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Forty-six Boxing Notables Wax Nostalgic in the Latest TSS Survey

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  • Forty-six Boxing Notables Wax Nostalgic in the Latest TSS Survey

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    By Ted Sares

    Welcome to the second TSS Quarterly Survey of 2019. Our survey question this time was “If you could have a ringside seat to any boxing event in history, which fight would you choose?” There were many duplicate picks but also some unexpected choices. Enjoy.

    BONES ADAMS -- trainer, former WBA world super bantamweight champion: Ali vs. Foreman. Ali at his best.

    RUSS ANBER -- elite trainer, cornerman, and owner of Rival Boxing Equipment: The first fight that popped into my mind was the June 22, 1938 rematch between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. Considering the outcome of the first fight, coupled with the social and political implications which surrounded the rematch, I would dare say that it was the most important fight in the history of boxing. What I wouldn’t have given to be there!

    MATT ANDRZEJEWSKI -- TSS boxing writer: Harry Greb vs. Mickey Walker. They were two of the greatest ever fighting for the middleweight title. It was reportedly a classic give and take battle that featured plenty of sustained action as well as an incredible performance by Greb whom I consider to be the greatest fighter of all time.

    DAVID AVILA -- TSS West Coast Bureau Chief: I’d love to have been ringside for Jack Dempsey vs Gene Tunney and the long count in Chicago at a time when Al Capone ruled the city. That was a pretty emotional fight that people argued about for many decades. It was Jack Dempsey's last fight and Gene Tunney fought only one more time.

    TRACY CALLIS – eminent boxing historian: I’d love to be at ringside for the Tommy Ryan-Tommy West fight of March 4, 1901 in Louisville, Kentucky. It was the third time they had fought. This contest was not a boxing match as we know it, it was truly a fight. Blood, butting, other fouls, etc. Would love to be at ringside yes, but not too close for there was blood splattered everywhere. Ryan complained to the ref that West was butting. The ref told him to butt him back. They kept fighting.

    STEVE CANTON -- President of Florida Boxing Hall of Fame, author: The second Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling bout because of its importance and significance during World War II. The utter destruction of Schmeling and redemption by Joe Louis was unbelievable and I could only imagine the feelings of those in attendance. It was one for the ages.

    JILL DIAMOND -- International Secretary, WBC- With the golden anniversary of Ali/Frazier I coming up March 8th, 2021, if I went back in time, could I wish for any other ticket? History! Glamour! Champions!

    CHARLIE DWYER -- former professional referee and member of U.S. Marine Corps Boxing Hall of Fame: Ali-Frazier I. In my estimation, it was the biggest mega fight ever.

    STEVE FARHOOD -- Showtime announcer, former editor of The Ring magazine and 2017 IBHOF inductee: That's an easy one: The Rumble in the Jungle. Incredibly significant. Unique. Dramatic. And since I covered only the last two fights of Ali's career, both of which were losses, I would like to have seen him win!

    RICK FARRIS -- President and founder at West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame: I’d like to have sat ringside for the last Ike Williams-Beau Jack lightweight title bout. The one where Williams is battering the defenseless Beau Jack in the corner, then held Beau up by the throat and turning to the ref said, "What do you want me to do, kill the man?"

    BERNARD FERNANDEZ -- TSS Mainstay and lifetime member of the BWAA: March 8, 1971, Madison Square Garden, Joe Frazier's 15-round unanimous decision over Muhammad Ali in arguably the most-anticipated boxing match, and maybe even sport event, of all time. I was the young sports editor of a newspaper in south Louisiana at the time, my days at ringside at major fights still a bit off in the future. But anyone who cared about boxing, and I did, wanted to be in the Garden in New York for this one.

    If I am allowed two honorable mentions, I'd go with Roberto Duran UD15 Sugar Ray Leonard on June 20, 1980, in Montreal's Olympic Stadium and Aaron Pryor TKO 14 Alexis Arguello on Nov. 12, 1982, in Miami's Orange Bowl. But, really, there are a lot more I could mention.

    ***********************

    “You know, you're in here with the God tonight" - Ali

    "If you are God, you're in the wrong place tonight – Frazier

    ***********************

    JEFFREY FREEMAN (aka KO Digest) -- TSS boxing writer: Hagler-Hearns, brief enough? Eight minutes. I've got my popcorn and I'm ready to rumble.

    RANDY GORDON -- former head of the New York State Athletic Commission, SiriusXM radio host, and author of Glove Affair, his recently released memoir: I'd absolutely have to be in Havana, Cuba, on April 5, 1915, for the Jack Johnson-Jess Willard heavyweight title fight. I have to see for myself if Johnson took a plunge in the Havana heat, or was really beaten by the far-less-talented Willard.

    LEE GROVES -- writer, author and the wizard of CompuBox: The first fight that came to mind was the rematch against Rocky Graziano and Tony Zale at Chicago Stadium on July 16, 1947. That's because the fight has been described as among the most thrilling in the history of the sport, yet the only footage is grainy, brief and shot from the crowd. Was this fight everything that it was portrayed? Being there would settle that question for me.

    HENRY HASCUP -- boxing historian and President of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame: Harry Greb when he beat Gene Tunney. There is no film that we know of where Greb is actually in a boxing match so I would love to see how he beat one of the All-time Greats!

    CHUCK HASSON -- noted boxing historian and co-author of Philadelphia’s Boxing Heritage: I can't help it. I would like to relive the time my dad took me to Atlantic City for my 17th birthday present to watch my idol Joey Giardello win the middleweight title with his career masterpiece beating Dick Tiger for the middleweight championship. The euphoria I experienced that night I would like to relive one more time. Nothing since in boxing has given me the pleasure of that night.

    JACK HIRSCH -- former President and now lifetime member of the BWAA: The Jack Johnson-Jim Jeffries fight in Reno, Nevada, on July 4, 1910. It was arguably the most historical event in sports history. I would have been fascinated to see the attitudes of those at ringside.

    KEVIN IOLE -- Yahoo combat sports journalist: March 8, 1971, Ali-Frazier I. The biggest sporting event of my lifetime. Where else would I rather be?

    MIGUEL ITURRATE -- matchmaker, judge, promoter and TSS writer: The first Billy Papke fight with Stanley Ketchel in Milwaukee on June 4, 1908. The fight is well documented and there was a who’s who of athletes there, including Frank Gotch, the champion wrestler. Ketchel was defending his world middleweight title and the two would go on to fight three more times. But oh to be there for that first one....

    STUART KIRSCHENBAUM -- former head of the Michigan Boxing Commission: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, June 22, 1938. Boxing transcended the sport that evening and was on the world stage for the most important social and political ramifications. During my term as Boxing Commissioner in Michigan little did I know that my own life would become intertwined with the Brown Bomber. From meeting him ringside and time spent with him at a victory party following Hilmer Kenty from the Kronk Gym becoming the first world champion from Detroit since Joe Louis. Later on, I would become the personal guardian for Joe's widow Martha till her death and burial next to Joe in Arlington Cemetery. Joe's best childhood friend Freddie Guinyard gave me the glove that Joe had given him ...the glove that knocked out Schmeling. On Guinyard's wishes, along with the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, we donated that glove which proudly stands in a granite and plexiglass showcase in Detroit dubbed "The Glove That Floored Nazi Germany". From Joe's hand....to Max's chin...to my home...to the City of Detroit...a proud journey indeed.

    BRUCE KIELTY -- matchmaker, historian: Ali vs Frazier #1. No explanation necessary.

    JIM LAMPLEY -- linchpin of the HBO Boxing announcing team for 31 years, 2015 IBHOF inductee: Louis vs Schmeling II. One of a tiny handful of famous sports events whose sociopolitical impacts rocked the world. First time ever a majority of white Americans rooted for a black man to beat a white man. Stands alone for me.

    ARNE LANG -- TSS editor-in-chief, author, historian: I missed the first fight between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo. It happened at a time when I was out of the boxing loop. Several of my friends were ringside and they all say it was the greatest fight they ever saw. I regret that I missed it.

    JIMMY LANGE -- former boxer and promoter: In a close call with Ali-Frazier 1, I would choose Louis vs Schmeling 2. It was one of the most significant events in sports history. A black man carried the U.S. on his shoulders to keep his title from the envoy of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Max was undeserving of such a villainous tag. After everything Joe Louis did for this country, the government turned on him and he died with much less dignity than he should have.

    RON LIPTON -- former fighter, retired police officer, pro referee and inductee into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame: I’d pick the one I missed but wanted to see very much--the shootout with Charlie "Devil" Green and Frankie DePaula where Charlie stopped Frankie in two in M.S.G. I’d also liked to have been at ringside for Jose "Chegui" Torres v Charlie "Devil" Green. I was sitting near Green when they came and got him to fill in for Jimmy Ralston. That was something to see when he floored Torres and they had to drag Jose back to the corner, he came out next round and stopped Charlie. I wish I had been closer to ringside which I usually always was.

    ADEYINKA MAKINDE – UK barrister, author and contributor to the Cambridge Companion to Boxing: I’d liked to have been seated alongside Clark Gable and Douglas Fairbanks in Yankee Stadium for the return match in 1938 between the "Brown Bomber", Joe Louis, and the "Black Uhlan", Max Schmeling. A truly historic night given Louis' clinical and brutal revenge in a heavyweight title bout, as well as the significance of defeating the (unwilling) Nazi poster boy of Aryan racial supremacy.

    SCOOP MALINOWSKI – writer, architect of Biofile: I’d go back and see the fight that was the most important of my childhood-one I saw on closed circuit TV at Totowa Ice World. This fight took over my life at age 14 and it turned out exactly as I hoped and wished. June 20, 1980, Montreal, Duran over Leonard.. It was Duran's highest moment. And if I could go into the Ted Sares Time Machine, second stop would be Duran vs. Moore at MSG. I’d like to have sat next to Mike Tyson up in the nosebleed seats. He told me he was doing “Duran Duran Duran” chants. Unbelievable atmosphere that night. Third trip...Dempsey vs. Willard. Love Dempsey in that fight, and my hat would fit right in at ringside.

    DAVID MARTINEZ – historian: James J. Corbett vs. Peter Jackson, May 21, 1891, San Francisco, CA. This was a most exhausting fight of wills to the end. After 61 grueling rounds, the referee called this historic heavyweight bout to a halt - the decision officially ruled a draw!

    ROBERT MLADINICH-- former fighter, writer, author: Dempsey-Willard. Outdoors on the 4th of July with Dempsey, the Mike Tyson of his time, fighting a giant. Can't imagine a more exciting event.

    ERNESTO MORALES (aka GINO FEBUS) -- former fighter, writer: Louis vs Schmeling rematch to capture the fight and all the atmosphere leading up to it; the crowd, the buzz, the anticipation, ring walk, introduction... ALL! I've wondered about the political environment at the time: pro American, anti-Hitler/Nazi, anti-Negro, the KKK..and the Battle for World Boxing Supremacy! Along with the fears that Max would take the heavyweight crown to Germany and the horrifying thought of it NEVER returning!! Remember, Max had already KO'd Joe and even made it look somewhat easy. America had plenty to lose, especially Black America! But Joe pounding Max as he clung to the ropes and his trip to the canvas must've been awesome, a sight to forever behold. Don't believe there was a complaint in the Stadium that night because it ended so quickly, only cheers and sighs of relief!! Wish I could have been there.

    ****************

    “Louis measures him. Right to the body. Left up to the jaw and Schmeling is down. The count is 5, 5, 6, 7, 8…The fight is over on a technical knockout. Max Schmeling is beaten in the first round!” -William Broadwater (AFRO)

    *****************

    CHRIS MORRIS -- former boxer, writer: Hearns v Leonard 1. That epic fight hooked me on the sport. Our guy lost that night, but Hearns had an impact on me. So much so, my first son is named Santana Hearns.

    JOSEPH PASQUALE -- boxing judge: I’d go back again to my ringside seat 1979 MSG, NYC. Duran/Palomino and Weaver/Holmes. MSG Boxing at its best! Not a judge then, just a fan. Still a fan.

    RUSSELL PELTZ – venerable boxing promotor and 2004 IBHOF inductee: Johnson vs. Jeffries.

    ADAM POLLACK—author, publisher, and boxing official: Any John L. Sullivan fight in the early 1880s because there is no film of him fighting, so we can't know for sure exactly what he looked like in action in his prime other than via written accounts.

    FREDERICK ROMANO -- author and former ESPN researcher: While being at Ali-Frazier I or Dempsey-Firpo would be a thrill, I would use this one wish from the boxing Jeanie to experience something we have never seen- something not on film. Sullivan-Corbett, Johnson-Langford, Greb’s victory over Tunney or Zale-Graziano I, would make me very happy. This morning I am in the mood for Johnson-Langford.

    DANA ROSENBLATT -- former world middleweight champion, commentator, inspirational speaker: Rosenblatt vs Pazienza 2. Far and away my favorite fight of all time.

    LEE SAMUELS -- Top Rank publicist emeritus and 2019 IBHOF Inductee: That’s easy. Hagler vs Hearns in one of the most all out explosive battles of our time - think about that one every day.

    TED SARES -- TSS boxing writer: Louis vs Schmeling 2 because of the intense social and political backdrop. Close second is Christy Martin vs. Deirdre Gogarty (March 16, 1996). Blood and guts undercard war that stole the show from Tyson-Bruno and put women back on the boxing map.

    TOM SCHRECK -- boxing judge: Do I have to pick one? 1. Ali v Frazier I, the enormity of the event would have been something to experience. It transcended boxing. 2. Hagler v Leonard, Sugar Ray's performance was genius 3. Tunney v Dempsey I, brawn v brains.

    ICEMAN JOHN SCULLY -- manager, trainer, commentator, writer, historian, former boxer: I'm always torn between the first Ali-Frazier fight and the first Leonard - Hearns fight. For me those are my two biggest and the ones I would revel in being able to attend.

    PETER SILKOV – boxing writer: There are so many to choose from, but my feeling at the moment would be Ali vs Foreman. Ali’s greatest night and the most extraordinary fight for the heavyweight title ever!

    MIKE SILVER -- author, writer, historian: A ringside seat to the Sullivan vs. Corbett fight. Huge historic importance. A seismic event for boxing's future. And who isn't curious to see the great John L. actually fighting!

    ALAN SWYER -- filmmaker, writer, and producer of the acclaimed El Boxeo: I chose the match in which welterweight Carmen Basilio won a split-decision over middleweight champion Sugar Ray Robinson. Though Robinson was to my mind the greatest fighter of all time, he was not at that point in his career at his best. Nonetheless, the battle -- the fight of the year in 1957 -- was the quintessential demonstration of will, stamina, endurance, and above all courage from two noble warriors.

    GARY “DIGITAL” WILLIAMS -- the voice of “Boxing on the Beltway”: I‘d loved to have been ringside for Ali-Frazier 1 and to have witnessed all the hoopla and the cultural and social significance surrounding that bout. I was only seven years old when that bout took place.

    BEAU WILLIFORD -- former boxer, trainer and manager and the face of boxing in Louisiana: Joe Frazier v Jerry Quarry at Madison Square Garden!!!

    PETER WOOD -- writer, author, former fighter: The fight I would watch is a hideous spectacle--and not politically correct…It would be the battle-royal in which Tom Molineaux, a Virginian slave, fought other hapless slaves, in which to earn his freedom and ultimately a shot at the heavyweight title. (Editor’s note: What has been written about Tom Molineaux’s days in America -- before he went off to England -- lacks any sort of rigorous documentation and is perhaps best understood as folklore. The conventional wisdom regarding inter-plantation slave fights has also been challenged.)

    BOB YALEN -- holder of numerous executive positions in the boxing broadcasting industry and currently President of MTK Global: There are so many to choose from with so many reasons...Corbett-Sullivan to see the birth of modern boxing, Dempsey-Willard to check Jack's gloves, Tunney-Dempsey to time the long count, the list goes on...but I think I may choose the Willard-Johnson fight in Havana so I could finally put to rest what really happened at the end of the fight from my own perspective (and talk to everyone I could).

    Observations: Like a boxing match, this one pitted the old vs the not-so-old. Ali vs. Frazier 1 and Louis vs. Schmeling 2 garnered the most mentions, but Dempsey, Tunney, Johnson and Sullivan also got their due, as did Hearns and Hagler. In the end, it came down to The Fight of the Century (1971) vs. the Louis -Schmeling rematch (1938).

    Ted Sares is a lifetime member of Ring 10, and a member of Ring 4 and its Boxing Hall of Fame. He also is an Auxiliary Member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). He is an active power lifter and Strongman competitor in the Grand Master class and plans to compete in 2019.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Would have loved to have been in the seats with the 100,000 taxi drivers in Mexico City when Chavez defeated Greg Haugen.
    And Greb-Tunny I.

    Comment


    • JohnnyTango
      JohnnyTango commented
      Editing a comment
      I would NOT want to be at that fight, FD! As I recall, Haugen entered the ring to Springsteen's "Born in the USA."

      FYI: I was at the second Morales / Barrera fight at the MGM Grand in Vegas. Even though two Mexicans were fighting that night, it got rough in the stands. Some fans identified with the "true" Mexican from Mexico City (Barrera) and disliked the "Indian" Morales. Anyway, that's how it was explained to me -- Geez!

      As a caucasian, I was loved by all since I was wearing my Julio César Chávez tee-shirt.

  • #3
    No question: Jack Johnson / Jim Jeffries, Reno, Nevada, 1910!

    Comment


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      Great choice...........

  • #4
    Originally posted by FrankinDallas View Post
    Would have loved to have been in the seats with the 100,000 taxi drivers in Mexico City when Chavez defeated Greg Haugen.
    And Greb-Tunny I.
    Greb Tunney would have been a gem.

    Comment


    • #5

      Tom Molineaux's fight with Tom Cribb in the UK warrant a look-see, as they portray cruelty and racism beyond belief.

      Comment


      • #6
        I like how Lee Groves answered this.

        Along the same lines, I'm curious to see Ali-Liston II in Maine.

        If I was ringside maybe I could tell if it was a dive!?!

        Comment


        • Kid Blast
          Kid Blast commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree. Being at some of these fights would resolve a lot of issues. For example, just how good was Harry Greb? Did Sonny throw the Maine fight? How good was Eider Jofre?

      • #7
        Did Wilder really hit Scott?

        Comment


      • #8
        Originally posted by FrankinDallas View Post
        Would have loved to have been in the seats with the 100,000 taxi drivers in Mexico City when Chavez defeated Greg Haugen.
        And Greb-Tunny I.
        Haugen was a tough guy. Nothing ever really scared him. And he is still sharp as a tack. Nice guy out of the ring.

        Comment


        • #9
          This just in from Dana Rosenblatt:

          "Great article Ted. The commentary from the brass on your list was awesome. The company you keep in terms of your readership that willingly contribute their thoughts is a testament to your efforts. I read and often re-read every single article that you send. I really enjoy your boxing mind, brother.. Based on how many times I saw Hearns Leonard I listed, I am watching it now.

          Hands down, Ali Frazier I was the greatest fight to ever attend due to the controversy and greatness surround Muhammad however it was very interesting to hear one person say Walker vs Greb.
          I’d love to be able to watch that one on my 60 inch HD smaaaaat TV."




          Last edited by Kid Blast; 04-04-2019, 05:19 AM.

          Comment


          • Kid Blast
            Kid Blast commented
            Editing a comment
            Steve C writes: "Did I miss anybody other than Al Swyer? Unbelievable to me that he was the only person who picked a fight involving Sugar Ray Robinson…I was blessed to have met Sugar Ray and talked to him, on a few occasions. This was when I was living in Los Angeles in the mid 1970’s. But I never got a chance to see him fight in person and sure would have loved to have had the chance! Or even to announce him! What a thrill. Although, over the years at different events I did, I had the chance to announce and introduce to the crowd (obviously after they had retired) Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Carmen Basilio. They’re all gone now. May they RIP... "

        • #10
          A classic read. Very enjoyable. Being a tad younger I’d have to go for Hagler / Hearns. Build up and atmosphere electric. Would have liked to have been ringside for Tito Vs Vargas. PR vs Mexico.

          Sweet read Ted. 🤙

          Comment


          • Kid Blast
            Kid Blast commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank buddy. Always good to hear from my matey across the pond. I knew you would mention Tito vs Vargas if you posted. LMAO

        • #11
          I remember writing for our local paper covering the auto industry when it was on the verge of collapsing 12 years ago. I had maybe four e-mails out to owners of car dealerships in the Ventura County area. It took forever to get those four to contact me before my deadline. You, Ted, solicited 46 experts in the boxing biz and all got back to you. What an enormous feat! Too damn much work for me.

          Comment


          • Kid Blast
            Kid Blast commented
            Editing a comment
            Actually, it does take a lot of work. I got a 50% response this time which is pretty good for a survey. It takes perseverance gentleness and a knowledge of who your potential respondents are. It's fun but it's not easy. I sometimes edit response and then my editor want to edit it some more so we have a face-off, but that's part of the process and debates can be enjoyable.

        • #12
          Originally posted by Kid Blast View Post
          This just in from Dana Rosenblatt:

          "Great article Ted. The commentary from the brass on your list was awesome. The company you keep in terms of your readership that willingly contribute their thoughts is a testament to your efforts. I read and often re-read every single article that you send. I really enjoy your boxing mind, brother.. Based on how many times I saw Hearns Leonard I listed, I am watching it now.

          Hands down, Ali Frazier I was the greatest fight to ever attend due to the controversy and greatness surround Muhammad however it was very interesting to hear one person say Walker vs Greb.
          I’d love to be able to watch that one on my 60 inch HD smaaaaat TV."
          Good thing I didn't respond Pazienza-Rosenblatt I.

          Comment


          • #13
            Great read here and very interesting to see the many diverging responses.

            I almost responded Gatti-Rodriguez but when I got to thinking about it wanted to go with something more historic. And since I think Greb is the greatest fighter ever, thought Greb-Walker was a natural selection. But definitely a great topic here and personally one of the toughest I have had to answer because of the abundance of options.

            Comment


            • Kid Blast
              Kid Blast commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks Matt. The Greb thing you mentioned is shared by many others including many notable historians, but I'm on the other side of that argument because of the lack of video on him, Also--and I know the outcomes were reported as controversial--his record against Tunney was not good. At some point, this needs to be debated as an article titled: How Good was Harry Greb?" I won't write it.
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