Carl Moore: Ay Chihuahua!

By Clarence George on June 5, 2015
Carl Moore: Ay Chihuahua!
"The man or beast that I run from ain’t been born, and its mama’s already dead."

It was just recently, at age 73, that the former boxer, Marine, bouncer, and occasional brawler, had quite literally the fight of his life…

“Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”—The Wizard of Oz

Didn’t Xavier Cugat call his Pepito? And good luck finding a photo of Jayne Mansfield without one in each hand.

I’m talking about the Chihuahua, a dog breed that’s found favor with bandleaders, blonde bombshells…and former boxers.

A middleweight who fought out of Phoenix, Arizona, from 1963 to 1975, Carl Moore racked up an unimpressive record of 20 wins, six by knockout, 33 losses, eight by knockout, and six draws. But he did go the distance with Ferd Hernandez, Don Fullmer, and Luis Rodriguez. And he decisioned tough Florentino Fernandez at Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on August 4, 1966.

But it was just recently, at age 73, that the former boxer, Marine, bouncer, and occasional brawler, had quite literally the fight of his life.

On April 20, a 300-pound bear trespassed on Moore’s home in Meadow Vista, California. Moore was alerted to the intrusion by the “screaming” of his 15-year-old Chihuahua, Lacy. Despite the bear giving him a “Go fuck yourself” look, Moore charged and unleashed a massive right to the animal’s head. “Boom, I hit him good,” said Moore, adding that “This big right hand has sent a lot of people to the floor.”

We can question the wisdom of risking one’s life to save that of a Chihuahua, and a 15-year-old Chihuahua at that, but I, for one, am impressed.

True, Tony Galento used to cuff this bear he installed in his saloon on Day Street in Orange, New Jersey. “Nights he could be found ducking swats from a bear, his girth cinched tight by a white bar apron, a thick cigar plunked in one corner of his mouth,” writes Joseph Monninger in Two Ton. And a 40-year-old, 265-pound Galento took on a 550-pound Russian bear, unimaginatively named Teddy, at Asbury Park Armory on April 1, 1950. “Teddy, according to most judges, won the contest,” but was nevertheless deprived of dining on the hefty heavyweight.

Characteristically courageous, yes, but let’s not forget Galento’s “genuine terror” when faced with the prospect of entering a tank with an octopus (he agreed to the stunt while “barely awake”). In fact, there rumors that the hapless creature was dispatched beforehand. Bela Lugosi wrestling a rubber octopus in Ed Wood’s Bride of the Monster should provide some idea of the spectacle of Tony Galento vs. Cephalopod Mollusk.

Would Carl Moore have trembled timorously at the thought of tussling with the tentacled terror?

“The man or beast that I run from ain’t been born,” he said, “and its mama’s already dead.”

Yes, well, that seems pretty definitive.

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  1. Eric 08:43am, 06/07/2015

    Irish-I immediately thought of a guy that I used to know when I saw Moore in this video. This guy was still working as a roofer in Florida, don’t think he was 73, but he looked a great deal like Moore, I’m guessing he was in his late 50’s. I was working the graveyard shift at the time and would routinely stay up all day after working Thursday night ( off for the weekend on Friday morning.) Anyhow, this guy would show up at a neighborhood bar around 1PM, I was in their having a few myself, they served great free munchies every Friday during happy hour. This guy would start drinking 50-cent Natural Light drafts like water. I would leave after eating the food to supply me with enough energy to last until 2-3 AM or whenever I collapsed. I might stop back later at the same bar early in the evening, and that same guy is in there. The thing is that by this time, this guy must have had a gazillion drafts, but he’s still got plenty left. You have to be tough to still be working on a roof in Florida in your late 50’s. That is brutal.

  2. Clarence George 01:57am, 06/07/2015

    Thanks, Peter, and for letting me in on Jimmy Lester, whom I didn’t know.  Moore also beat the erratic L.C. Morgan, one of only four men to stop Jose Napoles.

    Too harsh, KB!  After all, Wallace did beat Scott LeDoux (a name that hasn’t come to mind in many a moon).

    I think they did work together, Irish, though I of course much more associate Cugat with cuchi-cuchi Charo.  Anyway, Carmen Miranda was wonderful, wasn’t she?  Paris Hilton, um…

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:37pm, 06/06/2015

    Clarence George-When I think of Xavier Cugat, I think of Carmen Miranda though I don’t know if they worked together that much.Then I think of that happy and joyous dance routine with Cesar Romero where we learned that Carmencita went commando at least seven decades before Paris Hilton.

  4. Kid Blast 07:58pm, 06/06/2015

    Roy Wallace fought everybody and lost to everybody.

  5. peter 07:28pm, 06/06/2015

    Nice article. I see Moore had a nice win over Jimmy Lester, an upcoming San Fransico middleweight,  who was 30-7-1 at the time.

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 03:48pm, 06/06/2015

    Eric- I knew a guy like that years ago….he was there from opening at 6 am til closing at 2 am….don’t think the bugger ever slept. Had a reserved stool at the end of the bar closest to the John and during the long season he had his little transistor radio tuned to Vin Scully and the Dodgers for each and every dadgummed game. He “ordered in” for burgers and fries or whatever.

  7. Eric 02:24pm, 06/06/2015

    Clarence…Noticed that Hinke lost to Mike Schutte and Chuck Wepner. Mike Schutte was a big’un back in the day.

  8. Clarence George 11:56am, 06/06/2015

    Well done, Katherine.  Despite a very unimpressive record, Gene “Honey Bear” Bryant stepped into the ring with toughies.  He seemed to spend much of his career taking on Denny Moyer.

    Eric, KB:  Didn’t Terry Hinke have a decent record?  and I have a vague recollection of Roy Wallace.  He fought some names, including Bob Foster.  Anyway, Moore clearly doesn’t care about his opponent’s size…or his fangs and claws.

  9. Kid Blast 11:25am, 06/06/2015

    Jody Ballard was a useful heavyweight who only one notable win and that was over Rodney Bobick.

  10. Eric 10:09am, 06/06/2015

    This guys list of opponents are heavyweights. At least the abbreviated list that goes with this article. The name Jody Ballard stuck out, and I remember Jody Ballard fighting Jimmy Young. This guy either moved up a couple of weight classes or he really doesn’t give a damn about the size of his opponent.

  11. Katherine 09:52am, 06/06/2015

    Carl is now 1-2 against ursine opponents. Lost twice to “Honeybear” Bryant.

  12. Kid Blast 06:49am, 06/06/2015

    or 77

  13. Eric 06:00am, 06/06/2015

    Reminds me of one of those guys you see pounding down Natural Light drafts at 1PM in some neighborhood bar called, “Lennys.” You leave and show up again at 9 PM, and that same guy is still there, still drinking, and still going strong even at 73.

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