THE WAY IT WAS,
THE WAY IT IS,
THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.
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LOU DUVA 1922-2017
Famous Trainer Lou Duva has passed way at the age of 94, it has been learned. Lou began a career training in 1963 after a brief career as a professional boxer. He guided 19 champions, starting with the incomparable Joey Giardello, and other champions such as Pernell Whitaker, Evander Holyfield and Medrick Taylor. Duva died of natural causes.
Born in New York on May 28th 1922, Duva made his pro debut on June 23, 1942. It was an introduction to boxing that endured the growth of the sport and many famous moments. One moment came on St Patricks day, 1990 when his charge, Medrick Taylor was stopped with two seconds left in a bout with Julio Cesar Chavez. Duva charged after the referee and demanded the fight be concluded. Duva's persona was that of an honest grumpy old man that had your back.
Other fighters Duva managed and/or trained included Rocky Lockridge, Johnny Bumphus, Vinny Paz, and a host of many others.
Lou Duva Obituary: Legendary Boxing Trainer & Manager Passes at age 94
Paterson, NJ, March 8-Legendary Hall of Fame boxing manager and trainer Lou Duva, the patriarch of one of the most influential families in the sport, passed away today at St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey. He was 94. He died of natural causes, according to his son Dino Duva. A fiery and charismatic character, Lou Duva's career spanned seven decades in the corners of boxing champions.
Duva handled the careers of 19 world champions, and most notably trained heavyweight titlist Evander Holyfield, and welterweight kingpins Pernell Whitaker and Meldrick Taylor – all U.S.A. Olympic medalists – just to name a few. Duva’s first world champion was middleweight Joey Giardiello, who won the title in 1963.
Lou Duva was born on May 28, 1922 in New York City to Italian immigrants, and the family later moved Paterson, New Jersey.
A true icon in the sport of the “Sweet Science,” Lou Duva is enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame (1998), as well as the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.
Duva and his family built the promotional company Main Events (founded in 1978) into one of boxing’s powerhouses. Duva was voted “Manager of the Year” in 1985 by the Boxing Writers Association of America. In 1987, the World Boxing Association chose Duva as “Trainer of the Year.”
Lou Duva is survived by his son Dino and his wife Margi, daughters Donna Duva Brooks and her husband Tommy Brooks , Deanne Boorman and her husband Mike Boorman , and Denise; daughter in law Kathy Duva, widow of Dan Duva; grandchildren Cassandra and her husband Shaun, Max and partner Tabitha Hugdahl , Nicole, Alex, Lisa and her husband Will Jamieson , Louis, Amanda, Bryan, Deena, Michael and Scott; and great grandchildren Shaun Jr., Carter, Luc and Ryan. Lou Duva was pre-deceased by his wife Enes, and eldest son Dan.
"The overwhelming number of calls and sympathy wishes from so many friends and associates shows how much our father was loved and respected. We sincerely appreciate the support from everyone." said Dino Duva
These are the wake and funeral arrangements:
Festa Funeral Home
111 Union Blvd.
Totowa, NJ 07512
Sunday, March 12 - 3pm -7pm
St Mary's R.C. Church
"THE HAWK" AARON PRYOR DEAD AT 61
Former Boxing Champion Aaron Pryor, has died early Sunday. He was 61 years old.
Known by his nickname "The Hawk," Pryor was the World Boxing Association Junior Welterweight Champion from 1980 to 1983 and the International Boxing Federation Junior Welterweight Champion from 1983 to 1985.
Among the greats he battled were Antonio Cervantes and Alexis Arguello (2x), and it was that will for victory in those famous encounters that propelled him to an International Hall Of Fame induction in 1996.JLM
BOBBY CHACON 1951-2016
New York, NY 9/7/2016 -- Bobby Chacon has passed away at age 64. Chacon had been suffering in recent years from dementia, which was contributed to his death.
A professional of 67 fights, Chacon's career started in May of 1972 and had many peaks and valleys, many ring triumphs and personal failures, yet the fighting spirit remained in Bobby long after his best days were over, until the final bell tolled in June of 1988.
And like many of his bouts, Chacon's career started with a bang. Reeling off 19 straight victories against some top West Coast fighters, such as "Choo Choo" Castillo and Frankie Crawford, Bobby was matched against top featherweight Rubin Olivares in June of 1973. In a little more than a year of turning professional, Chacon was trading punches with the 71-3 Olivares, ultimately succumbing to the much more experienced opponent after 9 rounds.
Continuing his winning ways after the Olivares setback, another West Coast fighter was making waves in the division --- Danny "Indian Red" Lopez was on a collision course with Chacon that had the Coast fan's buzzing. The match finally happened in late May of 1974, and this time, Bobby's experience proved too much for Lopez, registering KO in 9 rounds.
A win over the credible Alfredo Marcano, then a challenge to WBC featherweight champion Jesus Estrada in March of '75 resulted in a second round stoppage --- and Chacon had finally captured the world championship.
However, Rubin Olivares was lurking like a shark in the waters, and was matched with Chacon in June and stopped Bobby in two rounds. For the second time Bobby had lost to Rubin, and his title reign was a brief three months. At age 24, Bobby was an ex-champion and experienced veteran ready for more.
In 1975 Chacon traveled to Mexico to take on Raphael "Bazooka" Limon, the first fight of four, losing a decision over 10 rounds.
He became a staple on the west coast, thrilling fans from the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, to Sacramento, California. 1977 through 1979 saw Bobby battle Olivares again (W UD 10), a hard fought draw against Limon, and an unsuccessful bid to wrest the WBC super featherweight title from Alexis Arguello (RTD 7).
Down but not out, Chacon started 1980 with a points win over Limon, and the series of bouts between the two was 1-1-1.
After a couple of tune-ups, Chacon was matched in May 1981 against Cornelius Boza Edwards for the WBC super featherweight title. After a drag out see-saw battle, Chacon could not come out for the 14th round. The WBC title would change hands a few times, and by 1982 Edwards was no longer the title holder --- the title belong to non other than Bobby's arch nemesis --- Raphael "Bazooka" Limon.
In a sensational fight, and the 1982 Ring Magazine "Fight of the Year", Chacon, who was on the canvas twice, came on like gangbusters to drop Limon in the 15th and gain the WBC super-featherweight title.
And Bobby was not to be outdone, even by politics of the day. The number one contender now was Boza-Edwards, and Chacon signed a deal with Don King to fight Hector Camacho. After much bickering, Chacon did fight Boza-Edwards, but the fight was not sanctioned by the WBC. In another thriller, in what was the 1983 Ring Magazine "Fight Of The Year" Bobby knocked down Boza-Edwards three times to win a narrow 12 round decision.
Chacon would be stripped by the WBC of the title June 27, 1983 for failing to defend against Camacho. For all intent and purpose, that would be the last hurrah in what was a fabulous career.
A loss against lightweight champ Ray Mancini (TKO 3) in 1984 was the last time Bobby would challenge for the title.
KO-JO PASSES AWAY AFTER A LONG ILLNESS
I am sad to report that passing of boxing super-scribe Jack Obermayer, who passed away this morning at his home in Lindenwold, New Jersey at the age of 72.
Obermayer, who covered 3514 professional fight cards in 49 states in over 400 cities and was affectionately known as "KO-JO" was a beloved figure at ringside for 50 years.
Obermayer wrote for many publications such Flash Gordon's "Tonight's Boxing Program", Ring Magazine, Boxing Illustrated (Which later became Boxing Digest) & USA Boxing News.
Obermayer penned the popular column "KO JO Says", which chronicled his many road trips to fights an and his love of classic diners.
Obermayer was inducted into the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame's. In 2010 he won the Barney Nagler Award for Long and Meritorious Service by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Services will be held on Thursday, June 30th at The Harmon Funeral Home (571 Forest Avenue in Staten Island, New York).
For more information contact Marc Abrams at 856 287 7611 or email@example.com
Howard Davis, most outstanding boxer at 1976 Olympics, dead at 59
Reported by Kevin Iole
Howard Davis Jr., who was voted the most outstanding fighter at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal in a year in which the U.S. may have fielded its greatest team ever, died Wednesday at 59 after a short battle with cancer.
His brother, Kenny Davis, confirmed the news.
Davis won the lightweight gold medal at the 1976 Games, just five years after he had taken up boxing. He was an inspirational figure as he fought for his 37-year-old mother, who had died of a heart attack two days before the Games began.
The 1976 Olympic boxing tournament featured some of the greatest fighters to have ever lived, including Americans Sugar Ray Leonard and Michael Spinks and Cuban heavyweight Teofilo Stevenson, but it was Davis who won the Val Barker Award as the Games' most outstanding boxer.
He used his fast hands and precise punches to take the gold, defeating Simion Cutov of Romania in the final match. He'd also beaten the likes of Aaron Pryor and Thomas Hearns in the amateurs.
Writing in Sports Illustrated after the Olympics, the legendary Pat Putnam said, "Howard Davis is even more skilled as a fighter than Leonard. A remarkably clever boxer, he thinks people who can take a punch to deliver one are foolish."
Davis, who had a 125-5 amateur record, told Putnam in Montreal that he didn't see the sense of getting into slugfests.
I'm no brawler. The Europeans take a lot of punches. They get cut up, and looking ugly is just part of the day's work. But I don't want to be ugly. I'm not crazy.
Davis had a solid, though not spectacular, career as a pro. He went 36-6-1 with 14 knockouts as a pro, but failed to win a world title. He lost WBC lightweight title bouts to Jim Watt in 1980 and Edwin Rosario in 1984. He dropped an IBF junior welterweight title match to Buddy McGirt in 1988.
After his fight career ended, Davis stayed in the sport and began training fighters. He eventually began to train MMA fighters as well as boxers and became the striking coach for the American Top Team in Florida. Among his MMA pupils was UFC Hall of Famer and former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. He also promoted MMA fights, and his company, Fight Time Promotions, got a contract with the CBS Sports Network to do shows. In 1976, Davis was signed to a deal with CBS, the first among his teammates to land a network television deal.
Doctors told him he likely had less than a year to live. Davis, who never smoked or drank alcohol, told the Sun Sentinel that once he learned that, he stopped chemotherapy and tried non-conventional methods to save his life.
But Davis was known for a sunny disposition and a willingness to fight to overcome any obstacle. He reacted with grace when he learned the bad news and vowed to battle to remain alive.
I never ask why I got [cancer]. I just started fighting. If you are a champion, champions don't quit.
He dropped from 195 pounds to 138, according to Sherdog, but continued to seek a cure. He got off chemotherapy when the doctor estimated he had less than a year to live and tried to find alternative treatment methods.
Randy Gordon, the former chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission, was close with Davis for his entire adult life. He said he'll remember Davis as an elite athlete but more so as one of boxing's true good guys.
"He was a loyal friend and devoted husband, father and brother," Gordon told Yahoo Sports. " ... He had the fastest pair of hands I ever saw. He was a very hard worker in the gym. On the road, he ran like no fighter I ever saw. In 1979, I clocked him in the mile at 4:20. I am sure if he put his mind to it, he could have approached the world record. He told me a few years ago that he enjoyed training fighters, promoting MMA and playing music – he played guitar – more than he enjoyed fighting. I believe he was Florida's busiest MMA promoter. To know Howard Davis was to love him. Heaven is gaining one very special angel."
Services are pending.
The NYS Veteran Boxer's Association
R.I.P. HERSCHEL JACOBS
Yonkers New York December 20th: Herschel Jacobs, 75, formerly of Wade, North Carolina died Saturday, December 19, 2015 in Yonkers, NY.
Hershel Jacobs, a crafty local NY fighter who had a taste of the big time, has passed away. Boxing out of Westchester County, NY, Jacobs started his career in 1960 and fought the best of the generation, from Hurricane Carter to Hal Carroll to Jimmy Dupree, becoming a gatekeeper in the light-heavyweight divisions.
Jacobs had a savvy style that kept him in the ring with some of the best fighters, and defeating some of them -- Johnny Persol, and Carroll to name a few. Jacobs, like many during that time, became a journeyman toward the end of his career.
Jacobs career highlights (courtesy of Henry Hascup)
Went the distance in a 10-round bout in 1972 versus future heavyweight champion Ken Norton, losing by UD. Norton was heavyweight champion in 1978.
Fought former light-heavyweight champion Harold Johnson twice, losing a 10-round UD in 1967 and winning by TKO in 3 in 1971. Johnson was light-heavyweight champion in 1961-1963.
He was the first man to beat Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
HALL OF FAME FLIES FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF FOR LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION BOB FOSTER
CANASTOTA, NY - NOVEMBER 22, 2015 - The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced its flags will fly at half-staff in memory of light heavyweight champion Bob Foster, who passed away yesterday in Albuquerque. He was 76.
“Bob Foster was a truly great light heavyweight champion and one of the most devastating punchers in boxing history,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. “The Hall of Fame joins the worldwide boxing community in mourning his passing and offer our condolences to his entire family.”
The fighting pride of Albuquerque, NM, Foster turned pro in 1961. With a 79 inch reach and one of the best left hooks in boxing, the 6-foot-3 Foster began a steady march to the light heavyweight title. He captured the championship in 1968 with a 4th round knockout over Hall of Famer Dick Tiger. An impressive string of 14 successful defenses followed including wins over Vicente Rondon, Mike Quarry, Chris Finnegan and Pierre Fourie. Foster retired in 1978 with a pro record of 56-8-1 (46 KOs). After hanging up the gloves he had a long career in law enforcement in Albuquerque.
In 1990 Foster was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
ANDREW "SIX HEADS" LEWIS DIES IN ACCIDENT
May 4, 2015: Andrew "Six Heads" Lewis, 44, has died of injuries of a bicycle accident in Guyana, it has been reported. Born in 1970 and turning professional in 1993, Lewis was an exciting fighter, possessing power in both hands and had a flair for the big stage. He upset James Page in 2001 to capture the Vacant WBA welterweight title. After a victorious defense against Larry Marks, Lewis engaged in a No Contest result (a head-butt caused a gash on Lewis eye) against Ricardo Mayorga in 2002. In a mandatory rematch, Mayorga annexed the crown, stopping Lewis via a 5th round TKO.
Lewis tried to regain a portion of the title a year later, but was stopped by Antonio Margarito in the 2nd round.
From 2003 Lewis basically fought local bouts until his last one, a split decision loss to Howard Eastman in Oct, 2008. Lewis final tally as a professional includes 23 wins, 20 by KO, 4 losses and 2 draws.
JOHNSON, CONTENDER PASSES AT 86
boxing community has lost another legend. I was saddened to learn today,
that the great light heavyweight world champion, Harold Johnson, passed
away at the age of 86. Harold fought from 1946-71, finishing up his
career with a very impressive record of 76(32)-11(5)-0, defeating along
the way the likes of Archie Moore (fought 5 times), Ezzard Charles, and
Jimmy Bivins. He became champ when outpointed Doug Jones in 1962 and
lost the title to future hall of famer, Willie Pastrano by disputed
decision in 1963. Harold was inducted in the World Boxing Hall Of Fame
in 1992 and the I.B.H.O.F. in 1993. He was named the 7th greatest light
heavyweight of all time by The Ring in 2002. Rest in eternal peace,
Harold. You will be missed, but never forgotten by boxing fans.
NEW YORK CITY (Jan. 27, 2015) - New York City boxing leader Tony Mazzarella passed away after a long illness this past Monday at the age of 75.
During his long career in boxing, Mazzarella was a former New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) Deputy Commissioner and inspector - honorary NYSAC Deputy Commissioner the past few years - Ring 8 treasurer, New York State Sports Commission member, amateur (including Golden Mittens and Mayor's Week of Boxing) and professional promoter (co-promoter of Ring Promotions) and the major influence in the founding of the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF).
"We were partners (Ring Promotions) and great friends for the past 25 years. Tony enjoyed being part of events, whether it was promoting shows or hosting award dinners. He was very generous to fighters. Tony was also a good baseball player and an avid fan. He was a leader and remains a legend in New York City boxing. He was without question the most respected Ring 8 member. We will all miss Tony Mazzarella more than words alone can properly describe."
Tony Mazzarella (standing, far right) shown here with the NYSBHOF Class of 2013
A native of Queens, Tony resided in Tappan, where his funeral will be
held this Friday (Jan. 30, 11 a.m.) at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
Church (120 Kings Highway). His wake will be held this Thursday (Jan.
29), from 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m., at Pizzi Funeral Home (120 Paris Ave.
in North Vale, New Jersey).
RING 8 is fully committed to supporting less fortunate people in the boxing community who may require assistance in terms of paying rent, medical expenses, or whatever justifiable need.
Go on line to www.Ring8ny.com for more information about RING 8, the largest group of its kind in the United States with more than 350 members. Annual membership dues is only $30.00 and each member is entitled to a buffet dinner at RING 8 monthly meetings, excluding July and August. All active boxers, amateur and professional, are entitled to a complimentary RING 8 yearly membership. Guests of Ring 8 members are welcome at a cost of only $7.00 per person.
REMEMBERING ERNIE TERRELL
CANASTOTA, NY - DECEMBER 23, 2014 - The International Boxing Hall of Fame joins the worldwide boxing community in mourning the loss of heavyweight champion Ernie Terrell, who passed away at his home in Chicago on December 16th at age 75.
“As imposing as the 6’6” Terrell was in the ring, he was just as nice outside of the ring,” said Hall director Ed Brophy. “We were saddened to learn the news of his passing and we offer our condolences to his family.”
Fighting out of Chicago, Terrell turned pro in 1957. Wins over Cleveland Williams, Zora Folley and Hall of Famer Bob Foster preceded a 1965 bout with Eddie Machen for the vacant WBA heavyweight title. After winning the title with a 15-round decision, he successfully defended against George Chuvalo and Doug Jones before losing the belt to Muhammad Ali in 1967. Terrell retired from the ring in 1973 with a 46-9 (21 KOs) record.
Terrell visited Canastota for the annual Hall of Fame Weekend and was a fan favorite.
Boxing Hall of Famewww.ibhof.com
PROMOTER DAN GOOSEN DIES AT 64
With Great Sadness:
"It is with overwhelming regret that we announce the passing of Dan Goossen, 64, from complications relating to liver cancer. The sudden news of his diagnosis was very much a private matter and his final days were spent surrounded by his family and closest friends. Sadness is difficult to escape as we grieve his passing, however we are filled with pride by the fact that Dan Goossen battled this aggressive illness with boundless strength and the last days of his life were fought and lived with unflinching bravery, pure love and grace beyond measure."
Arrangements are pending and details will be announced in the next few days.
- Fred Sternburg
ED DARIAN, RING ANNOUNCER, PASSES AWAY
Ed Darian, the ring announcer has passed away. I remember him as a staple at the Felt Forum in New York in the late 70's and the 1980's. One of his famous intro was of an opponent, who traveled from a distance to fight a local opponent " all the way from Seattle Washington . . ." was an example and he always stated after a good bout to cheer for both fighters in their effort. Below is a statement from longtime promoter Russell Peltz.
Ed Derian, who was my ring announcer and, more importantly, my friend, passed away yesterday. We began working together in the mid-1970s at a time when the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission designated who would be the ring announcer at different fight cards. I finally got that preposterous rule changed in the 1980s and Ed became my steady guy from then until about two years ago when his beloved wife Roxy died. Ed was the in-ring voice for all those great Tuesday Night Fights on USA Network from the Blue Horizon. He and Roxy and me and my wife Linda spent many enjoyable evenings together at a variety of Middle East restaurants. There are so many Ed Derian stories to tell.
Former WBC #175 Champ Matthew Saad Muhammad Dead at 59
Former WBC light heavyweight champion Matthew Saad Muhammad, 49-16-3 (35), of Philadelphiapassed away Sunday morning at the Chestnut Hill Hospital, in Philadelphia. He had been suffering from ALS the Lou Gehrig’s disease. He had been in a coma the last few days . .
It was Muhammad, who as Matthew Franklin, captured the WBC light heavyweight title in April of '79 with a gutsy come from behind slugfest with Marvin Johnson. He also had eight defenses, including a duo with Britian's John Conteh (W15,KO4), as well as a solid TKO 14 over Yaqui Lopez, which was the Ring Magazine 1980 fight of the year. A solid Philadelphian fighter with a boxer brawler style, Muhammad engaged in many see saw battles till Dwight Qawi took his title in 1981. Saad Muhammad was part of a special era of light-heavyweights of the post Foster era that will never be duplicated -
Jimmy Ellis, Ali’s Friend Who Won Boxing Crown, Dies at 74
By Stephen Miller and David Henry May 6, 2014 1:38 PM ET
Source: Allsport Hulton/Archive via Getty Images
Jimmy Ellis, who beat Jerry Quarry to become World Boxing Association heavyweight champion in 1968 and fought the era’s best fighters including his friend, Muhammad Ali, has died. He was 74.
He died today at Baptist Health Louisville hospital in Kentucky, his son, Jeff Ellis, said in a telephone interview. He had suffered from dementia for more than a decade.
Ali’s former sparring partner and a fellow Kentuckian, Ellis was among a group of boxers who traded title belts during one of the heavyweight division’s most celebrated eras. His 15-round majority decision win over Quarry in Oakland, California, came in the final of an eight-man tournament. Later that year in Stockholm, he defended the belt against two-time champion Floyd Patterson in a fight that he also won on points.
“I was made out to be nothin’ but a sparring partner,” Ellis said in a 1968 interview with Sports Illustrated after winning the world title. “It bothered me to be run down like that. I was more than that. I knew it. I think I’ve proven that now.”
Ellis won the WBA belt that Ali held until he was stripped of his titles for refusing induction into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Ellis, who was 6-foot-1 (185 centimeters) and 197 pounds (89 kilograms) when he took the crown, won 40 bouts, 24 by knockouts, and lost 12 in his professional boxing career.
He was WBA champion until Joe Frazier defeated him in February 1970 at Madison Square Garden in New York. In that fight, Frazier knocked him down twice in the fourth round and Ellis didn’t come out of his corner for the fifth.
Ellis began his boxing career at the Columbia Gym in Louisville, where he was trained by police officer Joe Martin, who was credited with spotting Ali’s talent years earlier. Ali and Ellis later shared the renowned trainer, Angelo Dundee.
After losing his world title, Ellis had unsuccessful bouts with Ron Lyle, Joe Bugner and Frazier before retiring in 1975 after injuring his left eye during training. He later developed a form of dementia that is common to boxers.
James Albert Ellis was born Feb. 24, 1940 in Louisville, the son of a Baptist minister, Walter Ellis, and his wife, Elizabeth, who raised the family’s nine children.
He had a strong interest in gospel music from his teenage years and was a featured singer in the Riverview Spiritual Singers, based at the Riverview Baptist Church, where his father became pastor. The group toured and released recordings, even while Ellis pursued boxing.
Ellis first encountered Ali watching him fight on local television in the late 1950s, and decided he could beat Cassius Clay, as Ali was then known, Jeff Ellis said. The often sparred, then became friends.
They met in a North American Boxing Federation championship bout in 1971. While neither fighter was knocked down, the referee stopped the match at 2:10 of the 12 round, awarding a technical knockout victory to Ali. They remained friends in retirement.
“I still talk to Muhammad once a week on the phone and he never, ever, begins our conversation without the words ‘‘Hi, champ,’’ Ellis told the Daily Telegraph in 2003.
In addition to his son Jeff, Ellis’s survivors include another son, James Jr., daughters Jamesetta Wells, Inez Ellis, Mary Ellis and Sonya Ellis, and 10 grandchildren. His wife, the former Mary Etta Williams, died in 2006.
To contact the reporters on this story: Stephen Miller in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org; David Henry in Frankfurt at email@example.com
RING 8's TRIBUTE TO THE CHAMP, EMILE GRIFFITH
GRIFFITH, EX WELTER & MIDDLEWEIGHT KING, DEAD AT 75
Emile Griffith was one of the toughest guys in one of the toughest sports on Earth, a kind man who wasn't so kind in the ring. He was one of the best fighters in an era loaded with elite fighters and, despite his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, was never given the credit he was due.
Emile Griffith (R) lands a right to Jose Napoles during a 1969 title fight in Los Angeles (AP file photo)
Emile Griffith was one of the toughest guys in one of the toughest sports on Earth, a kind man who wasn't so kind in the ring. He was one of the best fighters in an era loaded with elite fighters and, despite his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, was never given the credit he was due.
Rather, Griffith, who died Tuesday in New York at 75, will sadly best be remembered for killing rival Benny Paret in the ring during a nationally televised welterweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Griffith and Paret had split their first two bouts, when they met on March 24, 1962 in a rubber match for Paret's belt. Before the fight, Paret taunted Griffith, using a Spanish word that is slang for homosexual. That apparently enraged Griffith.
In his Sports Illustrated account of the fight, Gilbert Rogin wrote:
In 2005, when a documentary on his life, "Ring of Fire," appeared on USA Network, Griffith discussed his sexual orientation with New York Times columnist Bob Herbert.
Herbert, who said he'd watched Griffith-Paret III on ABC as a child in 1962, wrote:
Griffith, who was viciously attacked by a gang of men after leaving a gay bar in New York in 1992, suffered from dementia. In a gripping 2005 piece by Gary Smith in Sports Illustrated, Griffith talks about the difficulty he had overcoming Paret's death and about his dementia.
It was a sad and sobering story of a once strong, proud man.
But he was one of the best boxers of his time, winning welterweight and middleweight titles while compiling a record of 85-24-2, with 23 knockouts and one no contest.
He scored a number of quality wins, beating the likes of Nino Benvenuti, Dick Tiger, Bennie Briscoe, Ralph Dupas and Paret, among others.
But, as Dan Klores, who directed the brilliant documentary about Griffith, wrote in a 2012 piece in the New York Times, he hung around too long in an unforgiving sport and paid for it. And though the 1992 mugging altered his life forever, Griffith never really had peace after Paret's death.
After Paret's death, Griffith boxed for 15 more years, but he took excessive damage, Klores wrote.
Those who knew Griffith will never forget him.
REMEMBERING JOHNNY BOS, MATCHMAKER
Johnny Bos, the colorful boxing matchmaker who was a mainstay in New York boxing in the past 25 years, was found dead in his Florida home on Saturday. A keen eye for talent, and a businessman who relied on the old fashioned handshake, Bos helped many fighters climb the ladder early in their professional careers.
I spoke with Bos a couple of weeks ago, and I always remembered to tell him the he was the smartest man in boxing. But this time, since he quietly disappeared from the scene the last few years I reminded him that he was one of the smartest men in boxing, of which he replied, "what do you mean, one of?"
But that was Bos, with the sense of humor, a man of many boxing stories and a vast knowledge of boxing history.
Bos, outside in Florida, with Rich Schwartz April 17, 2013
Ivan Edwards, a former manager who worked with Bos a few years ago remembered a piece of advice given him on developing a boxer - The first ten fights are easy, to get from ten to twenty, without a defeat -- that's the hard part.
Bos retreated to Florida after a lawsuit against the NYSAC failed. The lawsuit involved the Joey Camache - Arturo Gatti bout, in which the NYSAC was negligent in handling the weigh-in. Gatti, with an enormous weight advantage, knocked out the much smaller Gamache in the second round. The court ruled that the negligence did not determine the outcome of the bout.
Among the fighters connected to Bos includes Jameel McCline, Yuri Foreman, Chris Smith, Gerry Cooney and Mike Tyson.
SERVICES FOR CARL "THE TRUTH" WILLIAMS
April 8, 2013
Wake Apr 15th 4-8pm McMahon, Lyon & Harnett Funeral Home 491 Mamaroneck Rd, White Plains, NY
April 16 10 AM Funeral set for Tuesday, April 16 10 AM @ McMahon, Lyon & Hartnett Funeral Home 491 Mamaroneck Rd, White Plains, NY
Former heavyweight contender Carl "The Truth" Williams has died at 53, as reported late last night.
Williams historic moment came in 1985 when he was on his way to upsetting then heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. With a late rally Holmes retained his title by decision, but the fight was highly disputed by fans and boxing critics. At the time Holmes was 47-0, while Williams only had 16 bouts, all victorious.
In later years Williams would fight against top competition, including Frank Bruno, Mike Tyson, Mike Weaver, Tim Witherspoon, and Tommy Morrison. A formidable foe who stood 6'4 and weighed 225lbs, Williams retired in 1997 compiling a 30(21)-10 mark.
Chacon with Sugar Ray Robinson
INTERVIEW WITH JACOBS
Lewis, courtesy Ring 8
Talking boxing with J Monte, April 17.2013