Connect with us

Featured Articles

Fullmer vs. Paret: Prelude to Tragedy

Ted Sares

Published

on

Fullmer-vs-Paret-Prelude-to-Tragedy

In the movie The Harder they Fall, boxer Buddy Brannen (played by Max Baer) renders a horrific beating on Gus Dundee (played by former heavyweight contender Pat Comiskey) who thereafter suffers from terrible headaches, symptomatic of brain damage, heading into his next fight with the highly touted Argentinean giant Toro Moreno (Mike Lane). Everyone knows that Gus is damaged goods except the naïve, feather-fisted Moreno who knocks him out, whereupon Gus lapses into a coma and dies.

Max Baer was suitably cast as the menacing Brannen. Humphrey Bogart and Rod Steiger are at their very best in what is arguably one of the best boxing movies ever made. It’s great theater.

bogey

What was not theater was that heavyweight Ernie Schaaf compiled a record of 49-15-1 that included wins over the real Max Baer and Jim Braddock. In August 1932, he was decisioned by Baer in a rematch. However, he was actually saved by the bell when Baer knocked him out with seconds remaining in the fight.

Six months later, feather-fisted giant Primo Carnera knocked out Ernie in 13 rounds. Schaaf died four days later. Many believe the injuries suffered in his bout with Baer contributed to his death. Schaaf, of course, became the fictitious Gus Dundee. The fictional Moreno harked to Carnera.

Gene Fullmer

Later, in the 50s, former middleweight champion Gene “Cyclone” Fullmer (pictured) went on a tear after losing by spectacular left hook knockout to Sugar Ray Robinson on May 1, 1957 in the Chicago Stadium. The shot — often referenced as “The Perfect Hook” — caught the brawling and iron-chinned Fullmer flush on the chin.

“People tell me it was a great left hook, but I wouldn’t know. I never saw it.” – Gene Fullmer

Alternating between venues in Utah and large arenas elsewhere, Gene, a Utah Mormon, ran off eleven straight wins before drawing with Joey Giardello in Bozeman, Montana in April 1960. Among his victims were Ralph “Tiger” Jones, Spider Webb, Joe Miceli, and Carmen Basilio.

Fullmer stopped Basilio after the draw and then drew again (albeit controversially) with Sugar Ray Robinson (144-8-2) in December 1960 in Los Angeles. Three months later, he decisoned Sugar Ray in Las Vegas, thus going 2-1-1 over Ray during the course of his career.

Based on the level of his opposition and the frequency of his fights, Fullmer was the quintessential “best vs best” type fighter. Throw a dart and you were liable to hit the names of Paul Pender, Gil Turner, Del Flanagan, Rocky Castellani, Charlie Humez, Florentino Fernandez, or Eduardo Lausse. Tough and relentless, he just kept up the pressure from beginning to end; he kept coming and coming with endless stamina.

The Benny “Kid” Paret Fight (December 12, 1961)

Gene was 54-4-2 when he faced “The Kid” (35-10-3) at the Convention Center in Las Vegas. Paret had lost three of his last five bouts, all during a short period of time, and each of the fights had been against elite opposition.

Their contrast in styles did not bode well for the skilled Paret who had moved up in weight. The stronger and bigger Fullmer forced Benny into a brawl and then, after gaining control, butchered him in a sustained way that was difficult to watch and likely triggered shouts of “stop it” from ringside as the slaughter moved into the tenth round. This was a precursor to Duran vs. Moore as Fullmer was on a rampage and landed one thudding head and body shot after another leaving Paret bloodied and spent and ready to be taken out.

Here is how historian and author Mike Silver saw the action in a 2012 story written for Boxing.com: “In the tenth round the exhausted, bloodied challenger was the recipient of one of the most frightful and sustained beatings this writer has ever witnessed. Seven full power right hand punches were landed consecutively to Paret’s head before he went down. After getting up from the second knockdown he could barely stand. The referee, Harry Krause, inexcusably allowed the fight to continue for one more knockdown before finally counting him out.”

Amazingly, Benny was able to leave leave the ring without being stretchered out, but in retrospect that might have worked against him as he returned to action far too soon. It’s a cliché but it fits—Benny “Kid” Paret was now damaged goods.

Fullmer had also taken some heavy shots and his face was pulpy and beaten up. Importantly, however, he said that he hit Paret harder and more often than any other opponent.

The Cyclone from Utah did not fight for ten months and then went 0-2-1 against Dick Tiger ending an illustrious career (55-6-3) capped by his inclusion into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.

The Kid, however, fought Emile Griffith just over three months later in Madison Square Garden; he should have been retired or, at a minimum, not have been allowed to fight for a controlled period of time. As Mike Silver writes, “Benny ‘Kid’ Paret” was doomed before he ever stepped into the ring…..[he] was literally a dead man walking. And  Emile Griffith, the other victim in this tragic scenario, was the final straw.”

The rest, of course, is well-documented history. The sensitive and extremely popular Griffith was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Ironically, many observers declared that Griffith was a consummate fighter, except the one thing he did not do well was punch. Really?

“Boxers lasts only a short time, but managers go on forever.”–Joe Greb

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

Featured Articles

Boxing Odds and Ends: The WBA’s 50-Year-Old Cruiserweight Contender and More

Arne K. Lang

Published

on

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-The-WBA's-50-Year-Old-Cruiserweight-Contender-and-More

Boxing’s seniors tour continues on Sept. 11 when Oscar De La Hoya returns to the ring after an absence of almost 13 years to fight former MMA star Vitor Belfort. The bout is scheduled for eight two-minute rounds and will count against De La Hoya’s professional boxing record which currently stands at 39-6 (30). More details will be revealed tomorrow at a Los Angeles press conference.

De La Hoya turned 48 in February. If he is looking for inspiration, he need look no further back than this past Saturday where cruiserweight Firat Arslan continued his ascent toward yet another world title shot with a fourth-round stoppage of Argentina’s Ruben Eduardo Acosta. Arslan is older than Oscar, he’s 50!

The match took place in Goeppingen, Germany, before a small gathering in Firat Arslan’s gym. It was sanctioned by the WBA for an “international” belt. A southpaw of Turkish descent, Arslan (pictured on the right) entered the contest ranked #5 by the repugnant organization and will presumably move up a notch.

Arslan is in his 24th year as a pro. His signature win was a 12-round decision over Virgil Hill in 2007. Hill was then 43 years old. Coincidentally, the man that Arslan just defeated was also 43.

The victory over Hill, a future Hall of Famer, earned Arslan a world cruiserweight title. He lost it to Guillermo Jones after one successful defense and would come up short in three other stabs at a world cruiserweight title, losing to Marco Huck twice and to Yoan Pablo Hernandez.

One doesn’t know if Ruben Eduardo Acosta turned up in Germany intent on rendering an honest effort. He went down three times from body shots and was counted out on his last trip to the mat. But the Argentine sported a decent record (38-17-5) and had gone seven years without being stopped, a pocket of 17 fights.

There’s an obvious difference between Arslan and De La Hoya. Arslan was out of the ring for 21 months after losing his title to Jones, but has otherwise maintained a steady schedule. His weight has never ballooned between fights and he has the physique of a man twenty years younger. De La Hoya has led a sedentary life since leaving the ring and is effectively starting over. He figures to weigh about 170 for Vitor Belfort which would be 25 pounds more than he carried for his last fight against Manny Pacquiao.

De La Hoya vs. Belfort is being promoted by Triller and will air on FITE. Triller and FITE are also collaborating on the Aug. 3 event at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden. The headline attraction of what will supposedly be a 10-fight card finds heavyweight contender Michael “The Bounty” Hunter taking on former amateur rival Mike “White Delight” Wilson.

Those attending the event who are over the age of 15 must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative test result within the previous 72 hours. Despite this potential deal-breaker, tickets purportedly disappeared fast, portending a complete sell-out.

Of course, there’s more to the event than boxing. Local rap groups DIPSET and THE LOX will battle it out in a competition ballyhooed as iconic in the promotional literature.

—-

A more compelling fight takes place in North London on Sept. 25 when IBF/WBO/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua defends his belts against former unified cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk. It will be the first boxing event at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium which opened in April of 2019. Built for the Tottenham Hotspurs, a Premier League soccer club, the stadium was also conceptualized with an eye toward housing an NFL team.

The soccer pitch is retractable. Underneath is an artificial turf for American football. Having the football field at a lower level than the soccer pitch will allow spectators in the first row to see over the heads of football players and coaches standing on the sideline. In soccer, the front row can be closer to the playing field because soccer players sit on chairs when they are not in the game. Moreover, the stadium has a separate entrance dedicated to NFL events and the press sections for American football and for soccer are configured differently.

Pro football fans in the U.S. tuning in on television will be get a bird’s eye view of the new stadium on Oct. 10 and again Oct. 17 when the NFL plays games in London, renewing a tradition that was interrupted last year by Covid-19. The NFL recently signed a 10-year deal with the landlord of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

For the record, the Oct. 10 game features the Falcons against the Jets. On Oct. 17, it’s the Jaguars against the Dolphins. Both games will start at 9:30 am ET, 6:30 am PT. Football fans on the West Coast are advised to set their alarm clocks.

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

Fast Results from London: Massive Heavyweight Joe Joyce Keeps on Rolling

Arne K. Lang

Published

on

Fast-Results-from-London-Massive-Heavyweight-Joe-Joyce-Keeps-on-Rolling

Ponderous but formidable Joe Joyce moved one step closer to a title fight tonight at the Wembley Arena with a sixth-round stoppage of Carlos Takam. Carrying 264 pounds on a six-foot-six frame, the 2014 Olympic silver medalist was simply too big for his 40-year-old French-Cameroonian adversary.

In his previous bout, Joyce methodically dismantled favored Daniel Dubois with a steady dose of his thudding right jab. Dubois quit in the 10th round with a busted eye socket. Tonight’s fight followed a somewhat similar pattern.

Takam landed some good shots in the first two rounds as Joyce was slow to find his rhythm, but Joyce stuck to his game plan which was to wear him down and Takam’s punches gradually lost steam in the face of Joyce’s constant pressure.

Early in round six, Joyce rocked Takam with a big right hand and didn’t let him off the hook. Takam protested when the referee indicated that he had seen enough and the stoppage did strike many as premature, but the handwriting was on the wall for the veteran who declined to 39-6-1. The official time was 0:49.

Joyce is of Scotch-Irish and Nigerian descent. College educated with a degree in fine arts, he acknowledges that he has no great passion for the sport of boxing and is in it for the financial rewards, not the glory. At age 35, he isn’t going to get any better, but he appears to have a rock-solid chin and his nickname, Juggernaut, is quite fitting.

Joyce entered the bout ranked #2 by the WBO, a notch below Oleksandr Usyk who challenges title-holder Anthony Joshua on Sept. 25.

Other Bouts of Note

Ekow Essuman, a 32-year-old Nottingham man, born in Botswana, unseated British and Commonwealth welterweight champion Chris Jenkins, winning on an eighth-round stoppage. A hard right hook followed by a flurry of punches forced the referee to waive it off. The official time was 0:53.

Essuman, who was favored in the 3/1 range, improved to 15-0 with his sixth win inside the distance. A Welshman, Jenkins (22-4-3) was making the fourth defense of his domestic title.

London super welterweight Hamzah Sheeraz, who has been training at the Ten Goose Gym in Van Nuys, California, improved to 13-0 (9 KOs) with a fifth-round stoppage of Spain’s Ezequiel Gurria (15-2). Gurria was down twice in the fifth round before the bout was halted at the 2:23 mark.

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

Steen, Bocachica, and Martino Jules Stay Unbeaten in Cornhuskerland

Arne K. Lang

Published

on

Steen-Bocachica-and-Martino-Jules-Stay-Unbeaten-in-Cornhuskerland

The long-running Showtime series ShoBox:The New Generation was at the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, Nebraska last night. Super middleweight Isaiah Steen and welterweight Janelson Figueroa Bocachica, both of whom are managed by 2020 BWAA Manager of the Year David McWater, were featured in the main bouts.

Cleveland’s Steen, the half-brother of 2016 U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell, improved to 16-0 (12) with a 10-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Kalvin Henderson (14-1-1). Steen started slow and slowed down again in the final two rounds, but dominated the middle rounds and won by scores of 96-94 and 97-93 twice. Henderson, a part-time schoolteacher in Fayetteville, Arkansas who earned a degree in music from the University of Arkansas, was hampered by a pulled muscle in his right shoulder which he believes happened in the fourth round.

Steen hopes to land a spot on the big show coming up in Cleveland in five weeks. Charles Conwell is already booked. He will oppose Massachusetts veteran Mark DeLuca in a supporting bout to the freak fight between Jake Paul and Tyrone Woodley.

Janelson Figueroa Bocachica, a Detroit native of Puerto Rican ancestry, kept his undefeated record intact, but just barely. He was held to a draw by Shinard Bunch who appeared to have done enough to edge it.

Bunch, whose middle name is Showtime (no fooling) fights out of Trenton, New Jersey and is trained by Chino Reyes who guided Jason Sosa and Tevin Farmer to world titles. He entered the bout with a 15-1 (13) record but was moving up in class in his first scheduled 10-rounder. Only six of his wins had come against opponents with winning records.

Bocachica (17-0-1) performed below expectations for the second straight fight, having been hard-pressed to turn away Mark Reyes Jr. in his previous go. One of the judges scored it for him (96-94) but the others had it 97-93 Bunch and 95-95.

The TV opener was an 8-round featherweight contest between Martino Jules, a 24-year-old southpaw from Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Aram Avagyan, a 30-year-old Armenian who began his pro career in Russia and is currently domiciled in California.

Although neither were big punchers, the Armenian had the odds in his favor. A 2016 Olympian, he had fought the tougher schedule and was the bigger man, coming in two pounds over the featherweight limit (which reportedly cost him $2000). But his performance was sloppy – he was repeatedly warned for leading with his head – and the decision was a foregone conclusion when Jules was credited with scoring a knockdown late in the final round.

In his biggest win to date, Martino Jules improved to 11-0. It was the first pro loss for the 30-year-old Avagyan who declined to 10-1-2.

Photo credit: Esther Lin / SHOWTIME

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
Pac-Man-Touches-Down-in-LA-Leaving-Behind-a-Political-Firestorm
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Pacquiao Touches Down in L.A., Leaving Behind a Political Firestorm

Is-Gervonta-Davis-Boxing's-New-Money-Man
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Is Gervonta Davis Boxing’s New “Money” Man?

Loma-and-Teofimo-A-Sudden-Reversal-of-Fortune
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Loma and Teofimo: A Stunning Reversal of Fortune?

Avila-Perspective-Chap-144-Charlo-&-Castano-Battle-for-Undisputed-Status-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 144: Charlo & Castano Battle for Undisputed! and More

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-Notes-on-Canelo-GGG-III-and-Oregon's-White-Delight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Notes on Canelo – GGG III and Oregon’s ‘White Delight’

Charlo-and-Castano-Battle-to-a-Draw-in-a-San-Antonio-Firefight
Featured Articles1 week ago

Charlo and Castano Battle to a Draw in a San Antonio Firefight

Chris-Colbert-Beats-Nyambayar-and-Rivera-KOs-Fernandez-in-Carson
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Chris Colbert Beats Nyambayar and Rivera KOs Fernandez in Carson

The-Latest-News-on-the-Fury-Wilder-III-Blunder
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

The Latest News on the Fury – Wilder III Blunder

The-International-Olympic-Committee-Sets-The-Gold-Standard-for-Scandal
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The International Olympic Committee Sets the Gold Standard for Scandal

Steen-Bocachica-and-Martino-Jules-Stay-Unbeaten-in-Cornhuskerland
Featured Articles3 days ago

Steen, Bocachica, and Martino Jules Stay Unbeaten in Cornhuskerland

Tim-Tszyu-Continues-His-Wave-of-Destruction-Blasts-Out-Late-Sub-Steve-Spark
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Tim Tszyu Continues His Wave of Destruction; Blasts out Late Sub Steve Spark

Boxing-Referees-Were-Tough-in-Bygone-Days-and-Jere-Dunn-Was-Toughest-of-Them-All
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Boxing Referees Were Tough in Bygone Days and Jere Dunn Was Toughest of Them All

Fast-Results-from-London-Massive-Heavyweight-Joe-Joyce-Keeps-on-Rolling
Featured Articles3 days ago

Fast Results from London: Massive Heavyweight Joe Joyce Keeps on Rolling

Avila-Perspective-Chap-140-Colbert-vs-Nyambayar-and-Other-LA-Fights
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 140: Colbert vs Nyambayar and Other L.A. Fights

Literary-Notes-George-Dixon-by-Jason-Winders
Book Review2 weeks ago

Literary Notes: “George Dixon” by Jason Winders

Renowned-Sportswriter-Dave-Kindred-Reflects-on-a-Life-Well-Lived
Featured Articles1 week ago

Renowned Sportswriter Dave Kindred Reflects on a Life Well Lived

Loma-Batters-Nakatani-Even-If-It-Was-Teofimo's-Face-He-Was-Seeing
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Loma Batters Nakatani Even If it Was Teofimo’s Face He Was Seeing

Getting-to-Know-Jared-Anderson-Boxing's-Next-Big-Thing
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Getting to Know Jared Anderson, Boxing’s ‘Next Big Thing’

Arthur-and-Parker-and-McCann-and-Sharp-Stay-Unbeaten-at-Prince-Albert-Hall
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Arthur and Parker and McCann and Sharp Stay Unbeaten at Prince Albert Hall

morrelStarches-Cazares-on-an-Entertaining-Card-Studded-With-Upsets
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Morrell Starches Cazares on an Entertaining Show Studded With Upsets

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-The-WBA's-50-Year-Old-Cruiserweight-Contender-and-More
Featured Articles19 hours ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: The WBA’s 50-Year-Old Cruiserweight Contender and More

Fast-Results-from-London-Massive-Heavyweight-Joe-Joyce-Keeps-on-Rolling
Featured Articles3 days ago

Fast Results from London: Massive Heavyweight Joe Joyce Keeps on Rolling

Steen-Bocachica-and-Martino-Jules-Stay-Unbeaten-in-Cornhuskerland
Featured Articles3 days ago

Steen, Bocachica, and Martino Jules Stay Unbeaten in Cornhuskerland

Les-Bonano-Mr-Boxing-in-New-Orleans-Enters-the-NOLA-Sports-Hall-of-Fame
Featured Articles4 days ago

Les Bonano, Mr. Boxing in New Orleans, Enters the NOLA Sports Hall of Fame

Avila-Perspective-Chap-145-Olympics-Women's-Boxing-Hall-of-Fame-and-More
Featured Articles4 days ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 145: Olympics, Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame and More

The-Gold-Medal-Drought-for-the-US-Olympic-Boxing-Team-is-Expected-to-Continue
Featured Articles5 days ago

The Gold Medal Drought for the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team is Expected to Continue

A-Dissenting-Opinion-Jeffrey-Freeman's-Round-by-Round-Breakdown-of-the-Charlo-Castano-Fight
Featured Articles6 days ago

A Dissenting Opinion: Jeffrey Freeman’s Round by Round Breakdown of the Charlo-Castano Fight

Excitement-was-the-Name-of-the-Little-Bird's-Game
Featured Articles7 days ago

Excitement was the Name of ‘The Little Bird’s’ Game

When-Betting-on-Boxing-It's-Buyer-Beware-as-Connor-McGregor-Reminded-Us
Featured Articles1 week ago

When Betting on Boxing, it’s ‘Buyer Beware’ as Conor McGregor Reminded Us

Renowned-Sportswriter-Dave-Kindred-Reflects-on-a-Life-Well-Lived
Featured Articles1 week ago

Renowned Sportswriter Dave Kindred Reflects on a Life Well Lived

Charlo-and-Castano-Battle-to-a-Draw-in-a-San-Antonio-Firefight
Featured Articles1 week ago

Charlo and Castano Battle to a Draw in a San Antonio Firefight

Every-Joe-Gans-Lightweight-Title-Fight-Part-8-Willie-Fitzgerald
Featured Articles1 week ago

Every Joe Gans Lightweight Title Fight – Part 8: Willie Fitzgerald

The-International-Olympic-Committee-Sets-The-Gold-Standard-for-Scandal
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The International Olympic Committee Sets the Gold Standard for Scandal

Remembering-the-Late-Craig-Gator-Bodzianowski-Boxing's-One-Legged-Wonder
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Remembering the late Craig ‘Gator’ Bodzianowski, Boxing’s One-Legged Wonder

Avila-Perspective-Chap-144-Charlo-&-Castano-Battle-for-Undisputed-Status-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 144: Charlo & Castano Battle for Undisputed! and More

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-Notes-on-Canelo-GGG-III-and-Oregon's-White-Delight
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Notes on Canelo – GGG III and Oregon’s ‘White Delight’

Getting-to-Know-Jared-Anderson-Boxing's-Next-Big-Thing
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Getting to Know Jared Anderson, Boxing’s ‘Next Big Thing’

Literary-Notes-George-Dixon-by-Jason-Winders
Book Review2 weeks ago

Literary Notes: “George Dixon” by Jason Winders

Arthur-and-Parker-and-McCann-and-Sharp-Stay-Unbeaten-at-Prince-Albert-Hall
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Arthur and Parker and McCann and Sharp Stay Unbeaten at Prince Albert Hall

Zurdo-Ramirez-TKOs-Sullivan-Barrera-and-more-on-a-Sweltering-Night-in-LA
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

‘Zurdo’ Ramirez TKOs Sullivan Barrera (and more) on a Sweltering Night in L.A.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement