Boxing Is My Passion, My Sanctuary

By Ted Sares on November 6, 2013
Boxing Is My Passion, My Sanctuary
Boxing is tender and brutal; triumph and tragedy. Some find Jesus, others find the devil.

Boxing in the ring is genuine, but outside it can be harsh, for it has never been all that stringent in its application of scruples or morality…

“You go to an amateur tournament… You get an inner-city, really rough, hard-core black kid, and you get a white kid from Minnesota. Maybe they never even say ‘hi’ to each other all week. But they fight each other, and after the fight, they hug.”—John Scully

“Boxing was on the one hand barbaric, unconscionable, out of place in modern society. But then, so are war, racism, poverty, and pro football. Men died boxing, yet there was nobility in defending oneself.”—Ralph Wiley (“Serenity”)

For me, boxing is far more than a bout between two combatants in a square circle that is entered into with knowledge of deadly risk and anticipation of high reward. Boxing is a visceral experience that has many different directions coming together including the wherewithal for passionate arguments and the witnessing of two men going mano a mano with the hope, but no guarantee, that the third person in the ring knows when the right time comes to save one of them. And sometimes, with tragic results, he doesn’t. Boxing is a loser alone with his thoughts in the dressing room and a winner being hero worshiped by fans as fickle as the weather. It is defeat or victory, nothing more, nothing less, but the difference can break a spirit or generate great confidence.

Boxing is swallowing blood, shaking off the sting of a shot to the jaw, or absorbing a lethal hook to the liver with its deferred and paralyzing painful result. It’s waking up the next morning with the nausea that comes from a dangerously concussive head shot. It’s tough guys like Chacon, “Little Red,” Saad, Jesse James Hughes, Gatti, Irish Micky Ward, and Alvarado.

For some, it’s a hook to the gizzard the genesis of which began in some small town in Mexico. For others, it’s a sledgehammer straight right originating out of Detroit or Kiev; or in a fight for redemption, a Swede’s foot twitching after he is knocked cold by a leaping left hook coming out of the Catskills. For me, it’s identifying with one of my favorites, particularly an underdog, as he overcomes adversity to snatch surprising victory from certain and anticipated defeat. When that happens, it’s my victory as much as it is his and I’m cheering for myself as much as for him. I can’t say it any better than that—that’s the essence, the very core and soul of this thing called boxing. At that point, boxing and I become one. And when the combatants hug with heartfelt emotion at the end, a chill always goes down my spine.

Boxing is Big Gerry Cooney catching Ken Norton in a corner and pummeling him with frightening left hooks, It’s Ray Mercer catching Tommy Morrison with brutal punches rendering him senseless or Gatti knocking out Gamache with a left hook from hell. It’s about Oleg coming back from three KO losses, but it’s also about slick boxers named Mantequilla, Sweet Pea, Pretty Boy, Sugar Ray or Sugar Shane showing new and higher levels of defense, footwork, combinations, and hand speed.

Boxing is watching Micky Ward end a fight at any time using his patented weapon. It’s the Sugar’s: Robinson, Hart, Ramos, Seales, Leonard and Bert. The “Kids”: Paret, Bassey, Meza, Chocolate(s), Gavilan, Akeem, Diamond, Vegas, Muriqi, and the “Rocks” Durando, Graziano, Castellani, Marciano and Rahman. Or the Irishmen: Cooney, Duddy, Quarry, Ward, and who can ever forget that good looking kid out of Tennessee, Irish Billy Collins who was mugged one violent night in New York City. It’s tough Asians like Pancho Villa, Flash Elorde, Fighting Harada and Khaosai Galaxy. It’s Gavilan’s Bolo punch and the flash and pride of Cubans “Kid” Chocolate, “Feo” Rodriguez, “Sugar” Ramos and Jose “Mantequilla” Napoles. It’s the high drama of Argentineans like Locche, Monzon, Galindez, Coggi, Bonavena, and Castro. It’s the grit of the Brits…Schwer, Minter, Graham, Honeyghan, Sibbo, Benn, Eubanks, and Bruno. It’s the nobility and grace of Watson. It’s the underrated Collins and Calzaghe’s perfect record.

And it’s all about the Latino legends and iron-fisted Puerto Ricans like Duran, Chavez, Sanchez, Pedroza, Torres, Gomez, Rosario, Tito and now Cotto, Canelo, Rios, Perro and Garcia. Tough Mexicans like Juan Manuel Marquez who eat nails and spit out blood, but now mix their macho with technique and the result is a killer cocktail. But the blacks still own the sport; great fighters like Robinson, Louis, Moore, Charles, Saddler, Patterson, Liston, Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Holmes, Lewis, Jones, Hagler, Hearns, Mosley, Hopkins, Mayweather, Toney and so many others. Why is Hopkins still fighting; why is he still winning?

But here come fighters from other countries. The Quebecois like Bute, Adonis, and Pascal by way of Haiti and Romania. The mighty Klitschkos, Manny Pacquiao, Donaire, Rigo and they fight as well as anyone, maybe better. Here come the Eastern Europeans. Here comes Lomachenko, Kovalev, Provodnikov and GGG. Here comes excitement.

Boxing is Hearns vs. Hagler in savage and unmitigated non-stop action and Castillo vs. Corrales and Indian Yaqui vs. Saad in quintessential ebb and flow; it’s steamy Philadelphia gyms, Coulon’s, Kronk or Gleason’s; it’s The Forum in LA or some fairgrounds in West Virginia or Ohio. It’s Don Dunphy thrilling listeners during the “Gillette Cavalcade of Sports,” and it’s the Lennons, Johnny Addie, Buffer, Ed Derian-Derian (“who has the scoring and here it is”), Clancy, Cus, Manny, Angelo, Goody, Bimstein, Goldstein, Futch. It’s Teddy, Max, Larry, Harold, and Lampley, and its Al and the Colonel. It’s new stuff like 24/7, Two Days, and Lampley’s Fight Night.

Boxing can be high camp and all about innuendos and nuances; Tami Mauriello, Abe Simon and Tony Galento playing bit roles in On the Waterfront, or Justin Bieber walking in with Floyd Jr.

The sport is both tender and brutal; triumph and tragedy. Some find Jesus, others find the devil. Boxing is watching a “lonely” Larry Holmes walking in to fight a popular Cooney and then taking him out, or watching a disoriented John Tate running away from Trevor Berbick. Boxing is about a warrior mentality that unmistakably demonstrates a willingness to engage in a punch-out, a willingness to take three to get in one, or a hard and tough guy patting his chest and waiving the other guy in as he spits out blood while the crowd rises and roars its approval.

How can a Giuseppe “Joey” LaMotta, brother of Jake, have a record of 32-5-2 (22 KOs), with only one stoppage loss in a career that was only twenty-one months long? How can a Sean O’Grady have 70 professional fights before he was old enough to drink? How can a seventeen-year-old beat Kid Pambelé? Boxing is the sum and substance of those kinds of indelible memories and for those blessed with good recall, it is something to manifest with emotion, passion and conviction.

In the 1950s movie The Harder They Fall, they nailed the dark side of boxing for what it was in those days. Organized Crime controlled big time boxing during the 1930s into the 1950s. The film’s biting screenplay was based on a true story by Budd Schulberg of how the Mob foisted heavyweight champion Primo Carnera on the public during the 1930s. But hell, I was able to blink and get through all that, because boxing, warts and all, provided my safe place. And the 1950s gangster noir part just added more flavor to the mix.

Look, I’ve been there and have seen up close the soulfulness, courage and sportsmanship of Floyd Patterson, the unpredictable excitement that was Bob Satterfield, Rex Layne and Johnny Bratton in the 1950s, the classics between Marciano-Charles-Louis-Walcott. I witnessed the social stratification when Chuck Davey fought Chico Vejar. I saw LaMotta-Robinson, Ward-Gatti, Ward-Green, Ward-Augustus, Ward-Diaz, Ward-Neary, Zale-Graziano; I saw tough, ethnic guys from the ‘50s like Fusari, DeMarco, Durando, Basilio, Giardello, Giambra, Janiro and Miceli.

Who can forget Gene “Silent” Hairston on Gillette’s Friday Night Fights, and Teddy ”Red Top” Davis (who went the distance in 71 out of 73 career defeats)? Who can forget Ali-Frazier, Patterson-Johansson, and Barrera-Morales? I was dumbfounded by the illogic of Hearns putting Duran away with a thunderous straight right, and then Duran beating Barkley who then knocked out Hearns. I watched in disbelief as Martin starched Liston and Bruce Curry and Monroe Brooks exchanged lethal hooks simultaneously. I watched Caveman Lee and John LoCicero go to the very edge in their fifth round in 1981, and who can forget how McClellan and Benn fought with uncommon fury and ferocity and go beyond the edge? These men fought with a total disregard for their well-being, hell, these fights were like reading a James Ellroy novel; they were fast, furious and violent—and some ended like a “Lady Day” song, sad and tragically. BIFF, BAM POW! Boxing is a man’s world, but then came Christy, Laila, Ann; Lucia, and Holly. I even remember Lady Tyger Trimiar and Jackie Tonawanda. Like snowflakes, each one is different.

I went crazy when Jake KO’d Laurent Dauthuille in 1950 only to weep when Giuseppe Antonio Bernardinelli (Joey Maxim) and the heat made Sugar Ray and Ruby Goldstein quit on June 25, 1952 in Yankee Stadium. I cried again, when college boy Chuck Davey beat Rocky Graziano a month later. But then I rejoiced when the great Kid Gavilan took out a brave but finally beaten Davey.

Shavers came back from death to beat to beat a fearsome Roy “Tiger” Williams in a fight that had to be seen to be believed. Paret took seventeen unanswered shots (or maybe it was 23), and Ernie Knox, Laverne Roach, Davey Moore, Kim, Enrico Bertola, Johnny Owens, Jimmy Garcia, Willie Classen, Young Ali, Frankie Campbell, Randie Carver, Stephan Johnson, Bobby Tomasello, Felix “The Hammer” Bwalya, Masatate Tsuji, Miguel “El Huracan” Barrera , Beethoven Scotland, Leavander Johnson, “Pancho” Moncivias,  Benjamin Flores, Francisco “Paco” Rodriguez,  Frankie Leal and too many others left their lives in the ring. It takes only one punch.

I witnessed the shootouts between Brooks-Curry, Meza-Garza, Ruelas-Gatti, Letterlough-Gonzales, Moorer-Cooper, Lyle-Foreman, Kirkland-Angulo, Rios-Alvarado and the big boppers, Cobb-Shavers-Norton at the end of their careers.

I’ve seen the smashed noses, ridges of scar tissue and deformed ears. I witnessed the slow and frightening slide of Jerry and Mike Quarry, Jimmy Ellis, Bobby Chacon, Jimmy Young, Willie Pep and far too many others. I pray Bobby Quarry will be okay. The early signs were easily detected; the slurring of speech, the nasal monotone, the shuffling. And I find small comfort in knowing that Jerry Quarry is now finally at peace in Shafter Memorial Park twenty miles northwest of Bakersfield with his younger brother Mike, and when I am in California, I make it a point to go there. We don’t much want to talk about it but constant reminders are always there and that’s the dark side, the other, horribly irreversible side of the risk-reward equation. And most boxers are leery of this darker side as well they should be, for this is the one that can lead to that dreaded place called Palookaville from which there is no return.

I prayed for Victor Burgos, Michael Watson, Paul Ingle, Gerald McClellan, Sergei Artemiev and Greg Page and I remember the courage of Robert Wangila and Pedro Alcazar.

Look, I witnessed the epiphany of Foreman and the “what if” and terrible disappointment that was Ricky Womack, Ike Ibeabuchi, Tony Ayala, and Edwin Valero. I’ve been mesmerized by the magic, felt the emotional highs and lows, heard the music and seen the dance.

Someone once said “suicide becomes viable when all other options disappear,” but however one defines or rationalizes suicide, nobody impacted by the deaths of Darren “Daz” Sutherland, Alexis Arguello, Edwin Valero, or Arturo Gatti will ever get over it. Nobody in boxing will ever get over the unnecessary death of the greatly admired Vernon Forrest who was shot several times in the back in Atlanta while chasing robbers. The collateral effect of these tragedies was and remains enormous.

I have seen very good things, some not so good, and some downright horrific. I have seen spitting, biting, butting, slapping, and even kissing. I’ve talked to humble and decent guys like Matthew Saad Muhammad, Alex Ramos, Greg Haugen, John Scully, Micky Ward, Pipino Cuevas, Harry Arroyo, the late Johnny Tapia, Juan Laporte, Ricardo Lopez, the great Galaxy and George Chuvalo. They wouldn’t know what trash talking is if you hit them over the head with it. Oh sure, I’ve been snubbed by others, but just a few, for most boxers are uncommon in their decency, respect and humility and that too is part of the mix.

Boxing for me is also enswell, Vaseline, ointment, ice bags, Q-tips, and duct tape juxtaposed against a sensual confluence of sweat, testosterone, perfume, cheap cigar smoke, and even cheaper after-shave lotion; it’s the sweet smell of success and sour odor of failure. Greasy hot dogs with everything on them, cheesesteak hoagies, onions, oily roasted peppers in brown and leaking paper bags, hot peanuts and buttered popcorn, warm and foamy beer at the Aragon Ballroom, Blue Horizon or the Roxy and frothy mixed drinks and the smell of expensive cologne at the MGM in Las Vegas or at Foxwoods. I was drinking too much soju at Munhwa Gymnasium in Seoul when Chong Pal Park barely beat tough but relatively unknown and talented Bostonian Vinnie Curto for the IBF Super Middleweight Title in 1985.

Boxing is cheering, taunting, chanting, whistling, screaming, clapping and leering at scantily clad round card girls against a backdrop of the periodic screams of winners at a blackjack table or the mindless and never ending sound of slot machines simultaneously providing hope and presenting odds that prevent that hope from ever being fulfilled. The ambience includes pretty blondes, voluptuous Latinos and beautiful black women dressed to the nines; guys with chains worth the price of a new car and clothes and hairstyles to match. Vanity, sycophants, conceit, nepotism, suck-ups are words that come to mind as I look over the occupants of ringside seats, but why not? Narcissism is an essential part of this thing.

There is no political correctness here or “right” way to behave. You either love it or hate it, but if you think it’s a barbarian ritual, you had best tread with caution. Boxing tries to be colorblind, but those behind the scenes often use issues of color and ethnicity as a means to generate more cash. It’s never about hate; it’s always about cash. It is what it is, and in this regard, it should not be taken as seriously as it sometimes is. The “Russians Have Arrived,” will likely be replaced by something else, maybe the “Argentineans Rule,” or “Here Comes the British,” but that’s just the way it is and while the paradigm might change and the normal might become “new” along with a changing business model of more bangs for the buck, the essence of the thing won’t change anytime soon.

Boxing is camaraderie with macho banter and betting. It‘s drinks and maybe a great steak after the fight, a hotel room with TV, friends, Champaign, shrimp cocktails, maybe some poker, expensive cigars, all the right ingredients for another entry into your memory bank. Sure, the fight is the linchpin, but the entire experience is often just as much fun. It all goes together and blends in the mix. And the mix is the essence.

Boxing has a love affair with the world: from Japan to the UK, Germany to Australia; from Canada to the countries of the former Soviet Union, and everywhere in between.

Most of all, boxing is a safe place for me to be without having to worry about how I behave or what I say. It’s the boxers and cornermen who interest me the most. No sycophantic or subservient stuff with them. No fragility or overly sensitive psyches. Hell, boxing is not a meeting of the Rotary and it certainly does not shackle me with corporate handcuffs. Boxing is hardcore. No prissiness or self-righteousness. No phony artifice, no plastic smiles or soft and clammy handshakes; boxing in the ring is genuine, but outside it can be harsh, for it has never been all that stringent in its application of scruples or morality. But hell, boxing is my sanctuary and I love it so.

Like Aesop’s fable of “The Scorpion and the Frog” …. I can’t help myself.

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  1. Ted 04:16pm, 11/15/2013

    Thanks Peter. Much appreciated.

  2. peter 03:16pm, 11/15/2013

    Ted, you dug deep with this one. What else is there to say about boxing? You’ve said it all. It’s like you just went a fast and furious 15 rounds punching out this piece. Your passion for boxing is shared by many of us. I only wish all of the fighters you cite, and honor, in this fine article will read it and feel proud and be uplifted. Again, thanks for such an excellent article. My guess is that it will be anthologized one day.

  3. Ted 07:59am, 11/13/2013

    denka

  4. Meinhard Schmidt 06:34am, 11/13/2013

    You tried to sum it up, all about boxing, especially prizefighting, the different colours of the sport, it´s dark side and bright side… something which i think is almost impossible to do in just “one” article. But you came very close to it and if somebody wants to understand for example what my deep passion about this “sport” is i can gladly show him or her your writing! And btw boxing is the sanctuary for most of the readers of this site in one form or another, whether we are pros, am´s, cornermen, historians or straight up aficionados (or a mixture of it). Much obliged.

  5. Ted 08:32am, 11/11/2013

    Many thanks for your posts, gents and ladies. All very much appreciated.

  6. Rich Torsney 05:29am, 11/11/2013

    Ted, thank you for this wonderful article. Your writing is visceral. There are so many emotions in this sport. You stirred up all of them. You shook me up.

  7. kid vegas 12:18pm, 11/10/2013

    The first paragraph reminded me of what happened to Mago not that I thought the referee was at fault but still…..

  8. john coiley 03:34am, 11/10/2013

    after reading this again, I can only say…WOW! thank you, Ted…

  9. Tex Hassler 04:10pm, 11/09/2013

    Great article by a great writer, what more can I say? What can I add? NOTHING, Mr Sares said it all and correctly as usual.

  10. The Pinoy Pikey 04:09am, 11/09/2013

    Great piece Ted.  I enjoyed this a whole lot.  The description: noises, foods, odors, clothing, cigars and drinks.  I love it when a piece is written in a way where it is not only easy to see the surroundings, but FUN: your writing is fun to read!

  11. BIKERMIKE 06:07pm, 11/08/2013

    Most fight fans of the day loved the way Kid Gavilan took apart that poster boy ....chuck davey…...took him apart like he was a clock

  12. BIKERMIKE 05:40pm, 11/08/2013

    Puerto RIcans ....like Duran ???  I get the point….but manos de piedro ain’t nothing if not a one hundred and forty percent Panamanian !!!

  13. BIKERMIKE 05:36pm, 11/08/2013

    Geez Bull….you can bring tears…
    What a great read…....You’re the best buddy….got your books

  14. BIKERMIKE 05:33pm, 11/08/2013

    less said about that Cooney Norton thing….the better

  15. BIKERMIKE 04:58pm, 11/08/2013

    .....BULL….you know all the converts from ESB read you…....must be about a hundred thousand of them by now….myself proudly included…maybe even more !

    I have to admit I have a bias about that guy leonard…..and .....if I may say so…..so do you !!


    ARCHIE MOORE HAD ONED HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE FIGHTSS…..and was from a time when you were not buried when you lost one….

    leonard had a handful of fights ...comparitively speaking…..and not just a few were cherry picked…..

    That Mongoose was left off…due to a personal bias..with this guy leonard…......

    Boxing History .........without emotion…..has to put Archie Moore…..in the top ten from the end of WWII

  16. Paul Magno 12:00pm, 11/08/2013

    Ted, this is brilliant, a masterpiece…This is something all fight fans should bookmark and re-read when the sport shits its pants and we sit there wondering why the hell have we invested so much time into boxing…Bravo, Sr. Sares….

  17. dollarbond 08:26am, 11/08/2013

    Thanks Ted

  18. Ted 08:24am, 11/08/2013

    Yes Bill I think it is .

    My lack of posting is not meant as any disrespect to anyone. Have some issues that will slow me down for a bit.

  19. dollarbond 07:27am, 11/08/2013

    This your best?  I noticed you are not answering your posts in your usual fashion.  Are you ok?

  20. beaujack 12:01pm, 11/07/2013

    Ted; I loved your piece on the sport of boxing you love with a passion.
    So many names of the past who are now forgotten. For me to see the name of LaVerne Roach who died following a bout, brought a lump in my throat. LaVerne Roach was A U.S. Marines Champion in WW2, who turned pro as a middleweight with great success…I saw him several times ringside, and he appeared to have a great future until he met the great Marcel Cerdan, who battered Roach and stopped him in 1948. Not long after LaVerne Roach fought an acquaintance of mine middleweight
    Georgie Small who stopped Roach, who tragically died after the fight…
    I have never forgotten LaVerne Roach…

  21. Don from Prov 11:59am, 11/07/2013

    You really nailed this one, Mr. Ted.

    Very very nice (and affecting) work!!!!

  22. Peter Silkov 08:57am, 11/07/2013

    Ted, I must say that is one of the best pieces on boxing that I have ever read!. Powerful and moving, poetic.  Beautiful!.  You just got me hooked all over again!...

  23. raxman 03:48am, 11/07/2013

    ted - well it was all on the page mate. and as everyone is saying its simply beautiful. it kind of feels like it came out of nowhere too. like you woke up one morning and hard an urge. to me it reads as if it were something that had to write and you weren’t going to be able to move on until you bled it out. is that the case or is it something you’ve been building up and working on in phases and over time

  24. Ian Dalgleish 01:24am, 11/07/2013

    I write a bit now and then but this is the work of a master. A great article from a well informed expert. Well done Ted.

  25. John aka L.L. Cool John 07:52pm, 11/06/2013

    Bob: FYI: Chuck Hull managed the Oxnard Theater (Oxnard, Calif.) where my late mother-in-law worked back in the 50s. Later, he moved to Vegas and started a career as an MC. I remember her telling me what a nice guy he was as her boss. She was 16 years-old and worked the box office when “The Wild One” with Marlon Brando was released. It took Oxnard by storm!

  26. Bob 07:36pm, 11/06/2013

    Nice work, Ted. Got me revved up, which doesn’t happen much anymore.  Used to love Chuck Hull’s ring announcing….especially after the pause when he said “And the new…..”

  27. Ted 06:20pm, 11/06/2013

    Many thanks for all your your kind comments, gents.


    Rax, you hit it right on the head. I used the Ellroy technique and then switched over to my own style. Man, you picked that up. Amazing. Simply amazing.

  28. Darrell 05:34pm, 11/06/2013

    Excellent.

  29. john coiley 04:31pm, 11/06/2013

    I can feel your heart beating on this one…thank you, Ted

  30. Rick Rudolph 03:48pm, 11/06/2013

    Kudos Ted! You have done it again my friend.

  31. B Red 03:40pm, 11/06/2013

    Great read Ted, you hit the nail on the head. Ya dig

  32. John aka L.L. Cool John 02:36pm, 11/06/2013

    Bravo!!!

  33. Dan Cuoco 01:49pm, 11/06/2013

    Great compilation of memories and stories. Terrific article that quantifies why we love this sport.

  34. raxman 01:35pm, 11/06/2013

    wow! you mentioned james ellroy and that’s all I was thinking reading your piece up til then - and that is the highest praise I can give a writer - but then you changed it up, went from a visceral and staccato manner of writing, away from the ellroy pastiche to something more from the heart and soul than the gut, went to a writing style that was thoroughly ted the bull. it was so intimate that I want to thank you for it

  35. GlennR 01:32pm, 11/06/2013

    So i drag my poor old (48 yo) body in the door last night, after an hour hour and a half at the boxing gym, im limping, my wrist hurts and the wife gives me that “why do you do that to yourself old man?” look.

    I sit myself down at the kitchen table and flick onto boxing.com and see Teds article.

    As i read the pain goes away, a smile appears and im standing amongst legends.

    Thanks Ted, back to the gym tonight to work on that jab-lead hook i find so hard…... with renewed vigor i might add

  36. Rolling Thunder 01:02pm, 11/06/2013

    All I ever wanted but could not say. Possibly the best piece ever on the mighty boxing.com.

    Thank you Ted Sares.

  37. kid vegas 11:27am, 11/06/2013

    Marvelous piece of writing Ted Sares. You said just enough but not too much. What balance. You surely do know how to write.

  38. dollarbond 10:40am, 11/06/2013

    Ted, I’m kind of curious but do you think this is the best boxing article you have ever written?

  39. NYIrish 10:17am, 11/06/2013

    You polished a jewel with this one Ted. Keep your left up !

  40. David Ball 09:41am, 11/06/2013

    I believe this is the absolute best boxing article I’ve read in, in….hell maybe forever. Thanks Ted Sares

  41. Danny Collins 08:19am, 11/06/2013

    Beautifully written article. Thanks.

  42. BIG WALTER 08:07am, 11/06/2013

    All I can said is WOW! This one left me breathless.

  43. Chuck H. 08:04am, 11/06/2013

    A wonderful story ! The recollections are almost the same as mine. Two of my top memories are the thrill of hearing Jack Drees, on wednesday nights, proclaim “The Wednesday night fights are on the air” as a camera scanned the night skies of Chicago.
    The other is of watching both the Giardello-Ray Robinson and Giardello-Rubin Carter fights in person, for free, when word was flashed in both instances that “all the three dollar seats are gone” and hundreds of us financially handicapped, angry fans, just overwhelmed the helpless security guards at one of the doors leading into Convention Hall.

  44. Giorgio 08:02am, 11/06/2013

    Ted, superb is the only thing I can think.

    I am waiting for an article of yours that will focus on Italian boxer we had quite a few: you quoted Primo Carnera, but how to forget Nino Benvenuti and many others who you will mention in one of your next SUPERB articles.

    Thanks once more

    Giorgio

  45. Ezra 07:57am, 11/06/2013

    Boxing is definitely your passion. This belongs as the opener to a boxing anthology somewhere. You brought it home.

  46. Pete The Sneak 07:11am, 11/06/2013

    Toro, superb man, simply superb. I mean, it took me 10 minutes to read this article, but in that brief time I was literally taken through a portal that provided an almost entire history of Boxing ‘passion.’ That’s not an easy thing to do. I know I will never come close to experiencing even a nano second of the plethora of pugilisitc undertakings you’ve witnissed, both highs and lows, but after reading this I can at least be able to see some of it through your eyes…Gracias!...Peace…(by the by, lets not forget Wilfredo Benitez in the Puerto Rican mix)...

  47. cnorkusjr 06:38am, 11/06/2013

    password problem,finally took

  48. cnorkusjr 06:36am, 11/06/2013

    It sorta gets in your blood. Once your hooked, you never get it out.

  49. Djata Bumpus 06:28am, 11/06/2013

    Back in January of ‘99, John Scully (the first person quoted) and my sin Kwame headlined a boxing benefit that I promoted called “Boxing for Urban Youth Sports”...He’s a super human being!....btw, when he mentions boxers hugging at the end of a fight…boxers hug at the end of a fight for the same reason that a man and a woman do after having sex…that is, they, literally, pour out their inner being to each other, so the embrace is actually an involuntary, automatic impulse…Ya dig?...Cheers!

  50. dollarbond 06:25am, 11/06/2013

    This is your best ever.  Held my attention from beginning to end.  Great stuff, Bull.

  51. EZ E 06:15am, 11/06/2013

    UNCLE TEDDY Wow!! Once AGAIN you out-did yourself!! This was a fantastic article. Yes, boxing is all that and… boxing IS also reading books, material and articles from great writers as yourself, the kind that make us proud to be boxing addicts. MUCHAS GRACIAS!!

  52. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:50am, 11/06/2013

    Ted Sares-You are a pound for pound world class boxing writer…..when you cite Jesse James Hughes it tells me that your work involves much more than exhaustive research….it tells me that you really and truly are paying attention and connecting…....which reminds me….. the writers on this site are clearly a level above the boxing writers on the other sites

  53. Clarence George 04:34am, 11/06/2013

    Have to call a spade a spade, and I call this particular spade “Excellent.”

    Some specific comments:  I’m both glad and relieved you gave barely a nod to “women boxers,” but have to express a twinge of regret that the superb Pedro Montanez wasn’t included in your listing of Puerto Rican fighters.  Delighted you mentioned those three inimitable toughies—Galento, Mauriello, and Simon—but to include the object of Sing Sing inmates’ lust, Justin Bieber, in the same sentence!  Full points for mentioning Pancho Villa, the greatest of flyweights, who doesn’t get the attention he deserves.

    In reading about the disappointment and bitterness of defeat, I was reminded of a dejected Galento following a loss to Arturo Godoy.  Sitting in the same locker room with a far more depressed Jimmy Braddock, who the same night had lost the title to Joe Louis, Galento said, “Say, it was tough, wasn’t it, Jim?” Thinking at first that Galento was being sympathetic, Braddock quickly realized that the fat man was referring to himself!  “Oh, I thought you were talking about me losing the title,” said an amused Braddock.

    I’ll close by saying that Robert has once again done an outstanding job in his image selection.

    Not true.  I’ll close by saying:  Well done…one of your best, Ted.

  54. Mohummad Humza Elahi 03:09am, 11/06/2013

    Great article Ted, superbly written.  I hope to be around boxing just as long, it’s a sport that I’ve gone from and come back to several times but now I think I’m here to stay.  So much so that after I’ve done my studies for a professional qualification (long story!), I’ll try and go for an amateur coaching qualification and work part-time doing that as well as my day job.  Damn, I love this sport.

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