Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Five

By Peter Weston Wood on February 13, 2014
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Five
“My favorite book? Well, the title of my favorite book confuses, or turns people off.”

“That word is the only word in the English language that will cause a riot,” says Moorer. “Think about it. Words are powerful…”

I asked professional fighters to finish this sentence: “MY FAVORITE BOOK IS…” Their responses were fascinating and illuminating; sometimes surprising and sometimes just plain funny. 

If the adage, “We are what we eat” is true, then “We are what we read” might also be true.

Read the responses of these tough guys (and tough gals) and peek into the soul of a prizefighter.

1. Michael “Double M” Moorer—WBO Light Heavyweight Champion (1988-1991) & WBO Heavyweight Champion (1992)

o WBA & IBF Heavyweight Champion (1994)
o IBF Heavyweight Champion (1996-97)
o WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Champion (2004)
o WBA North American Heavyweight Champion (2004)
o Defeated Bert Cooper (TKO 5)
o Defeated James “Bonecrusher” Smith (W 10)
o Defeated Evander Holyfield (W 12)
o Defeated Frans Botha (TKO 12)
o Defeated Vassiliy Jirov (TKO 9)
o Amateur Record: 48-16
o 1986 Light Middleweight Bronze Medalist at the Goodwill Games
o 1986 United States Amateur Light Middleweight Champion
o Named The Ring magazine Prospect of the Year in 1988
o Was undefeated as a light heavyweight: 22 fights, all knockout victories, including nine defenses of the WBO Light Heavyweight Title
o Was the first southpaw to ever capture the World Heavyweight Championship
o After retiring, began a career as a trainer. Among his pupils was “Minnesota Ice” Joey Abell
o Won 52 (KO 40) + lost 4 (KO 3) + drawn 1 = 57 rounds boxed 294 (KO% 70.18)

Michael Moorer’s Favorite Book: “Nigger” by Dick Gregory & Robert Lipsyte

“My favorite book? Well, the title of my favorite book confuses, or turns people off. It’s called ‘Nigger’. That word is the only word in the English language that will cause a riot. Think about it. Words are powerful. The press—with words—can make or break you. If you do one little thing wrong, like say, get stopped by the police, the press can write it up and ruin everything you’ve worked hard to achieve. Before I read this particular book I had already understood myself and knew who I was. Reading it simply confirmed the knowledge I had about myself. If more people read this book they’d understand themselves better and become stronger mentally. They wouldn’t allow words to affect them adversely.”

2. Goody Petronelli—American boxing trainer and co-manager

o With his brother, Pat, Petronelli managed and trained Marvin Hagler
o Trained Robbie Sims
o Trained Steve Collins
o Trained Kevin McBride
o Received (with Pat) “The Al Buck Award for Manager of the Year” by the International Boxing Hall of Fame

Goody Petronelli’s Favorite Book: “It Can Be Done” by Joe Morris

“‘It Can Be Done,’ a collection of inspirational poetry, is a favorite book of mine. It’s on my coffee table right now as I speak. I pick it up every now and then and read a few pages. I’ve had it for years. My sister Rose bought it for me.”

3. Lucia “The Dutch Destroyer” Rijker—Undefeated WIBF Super Lightweight Champion

o Undefeated WIBO Women’s Junior Welterweight Champion
o Defeated Jane Couch (W 8)
o Defeated Carla Witherspoon (TKO 4)
o Defeated Andrea Deshong (TKO 3)
o Defeated Jeanette Witte (TKO 3)
o At seven, became a member of the Dutch National Softball Team
o At thirteen, won the Amsterdam Fencing Championship, going on to become the Netherlands’ Junior Champion
o Amassed a 36-0 (25 KO) record as a kick boxer, and won four different world titles
o Starring role in award-winning film, “Million Dollar Baby”
o The subject of an award-winning documentary about women’s boxing, “Shadow Boxers”
o The subject of ABC’s Wide World of Sports and HBO’s Boxing Series
o Won 17 (KO 14) + lost 0 (KO 0) + drawn 0 = 17 rounds boxed 66 (KO% 82.35)

Lucia Rijker’s Favorite Book: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake

“This is a classic children’s book, but you don’t have to be a child to enjoy it. I read it in The Netherlands and I remember laughing out loud!”

4. Russell “The Boy Wonder” Peltz—Boxing Promoter (since 1969)

o Promoted his first bout on September 30, 1969, featuring Bennie Briscoe in the main event at the Blue Horizon
o Boxing’s most consistent promoter is synonymous with Philadelphia boxing and, in particular, the Blue Horizon, where he promoted bouts for 32 years
o Served as director of boxing at the Philadelphia Spectrum from 1973-1980
o Among the fighters who boxed on Peltz promoted cards include: Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, Willie “The Worm” Monroe and Stanley “Kitten” Hayward, Marvin Johnson and Mike Rossman, Billy “Dynamite” Douglas and Antonio Tarver, and Hall of Famers Jeff Chandler, Matthew Saad Muhammad, George Benton, and Marvelous Marvin Hagler
o Honored with the James J. Walker Award for “Long and Meritorious Service to Boxing” by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1999
o Avid boxing historian and archivist

Russell Peltz’s Favorite Book: “We Are Not Afraid” by Seth Cagin & Philip Dray

“The infamous murder of three civil rights workers by a Ku Klux Klan mob and Mississippi law-enforcement officers in 1964 takes on the dimensions of a personal, political and national tragedy in this amazing book. This book is the dramatic and historic story about a murderous rage fueled by racism in The South. I’ve read a lot of books about the civil rights period and this one is the best. You know, I once did a boxing show in Mississippi and police were following our car. The feeling was a little unsettling. I thought, ‘This is what those three murdered civil rights workers must’ve felt like. Only worse—much worse.”

5. Don Elbaum—Boxer, Promoter, Manager, and Matchmaker based in the Midwestern and Eastern U.S.

o Promoted his first fight at age eighteen
o Promoted or co-promoted over 1000 cards, including 196 shows at the Tropicana Casino over one five-year period alone
o Promoted the final fights of Willie Pep and Sugar Ray Robinson, in addition to an early fight of world heavyweight titleholder Nikolay Valuev
o Known for staging cards with unusual themes, such as one show that featured a match between winless heavyweights billed as an attempt to crown the “Worst Heavyweight in the World.”
o Managed or worked in an advisory capacity for Aaron Pryor, Tony Tubbs, Simon Brown, Maurice Blocker, and David Telesco
o In addition to an amateur career, Elbaum had a number of pro fights in the 1960s. Many of them took place on shows that he promoted, where he filled in as a last-minute substitutewhen no other fighters were available
o Won 0 (KO 0) + lost 2 (KO 0) + drawn 1 = 3

Don Elbaum’s Favorite Book: “The Ring Record Book” by Nat Fleischer

“My mother was a concert pianist who played four hours a day. I sometimes played duets with her. I was maybe six years old and I liked piano, but it didn’t hold a candle next to my love for boxing. I had three idols: my father, my Uncle Danny, (who had a few fights and was the black sheep of the family), and Sugar Ray Robinson. My dad owned some stores up in Harlem and he once took me to Sugar Ray Robinson’s nightclub. I was amazed. He was so nice to me. They had me throw a right hand and Robinson said, ‘Wow! What a punch!’ I was young and in awe. Then when I was about eight, my dad took me to see Willy Pep fight. I was mesmerized! That was exactly what I wanted to do! I became obsessed! Then, my dad bought me Nat Fleischer’s ‘Ring Record Book’ and hour after hour, Jesus, I started to memorize facts, fights, knockouts, dates, everything! I took a flashlight to bed with me and read for hours!”

6. Peter DePasquale—Former Boxing Promoter, Trainer, Manager

o DePasquale Brothers (Peter & Luddy), a leading boxing promotion company, named “Promoter Of The Year” by the USBA
o Wrote “The Boxer’s Workout” in 1987

Peter DePasquale’s Favorite Book: “In This Corner!” by Peter Heller

“I loved Pete Heller’s book. It brought you into the mind of each champ. Depending upon the interview, it made you realize how differently they coped with, and handled the pressure of being on top. Some guys were defiant, some reclusive, and some were apprehensive. The champ always feels the pressure—there’s always the anxiety of being on top with someone trying to knock you down. Plus, I enjoyed the way these great champs talked so casually about fighting 10 times a year. Imagine fighters today fighting 10 times a year!”

7. Pawel “Raging Bull” Wolak—Rugged Polish light middleweight contender

o Defeated Troy Browning (W 10)
o Defeated Dupre Strickland (KO 2)
o Won 21 (KO 14) + lost 1 (KO 0) + drawn 0 = 22 rounds boxed 98 (KO% 63.64)

Pawel Wolak’s Favorite Book: “Atlas: From the Streets To The Ring” by Teddy Atlas & Peter Alson

“I loved this book. Atlas wrote a great book. He knows his boxing and he made me sit back and think about this crazy sport called boxing. He wrote a tough, honest and wise book.”

8. Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett—Former WBC Continental Heavyweight Champion

o Defeated Tye Fields (KO 1)
o Defeated Owen Beck (TKO 9)
o Defeated Tim Witherspoon (SD 10)
o Defeated Jimmy Thunder (TKO 7)
o Amateur Record: 37-3
o Won 34 (KO 20) + lost 6 (KO 3) + drawn 0 = 40 rounds boxed 240 (KO% 50)

Monte Barrett’s Favorite Book: “I Make My Own Rules” by L.L. Cool J (with Karen Hunter)

“One of my favorite books is L.L. Cool J’s autobiography. I relate to a lot of the family stuff. It was something I needed to hear. What touched me most was the father-son part. Cool J was lucky—he was able to turn to his music to handle his hurt.”

9. Joey Gamache—WBA Super Featherweight Champion June 28, 1991 and WBA Lightweight Champion June 13, 1992 – Oct. 24, 1992

o NABF Light Welterweight Title Holder – 1994
o IBF Inter-Continental Super Featherweight Title Holder – 1990
o New England Light Welterweight Title Holder – 1995
o Gamache is the only boxer from Maine to capture a world boxing title
o Retired after being seriously injured vs. Arturo Gatti
o Defeated Jeff Franklin (W 12)
o Defeated Jackie Beard (TKO 8)
o Defeated Jerry Ngobeni (TKO 10)
o Defeated Jeff Mayweather (W 12)
o Defeated Rocky Martinez (W 12)
o Trainer with the famed Kronk boxing program, under Emanuel Steward
o Won 55 (KO 38) + lost 4 (KO 4) + drawn 0 = 59 rounds boxed 357 (KO% 64.41)

Joey Gamache’s Favorite Book: “The Ageless Warrior—The Life of Boxing Legend, Archie Moore” by Mike Fitzgerald

“It’s your mind and your will that gets beat more than your body! I read this book and loved it. It’s Archie Moore’s story—but it’s also your story and my story, as well.”

10. Ron Lyle—Top-Ranked Heavyweight Contender in the 1970s

o Lost to Muhammad Ali in WBC & WBA title bid
o Defeated Vicente Rondon (KO 2)
o Defeated Boone Kirkman (TKO 8)
o Defeated Buster Mathis (KO 2)
o Defeated Larry Middleton (W 10)
o Defeated Jose Luis Garcia (KO 3)
o Defeated Oscar Bonavena (W 12)
o Defeated Earnie Shavers (TKO 6)
o Amateur Career:
o The 1970 National AAU Heavyweight Champion
o The 1970 North American Amateur Heavyweight Champion
o The 1970 International Boxing League Heavyweight Champion
o won 43 (KO 31) + lost 7 (KO 4) + drawn 1 = 51 rounds boxed 324 (KO% 60.78)

Ron Lyle’s Favorite Book: “Ring Magazine”

“I read Ring Magazine. I liked looking at the pictures to see guy’s styles, to see how they slipped a punch or how they held their hands. Once I got ranked, I liked seeing where I was ranked. It was like being on a rollercoaster—I’d be #2, then #1, then #3. Each month was always different.”

11. Lonnie “Lightning” Smith—WBA Lightweight Champion Aug. 21, 1985 – May 5, 1986

o Defeated Forrest Winchester (W 10)
o Defeated Todd Longmuir (TKO 7)
o Defeated Billy Costello (for title) (TKO 8)
o Named “The Ring Magazine Progress of the Year” fighter for 1985
o won 45 (KO 27) + lost 6 (KO 1) + drawn 2 = 53 rounds boxed 331 : KO% 50.94

Lonnie Smith’s Favorite Book: “The Spook Who Sat by the Door” by Sam Greenlee

“I picked up this book and read it from cover to cover when I was at Don King’s training camp in Ohio. Yeah, Don reads all the time. This book was lying around in his home library. It’s a hard-hitting book that depicts a world in which the long-suppressed black man fights back with a vengeance. It was made into a film with Ivan Dixon. Hey, when I was living at Don’s, I sparred with ‘em all—Aaron Pryor, Roberto Duran, and Salvador Sanchez. Without a doubt, the best of them all? Sanchez! He was dangerous with either hand and the guy never got tired! And the best book in that library—‘The Spook Who Sat by the Door!’”

12. Angelo Dundee—Legendary boxing corner man who has worked with 15 world boxing champions, including Muhammad Ali

o Trained “Sugar” Ray Leonard
o Trained Jose Napoles
o Trained George Foreman
o Trained Jimmy Ellis
o Trained Carmen Basilio
o Trained Luis Rodriguez
o Trained Willie Pastrano
o Trained Ralph Dupas
o Named Manager of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association in 1968 and 1979
o Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994
o Ringside commentator for many televised fights
o Trained Russell Crowe for Crowe’s characterization of James J. Braddock in “Cinderella Man” and appeared in the film as “Angelo” the cornerman
o Co-author with Bert Sugar of “My View from the Corner: A Life in Boxing”

Angelo Dundee’s Favorite Book: “The Jack Dempsey Story” by Gene Schoor

“I never read much as a kid, but I did read ‘Dempsey’ and was impressed as hell. I read it from stem to stern. Fighting in salons and hobo camps, man, what a tough guy! But he was a sweetheart. I got to know him when I lived in midtown Manhattan. I used to eat at Dempsey’s Restaurant all the time.”

13. Mike Silver—Boxing Historian and Author

o Author of “The Arc of Boxing: The Rise and Decline of the Sweet Science”
o Curator of the critically-acclaimed exhibit, “Sting Like A Maccabee: The Golden Age of the American Jewish Boxer,” presented by the National Museum of American Jewish History 2004-2005
o Former promoter and Inspector with the New York State Athletic Commission
o Articles published in The New York Times, Ring Magazine, Boxing Monthly and various boxing websites
o Historical consultant for numerous boxing documentaries produced by PBS, HBO, ESPN, A&E, MSG Cable, and The History Channel
o Member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO)

Mike Silver’s Favorite Book: “Catcher in the Rye” J. D. Salinger

“This book is an unforgettable character study that every teenager going through the pangs of adolescence can appreciate and identify with. Salinger captures the moods, anxieties and experiences of typical teenage angst and awakening. It is poignant, hilariously funny, sad, and hopeful. I have several favorite boxing books but Nat Fleischer’s ‘50 Years at Ringside’ was the first I ever read and was a great introduction for a new fan. It remains among my all-time favorites. Another all-time favorite is ‘Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling and a World on the Brink’ by David Margolick. Brilliant writing and research.”

14. Johnny Bos —Colorful Boxing Promoter & Boxing Savant

o Irrepressible Fight Agent & Boxer Developer
o Renown Matchmaker
o President of the Charlie “Devil” Green Fan Club

Johnny Bos’s Favorite Book: “In This Corner…!” by Peter Heller

The book by Pete Heller, ‘In This Corner’ was my favorite. It went through the different boxing eras with Gunboat Smith in the 1915s talking about his fights with Dempsey. Then there’s Paul Pender telling you about the 1960s with him fighting an old Sugar Ray Robinson. Henry Armstrong talks about fighting in the 1930s. And it’s all written in their own vernacular, their own words. Heller got the concept from ‘Glory of Their Times’ by Lawrence Ritter, a book about baseball players.”

15. Bill Gallo—Famed cartoonist and newspaper columnist for the New York Daily News

o Columnist/Writer/Cartoonist
o Received the James J. Walker Award from the Boxing Writers Association, and the Champions Award from the Downtown Athletic Club
o Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame
o Received the National Cartoonist Society Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998
o Awarded the Page One Journalism Award from the New York Newspaper Guild 20 times
o Received the Power of Printing Award, the Elzie Segar Award (as outstanding Cartoonist in 1975)
o Received the Achievement Award for Alumni from the School of Visual Arts
o Received the National Cartoonist Society Sports Cartoon Award for 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988

Bill Gallo’s Favorite Book: “Studs Lonigan” by James T. Farrell

“‘Solo in Tom-Toms’ by Gene Fowler is my favorite book. It’s about a boy’s search for a father. That moved me and I’ll never forget reading it. But since it’s out of print, I’ll give you another book—the wonderful ‘Studs Lonigan.’ Both have boxing in them. As I’ve always said—boxers are the noblest athletes of them all. And they’re the best interview. And the most honest, ha-ha, well, not all of them.”

16. Eileen/Miyoko “The Hawaiian Mongoose” Olszewski—Universal Boxing Federation International Flyweight Champion Jan. 18, 2014

o International Female Boxers Association flyweight titleholder (Sept. 25, 2013)
o Global Boxing Union Female flyweight titleholder (Dec. 17, 2010)
o Women’s International Boxing Association flyweight titleholder (Dec. 17, 2010)
o Women’s International Boxing Association flyweight titleholder (Fe. 28, 2008)
o Former Knicks City Dancer
o Olszewski is the oldest flyweight in history, male or female, to win a share of a world flyweight title at age 45
o Won 9 (KO 1) + Lost 5 (KO 0) + drawn 2 = 16; rounds boxed 124 (KO% 6.25)
o Defeated Jodie Esquibel (W 6)
o Defeated Patricia Alcivar (TKO 8)
o Defeated Anastasia Tokaulova (W 10)
o Drew with Stefania Bianchini (10)
o Drew with Nadia Raoui (10)

Eileen Olszewski’s Favorite Book: “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey

“Besides reading The Bible, my favorite book is, maybe, ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’ Why? Because of the main character—a big, red-headed gambler, a con man, and a backroom boxer named McMurphy. He’s trapped inside a mental institution and can’t control his environment, but he’s able to mentally mess with Nurse Ratched. Ratched is the type of person who tries to prey on people’s vulnerabilities.That’s until McMurphy steps in. Yeah, he’s a bit of a con artist, but he’s a righteous con artist who empowers all of the other poor souls trapped in that miserable mental ward. In the end, he does assume some control—internally and mentally. Many other good books pop into my brain—like ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini. What I liked about that book were the two strong women characters. They found themselves in many horrible situations which they couldn’t control. I must have cried 20 times reading it. The prevalent theme is the inner strength of women. These two women endured so much heartache, merely because they were women, yet each continually mustered enough strength to persevere.”

This is the fifth of a 15-part series.

Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part One
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Two
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Three
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Four
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Five
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Six
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Seven
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Eight
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Nine
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Ten
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Eleven
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Twelve

Peter Wood is a 1971 NYC Golden Gloves Middleweight Finalist in Madison Square Garden;. Middleweight Alternate for The Maccabean Games in Tel Aviv, Israel, and author of two books: Confessions of a Fighter , and A Clenched Fist—The Making of a Golden Gloves Champion , published by Ringside Books.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. Clarence George 03:48pm, 02/14/2014

    Eric:  Interesting that you mentioned the Wichita Massacre and the Christian-Newsom case, as I almost brought them up myself.  Among the worst crimes ever committed, particularly the latter.  By the way, I’m not in favor of hate-crime legislation.  Punishing motive is akin to punishing thought.  And when the State punishes thought, it will ultimately restrict speech.  This is already the case throughout much of Europe, as well as Canada.

    A racist today is anyone not in lockstep with that grotesque mountebank, Al Sharpton.  But I’m old-fashioned, and define a racist as someone who rejects out of hand a member of a particular racial group simply because of that membership.  Alien to me, as is everything that’s just downright stupid.

    I really don’t care about the color or ethnic background of any boxer (unless he’s Hungarian, so that hardly ever applies).  That my list of heavyweights is evenly divided between blacks and whites is happenstance.  By the way, you couldn’t pay me to have either of the Klitschkos among my top 10 (well, you could, but I wouldn’t come cheap), but Marciano and Dempsey are in fourth and fifth place, respectively, and Tunney is on there, in ninth place, honorably and comfortably ensconced between Joe Frazier and Sam Langford.

  2. Eric 02:28pm, 02/14/2014

    Clarence, Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called the R-word aka “wayciss.” By even pointing out the double-standards of the tolerant left or the so-called “anti-racists,” you will be deemed a “wayciss,” “Nazi” or a “white supremacist.” I’ve always found it interesting how all those so-called “anti-racist” are NEVER around when whites are victimized by blacks. Two great examples are the Christian-Newsom murders and the Wichita Massacre. WHERE were all those people who oppose racism? BTW, neither the Christian-Newsom murders or the Wichita Massacre were recognized as “hate crimes.” I would probably be one of the few people to put not one but both Klits in the top 10 along with Dempsey and Marciano. Tunney would at least be in the top 14-15. Very hard to dispute the stranglehold of domination that black fighters have had on the heavier divisions in boxing until the recent arrival of the Eastern Europeans.

  3. Clarence George 08:28am, 02/14/2014

    Eric:  What’s most ridiculous and more than a little disturbing is that “niggardly” is frowned upon because it’s genuinely misunderstood by the ignorant or deliberately misinterpreted by racial hucksters.  You couldn’t write this sort of thing as fiction.  Well, maybe Orwell could.

    Not too much of this nonsense in boxing.  And yet…someone once called me a racist because of my top 10 heavyweight list.  I didn’t know what he meant, given that five of the men were white and five black.  I asked for whom my evenly divided list demonstrated a distaste, blacks or whites.  “For blacks, of course.”  Of course.  Well, as long as there’s no thinking…that’s the main thing.

  4. Eric 07:01am, 02/14/2014

    The N-word aka “nigger” is another weapon all those race pimps like the “reverends” and other duplicitous race hustlers use to intimidate, extort, etc. Little Wayne uses the word “nigger” more in one of his “songs” than Paula Deen has in her entire lifetime. While Paula Deen, and other whites like Imus, etc., are raked over the coals for either using the “N-word” or other slights like “nappy-head,” someone like congressman Charlie Rangel refers to whites as “crackers” and doesn’t even bother to issue an apology for it. Can you say DOUBLE-STANDARD boys & girls. Meanwhile, I’m forced to watch a tearful, and pathetic Paula Deen go on television and shed tears as if she just committed the crime of the century. I personally don’t think the word “nigger” should garner anymore political weight than the words, cracker, mick, spic, nip, heeb, dago, wop, slope, raghead, dothead, etc. These manufactured “speech crimes” are meant to punish whites ONLY, just as nearly all so-called “hate crimes” are meant to be USED against white heterosexuals ONLY. How many of the black perps knocking out whites have been charged with a “hate crime?” And the ONLY incident I read or heard about involving a white person knocking out an elderly black man? The white perp was charged with a so-called “hate crime.”

  5. Clarence George 04:21am, 02/14/2014

    Nicolas:  I don’t have a problem with most ethic nicknames, as they’re an inherent part of a language that should be colorful and vibrant.  Which is not to say that they should be used to derogate.  But “nigger” is in a class by itself, if only because of the toxicity of racial politics and posturing.  If it is indeed the “most evil word,” as it’s been described (though I really don’t know what that means), then nobody should use it, regardless of the rationalization.  What I can’t stand, though, is the “N-word.”  If someone says to me, “He called him the N-word,” my reaction is, “The ‘N-word’?  If you mean he called him a nigger, then say so.  The last time I checked, neither one of us had been in a sandbox for some decades.”

    One of the many great things about boxing is how little room there is for racism (though tribalism is another matter).  I mean, what’s a white supremacist to do, focus all his attention on Rocky Marciano while pretending that Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Ike Williams, Beau Jack, Joe Frazier, and a whole battery of magnificent black fighters kinda aren’t there?  Not only is racism unworthy of a boxing fan—it’s downright impossible.

  6. nicolas 01:34am, 02/14/2014

    Clarence: Many blacks use the term nigga, which is supposed to be something of a term of endearment. perhaps it is a way of taking the hurt the word once had. My father who was Polish often said to people who asked, I’m Pollock.

  7. The Fight Film Collector 07:16pm, 02/13/2014

    As long as one man’s riot word is another man’s song lyric, we’re going to have a general failure to communicate.

  8. Eric 05:02pm, 02/13/2014

    The way fighters cut weight is incredible. Gatti weighs 141lbs and 27 hours later he’s at the middleweight limit of 160lbs. Gatti had to be the biggest “jr. welterweight” I think I’ve ever seen for his fight with Gamache.

  9. Clarence George 03:05pm, 02/13/2014

    Thank you, Peter.  “Brilliant” is used with gross insufficiency when people make reference to me.

    By the way, what on earth is Moorer wearing in the photo?  Are those John L. Sullivan’s boxing pants?  How odd.  Howodd Bensonmum.  Oh, don’t get me started.

  10. peter 02:51pm, 02/13/2014

    @ Clarence—“The Flutes of Shanghai” by Louise Jordan.  HA! That was brilliant!

  11. Clarence George 02:49pm, 02/13/2014

    Eric (who makes some valid points) brings up how inextricably intertwined is boxing with so much else.  With beautiful women, to be sure, but also with political, cultural, and social issues.  Personally, I’d rather talk about beautiful women, but I’ll say this:  “Nigger” is pretty ugly and savage, and its use should be avoided, including by blacks, who tend to use it more than anyone else.  Never understood the indefensible dispensation myself.  But I’m more offended by the “N-word.”  What are we, children?  What Orwellian dystopia is this?  And a word about Dick Gregory.  He’s the epitome of self-satisfaction, however unwarranted.  He seems to hold in contempt anyone and everyone who isn’t Dick Gregory.  Worse, he styles himself as a comedian, but he’s singularly unfunny.  Ha!  Which reminds me of when Homer Simpson was watching a black comedian making fun of whites.  Homer, in hysterics, cried out:  “He’s right!  We’re so lame!”

  12. Eric 02:14pm, 02/13/2014

    Someone needs to question the intelligence or sanity of a person who will “riot” or go off on a homicidal rage over a word. More than likely individuals like Moorer have been inculcated and programmed to behave on command by social engineers looking for useful idiots to use as pawns. Words only have the power you give them. Wonder if Moorer has ever used the C-word aka “cracker,” or any other less than flattering terms about whites? The C-word is probably much lower on the totem pole of political correctness, however, and the blasphemous N-word is at or near the very top of transgressions against the gawds of political correctness.

  13. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:24pm, 02/13/2014

    “Moorer delivered a punch to the jaw of Officer Carl Fronzaglio and fractured the left side of his jaw, and took off running.” (from an article by Phil Berger writing for the NYT) In the video above Moorer has the expression of a condemned man being led to the guillotine….and very much resigned to his fate. Too bad for Moorer that Officer Carl wasn’t in the other corner that night instead of David Tua who came very close to beheading Michael.

  14. Thresher 12:52pm, 02/13/2014

    “You know, I once did a boxing show in Mississippi and police were following our car. The feeling was a little unsettling. I thought, ‘This is what those three murdered civil rights workers must’ve felt like. Only worse—much worse.”

    That sure as hell wasn’t in Biloxi. Anything that was and is good for tourism is not messed with by the Politizia.

  15. nicolas 11:51am, 02/13/2014

    I wonder what year Peltz promoted in Mississippi when he was followed by the police? Had to laugh at Michael Moorer though, when he says “when you do one thing wrong like get stopped by the police”. I think he did a little bit more than that when that happened.

  16. Clarence George 10:54am, 02/13/2014

    I’ve been more than patient, Peter, but it’s manifest that you’re just too anti-portly to ask Tony Galento about his favorite reading material.  Well, I’ve done your job for you—Tony’s favorite book is “The Flutes of Shanghai” by Louise Jordan Miln.  So there.

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