Spanish Drama: The Touching Story of Catalan Boxers

By Juan Pérez Ortiz on November 24, 2014
Spanish Drama: The Touching Story of Catalan Boxers
Gironés had his moment of greatest glory on February 17th of 1935. Ephemeral glory.

“After the Spanish Civil War, the dictatorship of Franco exterminated and wiped from Spanish history the memory of those champions…”

Jose Gironés was a good fighter. A fellow fighter. Born in Barcelona (Spain) on August 29th of 1904, he was European champion in one of the best eras of Spanish boxing, during the 1930s. He won the European featherweight crown against Danish Knud Larsen in October 1929 in front of 40,000 spectators at Montjuic Stadium, the same place where one year later Spanish heavyweight Paulino Uzcudun lost to Max Schmeling before 90,000 spectators! Barcelona, in the northeast of Spain, was the European capital of boxing. Those were other times.

Gironés had his moment of greatest glory on February 17th of 1935. Ephemeral glory. He fought against Freddie Miller for the world featherweight title… but he was knocked out in the first round. Two minutes and 18 seconds. “I cried a lot and bit my fists in the dressing room,” Gironés remembered. “People told me horrendous insults. It was the worst point of my career.” It was the last bout for Gironés. He retired at the age of 30 with 97 wins and eight defeats. Tragedy came several years later.

University professor and writer Joaquim Roglan wrote the story of Gironés and other excellent Catalan boxers victimized by Francoism in Mortal Combat. A sad story. Gironés died in 1982, exiled in Mexico after being persecuted by the Franco dictatorship. Other reprisals: Carlos Flix, European bantamweight champion during the 1930s was shot at the age of 31; Victor Ferrand, European flyweight champion, died exile in Paris; Llorenç Vitria, Olympic champion at Paris 1924, was exterminated in a Nazi concentration camp. “After the Spanish Civil War,” says Roglan, “the dictatorship of Franco exterminated and wiped from Spanish history the memory of those champions.”

Gironés was a Catalan idol. He fought on two successive occasions against Freddie Miller, both times in Barcelona. The first time, on December 1934, the Spanish boxer was disqualified for hitting low in the fifth round. Gironés took up the challenge into his decadence. He had physical problems, but still fought hard. Fourth round was enormous. Spanish fighter threw everything forward. Miller suffered so much, saved by the line! In front of enthusiastic audience, Miller’s manager, Pete Reilly, took him in his arms and himself carried him to the corner.

Fifth round disappointing. Two low blows of Gironés, two consecutive hits in the stomach, ended the bout.

Second fight ended too soon. Epilogue of a brilliant career.

Trained by Angel Artero, tortured by Franco regime, Gironés has successfully defended the featherweight European title seven consecutive times against Julien Verbist, Vittorio Tamagnini, Paul Noack, Otello Abbruciati, George Leperson, and Lucian Popescu. He did not like to travel. Almost all his fights were in Catalonia, where he fought against the great and extravagant Panama Al Brown in October 1930. Spanish artist Eduardo Arroyo wrote a fascinating biography of Al Brown in 1982. That bout finished in a draw. It was the first fight of the Panamanian idol in Spain. Eighteen days before, he had defended the world bantamweight crown against Frenchman Eugene Huat in Paris.

“Al Brown is very strong,” said Gironés. “With his long arms, so long arms…But I never feared the worst.” Meanwhile, the Panamanian boxer said: “Girones has still to learn a lot. American boxers are better, but he can be a serious contender.”

Now retired, Gironés worked as a bodyguard to president of the Government of Catalonia. He was an object of respect. But, things became complicated. Into the complex Spanish reality, the local anarchists hated Gironés and the other Catalan boxers because they were close to the government. Gironés lost his savings. His personal belongings were withheld. Meanwhile, Franco’s army entered Catalonia. Gironés escaped, but his wife and his daughter suffered the repression of the Franco dictatorship. His wife was immediately arrested and imprisoned. Their house was occupied by a Phalanges family. The manager of Gironés, Angel Artero, was arrested and tortured. They broke his wrists.

Gironés went into exile in France. Sent to a concentration camp along with tens of thousands of other refugees, Gironés lived a painful odyssey. Finally, he immigrated to Mexico when the Germans occupied Paris in June 1940. The journey was long and tiresome. The ship departed on September 1942. Hygienic conditions were extremely poor. He never saw his family again. In Mexico he led an austere and simple life.

Gironés died on February 8th of 1982 in Mexico DF.

(This article is focused around Jose Gironés, the best performer of the latest Catalan generation boxers.)

Author’s note: The broadcasting of boxing events was prohibited by Socialist government of Felipe Gonzalez in 1980s. Spanish boxing was mortally wounded. With exceptional cases, it wasn’t the same anymore. On the other hand, the second golden age of Spanish boxing came years after the Civil War (1936-1939) with Luis Romero, Young Martin, Fred Galiana, Luis Folledo and Ben Ali, for example. We are speaking of the 1950s and 1960s. And in the late sixties and 1970s success came with Pedro Carrasco, Jose Legra, Juan Albornoz, Manolo Calvo, Miguel Velázquez, Jose Duran, Jose Manuel Ibar and others.

Juan Pérez Ortiz, Spanish journalist

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  1. Robert Ecksel 04:10pm, 11/28/2014

    Yes, Clarence, I agree. Power is the ghost in the machine, fueled by ideology and the smell of blood. Under the right (or wrong) conditions, I fear we too might do monstrous things.

  2. Clarence George 03:08pm, 11/28/2014

    Robert:  I’m sure that Dashiell Hammett’s Continental Op (a favorite fictional character of mine) would agree with you that truth is nothing more than a state of mind.  But I think that’s a philosophy that can only devolve into chaos and anarchy.  As for Franco, absolutism and immutability didn’t apply to him.  After all, he wasn’t a moral truth or certainty.  That said, morality did indeed apply to him, as it does to us all.  Was he found morally wanting?  He was indeed, at least in many respects.  Ah, but would the other side have been found even more wanting?  You betcha.

  3. Robert Ecksel 02:40pm, 11/28/2014

    Clarence, there are too many truths for there to be an absolute and immutable truth. That leaves us with our truth, perhaps with all the trimmings, while all other truths are false because they’re not our truth. I can’t accept that. It lacks imagination and smacks of egoism. To revisit Franco, how does absolutism and immutability apply to him? It suggests he either is or is not a monster, yet you were the one parsing his record. One can find good in everyone if one looks hard enough. Even Hitler loved dogs and children (if they were housebroken and not Jewish or Romani).


    Alex, I’m glad you find me amusing. I can’t say the feeling is mutual. You accuse me of being a “bit racist,” which I assume is like being a bit pregnant, as though the Catalans and Spaniards were a race (as opposed to a nationality). Insofar as Catalans not being “temperamental at all,” I posit that humans, whether they’re from Catalonia, Catalina, or Catatonia, are temperamental by nature, if not hypersensitive to a fault, as your comments clearly indicate.

  4. The Waco Kid 02:21pm, 11/28/2014

    Spanish Drama!! You got dat right playa, teehee.

    Well I never been to Spain
    But I kinda like the music
    Say the ladies are insane there
    And they sure know how to use it
    They don’t abuse it
    Never gonna lose it
    I can’t refuse it

    Everybody sing along now. teehee.

  5. Kid Blast 01:43pm, 11/28/2014

    Yikes!

  6. Clarence George 01:34pm, 11/28/2014

    Robert:  Disagree with the nihilism.  There is truth.  And truth, by definition, is absolute and immutable.  That doesn’t mean that we (including me) always know it when we see it.

    Alex:  Using words you don’t understand hardly helps your cause.  There’s nothing “pretentious,” for instance, in citing references.  But I suppose someone as antithetical as you are to intellectual rigor would inevitably “think” otherwise.  And I wasn’t being patronizing when I said I appreciated your time and effort.  I was, however, underwhelmed by the content.  Your posts are incoherent twaddle.  You’d be well advised to quit while you’re hopelessly behind.  But if you enjoy spending your time penning bombastic codswallop…suit yourself.

    What strikes me the most is how unintentionally funny you are.  True of all humorless people.  That you believe that at any time you’ve cornered me…son, you couldn’t corner a dust bunny.

  7. Kid Blast 01:16pm, 11/28/2014

    Oh dear!

  8. alex 12:24pm, 11/28/2014

    “Those of us who know better,” that’s funny, Mr. Ecksel. With all respect, I don’t know who do you think you are. The bit about the Latin temperament sounds a bit racist and is totally inaccurate. Catalons are culturally not temperamental at all, and Spanish people are quite different from the Latinos you probably have in mind. After all, nonsense is nonsense and Juan has been quite moderate, in fact. Clarence George talks about things he clearly doesn’t understand. He’s read a couple of books and whenever he is cornered -I have said all I wish on this topic (...), I have wasted too much of my PRECIOUS time in this exceptionally sterile article (...), thanks for your time and effort (...)- he backpedals by adopting a patronising tone which hides the more than evident insecurity we are referring to. Patronising is the refuge of the mediocre, let’s not forget that. When I suggested I was embarrassed by Clarence’s comments I wasn’t referring only to opinions that need no further comment, but the pretentiousness attached. You don’t pose like an expert when you are not. You don’t play writer when you are not Fitzgerald. I’m sorry to say this but, as the rule above indicate, let’s keep it clean.

  9. Robert Ecksel 10:56am, 11/28/2014

    Juan overreacted. No question about it. His name-calling rubbed me the wrong way when I first read it. Maybe he doesn’t know the rules of the road. Maybe his Latin temperament got the best of him. Maybe he attacks those who disagree with him. Maybe his grandfather was murdered by Franco’s henchman. I just don’t know. What I do know is that the world is too complex to be reduced to right and wrong, good and bad, true and false. Those of us who know better owe it to ourselves and everyone else to celebrate the highest, most enlightened standards.

  10. Clarence George 10:37am, 11/28/2014

    By me?  I don’t recall ever calling you a “commie” or a “Red,” Robert, but if I did it was surely tongue-in-cheek.

    All respect and affection in the world, as I’m sure you know, but I couldn’t disagree more.  Whatever his faults and sins and downright crimes, Franco was preferable to what was the only alternative.  And “only” is the operative word—there was no third option.  I also disagree, and with considerable vim, that Juan’s calling me “stupid” and a “cretin” is “understandable.”  It’s your prerogative to understand it, of course, but I bloody well don’t.  He could have debated me vigorously, but with intellectual rigor and civility, as Norm Marcus did (and I believe I responded in kind), but instead opted for the tried-and-true (for those still in the sandbox) throwing of sticks and stones.  Actually, I do understand it…I just don’t like it.  Despite my justified displeasure, I think I demonstrated admirable restraint.

  11. Robert Ecksel 10:13am, 11/28/2014

    I was thinking of other threads, threads where I’ve been subjected to those descriptions. One man’s vernacular description is another’s dismissive insult. I believe Juan’s name-calling was an overreaction and inappropriate, but understandable in light of your defense of the indefensible Generalissimo Franco. I can accept defending old-time values. We all do it to some extent. Defending mass murderers, whatever their political persuasion, is another story.

  12. Clarence George 09:56am, 11/28/2014

    A fair question, Robert, but I see those more as vernacular descriptions than name calling.  Moreover, I don’t think I called anyone who’s participated on this thread a “commie” or a “Red,” though those are indeed historically accurate when referring to many of those who fought on the Republican side.  I did refer to the author as a “commissar,” and perhaps I shouldn’t have.  But only perhaps—I don’t take kindly to being called “stupid” or “cretinous.”  Not at all kindly.  Again, it’s not the names, per se.  No, it is the underlying mindset, the paucity of intellect.  My tolerance for those who disagree with me is vast; my tolerance for inarticulate apes who can do nothing more than hurl verbal stones is…limited.

  13. Robert Ecksel 09:31am, 11/28/2014

    Clarence—If memory serves, you’ve called those whose politics you can’t stomach commies or Reds on more than one occasion. Doesn’t that qualify as name-calling? Or am I missing something?

  14. Clarence George 09:20am, 11/28/2014

    That hits the nail on the head, Eric.  I actually revel in disagreement, because it engenders (or at least it can) vigorous and interesting discussions.  One has to keep things in perspective, however, not take oneself too seriously, and have a sense of humor.  What I can’t stand is name calling, which is always proof positive of humorlessness, immaturity, and insecurity.  The equivalent of, “Oh yeah?  Well, your momma wears combat boots.”  It’s not that I give a damn what anybody calls me or thinks of me, but I can’t stand the underlying mentality.  I don’t know about the rest of these boyos, but the last time I was on a school playground Rutherford B. Hayes was comfortably ensconced in the White House.  A long time ago, and days I haven’t the slightest interest in revisiting.

  15. Eric 08:43am, 11/28/2014

    @Juan Perez….This is a very chill site. Go on any political discussion board and if you have the cojones to agree to disagree with someone, you will be under siege, your family will be called names, and they’ll kick the family dog for good measure. NOTHING on the internet is worth taking seriously. I actually feed off of it, but then again, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”

  16. Juan Pérez 02:04am, 11/28/2014

    Thanks Alex/Norman, I didn know what to think…I am now much calmer…Clarence is a tough competitor, so to speak…

  17. Eric 08:50pm, 11/27/2014

    “When fascism comes to America it will come under the guise of anti-fascism.” Taint dat the truth.

  18. FrankinDallas 06:20pm, 11/27/2014

    Very enlightening series of posts on this article. Now we know the names of the fascists who regularly post here.

  19. Clarence George 03:00pm, 11/27/2014

    Alex:  I appreciate the time and effort, if not necessarily the thought, that went into your post, but I’ve said all I wish to on this topic.  One thing, though:  My Crete/cretin joke was an attempt to lighten the mood.  Everybody knows that…and that includes you.

  20. Eric 02:50pm, 11/27/2014

    “One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.” And as General Sherman said, “War is Hell.” I’m sure quite a few Southerners view Sherman as an “icon of evil,” it always depends on which team you root for. Hell, you have people who admire cannibalistic Aztecs or the Vikings who terrorized, raped, and pillaged as they went to and fro. Can’t understand why they don’t want the Viking name banned instead of the Redskins. @alex… The way history is distorted, who in the hell knows what the real truth is, we can only read what is available and try to decipher facts from fiction. I’m sure there are quite a few Japanese and Germans who view Stalin-Truman/Roosevelt-Churchill as the “Allies of Evil.” The Allies bombing of Dresden and the bombs dropped on Japan certainly weren’t acts of love & compassion. I guarantee that a lot of places on the globe view some of “our” American presidents the way we view a Hitler or a Stalin.

  21. alex 02:16pm, 11/27/2014

    Clarence, I mean, it’s really depressing for a Spaniard reading that somebody congratulates you for ‘deep knowledge of history’ after your absurd first post. Franco was a dictator whose idea of protecting a noble land and people -c’mon, Clarence, that’s cheap literature- was to rebel against the legitimate government that same noble people had elected much against the private interests of some young ambitious generals that had made a fast career by brutally repressing the African colonies which -you won’t believe that, wanted to be ruled by their own people! Being America an ex-colony you’ll understand it as a legitimate right, but your confession of being a monarchist in the land of the free puzzles me. After the rebellion he decided to deliberately enlarge a war which could have been terminated in half the time to get rid of opposition without having to worry about laws and trials, which is clever but murderous. After victory, the ones who financed the Crusade came to collect the profits of their investment and the noble land -now an absolutely devastated country- had to go through a revival of the middle ages for no less than 30 years, with a pseudo-feudal social system and daily life dominated by the madness of the same Catholic Church that had created the Inquisition. The result was a vast majority of Spaniards being hungry, illiterate, abused and humiliated by a privileged minority, who had -I can tell you because I have lived it- the best of times, for decades.

    And, yes, there were nuns who were raped and priests who were killed by fanatics or idiots. You take an illiterate peasant who has been abused for generations by the church and the ‘señorito’, give him the choice of revenge and he may act like an animal -this is Shylock at his best, isn’t it? Given your pompous mania for flaunting illustrious readings, why settle for Paul Preston having Shakespeare handy? At least ‘the bard’ -God, see what you make me say?- refuses to be didactical whereas Mr. Preston and the likes have made a point of teaching us our own history.

    Talking about your sources, they are all wrong because the best one knows the facts by hearsay. British historians played the necessary historic role of telling the events from a neutral corner, but they are not Spanish and to understand Spain you simply must be. No need to argue about this. Have you ever listened to a Japanese flamenco guitar player? They play extremely accurately with no feeling at all -and I’m quoting inversely from Algernon Moncrieff. Ever read Wilde?- Mr. Preston is quite Japanese in that sense -change ‘feeling’ by ‘understanding’. Hemingway is a brilliant writer, and I love his style even when he writes about things that he doesn’t really know about as in ‘Death in the Afternoon’, but the only bit that is worth something of his accounts of our war is in his short stories when he talks about the drinks he had in Chicote during the Madrid siege.

    You should read the Spanish writers of the period on both sides to begin to know what you are talking about and contrast it with the modern accounts. There is more truth in a couple of paragraphs of Camilo José Cela’s ‘San Camilo, 1936’ than in the whole Preston’s encyclopedia. I’ve also read the Briton’s bulky biography of Franco, and Manuel Vazquez Montalbán captures the essence of the man much better in a thousand pages less.

    And that leaves aside the essence of the discussion, which is basically silly. You use the oversimplification that all republicans were communists and that all communists wanted to kill everything that breathed in the sacristy to wish us Franco reborn and in office for our own sake.

    Well, Clarence, as a Spaniard all I have to say is… the wisecrack about not being a cretin because your people are not from Crete is just pathetic.

  22. Robert Ecksel 02:00pm, 11/27/2014

    And let’s not forget the incomparable Charlie Chaplin in “The Great Dictator”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlwdTa47esE

  23. Clarence George 01:33pm, 11/27/2014

    Well done, Robert.  My father liked singing that song, which is so quintessentially Spike Jones.

    Humor is a most effective foil when taking on evil, as the great Three Stooges well recognized.  For your viewing pleasure:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-opehtzq7Es

  24. Robert Ecksel 11:04am, 11/27/2014

    Speaking of Adolf Hitler, who happily no one has praised: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWF8iRCan7I

  25. Clarence George 09:59am, 11/27/2014

    Eric:  David Dalin co-wrote a good book on Haj Amin al-Husseini, “Icon of Evil.”

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving, me auld warrior.

  26. Eric 09:39am, 11/27/2014

    Oops. Ahmed Pasha was the third link in the dictatorial triumvirate. Sorry.
    Happy Tanksgiving!!

  27. Eric 09:28am, 11/27/2014

    Every time someone discusses war attrocities, the name Hitler must be invoked. teehee. Makes me think of that Eddie Murphy movie and the barbershop scene and the whole Marciano-white guy thingy. Hitler-Himmler-Goebbels are as well known as the Three Musketeers. This trilogy of evil is exposed on the HistoryChannel over & over, and yet, trios like the “dictatorial triumvirate” of Grand Vizier, Talaat Pasha, Ismail Pasha are about as well known as the largest city in Mongolia. Lenin-Stalin-Trotsky, killers of far more people than the Nazi regime are even somewhat romanticized by lunkheads. The doltish, Mike Tyson, walks around with Mao Tse Tung and Che Guevara tattoos. Does Tyson know what Guevara thought about Blacks? Stalin henchman, Geinrikh Yagoda, could probably be identified by 1 out of every thousand people out there. Hideki Tojo doesn’t seem to get much fanfare when it comes to prolific mass murderers, at least not here in the States, maybe he’s more recognizable in China.

  28. Clarence George 08:16am, 11/27/2014

    Norm:  One example, if I may.  Cornwell accused Pius XII of lulling Rome’s Jews into a false sense of security by helping them raise the gold ransom the Nazis demanded.  What would Cornwell have said if the Holy Father had not helped?  Damned if he did and damned if he didn’t, eh?  Cornwell is an agenda-driven intellectual and moral bankrupt.  A far nobler and more reliable witness was Albert Einstein (a dear friend of my family), who said:  “Only the Church protested against the Hitlerian onslaught.”

  29. Clarence George 07:48am, 11/27/2014

    No hard feelings whatsoever, Norm.  All respect and affection, as I hope you know, but I completely disagree with you.  Franco wasn’t a paragon of virtue, to be sure, but he was hardly Spain’s answer to Hitler.  And I contend that he was incomparably preferable to the pathology and savagery embodied by the Reds and anarchists.

    Pius XII is one of the great popes, vilified by John Cornwell, a rabid Christophobe and anti-Catholic, and a shit historian.  His “Hitler’s Pope” was well and truly answered by Rabbi (you read that word correctly, Norm) David Dalin in his “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope.”

    All the best this Thanksgiving Day, and I look forward to your next article.  By the way, I’m watching “March of the Wooden Soldiers,” which I’ve done every Thanksgiving since but a lad.  Then up to the roof to see the parade.

  30. Norm Marcus 06:54am, 11/27/2014

    Clarence: I am shocked and dismayed at you for your defense of Franco.
    Let’s review some points here. He overthrew the democratically elected Republican government with the help of his amigos, Hitler and Mussolini. Spain provided “under the table” help to the Fuhrer during WWII, just like Switzerland and Sweden did. Such as money laundering, diplomatic help by the Swiss Red Cross, to hide the Holocaust. Shipping minerals to Germany for use by the German war machine etc. I could go on and on.
    Let’s not forget another dictator Juan Peron in Argentina, who is glorified in a musical on Broadway “Evita” and elsewhere. He allowed tens of thousands of Nazi war criminals into Argentina after the war. Including Adolph Eichmann and others. Evita’s husband even kept an autographed picture of Hitler on his desk in the presidential palace till the day he left office.
    Dictators can do some great things at times. But there is no damn way to get them out when they screw up.
    Let’s not forget that Hitler built the Autobahn and gave Germans much needed jobs. Mussolini made the trains run on time and gave the Italian people shoes.
    Are they reasons to admire these insane criminals? Franco was right there with him all the way. He even sent a Spanish “Blue Division” to fight alongside the Nazi SS on the Eastern Front during the war!

    By the way my father told me years ago that the Republicans hated the nuns and priests because Pope Pius the 12th was pro Nazi. In fact the book “Hitler’s Pope” exposes him factually as pro German. Never speaking out about the Holocaust during the war. Perhaps some incidents of raping nuns and shooting priests had something to do with their collaboration and spying for Hitler and his antisemitism. Franco’s men raped many women and children too during those years. They were not the boy scouts! The Catholic Church has a long history of killing and persecuting Jews throughout the ages.

    Democracy is a very sloppy way of governing but a good dictator or Caesar can be followed by a monster. Look at Marcus Aurielius and his son Commodus!
    I’ll stick with the mediocrity of Democracy. Slow and steady wins the race.

    You have a great Thanksgiving guy. Love your stories! No hard feelings! Love the mental combat!

  31. Chaney 08:43pm, 11/26/2014

    “This your place, Pettibone?”

  32. Clarence George 07:09pm, 11/26/2014

    He’s the one Bronson told, “You keep talking and I’m gonna take your head off.”

  33. Kid Blast 06:56pm, 11/26/2014

    Yeah, I remember her lifting melons into the tuck and working up a rather curious sweat…..

    I think Bobby Copus wanted a shot at her.

  34. Kid Balst 06:54pm, 11/26/2014

    Cretins should not be cheswy. Tee Hee

  35. Clarence George 03:29pm, 11/26/2014

    She played the self-righteous union organizer, whom Bronson falls in love with (for reasons inexplicable).  She’s an Argentine.  Do they have chorizo in Argentina?  I think so.  But I never found her at all chewable.

  36. Kid Blast 03:11pm, 11/26/2014

    Was Linda Cristal the one with the initials? She was just plain awful and clearly not a chewable chorizo.

  37. Kid Blast 03:10pm, 11/26/2014

    ok

  38. Clarence George 02:31pm, 11/26/2014

    No, it was “baby,” which I think is so much more effective than “man.”

    You know who I couldn’t stand in the movie?  Linda Cristal.  But she was always awful.  And I never found her even slightly attractive or sexy.

    In “The Getaway,” Lettieri had some sort of bangle on his wrist.  Very smart, that, because it somehow emphasized the power and brutishness of the hand.

  39. Eric 01:00pm, 11/26/2014

    “Hey buddy, you going to eat that sausage?”
    Da keys! Da keys!

  40. Kid Blast 12:36pm, 11/26/2014

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esjt1eJA328

  41. Kid Blast 12:32pm, 11/26/2014

    chewable chorizo may be politically incorrect but I sure like it.

  42. Kid Blast 12:30pm, 11/26/2014

    Was it not “
    “I’m going to get you, my man.”?

     

  43. Clarence George 10:20am, 11/26/2014

    Thank you, Commissar.  I enjoyed writing about Urtain, Luis Folledo, and, if memory serves, Kiko Martinez.

  44. Juan Pérez 09:38am, 11/26/2014

    http://www.boxing.com/the_defenestration_of_superman.html
    Clarence, your article? about Urtain had left me speechless, a genuine work of art, Professor George.

  45. Eric 09:06am, 11/26/2014

    Only Charlie could get away with belting someone in diner with a couple of cops present. Great scene. I like it when Charlie asks, “when is this big event going to take place.” Threats didn’t work well on Mr. Bronson. How dare that convict across the pond usurp the name of a legend. That clown isn’t worthy enough to hold Charlie’s king-sized melons.

  46. Clarence George 09:00am, 11/26/2014

    Gold star next to your name, Eric.  Yes, it’s what Charles Bronson says to Al Lettieri before laying him out.  I’ll never forget Lettieri saying to Bronson, “I’m going to get you, my baby.”

  47. Eric 08:51am, 11/26/2014

    Wait a minute. I haven’t had my second cup of coffee yet. That quote is from one of my favorite Charlie movies, “Mr. Majestyk.” I’m not the sharpest pencil in the drawer without that second cup. Do I receive the coveted gold star.

  48. Clarence George 08:45am, 11/26/2014

    Too kind, Eric, too kind.

    I don’t at all want to discourage you from reading “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” but I think it’s very overrated. 

    Not much of a hint, I’ll grant you, but…it’s a movie you’ve seen and, if memory serves, one that you like.

  49. Eric 08:34am, 11/26/2014

    Clarence…Once again I’m fascinated by your knowledge of history. I’ve never really thought that much about the Spanish Civil War which has been called “dress rehearsal for WWII.” I’m learning a great deal about it by reading your comments which have piqued my interest in the Spanish Civil War. I’ve been stuck on the events that happened in Russia/Soviet Union. I can’t name that film so I’ll have to let someone else more knowledgable on this subject receive the Clarence George Gold Star. I’ll definitely read the books you suggested and I’ll even read, “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” by our friend, Hemingway. Always good to hear the oppositon’s point of view. I’m a little more tolerant of opposing views than the tolerant people on the left side of the aisle. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge, Mr. George.

  50. Clarence George 05:06am, 11/26/2014

    At you, not with you.

    Anyway, “I guess there’s no point in trying to get on your good side.”  Quick, name that film!  Not you, Commissar.  It wasn’t directed by that pathological gasbag, Luis Bunuel, so you’re at sea on this one.  But perhaps someone else knows.  Eric?  Irish?  I’ll award one of my coveted gold stars to anyone who gets it right.  Otherwise, I’ve already wasted too much of my precious time on this exceptionally sterile article.  The discussion had its moments, however, and I take this opportunity to thank, in order of appearance, Eric, Robert, Nicolas, Pete, and Irish for their characteristically excellent comments.

  51. Juan Pérez 04:11am, 11/26/2014

    Another jewel: “How much better off Spain would be today under El Caudillo, who knew so well to protect a noble land…”. Oh la la…You´re having a laugh.

  52. Clarence George 03:51am, 11/26/2014

    Juan:  According to the historian Paul Preston, the Red Terror was responsible for some 50,000 civilian deaths, including the murder of approximately 7,000 bishops, priests, monks, seminarians, and other religious.  Many were forced to dig their own graves before being buried alive.  One priest was castrated, the results of which were then stuffed into his mouth.  Included in this number are 300 to 400 nuns, some of whom were tortured and/or raped.  When militiamen invaded a convent in Madrid, one nun was killed when she refused an “offer of marriage.”  Other historians contend that Preston’s figures are on the conservative side.  The Terror, says Stanley Payne, was the “most extensive and violent persecution” of the Church in Western history, outdoing the French Revolution, as well as Mexican horrors.

    In fairness, Antony Beevor (whose book I earlier recommended) is not satisfied with the evidence that any nun was raped, though he doesn’t dispute the documentation of brutalities and outright murders.

    None of this is intended to excuse the excesses and, let’s not kid ourselves, atrocities of the White Terror, but perhaps it goes some way to shattering, or at least scratching, the Reds’ rose-tinted lenses whenever (rare occasions indeed) they deign to cast a glancing eye on the “exuberance” of their blood-splattered brethren.

  53. Juan Pérez 11:46pm, 11/25/2014

    Irish, José Legra was a Cuban boxer who became a Spanish national in 1966.
    Clarence, no debate with someone who says: “...Nun-raping Republicans”. You can read various authors, but we cannot rewrite History.

  54. Eric 07:50pm, 11/25/2014

    Irish…Operation population replacement by the social engineers. They know what is best after all. I’m just wondering when Japan & China will undergo the same treatment.  I just found out that Officer Wilson’s use of the word “demonic” could be considered a “racist” statement.  I can’t keep up with these socially acceptable terms anymore. Fug it.

  55. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:22pm, 11/25/2014

    Eric-“We have got to eliminate the Gringo, and what I mean by that is if worst comes to worst, we have got to kill him.” (Prof. Jose Angel Gutierrez University of Texas, Arlington) While Texas doesn’t have a state income tax….damn near 50% of UT Arlington’s funding comes from the “state” in other words from those same Gringos this tenured POS wants to kill.

  56. Clarence George 06:49pm, 11/25/2014

    A vigorous thread, which is to be applauded.  But if I had my druthers, the vigor wouldn’t have been initiated by the oft-repeated “Franco dictatorship.”  Rather, I would have made a connection between Jose Girones and mouth-watering Amaia Salamanca.  What possible connection could there be?  After all, the boxer died four years before that chewable chorizo was born.  Yeah, like that’d stop me.

  57. Eric 05:21pm, 11/25/2014

    Irish…Speaking of censoring history and cherry picking, what about “our” current prez who seems only concerned with certain issues. Good ole Obama doesn’t ever seem concerned when a 90 year old WWII vet is beat to death by a group of “teens” or some infant is shot in the face by a couple of “urban youths.” But yet, this case, like the Trayvon case gets his full attention. Please don’t call me a “wayciss” for questioning “our” president’s true motivations. I’m highly sensitive to name calling.

  58. nicolas 05:14pm, 11/25/2014

    IRISH: I Would probably list Pedro Carrasco, who was briefly lightweight champ as a better fighter than Kiko Martinez. Sadly Buchanan I think did not want to fight him. He became WBC lightweight champ under dubious circumstance in Spain by DQ, but many I believe felt he won the rematch against Mando Ramos in LA, but was not given the split decision, all also by California judges. He might have been better than Kenny Buchanan.

  59. Eric 04:15pm, 11/25/2014

    nicolas…Pretty soon you will be forbidden to question what you are taught. They already use intimidation via name calling or ostracizing someone from “normal” society for the crime of thinking outside the box. Can you imagine if we only heard one fighter’s side of the story on each and every close fight out there? If you are telling the absolute truth, why should a few questions or a different opinion bother someone?

  60. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 04:10pm, 11/25/2014

    Here’s some more prattle from a certified cretin on Boxing.com….Jose Legra may have had success during the sixties and seventies but he sure as fuk wasn’t a Spaniard….in fact the only Spaniard worth his salt in the last quarter of a century or more is Kiko Martinez.

  61. nicolas 02:47pm, 11/25/2014

    JUAN PEREZ: I have not said that Clarence is right or wrong. However he did list some sources that may differ from what you said. I would say in your article here you give some very good points about what happened back then which strengthens your case. However, I don’t think that people should take history for granted. This is one of the problems I think why people find history in school boring. Because we are told to think one way, and not ask questions about things, or why things happen the way they do.

  62. Eric 02:32pm, 11/25/2014

    Clarence…Thanks once again for the 411. Much appreciated. I think Mr. Ecksel nailed it. Great comment by the boss. I loved “The Grapes of Wrath” & “The Jungle,” and think both Steinback & Sinclair had good intentions. Jack London seemed like a decent human being and was truly for the down & out and the underdog. I think it really doesn’t matter which “ism” you hang your hat on, all have been controlled by greedy, megalomaniacal sociopaths who prey on people’s emotions. Only the names have changed.

  63. alex 01:53pm, 11/25/2014

    Clarence, you shouldn’t stop reading. It’s clear you don’t really understand anything, but at least it will keep you busy and apart from society. Leave poor Urtain alone, you probably used the poor devil to prattle about yourself as you have been doing here.

  64. Pete The Sneak 01:04pm, 11/25/2014

    Was getting ready to say how much I enjoyed this article, which I did, but as always even moreso am always enjoying all the historical info and feedback in some of the Posts provided here from folks like CG and Eric…  But hey, is the author just a bit touchy on peoples opinions of History, or am I reading these vibes wrong? Cretin? Stupidity? Maybe Juan can clarify a bit as to why, so that perhaps non-thinking, history illiterates like myself can continue learn a thing or two…Peace.

  65. Clarence George 12:35pm, 11/25/2014

    Thank you for the kind words, Nicolas.  I needed them after being obliquely referred to—I think—as a cretin.  Most uncalled for.  After all, my people aren’t from Crete, but Hungary.

  66. Juan Pérez 11:49am, 11/25/2014

    Clarence, I would like to read it…Urtain was a mediocre boxer in the hands of a few thugs. A poor man. Another sad story.
    Nicolas: what information?... Only a cretin can disort history.

  67. nicolas 11:32am, 11/25/2014

    CLARENCE: Thanks for the information that you provided. It made me look up these names, and should also make people realize, don’t just look up one side to get the idea of what history is all about.

  68. Clarence George 10:44am, 11/25/2014

    Juan:  Thoughts on Jose Urtain?  I wrote about him once.

  69. Clarence George 09:40am, 11/25/2014

    Me, I’m a monarchist.  And with all the trappings, let me tell ya.  A king should wear armor.  Don’t hold with kings in suits…they all look like particularly unctuous funeral directors.

  70. Robert Ecksel 09:32am, 11/25/2014

    The appeal of socialism is that it isn’t capitalism. Is it preferable to live under a plutocracy or a kakistocracy? For my money, they’re interchangeable. Whether we let the state or corporations run things, either way the workingman is screwed. What’s crippling are power relations and the false dependencies we’ve been brainwashed into accepting.

  71. Clarence George 09:26am, 11/25/2014

    Eric:  I think London was more of a bohemian than anything else, and Steinbeck turned Right in his later years.  Another one was John Dos Passos.  He became thoroughly disenchanted with Soviet permeation of the Republican side, particularly after the murder of Jose Robles.  This epiphany ended his friendship with Hemingway, who proved himself to be an addlepated dupe of the commies.

    Two very good books on the overall subject, if I may:  “The Spanish Civil War,” by Antony Beevor, and “The Last Crusade,” by Warren Carroll.

  72. Eric 09:02am, 11/25/2014

    Jack London, John Steinbeck, Upton Sinclair, and even good old, George Orwell were socialists. Don’t really know what seperates a socialist from a communist other than they are both “titles” meant to deceive the people who believe this manufactured bullsh*t. In Russia, the ruse of “communism” was a carefully devised strategy for a small minority to murder the ruling class and gain power. Socialism would beat capitalism any day of the week, but only if someone like Mother Teresa was calling the shots. When you had rich capitalist New York bankers funding the revolution in Russian, and today you have billionaires like Straus-Kahn heading up the “socialist party” in France, you wonder how people can fall for this bullsh*t. Jack London would wise up later on and find out what the “socialism” ruse was really all about. Apparently someone like Hemingway wasn’t aware of the torture chambers known as gulags or the millions or the genocide of millions of Ukrainians happening in the Soviet Union. Can’t blame the writer though, good ole Roosevelt was bosom buddies with good ole “Uncle Joe” Stalin.

  73. Clarence George 07:49am, 11/25/2014

    I don’t know about the dearth of such laws, but it’s unquestionably true that one frequently comes across a writer “writing nonsense or demonstrating his or her [a hermaphrodite?] stupidity.”  In fact, I’m reminded of Queen Mary I’s famous words to her unsisterly successor, Queen Elizabeth I:  “If the shoe fits, lace that bitch up and wear it.”

  74. Juan Pérez Ortiz 06:58am, 11/25/2014

    No law exists preventing a writer from writing nonsense or demonstrating his or her stupidity.

  75. Clarence George 04:26am, 11/25/2014

    While I prefer Salazar of Portugal, who was the deeper thinker and wiser leader, Franco deserves thanks and credit for defeating the nun-raping Republicans.  I’m proud to stand with Hilaire Belloc and Roy Campbell against Hemingway.  Papa was a great writer, but that’s hardly an inoculation against political nitwitism.  How much better off Spain would be today under El Caudillo, who knew so well how to protect a noble land and people from the depredations of decadent democracy.

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