suffice it to say that Phil’s dedicated following in both the music and boxing worlds is well deserved. Happy birthday, my man, and many kickass returns!

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