“Marvelous” Marvin Hagler & Eddie “Flame” Mustapha Muhammad Were Schooled in Philly Before Becoming World Champions
By: Ken Hissner
Philadelphia was a hot bed for boxing back in the 1970’s especially in the middleweight division. Out of own boxers would come in to test the water. Two of them that were schooled in Philly that went onto become world champions were “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and Eddie Mustapha Muhammad aka then Eddie Gregory.
Let’s start with Hagler, who was 25-0-1, when he came to the city of “Brotherly Shove” at the Spectrum on March 13, 1976, losing a somewhat disputed majority decision to Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, 27-3-1. All of Hagler’s Philly fights were promoted by J Russell Peltz’s Peltz Boxing.
Several months late on March 9, 1976 Hagler returned to fight a “different” Willie “The Worm” Monroe, 31-3-1, who was then being trained by future IBHOF trainer George Benton for his second fight. Monroe was no longer a runner but stood in front of you like Benton did as a boxer slipping and countering. This writer was in attendance that night and it looked like by the second round Hagler’s nose reminded me if memory serves me right like “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”. Whether it was broken or not I do not know.
In September 14, 1976, Hagler returned to Philly to face their knockout artists Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, 30-6-1 with 28 knockouts. Hagler was ahead on all three scorecards when Hart was stopped in the eighth round.
This writer remembers seeing Monroe at a weigh-in with a cast on his I believe left hand sitting there. I asked “I hear you are having a rematch with Hagler in Boston” how come? “I beat him before didn’t I?” Well, like that old saying “watch what you ask for” and Monroe was stopped in the twelfth and final round for the vacant North American title.
Later that year on August 23rd Hagler and Monroe would have their rubber match back at Philly’s Spectrum with Hagler stopping Monroe in the second round.
Almost a year to the day on August 24, 1978, Hagler returned to face “Bad” Bennie Briscoe, 60-16-5, with 50 knockouts. I recall after defeating Briscoe Hagler went onto comment on how tough Briscoe was. It would be a little over two years when Hagler got his first title fight ending in a disputed draw against Vito Antuofermo, 45-3-1, in Las Vegas. A fight he should have gotten the decision. Antuofermo would lose his title in his next back to back fights with Alan Minter.
While Minter and Antuofermo were fighting one another Hagler got a rematch with Watts in Portland, Oregon, stopping Watts in the second round in April of 1980. Two fights later on September 27, 1980, Hagler traveled to the Wembly Stadium, in the UK, to stop Minter on facial cuts in the third round with a riot following the fight.
In Hagler’s second title fight he stopped Antuofermo in June of 1981. Two years after that he stopped “Caveman” Lee from Philly who was a member of the Kronk Team in the first round.
Now, let’s take a look at Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, 6-0, when he made his Philly debut on September 24, 1973 scoring a first round knockout over Philly’s Elwood Townsend, 3-6-2. J Russell Peltz told this writer he promoted the Townsend, Smith and Briscoe fights that Mustafa had in Philly. Almost a year later on August 26, 1974, in New York, he knocked out Hart in 4 rounds.
On January 14, 1975, Mustafa returned to the Spectrum knocking out Philly’s Steven Smith, 15-4, in 4 rounds. On April 28 he returned to the Philly Arena knocking out Don Cobbs, 25-12-1, of St. Louis. On June 16th he stopped Lenny Harden, 14-4, from nearby Philly suburb of Coatesville.
On August 18, 1975, Muhammad took on Briscoe, 51-14-2, at the Spectrum losing by split decision. On July 14, 1976, he returned to Philly’s Convention Hall to stop Lee Barber, 9-3-1, of Detroit in the fourth round.
On March 11, of 1977 Muhammad would take on Philly’s Matthew Saad Muhammad, 13-2-2, at the Philly Arena to take a split decision win. Later that year on November 20th he would get a title fight losing a disputed decision to Victor Galindez, 47-6-4, for his WBA Light Heavyweight title in Italy. He got knocked down in the fifth round which seemed to make the difference in the scoring losing by a point on two cards and by two points on the other. Galindez would lose his title less than a year later to Philly trained Mike “The Jewish Bomber” Rossman from Turnersville, NJ.
Muhammad would go onto win thirteen of his next fourteen fights only losing to James Scott at the Rahway State Prison. On March 31, 1980, he would win the WBA Light Heavyweight title stopping Marvin Johnson. His first defense was against Philly’s Jerry “The Bull” Martin, 19-1, who he stopped in the tenth round.
After Muhammad lost his title to Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Spinks in July of 1981 he would return to Philly one more time defeating Pablo Paul Ramos, 20-3-1, at the Spectrum.
Today Would Have Been Muhammad Ali’s 76th Birthday
By: Ken Hissner
In 1960 a brash young boxer from Louisville, KY, came on the scene. Cassius Clay won the National AAU light heavyweight title defeating Roy Ector at 0:55 of the third and last round in Louisville.
In the Golden Gloves he won the Inter-city title April 7th defeating Joe Reynolds in Toledo, OH. He qualified for the Olympic Trials. He won the Eastern Regional defeating Henry Cooper by TKO2 at 2:49 in Louisville. In the Trials he would go onto defeat Fred Lewis by DEC and Allen Hudson by TKO 3 in San Francisco. In the finals he defeated Yvon Because TKO 2 at 1:50 in Rome. He had competed at heavyweight but lost to Percy Price of the Marine Corp out of Philadelphia so he was allowed to compete at light heavyweight.
In the Olympic Games in Rome Clay defeated Genadiy Schatkov, Australian’s Tony Madigan and for the Gold Medal he defeated 3-time European Champion Zbigniew Pietrzkowski of Poland. The world now was his as he would turn professional in October of 1960. There have been different records shown for him such as 134-7, 137-7, 99-8 and 61-6.
There have been reports Clay lost in 1955 to James Davis in the Novice GG tourney. In the same year he lost to John Hampton. In 1957 he lost to Donnie Hall by split decision. He lost to Terry Hodge by TKO1. He lost to Jimmy Ellis whom he would split with, in the amateurs.
In 1958 Clay was TKO by 2 Kent Green. At the Pan Am Games he lost to Amos Johnson in the semis. Percy Price was the last to defeat him in the Olympic Trials. That’s at least seven losses. Some reported he ended up 100-7.
He would turn professional in October of 1964 and win his first nineteen bouts earning him a Championship bout with Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston. Clay would win the title when Liston couldn’t go on after six rounds. The fight was even with each boxer getting a vote and the other judge a draw. After this fight he announced he had joined the Islamic faith and would be called Muhammad Ali.
A rematch was scheduled just three months later with Ali delivering the “phantom punch” knocking out Liston at 2:12 of the first round. This fight has always been under scrutiny asking did Liston take “a dive?”
Ali would go onto win the title three times after losses. His final record was 56-5 with 37 knockout wins. He only lost once by stoppage. As a husband he lost three times before being married a fourth and last time.
Ali became quite a humanitarium. In 1990 he went to Iraq where their President Saddam Hussein allowed him to bring back fifteen American hostages. This in itself was remarkable.
So on January 17th of 2018 Ali would have celebrated his 76th birthday! Long live the memory of the “Greatest!”
Why Some of Boxing’s Most Famous Fighters Don’t Belong in the Hall of Fame
By: Patrick Mascoe
Being great and being famous are two very different things. However, one of the characteristics that often go along with greatness is fame. Sometimes being famous leads to the assumption that one is great, but they are not one and the same. For example, when a baseball player is inducted into Cooperstown there is certain unwritten criterion that the player is expected to achieve. In a sense, baseball has deemed that certain numbers quantify one as being great. It may be 3000 hits or 500 home runs. In hockey, 500 goals will get you into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In these sports, excitement, charisma, and entertainment value do not define greatness – statistics do.
Entry into the International Boxing Hall of Fame is a lot more subjective. Statistics are still important, but charisma, courage, and bravery are also highly valued. As a result, not every boxer in the International Boxing Hall of Fame was great. Some were just very good. What allows them to be mentioned, in the same breath as the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Louis, are their intangibles.
Statistics can not measure a man’s will to win or his ability to take a punch. They don’t gage fan excitement or exhilaration. For example, Floyd Mayweather is a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. He exhibited greatness in the ring, was a multiple world champion, and remained undefeated throughout his career. Mayweather also possessed God-given talent that made it hard for the average fan to relate to.
When he clashed with Arturo Gatti, Mayweather made him look like an amateur fighter. Yet it was Gatti who could sell out venues and made every fight must-see-TV. The technically superior Mayweather was labelled “boring.” We as fans could relate to the Arturo Gatti’s of the world. We saw him labour and could appreciate his bravery and his tenacity. Floyd is boxing royalty while Gatti was boxing’s common man. Floyd Mayweather was great. Arturo Gatti was good, but made us feel great.
Arturo Gatti was not a great fighter. Nevertheless, in 2012 he was enshrined into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Gatti was not the only good fighter to enter the Hall. Other fighters also captured our attention. They shined so bright, we were mesmerized and captivated by their talents but failed to see their inefficiencies.
Here is my countdown of boxers who were very good, but not great, who rode a wave of excitement and adulation into the International Boxing Hall of Fame:
5. Matthew Saad Muhammad: In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Matthew Saad Muhammad was one of the most exciting fighters in boxing. He held the WBC World Light Heavyweight title from 1979 – 1981 and defended it eight times. He finished his career with a record of 49 wins, 16 losses and 3 draws. He was known as an all-action fighter, who was incredibly resilient. Just when it looked like he was on the verge of defeat, he would mount a magical comeback and win.
Muhammad was an excellent finisher and possessed considerable power. His one substantial weakness was his permeable defence. He fought every match as if he were working out on a heavy bag: all offense – no defence. His style made him fun to watch, but it also made him very easy to hit. Every fight, no matter how strong or weak the opposition, was a life and death struggle.
When we break down what Muhammad did in the ring, you have to wonder why he is in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. First of all, he lost a quarter of his fights. Yes, eight of his losses came at the end of his career, but they are still losses. Almost twenty fights into his professional career; he was still being matched against fighters with losing records. Even after winning a world title and right up to his retirement, he fought boxers with losing records.
Muhammad did defend his title eight times. However, none of those title challengers stood out as being exceptional. In one of his most illustrious fights, in 1980, against Yaqui Lopez, he was hit with twenty unanswered punches. He was on the verge of having the fight stopped, only to come back and knock out Lopez in the 14th round. Ring Magazine declared it the “Fight of the Year.” Yaqui Lopez was a solid fighter but he was a fighter who, during his career, challenged for a world title five times and lost all five fights.
The only truly great fighter Muhammad ever faced was Dwight Muhammed Qawi. They fought twice. Qawi won the first match and took Muhammad’s Light Heavyweight Title by way of a ten round TKO. In the return match, Qawi won again, this time in six.
Muhammad defeated a number of good fighters, but he never beat a great fighter. Many of his victories were against weaker competition and when he did fight good fighters, he had his hands full. He also lost 16 times during his career. Did he have the heart of a champion? Was he entertaining? Was he incredibly courageous? Yes. Yes. Yes. Was he a great fighter? No.
4. Arturo Gatti: He was known as an absolutely fearless all-action fighter. Much like Matthew Saad Muhammad, Gatti had a supernatural ability to endure punishment while always pressing forward. He held the IBF Jr. Lightweight Title from 1995-1998 and the WBC Super Lightweight Title from 2004-2005. He retired with a record of 40 – 9.
Gatti was involved in the Ring’s “Fight of the Year” on four different occasions. He defeated Gabriel Ruelas, was defeated by Ivan Robinson, and had both a victory and a loss against Micky Ward. These fights were character defining, monumental battles for Gatti, but the men he faced were themselves not great boxers. They were like him, good solid professionals.
His will, power, and iron chin always made him a formidable opponent. However, he was easy to hit and was often out-boxed even in victory. In Gatti’s first defence of his IBF Junior Lightweight Title against Wilson Rodriguez, he was completely schooled and had been taking a hellacious beating before coming back to stop Rodriguez in a desperation finish. Against Angel Manfredy, another good fighter, but never a champion, Gatti was again completely out boxed and the fight was stopped in the eighth round.
When Gatti actually faced Hall of Fame level competition, he came up considerably short. He fought Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather. Neither fight was even close. Against Oscar, the fight was stopped in five rounds and against Floyd, the fight was stopped in six. These outcomes showed that although Arturo was a great fighter to watch, he simply did not posses the same calibre of skill as the elite fighters of the day.
Arturo Gatti may very well have been one of the most exciting fighters of his generation. He possessed a great chin, great power, and a great heart. Despite those valiant qualities, he was not one of the all-time greatest boxers in history.
3. Ray Mancini: If you judged Mancini only by his boxing style, you would swear that he and Arturo Gatti came from the same family. Like Gatti, Mancini was an in your face, aggressive pressure fighter. He had decent power and a granite chin. Whatever he lacked in skill, he made up for with unbelievable heart. Mancini held the WBA Lightweight Title from 1982-1984 and retired with a record of 29 – 5.
Mancini garnered national attention, not only for his entertaining fighting style, but because of a heart-rending background story. His father, veteran boxer Lenny “Boom Boom” Mancini, missed his opportunity to fight for a world title because of WWII. Ray, who idolized his father, took up boxing with the idea that he could finish what his father had started.
After compiling a 20-0 record, Mancini was given the opportunity to fight for a world title. Unfortunately, it was against Hall of Famer Alexis Arguello, arguably one of the greatest boxers of his era. Mancini fought bravely and took the fight to Arguello, but was eventually stopped in the 14th round. For the media and for boxing fans, this only made Mancini’s story more compelling. He won his next two fights and was again given a title shot, this time against Arturo Frias for the WBA Lightweight Title.
Mancini stopped Frias in the first round after almost being stopped himself. His fairy tale life story had now taken on the happy ending that all fans had wished for. Along with being a good fighter, Mancini always appeared to be a genuinely good guy. He went on to defend his title four times against the likes of Ernesto Espana, Duk-koo Kim, Orlando Romero, and Bobby Chacon and fought two non-title fights against George Feeney and Johnny Torres. Bobby Chacon was the only recognizable fighter Mancini faced as champion, and he was a natural featherweight who had moved up in weight for this fight. This would be Mancini’s last professional victory.
Eventually, Mancini lost his title, as well as a rematch to Livingston Bramble. He then lost bouts to Hector Camacho and Greg Haugen before retiring. Mancini was both exciting and entertaining. During his career he faced off against three Hall of Famers. He lost to two of them and defeated one. Mancini’s sentimental story was greater than his skills. I can’t help but think that without the story, he wouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame. Instead, he would be regarded as being very similar to the likes of Vinny Pazienza, an entertaining fighter who is on the outside of the Hall looking in.
2. Prince Naseem Hamed: He was known for his elaborate ring entrances, his unorthodox boxing style, and his one punch knock out power. Nassem reigned as the WBO Featherweight Champion from 1995 – 2000. He retired from boxing with an impeccable record of 36-1. Always a polarizing figure, some feel he was one of the greatest featherweights of all time, while others including his former promoter see him as one of boxing’s greatest underachievers.
Prince Naseem’s story is not about what he accomplished, but rather about what he never tried to accomplish. He defended his WBO Title a total of fifteen times. This was back in a time when the WBO was even more insignificant than it is now. His resume of title defences was a who’s who of no-name, average fighters; Said Lawal, Daniel Alicea, Remigio Molina, Tom Johnson, and Jose Badillo. Prince Naseem never fought the best fighters available at the time of his reign. The fighters he never faced tell us more about him than the fighters he defeated; Azumah Nelson, Jeff Fenech, Gabriel Ruelas, Arturo Gatti, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Diego Corrales, and Johnny Tapia.
Prince Naseem fought the vast majority of his fights in the UK, where fans obviously seemed unbothered by the lack of aggressive matchmaking. It was only when he came to the United States that the Prince was really tested. He knocked out a very good opponent in Kevin Kelly in the 4th round of their epic battle at Madison Square Gardens. Despite the victory, Kelly was able to expose Naseem’s defensive shortcomings as he put him on the canvas three times.
In 2001, Prince Naseem finally engaged in a high profile fight against a world-class opponent, Marco Antonio Barrera. Barrera had agreed to move up in weight in order to fight the larger Naseem. How did the Prince fare against a legitimate Hall of Fame fighter? He was given a complete boxing lesson. Not only did Barrera beat Prince Naseem physically, it looked like he beat the will to fight right out of him. When Barrera lost to Junior Jones, he demanded an immediate rematch. When he lost to Erik Morales he came back and fought him two more times. What did Prince Naseem do after losing to Barrera? He fought someone named Manuel Calvo, was booed by his hometown fans for his poor performance, and never boxed again.
Prince Naseem was far more flash than substance. Yes, he had a great record, but so did Butterbean. It’s not his many victories over subpar opponents that we should measure him by. It is his one loss and all the fighters he avoided that really define his legacy. Yes, he was famous, more for his ring entrances than anything else. That should get him on “Dancing with the Stars”, but not in the Boxing Hall of Fame.
1. Mike Tyson – From 1985 – 2005, Mike Tyson was the biggest name in boxing. Much like Prince Naseem, Tyson was a polarizing figure, both inside and outside of the ring. Once dubbed “the baddest man on the planet”, Tyson was the Heavyweight Champion from 1986-1990 and again in 1996. He was an intimidating force who possessed great power and fought like a ravenous predator. Tyson was well on his way to greatness. He became the youngest man ever to hold the heavyweight title and by February 10, 1990, he had a record of 37-0 with 33 knock outs.
Dramatically, the very next day, everything would change for Tyson and his cloak of invincibility would be shredded by Buster Douglas. Douglas was a tall rangy fighter with an excellent jab. He was a skilled fighter who often lacked motivation, yet against Tyson he refused to be intimidated. Despite being a 42-1 underdog, Douglas knocked Tyson out in the 10th round. It was at this point in his career that Tyson’s quest for greatness ended. No longer the intimidating figure he once was, his life began to fall apart.
He engaged in, and won two tough fights against Razor Ruddock. Then in July of 1991, he was arrested and convicted of rape. He spent the next three years incarcerated at the Plainfield Correctional Facility. Upon his release, he returned to the ring and defeated Frank Bruno to become the WBC Heavyweight Champion. The victory helped set up a much anticipated and long awaited fight against Evander Holyfield.
Going into the Holyfield fight, Tyson was considered a heavy favourite. Evander Holyfield was 34 years old and was thought to be washed up. Much like Buster Douglas, Holyfield was not apprehensive about facing Iron Mike and his celebrated reputation. By the end of the night, it was Holyfield’s reputation that had been boosted after stopping Tyson in the 11th round.
Their immediate rematch lasted only three rounds. Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear not once, but twice and was subsequently disqualified. This was the action of a man who chose quitting over fighting. As a result of his actions, Tyson had become a pariah. Numerous boxing commissions refused to grant him a license to box. In 2002, in Pyramid Arena in Memphis, Tyson once again challenged for the heavyweight title. This time he faced off against Lennox Lewis. Lewis dominated the match, winning by knockout in the 8th.
Throughout his career, Tyson fought four Hall of Fame fighters. He defeated Michael Spinks, a great light heavyweight masquerading as a heavyweight and a well past his prime Larry Holmes, who came out of retirement for an appealing pay cheque. He was thoroughly beaten by Lennox Lewis and lost to Evander Holyfield twice – once by knockout and once by disqualification (which was nothing more than a way to quit rather than being knocked out again).
Why is Mike Tyson in the Hall of Fame? The most memorable thing he ever did in a ring was to bite a man’s ear off. Tyson had a great start to his career however, along the way he was exposed as nothing more than a bully and a quitter. Tyson did not just quit against Holyfield. He also quit in the last fight of his career against journey man boxer Kevin McBride. Tyson could have been great; in the end I don’t believe he was even one of the top three best heavyweight fighters of his era. Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, and Riddick Bowe were all superior to Tyson.
In conclusion, all five fighters mentioned on this list had one thing in common; they were aggressive warriors that endeared themselves to boxing fans. They were all great to watch, but they themselves were not necessarily great. Based on the intangible qualities of courage, bravery, and determination, I believe there is an argument to be made on behalf of Matthew Saad Muhammad, Arturo Gatti, and Ray Mancini, being in the Hall of Fame. However, there should be no room in the Boxing Hall of Fame for imposters like Prince Naseem Hamad and quitters like Mike Tyson, no matter how famous they were.
Muhammad Ali Beat Four Olympic Gold Medalists
Muhammad Ali Beat Four Olympic Gold Medalists
By: Ken Hissner
At a boxing event in Atlantic City recently top boxing judge Steve Weisfeld asked “who beat four Olympic Gold Medalists?” About 15 minutes later he told me who it was.
In the 1960 Olympic Boxing Trials Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali boxed in the heavyweight division and lost to Percy Price of the Marines. Ali was able to then drop down to Light Heavyweight and made the team and went onto win the Gold Medal in Rome, Italy.
Upon turning professional he converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. During his career he would go onto defeat four Olympic Gold Medalists starting with 1952 winner Floyd Patterson, 43-4. Ali entered the ring at 21-0. It was November 22nd in 1965. Ali was making his second title defense at the Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Ali was well ahead when the contest was stopped in the 12th of a 15 round fight. Referee Harry Krause was one of the voting judges in addition to being the referee. He had it 53-46 while Harold Buck had it 54-45 and Bill Stremmell 53-43.
On March 8th 1971 Ali in his third comeback fight took on the world champion who won Gold in 1964 “Smokin” Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This writer had it 7-6-1 going into the 15th and final round when Frazier knocked Ali down to take the decision by scores of 8-6 in rounds from referee Arthur Mercante, 9-6 by Artie Aidala and 11-4 by Bill Recht.
On March 20th 1972 Ali and Patterson had a return match with Ali stopping him in the 7th round on cuts for the North American Boxing Federation title at Madison Square Garden. At the time of stoppage referee and judge Arthur Mercante had it 6-1, Jack Gordon 4-2 and Tony Castellano 3-3.
On January 28th of 1974 Ali had his second fight with Frazier, 30-1, for the NABF title at Madison Square Garden. Referee and judge Tony Perez had it 6-5, Tony Castellano 7-4 and Jack Gordon 8-4.
On October 30th of 1974 Ali would regain the world title for a record third time defeating then champion “Big” George Foreman, 40-0 stopping him in the 8th round in what was called “the Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire, Africa. Scores at the time of stoppage were 4-2-1 by referee and judge Zack Clayton, 3-0-4 Norridine Adalla and 4-1-2 by James Taylor.
On October 1st 1975 Ali and Frazier, 32-2, would have their third fight called “the Thrilla in Manila” where Ali stopped Frazier at the end of the 14th round.
On February 15th 1978 Ali lost his world title to 1976 Olympic Gold Medalists Leon Spinks, 6-0-1, at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Lou Tabat had it 145-140, Harold Buck 144-141 for Spinks and Art Lurie 143-142 for Ali.
On September 15th 1978 in their rematch Ali re-won the title at the Superdome in New Orleans, LA, before 63,350 in attendance. Lucien Lubert had it 10-4, Ernie Cojoe 10-4 and Herman Preis 11-4.
More Boxing History
The Two Questionable Wins of Muhammad Ali
By: Ken Hissner
Muhammad “I Am the Greatest” Ali was the most colorful athlete this writer has ever seen. In person he was one of the funniest person’s I have ever met. He should be in anyone’s top five greatest heavyweights (third in mine). He brought back fifteen American hostages in 1990 from Sadam Hussein’s Iraq. He was the first heavyweight champion to regain the title three times. He was 56-5-1 with 37 knockouts. He reversed three of those five losses in rematches. He defeated nine opponents who would be or were champions.
This writer could go on and on and on raving about Ali, but two fights that have always been under suspicion were his fight in February 1964 and especially in May of 1965. At the Miami Convention Center in February of 1964 he was a very lopsided underdog when he challenged the mean and hard hitting champion Sonny Liston, 35-1.
Ali was 19-0 and talking trash to Liston who most likely was controlled by the mob. Liston would retire at the end of the sixth round giving Ali his world title. There was a moment during the fight that Ali had some kind of ointment in his eyes and wanted to quite but his trainer Angelo Dundee made sure he went out in the next round.
There have been tales of say vaseline ointment that was either on Liston’s gloves or possibly on his should pulling Ali into a clinch. Ali had problem seeing and went out and ran around the ring until it cleared up.
Another story had it that the mob used a baseball bat whacking Liston’s upper left arm so he couldn’t use his powerful jab for long. Liston’s left eye was just about closed and he wasn’t landing any jabs prior to quitting in the corner. We can give Ali the possible win in this one.
The rematch in May of 1965 in Lewiston, MA, was a different story. This writer talked to Liston’s valet in “Smokin” Joe Frazier’s Philadelphia gym and was told “we pulled up to a traffic light just outside of the facility holding the fight (he was not driving but riding shotgun) when these two kids were pointing to the back seat laughing. When I turned around Liston was sweating so bad it was very noticeable even to the two kids. I knew the fix must be in. The money on both fights betting on Ali had to be big.
At 2:12 of the first round what his trainer Dundee called “the Phantom punch” was landed by Ali while pulling back hitting Liston on the jaw with a right hand and down Liston went. He was rolling all over the canvas while former heavyweight champion “Jersey” Joe Walcott who was the referee started and then stopped counting only to start counting again due to Ali standing over Liston telling him “get up you bum!” Ali not being a one punch knockout artist we all thought couldn’t have knocked out Liston with one punch.
Just six months after Liston’s last fight in June of 1970 defeating Chuck Wepner on cuts (57 stitches) he was found dead with needle marks in his arm obviously from an overdose. The thing was Liston had a fear of needles. Was he going to “tell all” about the Ali fights and the mob had to silence him?
The questions have gone on and on for over fifty years about that second fight Ali had with Liston. Few boxing people would tell you the fight was on the up and up. Liston had only be stopped in his previous fight with Ali for the first time in his career.
We may never know how both Ali and Liston fights came to an end but that’s boxing for you. Many people felt Ali was the greatest of all time. At least in the heavyweight division. How about you?
More Boxing History
Was Muhammad Ali The Most Colorful Athlete in Sports History?
By: Ken Hissner
This writer started searching all sports most colorful athletes and they stood out at other sporting events when they showed up. It’s no secret a boxing writer would think it was a boxer is it?
Baseball had the New York Yankee’s Babe Ruth the man who pointed to the right field area and put a homerun over the right field fence. Rickey Henderson stole 1,406 bases in the major leagues which was certainly one of the most exciting moves in baseball. Then there was “Charley Hustle” named Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial and Satchel Paige.
In football there was Joe Namath showing up in his fur coat after predicting a Super Bowl win. Deion Sanders was a two sport star as was Bo Jackson in football and baseball. Jim Thorpe and “Red” Grange the Galloping Ghost were among others.
The Jockeys are Eddie Arcaro, Willie Shoemaker and John R. Velazquez. In Weight Lifting Paul Anderson and Pirros Dimas In basketball there was Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain, “Pistol” Pete Maravich, Bob Cousy, “Majic” Johnson, Michael Jordan, Julius “Doctor J” Irving, Kobie Bryant and Lebron James.
Tennis had Jimmy Connors, Billy Jean King and John McEnroe. In track and fields were Jesse Owens, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Carl Lewis, Richard Fosbury and Usain Bolt. In swimming there was Mark Spitz, Johnny Weismuller and Michael Phelps. In auto racing ?, in gymnastics Soviet’s Larisa Latynina, Nadia Comaneci, Olga Korbut and Mary Lou Retton. College Wrestling Dan Gable. In Pro Wrestling remember Gorgeous George, Ricky Starr, Haystack Calhoun, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Andre the Giant and Dwayne Johnson.
In Golf are Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Sammy Snead, Tiger Woods and Lee Trevino. Auto racing A.J. Foyt, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Jordan, Mario Andretti and Cale Yarborough. In Ice hockey there wasWayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux, Maurice Richard and Bobby Hull.
In MMA Conor McGregor, Dana White, Frank Shamrock, Bill “Superfoot” Wallace, Royce Graci, B.J. Penn and Tito Ortiz. Others are Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, Joe Lewis and Jackie Chan.
And in boxing Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, John L. Sullivan, Joe Louis, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, “Sugar” Ray Leonard, “Kid” Gavilan, Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran, Max Baer, “Two-Ton” Tony Galento, Benny Leonard, Archie Moore, Hector “Macho” Camacho and of course none other than the winner “Muhammad Ali” as the “Most Colorful Athlete of All Time!” I know I missed many but all mentioned were certainly some of the most colorful!
More Boxing History
Why Do Boxers Like Muhammad Ali Continue Boxing Too Long?
By: Ken Hissner
There have been some great boxers that have continued boxing too long such as Muhammad Ali. Was it money or more stardom or just what that causes boxers to continue when they are no longer the boxer they once were?
In Ali’s case he was 29-0 when he had his license suspended for refusal going into the service. His last fight was March of 1967 defending his WBA world heavyweight title and defeating contender Zora Folley 74-7-4 at Madison Square Garden. It would be 43 months before he returned to the ring in October of 1970 stopping Jerry Quarry 37-4-4 in Atlanta, GA. In his next fight he stopped Oscar Bonavena, 46-6-1, for the vacant NABF title at Madison Square Garden. It was the only time Bonavena was stopped in a sixty-eight fight career.
Wins over Quarry and Bonavena set the stage to re-gain his title from WBA & WBC champion “Smokin” Joe Frazier, 26-0 at Madison Square Garden in March of 1971. This writer had scored the bout 7-6-1 going into the fifteenth and final round in favor of Frazier. The two judges and referee Arthur Mercante had Frazier ahead at the end of the fight. In rounds Mercante had it 8-6-1 the same as this writer with Ali getting knocked down in the final round.
While Ali was under suspension his former Louisville, KY, friend Jimmy Ellis entered a WBA tournament in August of 1967 defeating Leotis Martin, Oscar Bonavena and Jerry Quarry to win the WBA title. After a defense defeating Floyd Patterson he went on to fight Frazier for the vacant WBC title and was stopped losing his WBA title. After coming back scoring three wins Ellis would meet Ali would for the vacant NABF title in July of 1971 with Ali stopping Ellis. Both had been trained by Angelo Dundee and Dundee chose to work in the corner of Ellis which would be the only time Dundee was not in Ali’s corner.
Ali would go onto win ten straight including the win over Ellis before losing to Ken Norton while suffering a broken jaw in March of 1973. Ali would win the re-match with Norton six months later to re-gain the NABF title. Two months later at Madison Square Garden in January of 1974 Ali would defeat Frazier who had lost his world titles to George Foreman.
In Ali’s next fight some nine months later he would re-gain the WBA & WBC titles stopping Foreman in October of 1974 in what was called “The Rumble in the Jungle”. Ali would go onto defend his title three times before having a third match with Frazier entitled “The Thrilla in Manila”. Ali would retain his titles when Frazier couldn’t come out for the last round in one of the greatest heavyweight title fights in the history of title fights in that division.
Ali would go onto defend his title six times before taking on 1976 Olympic Gold Medalist Leon Spinks who only had seven fights sporting a 6-0-1 record. It was February of 1978 when Ali would lose his titles by split decision to Spinks. In their re-match in September Ali would defeat Spinks in their rematch regaining his WBA title. This is when this writer felt it was time for Ali at age 36 to retire. Ali’s cut-man Ferdie Pacheco chose not to again work Ali’s corner claiming it was time for Ali to retire.
This writer was at Ali’s training camp in Deer Lake, PA, when Ali decided to continue his career and face his former sparring partner Larry “The Easton Assasin” Holmes, 35-0, some twenty-five months later. After being off for that time period I questioned Ali why he was fighting Holmes by saying “look at you (fat). You and Max Baer had two of the greatest physics among the heavyweight champions so why would you continue by fighting Holmes? He replied while rubbing his large stomach saying “I like my ice cream”. Ali would go onto lose for the first and only time in his career by stoppage against Holmes losing the WBC title he had retained over that two year period. The writing had been on the wall that Ali was not the Ali of old and should have never taken this fight.
It would be fourteen months later when Ali took but another fight in the island in Nassau losing to former WBC world champion Jamaican Trevor Berbick, 19-2-1, in December of 1981 in what would be his final appearance in the ring. It was a career for Ali from October of 1960 after winning the Olympic Gold Medal in Rome in the light heavyweight division until December of 1981 over some twenty-one years. His final record was 56-5, 37 wins by stoppage, some nineteen successful title defenses and regaining the world title a record three times.
Even the greatest boxer pound for pound “Sugar” Ray Robinson hung in there much to long let alone his good friend whom I consider the greatest heavyweight of all time “The Brown Bomber” Joe Louis who turned to wrestling after doing all those free shows for the military only to have the IRS bring him down.
Robinson was 129-1-2 when he lost to Randy Turpin in the UK. He ended up 174-19-6 which means he was 45-18-4 after winning the rematch with Turpin. Too many overseas fights and losing his fourth time to Ralph “Tiger” Jones you knew it was time to call it quits.
Louis had 25 successful title defenses which is still a record among heavyweights. Between 1942 and 1946 when he entered the Army he had one “exhibition” which was considered an official fight. He came back and was never the same. He won four straight and lost to Ezzard Charles. Then he won eight straight ending his career being stopped by Rocky Marciano. He was broke from losing money on the golf course among other things. Frank Sinatra bailed him out making him a “greeter” in Las Vegas.
What a way for “The Brown Bomber” to end!
More Boxing History
“Fight Doctor” Ferdie Pacheco Dead at 89 – Ali’s Personal Physician
By: Ken Hissner
One of the most known corner men as Muhammad Ali’s cut-man Ferdie Pacheco passed away today November 16th in Miami, FL, where he lived passing at the age of 89.
Pacheco worked the corner of Ali from 1962 to 1977 when he got a medical report that Ali was having kidney failure and was not in the corner for Ali’s last four fights of which he lost three of them. When Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2002 he met with Pacheco and simply said “you was right!”
Pacheco was married to Luisita and they had three daughters and one son. He was brought up in what was the immigrant community Ybor City in Tampa. He was Spanish-Cuban and his father a pharmacist. Pacheco was bilingual and an artist and author.
Pacheco received his bachelor degree from University of Florida and his medical degree from the University of Miami. In attending boxing matches in Miami he met Chris Dundee the promoter who introduced him to his brother Angelo Dundee the trainer of Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali. Angelo offered him free passes to the fights if he would “stitch” up his fighters and Pacheco accepted.
Pacheco was also a TV boxing analyst for NBC and Univision. He became Showtime’s featured boxing analyst in the early 1980’s and continued doing this until his retirement in the early 1990’s.
The “Fight Doctor” Ferdie Pacheco dead at 89 but will be long remembered as Muhammad Ali’s personal physician and cut-man.
Was Muhammad Ali a Draft Dodger or a Hero?
By: Ken Hissner
In April of 1967 Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay refused to take the oath to enter the military. He questioned why he should go to Viet-Nam and kill brown people who did him no harm
New York Jet quarterback Joe Namath avoided induction because “I have bad knees!” An NFL QB who puts his body on the line every time he goes onto the field?
In August of 1964 Bill Clinton registers for the draft. In September he enters Georgetown University. In November he is classified 2-S receiving a student deferment. February of 1968 the Johnson Administration did away with deferments for college students. The same LBJ who kept the war in Viet-Nam going as his wife Lady Byrd received monies for any damaged rubber trees in Viet-Nam as owner in part of Michelin Tires per “About Face” book by Col. Hackworth.
August of 1969 Clinton classification changed to 1-D as he nears entering the ROTC at University of Arkansas of which he never entered but to kill draft notice. He goes to UK as a Rhodes Scholar and while there organizes and led anti-war demonstrations in London. He went as far as going to Russia to avoid draft.
In 1990 Muhammad Ali flies to Iraq to meet with Iraq President Saddam Hussein.
The bottom line was Ali was granted the release of 15 hostages to bring back to the US. If Ali was in the military at the time he would have received the Medal of Honor.
President Obama refers to this as Ali bringing home 14 hostages. That’s still 14 or 15 more than he or any other President brought back. Paying $400,000 each for 4 hostages didn’t count with most of us Americans. No one ever paid for hostages by Islamic terrorists or Communist parties. “Was Ali a Draft Dodger or a Hero?”
This writer served in the US Army from 1965-1967. I didn’t like for those who were avoiding the draft by deferments or going to Canada at the time. My orders to Ft. Dix, NJ, would most likely have sent me to Viet-Nam. The night I was leaving for leave prior to reporting for duty at Ft. Dix I was told “Hissner, you must be a good typist, you lucky you staying here”. Here I thought? In this redneck south? I arrived in June of 1965 a New York Yankee fan and was referred to as a “damn Yankee”. I replied “what’s your problem, they got a good baseball team!”
His reply was “we ain’t talkin about a baseball team. We talking about you!” Me? I spent 2 miserable years at Ft. Jackson, SC, and fought with the rednecks the whole time until release. Then in October of 1967 went “from the frying pan into the fire and got married!
No, Vasyl Lomachenko Is “Not Already the Greatest Ever”
By: Sean Crose
No, Vasyl Lomachenko is not, as some are saying “already the greatest ever.” At least the scant evidence available doesn’t indicate as much. If Lomachenko is, in fact, the best in history, it will be some time before any of us find out, anyway. For Lomachenko is still basically somewhat new at his job as a professional prizefighter. Oh, he’s made his mark, both in the amateurs and in the pro set, but a great boxer generally needs great challenges in order to be recognized as a legend, much less be recognized as the best who ever lived.
To date, Loma, as he’s called, has had one major pro challenge in the guise of rugged Orlando Salido. And Loma lost that one. While it’s true Salido played dirty before and during the match, a loss is still a loss. Besides, had Loma been more established as a pro fighter – it was only his second pro bout – he might have emerged the victor, regardless. After all, experienced fighters are more apt to know how to deal with the likes of Salido after a certain point in their development. The case of Salido, then, was nothing if not a case of biting off more than one could figuratively chew. An understandable mistake regarding the hype surrounding Loma, sure, but a mistake, nonetheless.
Even if that’s all in the past, though, Loma still has a ways to go before knocking, say, Ray Robinson, off his perch as the widely regarded all time best (or even Roy Jones Junior, for that matter). What Loma is at this point in his career, almost four years after his first pro fight, is a very established professional. And a very good one. He’s not, however, a guaranteed Hall of Famer, at least not as a professional ring tactician. Far from it. What Loma is – what he truly is – is an insanely promising fighter. Perhaps the most promising in history. Keep in mind, though, that many insanely promising fighters have fallen short of expectations. Adrien Broner is, in fact, only the most recent example of this.
To be fair, though, Loma is no Broner. This guys works hard. Incredibly hard. It even appears he views his craft like a mathematician views an equation. His training deals with both the physical as well as the cerebral aspects of the sport. That’s something worth noting. He’s also shown himself to be amazing in the ring. Just amazing. His angles. His footwork. His aggressiveness and finishing power. There’s a reason the 8-1 super featherweight titlist is so well regarded – because he deserves to be. Just don’t call him the greatest to ever lace up a pair of gloves. Not yet.
At least let him get by the 25-2 Miguel Marriaga this weekend in Las Angeles first.
The World Boxing Super Series Begins
The World Boxing Super Series Begins
By: Matthew N. Becher
Over the past weekend, the newly created World Boxing Super Series held its very first draft, for its very first tournament. The premise of the new tournament is an open competition for any professional boxer that is ranked in the top 15 of the major sanctioning bodies systems.
In theory the best fighters would face off against one another, until the last man was standing, thus making him the #1 boxer in that weight class. Simple. That is the easy part, the hard part is getting the best fighters to all participate in such a tournament, with everyone having different promoters and so forth. Fortunately, it seems to have worked out for the initial Cruiserweight Tournament.
The seeding of the tournament went as follows. The top 4 fighters were ranked 1-4 by the WBSS, with the four belt holders getting the top rankings.
1: Oleksander Usyk (WBO)
2: Murat Gassiev (IBF)
3: Mairis Briedis (WBC)
4: Yunier Dorticos (WBA)
Then from 1-4, the fighter was allowed to pick or draft his opponent from a group of 4 boxers, for their first round fight. (An exception was made for Gassiev, who had a mandatory against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. That fight was picked for him)
The first round of the tournament looks like this.
Oleksander Usyk (12-0 10KO) v. Marco Huck (40-4-1 27KO)
Murat Gassiev (24-0 17KO) v. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1 37KO)
Mairis Briedis (22-0 18KO) v. Mike Perez (22-2-1 14KO)
Yunier Dorticos (21-0 20KO) v. Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1 21KO)
Literally the best of the best in the Cruiserweight division will be competing against each other, until one is standing with all the belts, the inaugural Muhammad Ali Trophy and possibly a $1 million dollar bonus for advancing though semifinals and the championship round.
The tournament is slated to begin in early September and rap up by Mary of next year. The location of the fights have yet to be determined and will be placed in locations that match up well for each fight.
“To unify a division and spotlight a division that has clearly been underappreciated, even though the fights in the ring are always among the most exciting in the sport, irrespective of the division, that those four champions, if you look at the record – they are all undefeated. Most of their wins, the vast majority have come by knockout. So these are all big punchers, undefeated. I’m really excited,” said Richard Schaefer, the Chairman of the Americas for Comosa, who helped put this field together alongside fellow promoter Kalle Sauerland (the Chief Boxing Officer for Comosa).
This is a very exciting tournament for boxing and especially for the roll out of the new World Boxing Super Series. With formats like this, expect many division to start falling in line and possibly getting to see the best match up against the best in the near future.
Muhammad Ali’s Offer of a Million to “Sugar” Ray Robinson Rejected!
Muhammad Ali’s Offer of a Million to “Sugar” Ray Robinson Rejected!
By: Ken Hissner
It was after Muhammad Ali won the world title in 1964 over then champion Sonny Liston that he announced he had joined the Nation of Islam.
Considered by most historians as the greatest pound for pound boxer in the history of boxing was “Sugar” Ray Robinson the former welterweight and middleweight champion.
After winning the title Ali was invited to join Robinson on the island of Jamaica in 1965 as a celebrity trainer for one of Robinson’s fights. In March Robinson was fighting Philadelphia’s Jimmy Beecham in Kingston.
As the story goes there were two figures mentioned. Ali either offered Robinson a million dollars or $700,000 if he would become a Muslim. The money would come from Muslims donating $1.00 each. Robinson informed Ali that he could not accept such an offer being a Christian.
It’s been reported recently that the FBI has made public the racist remarks Ali made against white people. One thing not mentioned is that his trainer was Italian Angelo Dundee and his cut man a white Cuban named Ferdie Pacheco. Wali Muhammad was the assistant trainer along with Bundini Brown.
In December of 1990 Ali was responsible for bringing home 15 hostages from Iraq which included both black and white.
Pacheco would inject needles into Ali’s tender hands when Ali’s manager Herbert Muhammad requested he put a halt to it. Pacheco advised if he didn’t do this “Frazier would kick his ass!”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Wilder, Ali, Frazier, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Wilder, Ali, Frazier, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 25th to May 2nd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
“Mano-A-Mano: The Battle for Mexico” to Air on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes This Week Featuring Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
The Golden Boy Media and Entertainment production of “Mano-A-Mano: The Battle for Mexico” will air this week on ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes as part of the lead up to the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr.
“We are very excited to further our partnership with ESPN by having Mano-A-Mano air across the ESPN family of networks as part of the lead up to the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. mega fight on Saturday, May 6.
We’ve had a successful start to the Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN series, and this is just the next step in what we hope to be a long partnership with ESPN” said Oscar De La Hoya, executive producer of “Mano-A-Mano” and chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.
“Mano-A-Mano The Battle for Mexico” – Air Schedule:
• Monday, May 1 available on ESPN’s VOD Platforms
• Tuesday, May 2 at 8:30pm ET – ESPN Deportes
• Wednesday, May 3 11:30pm ET – ESPN 2
• Thursday, May 4 at 9:30pm ET – ESPN 2
• Friday, May 5 at 7:30pm ET – ESPN 2
“Mano-A-Mano” goes behind the scenes of the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. megafight as Golden Boy Media and Entertainment takes you into the camps of Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) as they prepare for their Saturday, May 6 showdown. “Mano-A-Mano” also features exclusive interviews with Canelo, Chavez, Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr., Eddy and Chepo Reynoso, as well as others from around the fighters’ fight camps and promotion.
“Golden Boy Media and Entertainment has established itself as a leader in boxing television production for live, scripted, and documentary programming,” said Golden Boy Media and Entertainment Executive Vice President David Tetreault. “Golden Boy’s new partnership with ESPN creates the foundation for new and exciting programming that boxing fans will truly appreciate as they gear up during Canelo-Chavez, Jr. fight week.”
Deontay Wilder Conference Call Highlights
American Heavyweight Champion hosted a media conference call prior to the fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua. Below are a few select quotes from the conference call.
“I love this fight for these guys. I love it for the sport of boxing. The fans seem to be well in-tune with it and I think this is a super fight for the heavyweight division.
“I can’t wait for it. I can’t wait to see what happens and hopefully those guys go in healthy and come out the same way. This is a very dangerous sport, especially when you’re trying to perform and put on a show.”
On what Wilder sees as vulnerabilities in Joshua..
“There’s a lot of flaws that Joshua has, but Joshua is still young in the game as well. A lot of people look at Joshua and they’re going off of his physique and they’re going off of the hype that their countryman has brought to them.
“If you really look deep down and soul search and look at his resume, with all of the guys he’s fought … that sometimes makes a person look busier than what he is. There’s a lot of flaws in all of us though, to be honest. Nobody will ever be perfect in the ring. We only try to be our best and that’s the only thing you should go off of.
“I am looking forward to this fight and I can’t wait. I want Klitschko to come in and fight. You can always be hyped for a big fight but it’s all going to boil down to what fighter is going to bring what to the fight. I think he’s ready and he’s going to show a lot of things. He’s going to teach Joshua a lot of different things in the ring, as well, and we’ll see if Joshua has any flaws or not.”
On potentially fighting the winner later this year…
“Hopefully. There are a lot of people that are involved in this. If it were just solely up to me then I’d be 1,000 percent confident, but it’s not just me. That’s what the fans want. I’ve been wanting to give the fans what they want my entire career. Unfortunately, I am one of those fighters that’s always getting the short end of the stick. I only can work with what I can work with.
“I am very confident that I am the best in this division. I am very confident that I will unify this division. I am very confident that I will retire on top, undefeated as well. I’m just waiting for my moment. I’ve been sitting patiently all of this time, even in the start of my career and I’m sitting patient now. I’m just looking forward to my turn.”
On why it’s important for him to be ringside in London…
“When you have guys that are competing against each other at the top, it’s only right for me to be there. I’m not just going out there to be on Sky Sports, I am for sure going there to scout. All the other heavyweights come to my fights. They’re not just there to be a fan. They’re there to scout and look for different openings and certain signs.
“I am definitely going over to scout. And maybe we can make a mega-unification bout.
“I want to go get [Joseph] Parker. Parker doesn’t have an opponent right now. I’m fresh. I’m ready and what would be better than me and Parker fighting for the unification and then have another unification where winner takes all at the end of the year? Then, 2018 you can start off the year with nothing but mandatories.
“The heavyweight division is getting exciting. This is the heavyweight division, and we’re already coming out of that dark place and we finally got light. Don’t take it back. Don’t go backwards when we’re moving so freshly forward. With that, I want to move it more forward. I want to give the fans what they want, and they want a unification. They want one champion and I’m trying to make that happen. So here I am Joseph Parker.”
Fans to Receive Exclusive Commemorative Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. Fight Poster at Movie Theaters Across the Country
On Saturday, May 6, fight fans watching the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. superfight on the big screen will also each receive an exclusive commemorative fight poster with the purchase of a ticket (while supplies last). The Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. poster, issued by Fathom Events, features both fighters against a Mexican flag backdrop ready to meet in the ring to settle their boxing feud once and for all.
Cinemas across the U.S. will play host to a Cinco de Mayo weekend mega-fight with a pulse-pounding live broadcast event featuring two of Mexico’s finest boxers: “Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.” in a historic showdown that will rival the biggest fights in Mexico’s rich boxing history. Former two-division world champion Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) will square off against former WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio César Chávez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) in a 12-round battle.
Presented by Fathom Events and Golden Boy Promotions, the one-day cinema broadcast is set for Saturday, May 6 at 6:00 p.m. PT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 8:00 p.m. CT / 9:00 p.m. ET, live from the sold-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Tickets for the “Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.” cinema event are on sale now at www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 250 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN).
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier Memorabilia on Steiner Sports Auction Block
When heavyweight immortals Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier squared off for the third time in 1975 in the Philippines, it climaxed a bitter rivalry in a fight that many, including The Ring Magazine, rank as the #1 Fight of All-Time. Steiner Sports Memorabilia is now offering fans a chance to own a piece of history with an original promotional poster from the “Thrilla in Manila,” hand-signed by both Ali and Frazier.
The “Spring Fever Auction” has over 1,600 collectibles, and this one is certainly one of the rarest. The poster is a lithograph of an original Leroy Neiman painting, and features both Hall of Fame boxers in the classic fighter’s stance. The opening bid on this piece of boxing history was $500, but after spirited bidding over the past several weeks – six bids to date – the action is at $1,302. Visit http://auction.steinersports. com/ to bid. The auction closes at 10:00 pm on May 6.
Contact: John Cirillo, firstname.lastname@example.org, Diego Isio, email@example.com
Other boxing memorabilia featured includes:
•Muhammad Ali Signed Boxing Trunks
•Muhammad Ali Signed Gloves
•Mike Tyson Signed WBO Championship Replica Belt
•Oscar de la Hoya Signed Boxing Glove
•Joe Frazier Signed Boxing Glove
•Manny Pacquiao Signed Photo
David Lemieux Media Workout Quotes
Fighting as the co-main event to Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr., Former IBF Middleweight Champion David Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs) makes quick return to the ring after spectacular knockout over Curtis Stevens in March to face tough Middleweight Contender Marco “Dorado” Reyes (35-4, 26 KOs) on May 6 at T-Mobile Arena, live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Below is what David Lemieux and his trainer had to say yesterday at their April 26 media day:
DAVID LEMIEUX, Former IBF Middleweight Champion:
“I’m in better shape than I was against Stevens. I only took a week off before heading back to the gym. I could not pass up the opportunity to fight on the May 6th card as the co-main event for Canelo vs. Chavez Jr., while all eyes will be on us. I love the Mexican fans who always put on a great atmosphere during the fights.
“Reyes is a solid opponent, but I am very confident in my abilities. I don’t think he will last long in the ring against me. I intend to make another statement on May 6.”
MARC RAMSAY, Trainer to David Lemieux:
“It’s going to be a good fight, especially in the early rounds. We are facing a bit of a kamikaze boxer, which we must take very seriously. You have to have a good defense and a good approach.
“When it comes to technique, David really is superior, so it’s going to have to show. He is very conscious of the extent of the importance of this fight.”
Jerome Conquest to Take on Daniel Perales in Co-Feature Bout on Friday, May 12th at the Sugarhouse Casino
Jerome Conquest will take on veteran Daniel Perales in the scheduled six-round super lightweight bout that will serve as the co-feature on Friday night, May 12th at The SugarHouse Casino
The show is promoted by King’s Promotions.
The bout will support the already announced main event that will pit Christopher Brooker (11-3, 5 KO’s) taking on Oscar Riojas (14-7-1, 4 KO’s) in a super middleweight bout scheduled for eight rounds.
Conquest of Philadelphia, has a record of 6-2 with one knockout, and will be making his first start in 2017.
The 31 year-old is a three-year professional, and trains out of the Joe Hand Boxing Gym under the tutelage of Wade and Randy Hinnant.
Conquest has a win over Christian Molina (4-1), and is coming off a close six-round unanimous decision defeat to Victor Vasquez on August 5, 2016 in Philadelphia, and I watched his most recent fight.
“I am happy to be back in the ring for the first time since my last fight in August. I am coming off a broken foot. I watched two of his fights. His fight against Damon Allen and I saw his last bout.. I think he is tough. He didn’t show too much in his last bout, but I know he is a tough guy, and I know he is not coming all the way from Mexico to get knocked out,” said Conquest
Perales of Monterrey, Mexico has a record of 10-9-1 with five knockouts.
The 25 year-old Perales is a six-year professional, and has faced some stiff competition.
He has faced six undefeated foes. Perales should be familiar to local fight fans, as he has dropped bouts to Frank De Alba and Damon Allen.
Perales has been on the wrong end of his last three fights with the latest being six-round unanimous decision defeat to Hector Tanajara on March 23rd in Indio, California.
Brooker of Philadelphia has a record of 11-3 with five knockouts.
The 25 year-old is known for taking on anyone at anytime.
The combined record of his last seven foes is a staggering 92-9-3, with Brooker winning five of those bouts, and Brooker has appeared on national television three times.
Brooker is a two-year professional, who already has wins over Leo Hall (8-0), John Magda (11-0), Antowyan Aikens (10-1-1), Gabriel Pham (6-0) & former world title challenger Elvin Ayala (28-7-1).
Brooker has dropped his last two bouts to Ronald Gavril (16-1) in a bout that Brooker was even on the scorecards before being stopped in the final round. On January 20th, Brooker dropped an eight-round unanimous decision to undefeated Ronald Ellis (13-0-1) in Atlantic City. That fight was shown live on ShoBox: The New generation.
Riojas of Monterrey, Mexico has a record of 14-7-1 with four knockouts.
The 33 year-old Riojas in a four year professional, who won his first 11 bouts. Like Brooker, Riojas has not shied from tough competition as the combined record of Riojas opponents that have defeated him are 81-1-2.
Riojas and Brooker have two common foes as Riojas has dropped fights to Gavril and Ellis.
Riojas is coming off a eight-round unanimous decision over Roberto Nafate on April 6 in Leon, Mexico.
Female Boxer Jackie Tonawanda: Body Guard for Ali at Deer Lake!
Female Boxer Jackie Tonawanda: Body Guard for Ali at Deer Lake!
By: Ken Hissner
Female boxer Jackie Tonawanda’s name was brought to this writer’s attention by NJ Boxing Commissioner Larry Hazzard on April 22nd at the boxing event held at the Claridge Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ.
There have been many articles pertaining to female boxer Jackie Tonawanda who was born Jackie Garrett on September 04, 1933 in New York and would later in life be a female body guard for heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali at his Deer Lake boxing training camp in PA. In June 9, 2009 she passed away at the age of 75 at the Mt. Siani Hospital in Harlem, NY.
Known as “Lady Ali” Tonawanda was 35-1 with 35 stoppages in the amateurs. Though there is no confirmation on it she had one six round professional match losing to a Diane Clark. At 5:09 and 123 lbs. she couldn’t have fought middleweight Clark posted on box rec.
Tonawanda had such trainers as David Vasquez and Freddie Brown. In 1975 she sued the New York Boxing Commission for not allowing female boxers to be issued professional boxing licenses per Ed Dooley who ran the commission. She was granted a license.
Tonawanda was a personal advisor for professional heavyweight Israel “King Kong” Garcia, 20-11 (13). In November of 2003 on Cedric Kushner’s Thunder Box Tournament held at Trump’s Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ, were 3 round bouts and Garcia defeated “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon but lost to Maurice Harris in semi-final.
Tonawanda was a member of New York’s Ring 8 Veteran Boxers Association. Former heavyweight title challenger Gerry Cooney also a member of Ring 8 knew her from her boxing beginnings and had high praise for her.
Muhammad Ali In Fat City History
Muhammad Ali In Fat City History
By: Jorge Martinez
Recent events have exposed fissures in our union and rocked our national identity. It is in this venue that I share the following story of two “Fat City” residents and Muhammad Ali. One is Mayor, Joan Darrah, the other is Ralph Lee White, a man she called, the most hated man in Stockton. Although not true, White is undoubtedly a controversial, outspoken and adversarial figure. Some might say he got rich by promoting unhealthy habits in the population. He has nevertheless played a pivotal role in the shaping of Stockton’s reputation. Ask the hundreds of people that line south Stockton streets to celebrate the end of slavery, a parade he funds without city support. This is also an unknown chapter in the life of Mohammad Ali, once known as “The Most Hated Man in America”. White was a civil rights advocate who served as a city councilman from 1971-87. Ralph’s challenges to the status quo embarrassed the Mayor. After self-described personal affronts Joan Darrah, stripped White of power by changing the city charter, specifically to prevent him from running for office. The sheer un-American-ness of this is stunning and remains a black mark on her legacy. The manipulation of the law is explained in her book that identifie as done for the greater good. See complete story in Boxing Heroes, 2016, Amazon.com
We must revisit another time of great uncertainty, the Vietnam War. Many rebelled against the draft and American foreign policies. One of these was Muhammad Ali, who inspired many young amateur boxers like myself. Suffering under the whip of Jim Crowe in the southwest, I dreamed of Olympic gold and a world title. I fought with an unrelenting desperate need to succeed, prepared to bleed and die if necessary. I was reaching for the stars that although shined brightly, were just beyond my reach. Without means of getting an education, I enlisted in the Army in 1971, and prepared for war in Vietnam against a people who as Ali said, “ I an’t got no fight with no Vietcong”. The gym was my church and boxing my religion. It saved me by releasing the fury that might have exploded destructively. As history records, Ali refused to serve and was arrested, held for a period, released and stripped of his title. Ali’s refusal sparked the country’s ire and he became “the most hated man in America”. The Viet Nam war ripped the country apart and intensified the divide that still affects our nation. The war eventually ended and a small measure of healing was obtained, meanwhile life in Stockton continued as usual.
Unimpressive in social improvements or economic growth, Joan Darrah’s tenure included the killing of Mr. Ramirez, victim of a mistaken SWAT invasion of his home. It also included The Cleveland Elementary School massacre in January of 1989 that rocked the nation. This was one of many school shootings to come and 28 years latter it’s still under investigation. The culprit was Patrick Edward Purdy a 26-year-old racist with a criminal record that used an AK-47 to kill five children and wound 31 others. It was the worse massacre of children in history before the 12-14-12 shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown Connecticut. Many questions remain as some believe Purdy had accomplishes. Interviews with a teacher at the event suggest there may have been another person who was not identified. Attempts to gain information via the Freedom of Information act were denied by the attorney general. My amateur sleuth research suggests Patrick Edward Purdy may have been a serial killer responsible for other murders across the country. This has been denied nor verified.
In her book, Darrah Joan Getting Political, QuillDriver Books 2003, 27, refers to Ralph as “ the star performer, clown, high flyer, and lion tamer in one, at the Monday Night Circus. (City council meetings) The story of White’s gradual transformation from respected and energetic young activist to a man many Stocktoinans saw as corrupt and self serving, unfolded over two decades from roughly 1966 to 1986 “. The pot calling the kettle black, Darrah conveniently forgot the rich typically use wealth to influence politics, like her husband Jim Darrah, a local judge. Without wealth or prestige Ralph Lee White, known as the most hated man in Stockton, recruited Mohammad Ali, the most hated man in America, to assist in a fundraiser. Something no one thought he could do. Although the mayor did not support the White-Ali Match at the University of the Pacific, nine hundred other people did. The event was an overwhelming success and raised thousands of dollars. An excited audience watched as Ali allowed Ralph Lee White to show off and kind enough to feign a knock down, on July 1, 1982. To his credit, Ali never rebutted Ralph’s claims of a real knock down. To my amazement Ralph still claimed it was real in 2016. Today, I am saying his retelling of the event is comical, amusing and intended as innocent humor. The fundraiser made Fat City Boxing history.
Surprising little has been said about Ali’s time in Stockton or this historical event. I accidently learned of it years later. The Mayor referred to it as a “staged fight”, not a public service. Her last attempt at regaining the spot light faded away with her cloudy legacy.
Mohammad Ali is gone and although Ralph Lee White has slowed down with age, yet continues, who knows what chapters remain unwritten. Like Ali, Ralph is full of life and surprises. He has rebuked several mayors including, Ed Chavez, Ann Johnston and current Mayor Michael Tubbs 2017. In retrospect, fundraisers have come and gone, but no one has matched White’s achievement of having Mohammad Ali come to Fat City. The infamous book Fat City, 1969 by Leonard Gardner, described Stockton as hopeless. Gardner unpardonably made the main antagonist white, which can only be interpreted as catering to his readership. It certainly has nothing to do with reality. White fighters in Stockton are a myth. There has not been a serious white contender from Fat City in my 30 years as a boxing journalist.
In 2016, famous, but never a champion Yaqui Lopez convinced the Spinks Brothers to visit Fat City to raise funds for his boxing program. Michael Spinks knocked out Yaqui Lopez in seven rounds in 1980. The event was mildly successful. Thanks to the gods of violent sports that give birth to a new crop of warriors, Fat City has never lacked for brawlers. Today, we have Nate and Nick Diaz, world-class UFC fighters. There are several up and coming boxers such Gabriel Flores, an international golden glove champion. Gabriel will make his professional debut on May 5, 2017 in Reno Nevada. I will cover the event live from ringside and bring details to Fat City. My ringside commendation will be made available to local radio stations throughout the central valley at no charge. I yearn for the days when average Americans knew the names of young lions that made history with their fists. The poorest of Fat City know what movie hero Rocky Balboa said, (paraphrase)” The world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean nasty place. Life isn’t about getting hit, its about how hard you can get hit, then get up and keep going forward, but you gotta be willing to take the hits.” I dream of a new TV reality series, like The Contender to help us along. As a former boxer, referee, amateur coach, professional trainer, promoter, sportswriter and finally author of Boxing Heroes, 2016. I got to say; Thank God for Boxing!
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