Good Time George

By Clarence George on March 3, 2014
Good Time George
He was found shot to death on September 3, 1968. Yeah, so much for that moniker of his.

Manley wasn’t up there with light heavy legends Archie Moore, Billy Conn, Philadelphia Jack O’Brien, or even “Slapsie Maxie”…

“A great reckoning in a little room.”—As You Like It

Unknown to a generation of fans whose idea of boxing history is Leonard (Sugar Ray, not Benny), George Manley was a light heavyweight who fought from 1920 to 1935, with an official record of 92 wins, 34 by knockout, 22 losses, and nine draws.

The manly Manley was stopped only four times, by KO Christner by second-round KO in 1930, Adolf Heuser by fifth-round TKO in 1932, Young Firpo by first-round TKO in 1933, and Wesley Ketchell by second-round KO, also in ‘33.

“Good Time” beat some of the toughest, including Johnny Risko, Yale Okun (twice), the never-stopped Lou Scozza, Owen Phelps, Leo Lomski (twice), Light Heavyweight Champion of the World from 1932 to 1934 Maxie Rosenbloom (twice), Pete Latzo, and Harry Smith.

Manley became Colorado’s heavyweight champ by beating Carl Walker by unanimous decision at Denver’s Olympic Stadium on October 8, 1934, losing the title on points to Emilio Martinez, who was also the state’s middleweight and light heavy champ, at Pueblo’s A.C. on August 16, 1935.

All right, so winning the Centennial State’s heavyweight champeenship don’t even hold a pink birthday cake candle to being prize inside Cheerios box interim tin titleholder, but what you gonna do? Where the boys are? Chasing after them Lucky Charms ‘cause they’re so magically delicious. Mixing up my cereals, you say? Don’t matter—it’s kid stuff no matter how much soy milk you pour on it.

Manley was a locomotive engineer who eventually opened a steakhouse in his hometown of Denver. Around until at least the late 1950s, the restaurant had to have a Bamboo Room to go with its charbroiled steaks. I don’t know about the rest of youse, but I don’t much care for a restaurant that don’t have a Bamboo Room. What the hell’s a restaurant without a Bamboo Room anyways? Why, ‘tain’t no kinda restaurant at all.

Speaking of rooms, I don’t know if Manley was murdered in a little one, just that he was murdered. He was found shot to death on September 3, 1968. He was 67. Yeah, so much for that moniker of his.

Okay, so Manley wasn’t up there with light heavy legends Archie Moore, Billy Conn, Philadelphia Jack O’Brien, or even the bizarrely underrated “Slapsie Maxie,” despite beating him twice. But he was a rough-and-tumble fighter from the rough-and-tumble ‘20s and ‘30s, and that’s reason enough to know who he was. It’s all the reason in the world to know who he was.

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  1. JOHN A. BARDELLI 12:07am, 07/27/2014

    Manley fought out of Denver, Colorado.  Denver is called the “mile high city” and unsuspecting fighters would get winded if not properly trained to fighting at such heights. 

    Manley was a boxer puncher.  Mel Epstein, trainer of Young Firpo, described Manley as a big guy would could “punch like hell with that right hand.” 

    I wouldn’t be too quick in dismissing Manley by stating that he was not in the class of a Moore, O’Brien, Conn, or Rosenbloom. 

    His victories over Rosenbloom speak for themselves albeit they were accomplished in Colorado.  Manley was tough to beat in Denver, his home town, “the Mile HIgh City.”  Fighters not trained to fight at that heighth found their wind being tested early in the fight and Manley seized the advantage.  Also, there is evidence that Manley got a lot of favorable decisions if the fight went the distance.  I’ve not researched the Manley-Rosenbloom Denver fights to see what boxing writer Freddie Gallagher had to say about the fights in his coverage.

    I don’t think Conn was in Manley’s class and, in terms of comparative competition, Manley, in taking on the likes of Jeff Smith, Johnny Risko, Yale Okun, Tommy Loughran, Lou Scozza, Maxie Rosenbloom, Lee Lomski, Jimmy Hanna, Young Firpo, Wesley Ketchel and Mickey Walker, fought “a tougher” series of fighters than did Billy Conn, notwithstanding Conn’s epic contest with Joe Louis. 

    Thanks for the efforts.  No doubt, Manley belongs among the elite of the division and he made life miserable for a lot of light heavyweights in the 1920-30’s.

  2. Clarence George 02:47pm, 03/06/2014

    Why, thank you kindly, Ted.

    I don’t at all like that Manley and uncountable others are so forgotten.  It’s dismissive, and I don’t cotton to it.

  3. Ted 01:45pm, 03/06/2014

    “It’s all the reason in the world to know who he was”. Good way to end this. I shall steal this line.

  4. Clarence George 07:36am, 03/04/2014

    I see it, Irish.

    Here’s a link to the original photo:

    http://static.boxrec.com/wiki/thumb/0/05/George_Manley.JPG/350px-George_Manley.JPG

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:47am, 03/04/2014

    Clarence George-For some reason the photo above brings to mind Busby Berkeley…maybe because it appears to be from that era….anyway….. in the photo above Manley looks like he’s getting ready to break into a rip roaring, rollicking tap dance routine….but that’s just me.

  6. Clarence George 06:17am, 03/04/2014

    Thanks very much indeed, Mike.

    It says something (and nothing good) that there isn’t exactly an abundance of information on Manley, not even on the murder.  Glad I could do my part in somewhat rescuing him from an almost complete and certainly undeserved obscurity.

  7. Mike Casey 06:04am, 03/04/2014

    Excellent, Clarence! Great read about Manley and what a way to go. Hope he enjoyed his life while he had it. Keep up the great work on these guys.

  8. Clarence George 03:16pm, 03/03/2014

    Jeez, Eric, how that takes me back.  My brother liked Quisp (the alien) while I sang the praises of Quake (the miner).  Quake hasn’t been around for years, but I think Quisp might still be.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-sTnm_aPBY

  9. Eric 02:52pm, 03/03/2014

    I still enjoy a Jethro-size bowl of Cap’n Crunch every now and then. Used to love Quake and Quisp back in the day also. I don’t even know if they still make Quake or Quisp, but both were sort of like a poor man’s Cap’n Crunch. All three tasted somewhat similar.

  10. Clarence George 02:31pm, 03/03/2014

    Ha!  Thank you, Eric.  Is your knowledge the result of practical research?  Don’t care for any of those myself.  I like Wheat and Rice Chex (can’t stand the Corn variety, though), and enjoy a bowl as an after-dinner snack.  Doesn’t happen often, however—both my mother and She Who Must Be Obeyed are prone to putting the kibosh on that particular avenue of pleasure.

  11. Eric 02:12pm, 03/03/2014

    Top 5 sugary cereals of all time
    1. Cap’n Crunch (plain)
    2. Cocoa Krispies
    3. Sugar Smacks aka Honey Smacks
    4. Cap’n Crunch with Crunch berries
    5. Lucky Charms

  12. Clarence George 01:48pm, 03/03/2014

    Ted:  You must have been a tiny tot in a sailor suit at the time.  Come to think of it, I had a sailor suit.  I was adorable, I’m sure.  Hmmm, do they still make those?  I wonder.

    Irish:  Thanks very much.  You’re right about Rosenbloom.  He was also remarkably feather-fisted—207 wins, but only 19 KOs.  But tough!  Just two of his 39 losses came by way of stoppage—Tommy Milligan by ninth-round KO in 1928 and Jimmy Adamick by second-round KO in 1937.  Impressive, given that he fought 274 times over 16 years, from 1923 to 1939, an average of about 17 fights a year.

    NYI:  Glad you liked it.

  13. NYIrish 12:43pm, 03/03/2014

    Good article on a good fighter I knew nothing about. Thanks.

  14. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:29am, 03/03/2014

    Clarence George-This article was “magically delicious”....two wins over Slapsie….not too shabby!...I noted that in Maxie’s career Manley wasn’t the only fighter that accomplished that feat with Rosenbloom losing the first go round and the return bout as well.

  15. Ted 09:11am, 03/03/2014

    I may have been ringside for one of his bouts in the 20s

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