Pack Man: No Quittin’ on a Stool

By Clarence George on November 13, 2014
Pack Man: No Quittin’ on a Stool
"We had fighters," said Galento. "Louis, Baer, Arturo Godoy, Leroy Haynes, Lorenzo Pack."

“After Galento thumbed him, Lorenzo Pack panhandled around Jack Dempsey’s Restaurant back in the 1960s…”

“Nothing is as new as something which has been long forgotten.”—German proverb

Fooled ya! No, this is not yet another article on the faded Filipino phenom, his never-to-be match with Floyd Mayweather Jr., or his upcoming bout with pretty boy Chris Algieri.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, on August 24, 1916, Lorenzo Pack was a heavyweight who fought out of Detroit, Michigan, from 1935 to 1941, averaging five fights a year. Save for a draw against Eddie Simms and an inexplicable no contest against Frankie Edgren, whom the Pack Man was chastising at will, Lorenzo won his first 13 fights. His first loss came courtesy of Jack Trammell, who kayoed him in the first at Madison Square Garden on December 18, 1936.

Pack was also stopped by Isidoro Gastanaga, Tony Galento, Natie Brown, Jersey Joe Walcott, and Buddy Knox, in what proved to be his last fight. Of his nine losses, he went the distance three times, against Tiger Jack Fox, Jack Trammell in their 1937 rematch, and never-stopped Eddie Wenstob.

But Pack was no pushover, stopping Unknown Winston in the fourth at New York City’s Rockland Palace on May 8, 1937, Leroy Haynes in the second at Shibe Park in Philly on July 27, 1937, and tough Johnny Whiters, stopped only three times in 83 fights (Pack was the first, followed by Tiger Jack Fox and McKinley English), in the sixth at the Arena Gardens in Detroit on January 11, 1938. In fact, all 19 of Lorenzo’s wins came by way of knockout.

According to fellow boxing scribe, Peter Wood, Pack, who died age 64 on February 24, 1981, “was a Galento ko victim. Pack’s right eye was never the same after Galento thumbed him. Pack panhandled around Jack Dempsey’s Restaurant back in the 1960s.” Galento never met an eye that met with his approval (just ask Lou Nova), so Peter may well be right. But it’s worth noting that Lorenzo had eight fights following his sixth-round KO loss to Tony at Philly’s Convention Hall on September 28, 1937. Though, true, he only won three of them.

Said Galento, “We had fighters. Louis, Max Baer, Arturo Godoy, Leroy Haynes, Lorenzo Pack. Whole bunches of ‘em. And none of ‘em ever quit sittin’ on a stool.”

High praise indeed from Mr. Two Ton.

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  1. Clarence George 08:44pm, 11/13/2014

    Well done, Chuck.  This bit of news regarding Lorenzo Pack is truly a gold nugget.  What one learns on this site…

  2. ch. 06:28pm, 11/13/2014

    Clarence, Peter, Kid Blast, I believe I first saw the reference to Lorenzo Pack writing “Patootie Pie” in one of Jersey Jones’  “SEEN AND HEARD in NEW YORK” boxing columns (RING mag.) many years ago when I was much (much) younger. Peter, loved the great June Christie vocals on ‘Shoo Fly Pie’ with the Stan Kenton recording.

  3. Kid Blast 05:53pm, 11/13/2014

    Holy shit, I used to sing that when I was a kid and I am 77 so go figure, Plus the Shoo Fly Pie is almost as tasty as Candy Barr.

  4. Clarence George 02:58pm, 11/13/2014

    Remarkable, Peter.  Your father wrote “Shoo Fly Pie”?  Your father is Guy Wood?  My God, that was one of my father’s favorite songs!  He was always singing it…anyway, the part that went “Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy.”

    I did some research, and Lorenzo Pack did indeed co-write “Petootie Pie.”  But whether we’re talking about “our” Lorenzo Pack…

  5. peter 01:48pm, 11/13/2014

    Lorenzo Pack, a song writer, is news to me. I don’t know how much money he could make writing a jazz novelty song like “Patootie Pie”, but I hope it is true, his being a composer. Jack Dempsey’s Restaurant on Broadway was adjacent to Tin Pan Alley where all of the songwriters hung out. The writers enjoyed smoozing with the ex-fighters, and visa-versa. My dad was a songwriter and also composed a novelty song—“Shoo Fly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy” by Dinah Shore, (and many more through the years). He always felt sorry for Lorenzo Pack, who always seemed more comfortable standing outside on the street, rather than joining the writers and fighters sitting at a table with others. My dad said he was still bitter about his fight with Galento.

     

  6. Clarence George 01:33pm, 11/13/2014

    All roads lead to Candy Barr.

  7. Kid Blast 12:34pm, 11/13/2014

    Candy Barr knew plenty

  8. Eric 12:17pm, 11/13/2014

    Well there is one “conspiracy” theory that the Mossad was behind the assassination of JFK. And Jacob Rubenstein aka Jack Ruby did shoot Lee Harvey Oswald. Was Rubenstein silencing Oswald for a reason? If Stephen King thinks Oswald was acting alone, then that is good enough for me. Now what really happened to Elvis? Wonder if Candy Barr “knew” Elvis?

  9. Clarence George 11:08am, 11/13/2014

    Eric:  I seem to recall hearing somewhere the story that a rabbi put a curse on Joe Kennedy Sr. and family.  Hmmm, I wonder.

  10. Eric 11:03am, 11/13/2014

    Clarence..The “luck of the Irish.” I believe we’ve all known people or families who just seem to go through one tragic event after another, while ohers just breeze through life. And that reap what you sow doesn’t always apply, at least not on earth it doesn’t seem to hold water. Seen good people hit with a truckload of bad sh*t to deal with, and wicked SOBs have everything go there way. The Kennedy family might be one exception, they’ve seemed to reap at least a fraction of what they’ve sown.

  11. Clarence George 10:53am, 11/13/2014

    In addition, Eric, Sharkey’s parents died as the result of a murder-suicide.  Jeez!

  12. Clarence George 10:50am, 11/13/2014

    Oh, that would be one loonnnnggg article, Kid Blast.  You might have to do it as a series, or just focus on mysterious deaths, like those of Zora Folley and Eddie Machen.

    Lorenzo Pack co-wrote “Petootie Pie”?  That’s extraordinary, Chuck, and I appreciate your sharing the information. 

    I don’t doubt that Galento engaged in his usual brutality in his fight with Pack, and could very well have damaged the eye.  But how severely?  After all, Pack fought for several years following the Galento bout.

  13. Eric 10:49am, 11/13/2014

    I believe former heavyweight/cruiserweight Bill Sharkey was convicted of manslaughter and was himself a victim of murder. Wonder how many fighters were the perp & victim of murder?

  14. ch. 10:38am, 11/13/2014

    Clarence, I had heard or read somewhere that Lorenzo Pack, the fighter, had co-written the jazz classic, “Patootie Pie” made famous by Ella Fitzgerald. And I have news clippings from the Philadelphia Inquirer describing the bludgeoning given to Pack by Galento as being “savage.” I imagine a thumbing or two (or three hundred) probably occurred. Hopefully Pack’s life wasn’t as bleak as Wood reported.

  15. Kid Blast 10:33am, 11/13/2014

    Maybe I’ll do an article on the long line of murdered boxers

  16. Clarence George 08:51am, 11/13/2014

    The little-remembered Gastanaga was pretty tough.  And, if memory serves, another in a long line of murdered boxers.

  17. Eric 07:44am, 11/13/2014

    Isidoro Gastanaga. Now that is a name you don’t hear every day.

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