Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Three

By Peter Weston Wood on January 3, 2014
Peek Into the Soul of a Prizefighter—Part Three
“Rocky goes for sports and whodunits. One of his favorite magazines is True Detective."

“Those are the kinda stories I love—real stories about real people. They can be small stories, but they gotta be real…”

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 girls), and peek into the soul of a prizefighter.

Their book could be fiction, nonfiction, memoir, autobiography, history, sport-related, or not. We simply wanted to peek into their soul and see what book—as a kid, or now—knocked them out!

Below, are their responses. Enjoy!

1. Rocky Marciano, aka The Brockton Blockbuster—Heavyweight Champion of the World Sept. 23, 1952 – April 27, 1956

o The only World Heavyweight Champion to finish his career undefeated
o Defeated Jersey Joe Walcott (KO 1) & (KO 3)
o Defeated Joe Louis (KO 8)
o Defeated Ezzard Charles (KO 8) & (W 15)
o Defeated Archie Moore ((KO 9)
o Defeated Roland LaStarza (TKO 11) & (W-SD 10)
o Defeated Harry “Kid” Matthews (KO 2)
o Defeated Rex Layne (KO 6)
o Member of International Boxing Hall of Fame
o Member of World Boxing Hall of Fame
AWARDS:
o Named The Ring magazine “Fighter of the Year” in 1952, 1954 and 1955
o Won The Ring magazine Fight of the Year in 1952, 1953 and 1954
o Awarded the Boxing Writers of America Edward J. Neil Trophy 1952
o IN POPULAR CULTURE:
o Numerous books have been written about Marciano, including “Rocky Marciano, Biography of a First Son”.
o In the movie Rocky, Rocky Balboa’s trainer, Mickey, told him that his boxing style and heart reminded him of Marciano.
o In Rocky V, a flashback shows Mickey giving Rocky a necklace with a gold cufflink shaped like a boxing glove that he said was given to him by Rocky Marciano.
o Marciano has been the subject of several paintings and is on a commemorative US postage stamp issued in 1999.
o Rocky Marciano is featured in many boxing video games including Knockout Kings, Fight Night 2004, and Fight Night: Round 2.
o Rapper Rock Marciano apparently borrowed the boxer’s name, and adapted it slightly to make it his own.
o Won 49 (KO 43) + lost 0 (KO 0) + drawn 0 = 49 rounds boxed 241 (KO% 87.76)

Rocky Marciano’s Favorite Book: “True Detective” Magazine

“Rocky likes to read, and, spending as much time as he does in training camps, he gets plenty of opportunity. He goes for sports and adventure yarns and whodunits. One of his favorite magazines is ‘True Detective,’”(Ed Fitzgerald, “Blockbuster From Brockton”).

2. Pinklon “Pink” Thomas—Heavyweight Boxing Champion (WBC) 1984-1986

o Inaugural IBO Heavyweight Champion 1992-1993
o Defeated Craig Payne (SD 12)
o Defeated Mike Weaver (TKO 8)
o Defeated Tim Witherspoon (W 12)
o Defeated Alonzo Ratliff (TKO 12)
o Defeated James Tillis (TKO 8)
o Defeated Gerrie Coetzee (Draw 10)
o Defeated Michael Greer (KO 5)
o Currently works as an assistant at an alternative school in Orlando, Florida called C.E.P. where he works with juvenile children
o His autobiography, “Fearless Past, Challenging Future” is forthcoming
o Won 43 (KO 34) + lost 7 (KO 5) + drawn 1 = 51 rounds boxed 282 (KO% 66.67)

Pinklon Thomas’s Favorite Book: “Charley Burley” by Alan Rosenfeld

“I go to the library a lot. But I recently started re-reading one of my own books, ‘Charley Burley—The Uncrowned Champion.’ It was written by a friend of mine, Alan Rosenfeld. I met Alan through Hank Kaplan, God rest his soul, and boxing writer, Ron Ross. Man, this book is thick! But the more I read it, the more I enjoy it. There are many characters in there I know personally, like my old trainer, Gene Buffalo, and Angelo Dundee, who also trained me, and Joe West from Seattle, Washington. I recently brought the book into a high school classroom, and during a 20-minute sustained-reading period, I read along with the students.”

3. “Merciless” Ray Mercer—WBO Heavyweight Champion Jan. 11, 1991 – Dec. 24, 1991

o IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight title holder 1990
o NABF Heavyweight title holder 1990
o Defeated Darroll Wilson (W 10)
o Defeated Richel Hersisia (W 6)
o Defeated Tim Witherspoon (W 10)
o Defeated Jesse Ferguson (W 10)
o Defeated Tommy Morrison (TKO 5)
o Defeated Francesco Damiani (KO 9)
o Defeated Bert Cooper (W 12)
o Defeated Kimmuel Odum (W 12)
o Defeated Ossie Ocasio (W 8)
o Amateur Achievements:
o Won the Heavyweight Gold Medal for the United States at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea
o Won the 1988 United States Amateur Championship
o Amateur record: 64-6
o Won 36 (KO 26) + lost 7 (KO 2) + drawn 1 = 44 rounds boxed 235 (KO% 59.09)

Ray Mercer’s Favorite Book: “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper

“I’m a little bit embarrassed to tell what my favorite book is. Ya know, I’m sorta ashamed. It sounds, well, kinda silly. Okay, I’ll tell you anyway. My favorite book is ‘The Little Engine That Could.’ (Mercer’s wife laughs in the background.) That’s what it is. Throughout the years, every time I was training for a fight, I thought of that little book. Even my Olympic coach, Kenny Adams, used that book as a source of inspiration for us when I was on the Olympic team. So, that’s my book. Whenever I’m confronted with a challenge, I still think of that little train. The message is simple and powerful—something like a knockout punch.”

4. Harry Barnett—Manager & Promoter

o Co-promoted the Sonny Liston-Leotis Martin fight

Harry Barnett’s Favorite Book: “Aztec” by Gary Jennings

“This book is about the ancient Aztec world. Reading it is almost like you’re actually living in 16th Century Mexico, actually experiencing Aztec life and the brutal Spanish Conquest. You understand Aztec culture, their point of view. It’s that real. It’s an incredible journey through Central America before and up to the devastation that was the arrival of the Europeans. This is a gripping story with a lot of action wrapped in insightful historical perspective.

5. Dennis Rappaport—Manager & Promoter

o Co-managed Gerry Cooney with Mike Jones
o Co-managed WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev with Don King

Dennis Rappaport’s Favorite Book: “Blood Season—Tyson & the World of Boxing” by Phil Berger

“My favorite book was ‘Blood Season’ by Phil Berger. It was about the good, bad and ugly sides of Mike Tyson and of the boxing world. It was a vivid portrayal about the man and boxing historically. Berger spent countless hours on research, and it shows because it’s a wonderful book.”

6. Joyce Carol Oates—Author of 39 books on the New York Times Notable Books List

o Author of “On Boxing”
o American Academy of Arts and Letters, Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award – 1968 Winner: “A Garden of Earthly Delights”
o American Theatre Critics Association, New Play Award o 1994 nomination: “The Perfectionist”
o Boston Book Review, Fisk Fiction Prize 1996, Winner: “Zombie”
o Bram Stoker Award – Short Fiction, 2003 nomination: “The Haunting”
o Long Fiction, 2000 nomination: “In Shock”
o Superior Achievement in a Novel, 1996 Winner: “Zombie”
o Heidemann Award for One-Act Plays 1990 Co-Winner: “Tone Clusters”
o James Tait Black Memorial Prize – 2005 Fiction shortlist: “Mother, Missing”
o Los Angeles Times Book Prize 1992 Young Adult Fiction finalist: “Big Mouth & Ugly Girl”
o Mademoiselle College Fiction Contest 1959, Winner: “In the Old World”
o National Book Award 2001 Finalist: “Blonde”
o 1990 Finalist: “Because It Is Bitter, And Because It Is My Heart”
o 1971 Finalist: Wonderland”
o 1970 Winner: “Them”
o National Book Critics Circle Award—2007 Fiction Finalist: “The Gravedigger’s Daughter”
o 2007 Autobiography Finalist: “The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates: 1973-1982”

Joyce Carol Oates’s Favorite Book: “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Here’s my list of favorite books: 1) ‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoevsky 2) ‘Ulysses’ by James Joyce 3) ‘The Sound and the Fury’ by William Faulkner 4) The poems of Emily Dickinson 5) The stories of Franz Kafka 6) ‘The Red and the Black’ by Stendhal 7) ‘The Rainbow’ by D.H. Lawrence 8) ‘Women in Love’ by D.H. Lawrence 9) ‘Moby Dick’ by Herman Melville 10) ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ by Mark Twain. What were some of my favorite books growing up? My favorite child’s book was ‘Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland.’ As a teenager I was reading so-called adult literature, and very much admired Henry David Thoreau, Emily Bronte, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and Dostoevsky. I also read a steady succession of young adult fiction, especially in junior high, and classic mysteries like the tales of Sherlock Holmes, horror and science fiction to a lesser degree.” (wordchase.com).

7. Danny Aiello—Actor & Singer

o FILM APPEARANCES:
o “Once Upon a Time in America”
o “Ruby”
o “The Godfather: Part II”
o “The Purple Rose of Cairo”
o “Moonstruck”
o “Léon: The Professional”
o “Two Days in the Valley”
o “Dinner Rush”
o “Do the Right Thing”
o Earned a nomination for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Sal in “Do the Right Thing”
o STAGE APPEARANCES:
o (Broadway debut) “Biggie”
o “Lamppost Reunion” – Little Theatre (now Helen Hayes Theatre), New York City, 1975
o “That Championship Season” – Chicago, IL, 1975
o “Wheelbarrow Closers” – Bijou Theatre, New York City,1976
o “Gemini” – Circle Repertory Theatre, New York City, 1977
o “Knockout” – Helen Hayes Theatre, 1979
o Has released several albums featuring a big-band sound
o TELEVISION APPEARANCES:
o Won a Daytime Emmy award for his appearance in an ABC After School Special called “A Family of Strangers”
o SINGING:
o Aiello and EMI songwriter Hasan Johnson are releasing an album in 2008 of standards fused with rap entitled “Bridges”
o Played the title character for the video of Madonna’s song “Papa Don’t Preach”

Danny Aiello’s Favorite Book: “Requiem for a Heavyweight” by Rod Serling

“I don’t read books much. For me it’s scripts and newspapers. I’m a Daily News and New York Post reader. The New York Times’ slant bothers me. But I read a lot on the internet. At first, I thought the internet was a complete waste of my time—now I see I was wrong. It’s fantastic. It saves so much time with research, if I need to learn something. Okay, my favorite book…I’ll cheat a little—they’re all movies. Maybe they were books too, but I know the film. I got a few: ‘The Big Knife’ and ‘The Harder They Fall’ and ‘On the Waterfront’ and ‘Requiem for a Heavyweight.’ Of those, I gotta go with ‘Requiem.’ Those are the kinda stories I love—real stories about real people. They can be small stories, but they gotta be real. ‘Requiem’ is Primo Carnera’s story. He became a wrestler after he retired. So did Joe Louis. Yeah, my favorite is ‘Requiem for a Heavyweight.’”

8. Saoul Mamby—WBC Light Welterweight Champion Feb. 23, 1980 – June 26, 1982

o Defeated Larry Barnes (SD 10)
o Defeated Glenwood Brown (SD 10)
o Defeated Monroe Brooks (W 10)
o Defeated Maurice “Termite” Watkins (W 15)
o Defeated Esteban De Jesus (TKO 13)
o Defeated Mike Everett (W 10)
o Defeated Percy Hayles (TKO 8)
o Defeated Angel Robinson Garcia (W 10)
o Mamby is the oldest boxer ever to appear in an officially sanctioned bout
o Won 45 (KO 19) + lost 34 (KO 1) + drawn 6 = 85 rounds boxed 753 (KO% 22.35)

Saoul Mamby’s Favorite Book: “Ring” magazine

“Honestly, I’m not a book reader. That’s the truth. But I was proud of my ‘Ring’ magazine collection. I had magazines going all the way back into the ‘60s and ‘70s—until someone stole them. I liked reading about all the fighters. I looked up to those guys and I wanted to become just like them. As I said: If you can perceive it, and you can believe it, you can achieve it.”

9. Ricky “Hitman” Hatton—IBF Super Lightweight Champion June 4, 2005 – March 29, 2006

o WBA Light Welterweight Super Champion Nov. 26, 2005 – May 4, 2006
o WBA Welterweight Champion May 13, 2006 – Aug. 31, 2006
o IBF Super Lightweight Champion Jan. 20, 2007 – Feb. 11, 2007
o Former British Light Welterweight Champion
o Former WBO Inter-Continental Light Welterweight Champion
o Former WBA Inter-Continental Light Welterweight Champion
o Former British Central Area Light Welterweight Champion
o Defeated Paul Malignaggi (TKO 11)
o Defeated Freddie Pendleton (KO 2)
o Defeated Vince Phillips (W 12)
o Defeated Ben Tackie (W 12)
o Defeated Ray Oliveira (KO 10)
o Defeated Kostya Tszyu (RTD 11)
o Defeated Juan Urango (W 12)
o Defeated Carlos Maussa (KO 9)
o Defeated Jose Luis Castillo (KO 4)
o Defeated Juan Lazcano (W 12)
o The Ring magazine’s 2005 Fighter of the Year
o AMATEUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
o ABA National Champion Light Welterweight 1997
o ABA National Junior Champion (Class A) Light Welterweight 1995 & 1996
o ABA National Junior Champion (Class B) Light Welterweight 1997
o ABA National Junior Champion (Class C) Light Welterweight 1994
o Won 45 (KO 32) + lost 3 (KO 3) + drawn 0 = 48 rounds boxed 284 (KO% 66.67)

Ricky Hatton’s Favorite Book: “Hands of Stone: The Life and Legend of Roberto Duran” by Christian Giudice

“Pound-for-pound, Duran was one of the greatest. He and I are blood brothers, spiritual kin, warriors to the bone, and we both can knock your block off!”

10. James “Bonecrusher” Smith—WBA Heavyweight Champion Dec. 12, 1986 – March 7, 1987

o First heavyweight champion with a college degree
o Defeated Mike “Hercules” Weaver (W 12) & (TKO 1)
o Defeated Tim Witherspoon (TKO 1)
o Defeated David Bey (W 10)
o Defeated Jesse Ferguson (W 10)
o Defeated Jose Ribalta (SD 10)
o Defeated Frank Bruno (KO 10)
o Defeated Ricky Parky (W 6)
o After boxing, became an ordained minister
o Started the non-profit organization Champion For Kids Inc.
o Won 44 (KO 32) + lost 17 (KO 7) + drawn 1 = 62 rounds boxed 364 (KO% 51.61)

James “Bonecrusher” Smith’s Favorite Book: “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill

“I like this book ‘Think And Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill. There is a scripture in the Bible that says, ‘As a man thinks, so is he.’ Whatever we think about ourselves we are RIGHT.”

11. Sean Sullivan—Former Editor-In-Chief of “Boxing Digest”

o Member of Boxing Writers Association of America

Sean Sullivan’s Favorite Book: “Atlas—From the Streets to the Ring” by Teddy Atlas & Peter Alson

“Atlas’s book is outstanding. It’s an inspirational read and he keeps it real. I have a second favorite book: ‘Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran and the Last Great Era of Boxing’ by George Kimball. Inside the pages are stories full of drama, sacrifice, fear, and pain. These two books are my favorites.”

12. Joel “Love Child” Julio—WBO Latino light middleweight titleholder 2008

o Held fringe belts: WBC Continental Americas (Light Welterweight division) & WBA Fedecentro Welterweight (Welterweight division)
o Defeated Cosme Rivera (W 12)
o Defeated Cornelius “Canine” Bundrage (TKO 8)
o Defeated Ishe Smith (W 10)
o Defeated Jose Varela (RTD 6)
o Named ESPN.com’s Boxing Prospect of the Year
o Appeared on Ring Magazine’s New Faces feature
o He went 85-0 as an amateur in Colombia
o Won 37 (KO 31) + lost 4 (KO 2) + drawn 0 = 41 rounds boxed 196 (KO% 75.61)

Joel Julio’s Favorite Book: “Relatos de un Naufrago” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“The last book I read was ‘Relatos de un Naufrago,’ translated in English. It means, ‘The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor.’ It’s by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, so it’s good. We’re all shipwrecked in our own special way.”

13. Andre Berto—WBC Welterweight Champion June 21, 2008 – present

o Defeated Michel Trabant (W-RTD 6)
o Defeated Norberto Bravo (TKO 1)
o Defeated Cosme Rivera (W 10)
o Defeated David Estrada (TKO 11)
o Defeated Miguel Angel Rodriguez (TKO 7)
o Amateur Accomplishments:
o 2001 National Golden Gloves Light Middleweight Champion
o 2003 National Golden Gloves Welterweight Champion
o Represented the United States as a welterweight at the 2003 World amateur championships in Bangkok, Thailand
o Represented Haiti at the 2004 Olympics
o He had over 200 amateur bouts
o Won 28 (KO 22) + lost 3 (KO 1) + drawn 0 = 31rounds boxed 173 (KO% 70.97)

Andre Berto’s Favorite Book: “Quiet Strength” by Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker

“Whether you wanna win The Super Bowl or win a boxing championship, it’s all the same. Dungy writes about the principles, practices, and priorities of a winning life.”

14. Joshua “Grand Master” Clottey—IBF Welterweight Champion Aug. 2, 2008

o Defeated Zab Judah (Technical Dec 9)
o Defeated Diego Corrales (W 10)
o Defeated Richard Gutierrez (W 12)
o Defeated Shamone Alvarez (W 12)
o Won 35 (KO 20) + lost 2 (KO 0) + drawn 0 = 38 rounds boxed 236 (KO% 52.63)

Joshua Clottey’s Favorite Book: www.Boxing.com

“I can’t remember the title of my favorite book, but it was an African book. Now, I like to read articles about boxing on websites.”

15. Chuck Zito—Former President of the New York Chapter of The Hell’s Angels

o Actor
o Amateur boxer/martial artist
o Celebrity bodyguard (Liza Minnelli, Sean Penn, Charlie Sheen, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Charles Bronson, Sylvester Stallone, and Arturo Gatti)
o Stuntman
o Hosts a radio show called “Chuck Zito’s View” on Sirius Satellite Radio

Chuck Zito’s Favorite Book: “Elvis and Me” by Priscilla Presley

“As a kid growing up, I had four idols: My father, who started teaching me how to box at the young age of five. I had my first ring fight at twelve years old. My dad was a professional boxer and fought under the name Al La Barba in the ‘30s and ‘40s. He fought as a lightweight and welterweight, and was slated to fight Marty Servo for the welterweight title, but was drafted into World War II. After three years overseas he returned home, had a few more fights, retired. The other three idols were: Bruce Lee, Elvis Presley and the greatest himself, Muhammad Ali. I read ‘Elvis and Me’ by Priscilla Presley, ‘The Tao of Bruce Lee,’ and ‘The Greatest’ by Muhammad Ali. And of course the best book of them all is ‘Street Justice’ by me—Chuck Zito.”

This is the third 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 former middleweight finalist in the 1971 New York City Golden Gloves. Wood was selected to represent America in Montreal, Canada.  In 1976, he was asked to represent America in the Maccabian Games held in Tel Aviv, Israel. He is the author of Confessions of a Fighter , and A Clenched Fist—The Making of a Golden Gloves Champion. Wood’s writing credits include a guest column in The New York Times, and articles in Commonweal, America, Ring and Boxing Illustrated.

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  1. Ted 01:25pm, 01/05/2014

    Eric, Lee is the perfect example. Sickening

  2. Eric 12:39pm, 01/05/2014

    @ Ted….That sort of behavior permeates “our” society, and not just in boxing.  Elvis, Bruce Lee, and Ali are hard to beat when it comes to being cultural icons, however. Can’t really think of three “bigger” names and I’m a fan of all three. However, some of those Elvis “people” need to go ahead and let the poor man die, after all it has been 35 years and counting since Elvis left the building. And those Bruce Lee fanatics are probably just as delusional. According to Lee’s loyal fans, Lee could have whipped any man alive without breaking a sweat, never mind that Lee was all of 5’7” and weighed between 126-140lbs depending on what kind of shape he was in. Ali’s fans are pretty bad themselves but fans of Elvis and Lee are in a league of their own. Hard to top those three names though. Not many other names from entertainment, the sportsworld, or politics can come close.

  3. thresher 12:21pm, 01/05/2014

    Zito makes me puke. Boxing is full of parasites who gain notoriety because of who they hang around instead of because of their own self worth. WTF has he ever done to command respect? “Elvis and Me” by Priscilla Presley being his favorite book is no great surprise.

  4. Eric 11:51am, 01/05/2014

    @Ted….Agree with you on Zito. The guy has milked the whole Jean Claude Van Damme for well over a decade now. Van Damme says he was very drunk and Zito hit him while he was sitting in a chair. Van Damme topples over and Zito is quickly pulled off a very drunk Van Damme. A sucker punch turns into a massacre. teehee. Right. Every time I see Zito on the telly or on Youtube,  he seems to be spouting off about getting into the cage and fighting someone. Never mind that Zito has got to be around 60 years old and that he has probably never had any “sanctioned” MMA bouts. Zito does seem like a stand up guy and I’m quite sure he can handle himself, but I just think the tough guy routine is wearing thin, especially for someone Zito’s age. I saw a video where Van Damme made an offer for Zito to meet him in an MMA bout on Youtube, don’t know how old the vid is, but Van Damme’s story seems more legit to me.

  5. nicolas 03:45am, 01/05/2014

    It was interesting watching the Mamby knockout, and after the loss for the Korean fighter all those people just leaving the arena. the most hilarious I remember was when Brian Mitchell the South African who was Junior light weight champ, fought in Panama, and this was I guess not a great time for Panamanian boxing, he stopped his man in the 14th round or so, and when it was announced, everyone in the arena appeared to get up and walk out. It is amazing to think that at one time, boxing in Korea was big, and now is practically non existent. this has probably a lot to do with the better economic opportunities in South Korea, the rise of other sports, the tragic Deuk Koo Kim death, and may be even the Olympic boxing of 1988. Of course recently one of the Kameda brothers won a reported gift decision in South Korea, so might it make a comeback?

  6. Bob 06:36pm, 01/04/2014

    Great work, Pete. Besides the unique subject matter, I enjoy the way you interview such an eclectic bunch, from fighters to managers, writers, politicians, and the sport’s peripheral but ubiquitous players like Chuck Zito.  Can’t wait for another peek in Part 4.

  7. Ted 08:33pm, 01/03/2014

    For a guy who is a converted and devout Jew and a Viet Nam vet, I’d have thought Mamby would go deeper than Ring Mag.

  8. Ted 08:16pm, 01/03/2014

    One of six children, Palance worked in coal mines during his youth before becoming a professional boxer in the late 1930s. Fighting under the name Jack Brazzo, Palance reportedly compiled a record of 15 consecutive victories with 12 knockouts before losing a close decision to future heavyweight contender Joe Baksi in a “Pier-6” brawl

    Palance was born Volodymyr Palahniuk in the Lattimer Mines section of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania

    He was Ukrainian.

  9. Ted 08:12pm, 01/03/2014

    GTC, Jack was one of the better boxers turned actors. I think he was the best, actually.

  10. peter 07:10pm, 01/03/2014

    @Ted…Thanks,  Ted. I’m glad you are enjoying this series.  I appreciate and value your comments.

  11. George Thomas Clark 01:12pm, 01/03/2014

    Great performance by Jack Palance in the clip from “Requiem”...

    Several years ago, about a year after he died, I attended the estate sale on his ranch near Tehachapi in the mountains east of Bakersfield.  Everything was sold at auction.  For peanuts I got a painting from Africa that hung over the mantle in his ranch house.

    I don’t know the specifics but have heard he did quite a bit of boxing.  He was a physical guy - remember those one-arm pushups after winning the Oscar in the early 1990s when he was about 72.

  12. Ted 08:54am, 01/03/2014

    Zito’s tough guy routine is wearing thin. He seems to gain gravitas by being near real tough guys.


    Irish, many strange things emanate in the attic. LMFAO!!


    Peter, you are onto something here that has never been done before. Unique and uniquely interesting. Hard to do.

  13. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:26am, 01/03/2014

    True Detective was where I first read about the case of the woman who kept her young love slave in the attic right above her boudoir for years and years. The arrangement wasn’t discovered until the human dildo dropped down from the attic and murdered the cuckold husband who was abusing his mistress. As a horny teen at the time, I remember thinking that living in that attic wouldn’t have been such a bad gig.

  14. Pete The Sneak 08:12am, 01/03/2014

    Absolutely great stuff…Saoul Manby, the infamous boxer/Bronx Cabby. Good to hear from him…Imagine, a guy who went by the name of “Merciless” using the ‘Little Engine That Could.’ as a training motivator and still uses it today. How cool is that? This is what I love about this series in discovering these things in some of the worlds toughest men….Can’t wait for the next installment….Toro, don’t get too far ahead of yourself, there are still seven more chances for ‘The Esteemed’ one to make the cut…lol…Peace.

  15. Ted 07:35am, 01/03/2014

    Love this stuff—love it! Also noteworthy is that that the “esteemed” Thomas Hauser missed the cut. Tut tut. Pity that!

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