Connect with us

Featured Articles

The Myth Of “What’s My Name:” RIP, ERNIE TERRELL

Frank Lotierzo

Published

on

On February 7, 1967, WBA heavyweight title holder Ernie Terrell (39-4) fought world champion Muhammad Ali (27-0) at the Hoston Astrodome, known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” back then.

Terrell, like former WBA champ Jimmy Ellis, is the other contender from the 1960s who became a title holder during the era due to Ali being stripped of the WBA belt twice, between 1964 and 1967.

The main reason Terrell became relevant was because after Ali beat reigning champ Sonny Liston for the undisputed title in early 1964, the WBA stripped Ali of their belt because he signed to give Liston an immediate rematch in violation of the WBA’s rule against return title bouts. So in March of 1965, two months before Ali would meet Liston in a rematch, Terrell won a 15 round unanimous decision over top contender Eddie Machen in Chicago to win the vacant WBA title. Terrell successfully defended the title twice, against George Chuvalo and Doug Jones, and by early 1967 Ali and Terrell together pretty much cleaned out the division and were the last two standing.

Ernie Terrell was a pretty unique guy. He played the guitar and led a singing group called “The Heavyweights,” which also featured his sister Jean.

In 1970, Jean became the lead voice of The Supremes after the departure of Diana Ross.

Terrell also knew Ali as Cassius Clay from their amateur boxing days and for a short time Ernie was trained by Angelo Dundee, who was Ali’s head trainer. In fact Dundee often joked that the reason why Terrell didn’t have much of a right hand was because he wore it out playing the guitar.

Not much stood out about Terrell as a fighter other than his height, 6’6” and 82 inch reach. He had a long left jab that he used offensively and defensively and that was usually enough to get him by most of the other ranked contenders of the era. Ernie wasn’t much of a puncher but he had enough pop to keep his opponents from taking their liberties with him, even Ali. He also took a really good shot and was a tough minded and confident fighter, something that aided him for the 15-rounds he spent in the ring with Ali.

With Terrell’s passing at age 75 last week, much has been written about his title bout against Ali 47 years ago. The fight is most noted for Ali yelling at Terrell “what’s my name?” during the eighth round of the bout. At the time the name Muhammad Ali wasn’t as accepted then as it became a few years later. In fact many writers and periodicals referred to Ali as Cassius Clay instead of his adopted Muslim name Muhammad Ali until the late 1960s.

Terrell knew Ali as Cassius Clay and referred to him as such in the lead up to their fight. He even went as far as to write a song using the name “Cassius Clay” and then sang it on the Hollywood Squares show that aired on February 4th 1967, three days before the fight. In one line of the song Terrell sings “ain’t it a shame you changed your name – I’ll change your features too.” Before that Ali and Terrell got into a scuffle at ABC studios in New York during an interview with Howard Cosell. When Terrell kept referring to Ali as Cassius Clay, Muhammad called Ernie an “Uncle Tom” and the physical altercation ensued. Ali promised that Terrell would call him by his Muslim name during the fight.

On November 23, 2009 Terrell gave an interview to Michael Falgoust of USA Today and spoke about the title fight with Muhammad Ali.

What do you remember from that experience?

What he did was grab me around the neck and started poking his thumb in my eye until he broke a vein in my eye. One eye was following him around and the eye he broke the vein in was standing in one spot. It just messed the fight up. I’m not making no excuse. I’m just telling you what happened. If that doesn’t happen, I just go ahead in and beat him. If that don’t happen, I think I just go in and beat him. It changed my style.

You both had animosity toward each other before the fight, and a scuffle on national TV during a faceoff in front of Howard Cosell.

I had no animosity. I understood it’s a fight. What he say, all that don’t count. That was his way of promoting a fight.

Would you still call him Clay, or Muhammad Ali?

If I was going to fight him, then I would call him Clay. If he don’t like it, so? I did it on purpose. We were fighting. What was I supposed to do, give him Christmas gifts?

As most boxing fans know, and if you don’t..the Ali-Terrell bout wasn’t much of a contest. Ali probably won no less than 13 of the 15 rounds they fought and there’s a good case he won every round except the second. Ali did whatever he wanted against Ernie and whenever he wanted to do it. Ali looked incredible during patches of the bout, Terrell clearly had no answer for Ali’s speed (you can actually see it register on his face), and by the fourth round both guys reverted to pretty much what you’d expect of each of them.

The thought of many today, especially those who never saw the fight, is that Ali carried Terrell and that’s why it went the distance thus Ali earning an overwhelming unanimous decision. Sure, Ali clearly handled and got the better of Ernie. As fighters they were on different levels. Ali circled and hit Terrell at will with blistering combinations and even went to his body more than normal. In the seventh round he really opened up and had Terrell visibly shook, but he couldn’t finish him. In the eighth round Ali started yelling “what’s my name” after each succession of punches, with no response from Terrell.

For the remainder of the fight Muhammad pot-shotted Terrell at will. Every so often he would go in and try to finish him and end the fight, but every time he was on the verge of really seizing control, Terrell would fire back with all he had and Ali would let up. The process would repeat itself with Ali always sensing that he wasn’t going to get the stoppage and resorted back to boxing and picking Terrell apart.

In summation, Terrell took a good shot and Ali wasn’t a great finisher when he had to work for it. When Ali really opened up and the opponent was no more than bewildered, he’d back off and make it look as if he could end it whenever he wanted but chose not to. He’d rather go rounds and make it look as if he was playing with his opponent instead of working hard for the stoppage unless it came to him.

No, Ernie Terrell wasn’t a great fighter, but he fought everybody and he was fearless. And yes, he legitimately went the distance with Muhammad Ali in what was Ali’s eighth successful title defense. And it wasn’t because Ali carried him. It was because when Ali tried to stop Terrell and knock him out he just couldn’t, so he settled for dominating the fight, which he did. But don’t ever believe the reason Terrell went 15 rounds with Ali is because Muhammad allowed him to or carried him just to punish him for constantly calling him Clay….accept the reality that there wasn’t anything Ali could do to shorten the fight after he had his fun for the first eight or nine rounds.

Ali did vs. Terrell what he often did when he fought a guy he was beating easily but couldn’t knock him out: periodically he’d turn up the heat to see whether a.) The guy had changed his mind about quitting or b.) He could con the referee into stopping it. If those things didn’t work, he’d go back to what he was doing. Larry Holmes did the same thing.

It’s a myth that Muhammad Ali carried Ernie Terrell for 15-rounds. And from the TSS family, rest in peace, Ernie.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Featured Articles

Remembering ‘Rocky Estafire,’ One Tough Syrian

Ted Sares

Published

on

Remembering-Mustafa-Hamsho-One-Tough-Syrian

On Sept. 9, 1978, a Bayonne, New Jersey brawler who was billed as Rocky Estafire when he was first starting out, stopped slick Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts in Jersey City giving notice that he was becoming a force to be reckoned with in the middleweight division. Watts was no slouch having split a pair with Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

”Strictly LaMotta style,” said Paddy Flood of his fighter who would come to be known by his real name, Mustafa Hamsho.

In 1980, he beat undefeated Wilford Scypion and followed that up with close wins over Curtis Parker and Alan Minter in 1981 leading to his first of two title clashes with Hagler. This bloody encounter, won by Hagler on an 11th-round TKO, left both fighters needing stiches.

“Throughout Hagler’s nonstop, 11th-round barrage, Hamsho kept coming on. He didn’t win a round, but he did take the battle of the stitches, 55-5,” wrote Pat Putnam in Sports Illustrated. “I don’t know what his corner was waiting for…The meat from his eyes was hanging down. But I can’t let that bother me. I just have to think, better him than me,” said Hagler.

More from Putnam: “When Hagler had left the hospital, the doctors were still working over Hamsho, who, until his trainer, Al Braverman, jumped into the ring to stop the fight, looked as though he would run out of blood before he ran out of heart. He was badly cut under both brows: Each wound was at least two inches long and half an inch wide. There was another slice under his left eye. He didn’t win a round from any of the three officials.”

Al Braverman, who co-managed Hamsho with the aforementioned Flood, once described the Syrian’s style as follows: “….”He’s got no style. He just wades in, throwing punches from any angle.”  He also possessed great stamina, a granite chin and incredible courage, along with head and shoulder butts, elbows, low blows, shoves, holding, chops behind the head, and whatever he could get away with.

The Matinee Idol

Bobby Czyz was 20-0 when he met Hamsho at the Convention Center in Atlantic City on Nov. 20, 1982. The undefeated New Jersey lad with the somewhat strange moniker of “Matinee Idol” and the high IQ had solid wins over Danny Long, Teddy Mann, Oscar Albarado, Elisha Obed, and Robbie Sims. Against Hamsho he was stepping up in class but he was a solid opponent for the Syrian who was 34-2-2 coming in.

If Bobby won, he would position himself for a shot at Marvelous Marvin, but Hamsho mauled and mugged the future world light heavyweight champion over ten rounds and won a convincing UD. (The rest of the Bobby Czyz story is told in “The Boxer Who Became a Bagger,” a remarkable and poignant article by sports columnist Steve Politi that first appeared in the Newark Star-Ledger.)

Wilfred Benitez

HIs UD victory over Wilfred Benitez (45-2-1) in 1883 was pure Hamsho featuring elbows, butts, and low blows. The third round was difficult to watch as the compact Syrian rendered a brutal beating on “El Radar,” using accurate nonstop shots coming from all directions. Between slips and knockdowns, Wilfred hit the deck four times.

Clearly, Benitez had faded, but Hamsho hastened the process and helped point the legendary Puerto Rican in a downward direction. Wilfred looked sluggish and poorly conditioned; he was not the same Benitez who knocked out Maurice Hope in spectacular fashion or out-boxed Roberto Duran for 15 rounds. Something was wrong.

But even in top shape, Benitez would have struggled against Hamsho with his mauling, brawling, non-stop pressure. Hamsho could make anyone look bad.  (Wilfred Benitez would lose several more outings after the Hamsho beatdown. Matthew Hilton finished the job with a terrifying KO in 1986. Wilfred’s story is a terribly sad one as he now requires constant care.)

Hamsho would lose another fight with Hagler—this time quickly and badly– and then go 6-2 before retiring in 1989 with a record of 44-5-2.

Those who were fortunate enough to see him fight remember a fan-pleasing, all-action combination of Vito Antuofermo, Michael Katsidis, Antonio Margarito, and Gene Fullmer.

Amir Khan and Prince Naseem Hamed are two very high profile, proud Muslim fighters. Mustafa Hamsho’s name can be added.

Ted Sares can be reached at tedsares@roadrunner.com

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Miguel Madueno Scores His 12th Straight Knockout at Ontario, Calif

David A. Avila

Published

on

Miguel-Madueno-Scores-His-12th-Straight-Knockout-at-Ontario-Calif

Ontario, CA — A return of fans to the Inland Empire saw Mexico’s Miguel Madueno extend his consecutive knockout streak to a dozen at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California on Friday.

It was the first fan-filled event for a Thompson Boxing card in the “I.E.” in almost two years.

Lightweight contender Madueno (26-0, 24 KOs) of Culiacan powered his way to his 12th consecutive knockout and this came at the expense of fellow Mexican Jose Luis Rodriguez (25-15-1, 13 KOs) with a focused attack to the body.

Rodriguez was clever and tough and would not allow Madueno to overwhelm him during the first four rounds. But in the fifth he was not as lucky as a four-punch barrage to the body sent him to one knee. He beat the count but was overwhelmed by Madueno who forced referee Raul Caiz to end the fight at 2:46 of the fifth round.

“In reality I thought I would end it early,” said Madueno about seeking an early knockout. “But he could take it.”

In the co-main event Japan’s Katsuma Akitsugi (7-0) outhustled Northern California’s Eros Correa (10-1) after eight rounds in a bantamweight scrap to win by majority decision.

Akitsugi, a southpaw, and Correa both showed quick hands and good chins. But the Japanese fighter was always on attack and Correa resorted to holding from the second round on. He was never warned by the referee for excessive holding. It could have helped him get back in the fight.

Every time Akitsugi entered the danger zone Correa would grab ahold like an MMA fighter instead of fighting on the inside. While Correa held Akitsugi punched and that proved the difference as two judges scored it 78-74 for Akitsugi, while a third saw it 76-76.

“I could not box my style at all,” said Akitsugi, 23. “I’m glad I brought the win home.”

Other Bouts

San Bernardino’s Esteban Munoz (5-1, 3 KOs) knocked out Tijuana’s Manuel Martinez (6-5-4) with a body shot in the first round. He could not beat the count. Munoz had stunned Martinez earlier with a counter right. Then he found an opening to the body and delivered a right to the gut and down went Martinez. He was counted out at 1:50 of the first round.

Coachella’s Lazaro Vargas (4-0) out-worked Ulises Rosales (0-5) over four rounds of a super bantamweight match to win by unanimous decision 40-36 on all three cards.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Oscar Rivas is Boxing’s First Bridgerweight Champ; Tops Spunky Ryan Rozicki

Arne K. Lang

Published

on

Oscar-Rivas-is-Boxing's-First-Bridgerweight-Champ-Tops-Spunky-Ryan-Rozicki

Back in January, the World Boxing Council announced that they were creating a new weight division. Tailored to boxers weighing between 200 and 224 pounds, they named it Bridgerweight. Tonight, at the Olympia Theatre in Montreal, the first WBC bridgerweight champion was crowned. Montreal-based Oscar Rivas, a 2008 Olympian representing his native Columbia, turned the trick with a unanimous 12-round decision over fellow Canadian Ryan Rozicki, advancing his record to 28-1 (19).

Rozicki, who is from Nova Scotia, out-performed expectations. Although he had knocked out all 13 of his opponents since turning pro in 2016, he hadn’t defeated anyone of note and hadn’t fought beyond six rounds. He drew the assignment when Rivas’s original opponent Bryant Jennings was scratched because of his refusal to accept Canada’s COVID protocols for unvaccinated foreigners. (A match between Rivas and Jennings would have been a rematch of their Jan. 18, 2019 contest in Verona, New York, a rather ho-hum match that had a dramatic ending when Rivas turned up the heat in the 12th round.)

Rivas, 34, was making his second start since suffering his lone defeat, a setback on points in a 12-round contest with Dillian Whyte in London. The heavier man by 19 pounds, he dominated the first two frames, rocking Rozicki in the opening stanza, but the Nova Scotian clawed his way back into the fight. Rivas had a strong penultimate round and although he had a point deducted for holding in the final stanza, it did not factor into the outcome. The judges had it 116-111 and 115-112.

What’s next for Oscar Rivas? Logically a bout with Evgeny Romanov. A 36-year-old Russian with a 16-0 (11-0 mark), Romanov was ranked #2 behind Rivas in the WBC’s latest set of bridgerweight rankings. Romanov’s claim to fame is that he TKOed Deontay Wilder is in amateur days, but that was way back in 2008.

Another possibility, and one likely to attract more buzz, would be a bout with Alen Babic. A 30-year-old Brit by way of Croatia, the colorful, free-swinging Babic (8-0, 8 KOs) has a date later this month in London with Texas trial horse Eric Molina.

The best guess, however, is that Rivas will discard the belt and go back to competing as a heavyweight. The bridgerweight title, we suspect, like many of the lesser titles, will be perpetually vacant, which likely wouldn’t trouble the WBC at all as they will gather up a sanctioning fee from a bridgerweight title fight whether there is an incumbent or not.

There were two 8-rounders offering chief support, but both were cancelled when the opponents failed to pass muster. Left in the lurch were “A side” Canadians Sebastien Bouchard, a welterweight, and Steve Rolls, a middleweight.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Triller-Fight-Club-Boxing's-Keystone-Kops
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Triller Fight Club: Boxing’s Keystone Kops

David-Avanesyan-Dazzles-Again-on-a-London-Card-That-Lost-Its-Main-Event
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

David Avanesyan Dazzles Again on a London Card That Lost Its Main Event

A-Big-Upset-in-London-as-Oleksandr-Usyk-Outclasses-Anthony-Joshua
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

A Big Upset in London as Oleksandr Usyk Outclasses Anthony Joshua

The-Hauser-Report-Oleksandr-Usyk-Upsets-the-Applecart
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

The Hauser Report: Oleksandr Usyk Upsets the Applecart

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-The-Russian-Lion-An-Exemplary-Judge-and-More
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: The Russian Lion, an Exemplary Judge and More

A-Snapshoy-of-Hall-of-Fame-Boxer-Tony-DeMarco-Who-Has-Passed-Away-at-Age-89
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

A Snapshot of Hall of Fame Boxer Tony DeMarco Who Has Passed Away at Age 89

The-Official-TSS-Wilder-Fury-III-Prediction-Page
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The Official TSS Fury-Wilder III Prediction Page

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-Notes-on-Canelo-Plant-Probellum-and-Adrien-Broner
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Notes on Canelo-Plant, Probellum, and Adrien Broner

Fury-KOs-Wilder-in-the-11th-in-a-Brutal-Slugfest
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Fury KOs Wilder in the 11th in a Brutal Slugfest

Reconfiguring-the-Championship-Rounds-What-if-There'd-Been-3-More-or-3-Less?
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Reconfiguring the Championship Rounds: What if There’d Been 3 More or 3 Less?

Nothing-Lasts-Forever-Not-Even-Manny-Pacquiao's-Exquisite-Boxing-Career
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Nothing Lasts Forever, Not Even Manny Pacquiao’s Exquisite Ring Career

Avila-Perspective-Chap-153-Manny-at-the-Olympic-and-More
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 153: Pacquiao at the Olympic and More

The-Hauser-Report-Ken-Burns-Explores-Muhammad-Ali
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

The Hauser Report: Ken Burns Explores Muhammad Ali

Wayne-McCullough-Remembers-Eddie-Futch-Who-Passed-Away-20-Years-Ago-This-Sunday
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Wayne McCullough Remembers Eddie Futch Who Passed Away 20 Years Ago This Sunday

Adelaida-Ruiz-Grabs-WBC-Silver-Title-in-Pico-Rivera-and-More
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Adelaida Ruiz Grabs WBC Silver Title in Pico Rivera and More

Undercard-Results-from-Las-Vegas-Helenius-Kownacki-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Undercard Results from Las Vegas: Helenius-Kownacki and More

AIBA-Confirms-Corruption-at-2016-Rio-Olympics-in-Other-News-Water-is-Wet
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

AIBA Confirms Corruption at 2016 Rio Olympics; in Other News, Water is Wet

Avila-Perspective-Chap-155-James-Toney-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 155: James Toney and More

Boxing-Odds-ans-Ends-Richard-Schaefer-Returns-and-a-Bare-Knuckle-Fatality
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Richard Schaefer Returns and a Bare-Knuckle Fatality

Boxing-Scribes-Take-to-Twitter-to-Celebrate-the-Fury-Wilder-Fight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Scribes Take to Twitter to Celebrate the Fury-Wilder Fight

Remembering-Mustafa-Hamsho-One-Tough-Syrian
Featured Articles9 hours ago

Remembering ‘Rocky Estafire,’ One Tough Syrian

Miguel-Madueno-Scores-His-12th-Straight-Knockout-at-Ontario-Calif
Featured Articles15 hours ago

Miguel Madueno Scores His 12th Straight Knockout at Ontario, Calif

Oscar-Rivas-is-Boxing's-First-Bridgerweight-Champ-Tops-Spunky-Ryan-Rozicki
Featured Articles24 hours ago

Oscar Rivas is Boxing’s First Bridgerweight Champ; Tops Spunky Ryan Rozicki

Avila-Perspective-Chap-157-Tank-Davis-and-Rollie-Romero-in-LA-and-More
Featured Articles2 days ago

Avila Perspective, Chap: 157: Tank Davis and Rollie Romero in LA and More

Hotlanta-Has-Suddenly-Become-a-Professional-Boxing-Hotspot
Featured Articles2 days ago

‘Hotlanta’ Has Suddenly Become a Professional Boxing Hotspot

Late-Bloomer-Jersey=Joe-Walcott-Goes-the-Ditance-Again-With-Statue-in-Camden
Featured Articles5 days ago

Late-Bloomer Jersey Joe Walcott Goes the Distance Again With Statue in Camden

WeekendBoxing-Recap-The-Mikey-Garcia-Stunmer-and-More
Featured Articles6 days ago

Weekend Boxing Recap: The Mikey Garcia Stunner and More

Emanuel-Navarrete-Retains-WBO-Featherweight-Title-in-a-San-Diego-Firefight
Featured Articles1 week ago

Emanuel Navarrete Retains WBO Featherweight Title in a San Diego Firefight

Russell-Peltz's-Thirty-Dollars-and-a-Cut-Eye-Nook-Review-by-Thomas-Hauser
Book Review1 week ago

Russell Peltz’s “Thirty Dollars and a Cut Eye”: Book Review by Thomas Hauser

Avila-Perspective-Chap-156-A-World-Title-Fight-in-San-Diego-and-More
Featured Articles1 week ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 156: A World Title Fight in San Diego and More

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-Notes-on-Canelo-Plant-Probellum-and-Adrien-Broner
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Notes on Canelo-Plant, Probellum, and Adrien Broner

A-Snapshoy-of-Hall-of-Fame-Boxer-Tony-DeMarco-Who-Has-Passed-Away-at-Age-89
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

A Snapshot of Hall of Fame Boxer Tony DeMarco Who Has Passed Away at Age 89

Boxing-Scribes-Take-to-Twitter-to-Celebrate-the-Fury-Wilder-Fight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Scribes Take to Twitter to Celebrate the Fury-Wilder Fight

Fury-KOs-Wilder-in-the-11th-in-a-Brutal-Slugfest
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Fury KOs Wilder in the 11th in a Brutal Slugfest

Undercard-Results-from-Las-Vegas-Helenius-Kownacki-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Undercard Results from Las Vegas: Helenius-Kownacki and More

Results-from-Liverpool-Liam-Smith-TKOs-Fowler-Plus-Undercard-Results
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Results from Liverpool: Liam Smith TKOs Fowler plus Undercard Results

The-Official-TSS-Wilder-Fury-III-Prediction-Page
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The Official TSS Fury-Wilder III Prediction Page

Avila-Perspective-Chap-155-James-Toney-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 155: James Toney and More

Wayne-McCullough-Remembers-Eddie-Futch-Who-Passed-Away-20-Years-Ago-This-Sunday
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Wayne McCullough Remembers Eddie Futch Who Passed Away 20 Years Ago This Sunday

Boxing-Odds-ans-Ends-Richard-Schaefer-Returns-and-a-Bare-Knuckle-Fatality
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Richard Schaefer Returns and a Bare-Knuckle Fatality

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement