Connect with us

Featured Articles

George Kimball Remembers Budd Schulberg: A TSS Classic

Published

on

George-Kimball-Remembers-Budd-Schulberg-A-TSS-Classic

On this day in boxing history, Aug. 5, 2009, the great screenwriter, novelist, and essayist Budd Schulberg passed away at age 95. His passing inspired this tribute from his friend George Kimball, the longtime boxing writer for the Boston Herald who was then retired as a full-time newspaperman and writing extensively for this web site.

NEW YORK — I could tell from the choking sound on the other end of the line that the news wasn’t going to be good.  It took him awhile, and when he finally got it out, the best his son could manage was “He’s gone…”

Budd Schulberg was 95 years old and had been in ill health for several months, so it was hardly unexpected, but the unsettling moment arrived late Wednesday afternoon when Benn phoned to tell me his father had passed away an hour earlier. Budd was a giant in our field, and a giant in many others as well. He was the only man ever to have both won an Oscar and been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, but he was also my dear friend of many years, and I miss him already.

*  *  *

Budd Schulberg was 15 years old in 1929 when he sailed to England with his father, the Hollywood mogul B.P. Schulberg.  On that crossing the Schulbergs made the acquaintance of a fellow passenger on the Ile de France, a Georgia boxer named William Lawrence Stribling, who boxed under the nomme de guerre Young Stribling.

Upon learning that both Schulbergs were enthusiastic boxing fans, Stribling promised them a pair of ringside tickets for his upcoming bout at the Royal Albert Hall, where he was to fight an ungainly Italian giant named Primo Carnera.

If watching his father drop what he described as “a casually reckless wager” of 1,000 pounds when Carnera won by disqualification wasn’t enough to inspire a healthy skepticism in the younger Schulberg, the result of the return match certainly did. In what appeared to have been a pre-arranged scenario, Carnera and Stribling  met again in Paris three weeks later, and this time Carnera returned the favor by getting himself disqualified in the seventh round.  The episode made an indelible impression on Schulberg, who years later would base his cautionary boxing novel “The Harder They Fall” on the illusory rise and inglorious fall of Carnera, the heavyweight champion known as “The Ambling Alp.”

Now, think about this.

Eighty years later, this time by more modern contrivance, Budd returned to London again. This past February he flew over for the premier of “On the Waterfront,” a stage adaptation of his Academy Award-winning 1954 screenplay, at the Theatre Royal in Haymarket. Perhaps determined to reprise all facets of that 1929 rite of passage, he and his wife Betsy went from London to Paris, where they spent a week in the city that had hosted Stribling-Carnera II. They returned to London, where they attended yet another performance of On the Waterfront.

Afterward Budd repaired to a nearby pub with the cast of the London production, and spent the night celebrating with the cast. When he became ill on the flight back to New York the next day the initial assumption was that the partying was to blame, but what it really was was the onset of old age. This was particularly unsettling for Budd, because he was a month shy of his 95th birthday, and he had never before felt — or seemed — particularly old. Not to himself, not to any of us.

Benn Schulberg and I were at Madison Square Garden that night, at the Cotto-Jennings fight, when he got the phone call telling him that his dad had been taken off the plane at Kennedy Airport in a stretcher and rushed to the emergency room at Jamaica Hospital. Somewhere over the Atlantic his blood pressure had dropped alarmingly, and he barely had a pulse.

Budd improved enough over the next few days to be moved to Mt. Sinai in New York, where he could be under the care of his cardiologist, and eventually he was allowed to be home, but he remained in a weakened state. He had been in congestive heart failure for some time, and he had a chronic lung condition, the result of having sucked down some toxic fumes in a home kitchen fire several decades earlier, and then a couple of months ago he was well enough to undergo what was supposed to be routine surgery to repair a hernia. That’s when they found the cancer in his belly

There were several phone calls over the next few weeks while Budd and Betsy deliberated the various options, and since I’d had to make similar choices in the past, they consulted me on the matter. I’m not sure how helpful I was, other than to recommend an insistence on getting a full recitation of the potential benefits and consequences from whichever specialist had their ear at the moment, but in the end Budd opted for treatment. In June he came straight from a chemo appointment to attend the Boxing Writers dinner (where he received a standing ovation), and then just a few weeks ago he attended a staged reading of On the Waterfront in Hoboken. The event, by the New Artists Theatre, featured some cast members of “The Sopranos,” on the turf Schulberg’s play had immortalized, and the aura of corruption of the 50’s era had just been revived when the FBI took town a bunch of New Jersey mayors (and rabbis) a few days earlier.

“He probably shouldn’t have, but at the last minute he told me he wanted to go,” reported Benn. “He was in pretty bad shape, and I think everyone could tell that.”

“I certainly could,” said Lou di Bella, who was also in attendance that night. “I knew then that it was probably the last time I’d see him.”

*   *   *

I find myself thinking about the better times, and they weren’t so very long ago at that.  Budd and Betsy had dinner with us at our place here in New York several times over the past few years, and when it finally became apparent that climbing the stairs of an old brownstone built before the age of elevators was a burden, we met for dinner in more nonogenarian-friendly locales. A year ago March we’d attended his 94th birthday party at an Upper West Side restaurant, along with his family and a few friends, including the artist LeRoy Neiman and the actress Patricia Neal, who’d starred in the film of Budd’s “A Face in the Crowd” half a century earlier.

Even though he could doubtless feel it closing in on him over those last few years he refused to make the normal concessions to age. A couple of years ago when we were in Vegas for the Mayweather-De La Hoya fight there was a late lunch with myself, Budd and Benn, and Michael Katz. We had to find a place with a television set so we could monitor the progress of the Kentucky Derby bets we’d placed at the sports book earlier in the day. During football season, especially come playoff time, and for a big fight we’d decided not to attend in person, we’d often gather at Benn’s apartment, order up obscene quantities of food and beer, and then try to stick one another with the tab through an intricate series of wagers, usually devised by Budd.

I’m 65, and at these gatherings I was often the second-youngest person in attendance. Budd didn’t hang out with many people his own age, mainly because people his own age were mostly dead. But any father will tell you he’d rather have no better friend than his own son, and Benn, who didn’t even come along until Budd was 67, was unquestionably Budd’s best friend, his constant companion at ringside.

* *  *

I’d read Budd in my youth, long before I met him, beginning, as most do, with “What Makes Sammy Run,” without even understanding at the time the bedrock of personal experience underlying that book, or that its publication would, as his father had warned him it might, severely retard what had been a promising Hollywood career. It didn’t kill it altogether, of course. Budd was assigned to co-write a script with another member of the newly-fallen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and while that project turned into a disaster, it did provide the basis for another splendid book based on the experience, “The Disenchanted.”

He straddled the worlds of literature and pugilism throughout his life, but unlike some of his more boastful contemporaries he was not a dilettante when it came to either. He sparred regularly with Mushy Callahan well beyond middle age. The night of the Frazier-Ali fight of the century Budd started to the arena in Muhammad Ali’s limousine, and then when the traffic got heavy, got out and walked to Madison Square Garden with Ali. A year before Jose Torres died, Budd and Betsy flew to Puerto Rico and spent several days with Jose and Ramona at their home in Ponce. Art Aragon was the best man at his wedding. And when push came to shove, he put on the gloves with both Ernest Hemingway and Norman Mailer and kicked both of their asses, though not, as some would now claim, on the same night.

*   *    *

Budd and I had sat together at another Boxing Writers Dinner at least a quarter century earlier. I remember being pretty full of myself, because I’d just come back from a fight in Vegas where I’d had a pretty good week at the tables as well. I’d not only won what seemed to me a ton of money but had spent enough time at the tables that Gene Kilroy had gotten the casino to comp my room — after they’d already issued me a receipt that would satisfy the bean counters at the newspaper.

As I was remarking on the delicious irony of it all, Budd punctured my reverie long enough to ask “Let me ask you this, George. Could you have afforded to lose $5,000?”

He knew I had two small children, and that of course I couldn’t. He then proceeded to tell me the cautionary tale of his own father, whose gambling Jones put his family at the brink of bankruptcy a couple of times. That night told me the story that would later appear in Moving Pictures, the biography of his early days in Hollywood, of the floating poker game that convened at the Schulberg manse just before young Budd was sent to his room to do his homework. When he came downstairs for breakfast eight hours later, his father was still at the table, where he was writing out a check for $20,000 to Chico Marx.

He was afflicted with a lifelong stammer that seemed to grow worse when he became excited or impatient, which wasn’t often. It has occurred to me more than once over the years that this probably evolved into an asset to his writing and his unerring ear for dialogue, because most conversations were so essentially one-sided that he became a very good listener.

*   *   *

In World War II he served in the OSS, and in the war’s aftermath was part of the prosecution team at the Nuremburg Trials, where his job was assembling photographic and film evidence for use against the Nazis on trial for war crimes.

He had been a Communist Party member in the late1930s, but had long since repudiated his ties after he had seen firsthand the evils of Stalinism. Although unlike many former CP members he retained a leftist stance on social and political issues throughout his life, he was tarred by his agreement to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. Many of his colleagues who refused were blacklisted, and lives were ruined. Budd was branded a pariah in some circles, but in his own mind his politics hadn’t wavered.

The episode did make him fair game on another front, particularly when On The Waterfront, directed by another former party member-turned-friendly witness, Elia Kazan, emerged in 1954. Kazan had earlier worked on another waterfront-themed project called “The Hook” with the playwright Arthur Miller. The biographer Jeffrey Meyers would later claim that “Miller had refused to turn the gangsters into communists, as the Columbia Pictures mogul Harry Cohn and the Hollywood union bosses wanted him to. The film was later written that way by Budd Schulberg (another self-serving friendly witness’) as On The Waterfront.”

As preposterous as the allegation seems — there are no more any bad-guy communists in On the Waterfront than there were in “A View from the Bridge,” the play Miller eventually wrote from “The Hook.” Moreover, Budd had purchased the rights to a New York Sun series about the Jersey docks as early as 1947, years before Miller’s brief flirtation with Kazan.

“When I was working on ‘On the Waterfront,’ I didn’t know about Arthur Miller,” Budd told an English newspaper in London back in February. “They were absolutely two separate, if overlapping, projects.”

brando

Budd said at the time he resented the accusation “because it made me seem like I was trying to imitate Arthur Miller and walk in his footsteps. I didn’t like it.”

Miller died without the two men ever discussing the subject. This summer I was invited to read at a literary festival, the Listowel Writers Week in Ireland. Another of the invitees was the novelist and director Rebecca Miller, who in addition to being Daniel Day-Lewis’ wife is also Arthur Miller’s daughter. One morning at our hotel there I read her the offending passage from Meyers’ book.

“That’s absurd,” she said. “I’m sure my father never believed that. A View from the Bridge and On the Waterfont were always going to be two separate plays. One had nothing to do with the other.”

I know I told Benn about that conversation when I returned from Europe. But now it occurs to me that I never got a chance to tell Budd, who would have, I suspect, found it comforting.

*  *  *

Over the past few weeks Pete Hamill and I had spoken often of going out to Westhampton to visit Budd, but between our travel schedules and his medical issues the timing never seemed right. Benn was with him last weekend and reported that even then he was plainly struggling to breathe, in considerable discomfort. He seemed to sense that it was time to go, and as it turned out it was their final goodbye. When Benn got the news that his father had been taken to the hospital in Riverhead Wednesday afternoon he jumped straight into his car. By the time he got there Budd was already dead.

“But,” said his son as he choked back the tears, “he had a pretty good run, didn’t he?”

Yes, he did.

EDITOR’S NOTE: George Kimball died on July 6, 2011, after a six-year battle with esophageal cancer. In the last years of his life he was highly productive, authoring the widely acclaimed “Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran, and the Last Great Era of Boxing,” and two boxing anthologies in collaboration with John Schulian.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel 

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Featured Articles

‘Tank’ Davis has a lot in common with his FORMER Promoter Floyd Mayweather

Published

on

Tank-Davis-has-a-lot-in-common-with his-FORMER-promoter-Floyd-Mayweathers

The first big boxing card of 2023 takes place on Jan. 7 in Washington, D.C., where Gervonta “Tank” Davis defends his WBA world lightweight title against Hector Garcia with Jaron “Boots” Ennis and Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade, among others, in supporting bouts. It’s a SHOWTIME ppv.

In the past, Davis has split his training camp between Baltimore and Las Vegas where he conducts his workouts at the gym owned by his mentor, Floyd Mayweather Jr. However, that relationship has been severed. Speaking to a FightHype reporter at a press conference in Washington, Davis confirmed that he was free agent. Although it was common knowledge that they had been feuding, it was apparently an amicable break-up. “Much love to Mayweather promotions,” said Tank diplomatically.

Mayweather was still an active boxer when he took Davis under his wing. “The ultimate goal,” said Mayweather, “is for him to break all of my records.” Currently 27-0 with 25 KOs, Gervonta is a shade more than halfway there.

Floyd did more than groom Davis to be a future world champion. As noted in a widely- circulated 2015 story, Davis, then 20 years old, “traveled on Floyd’s private jet, participated in Mayweather’s public appearances, observed his business dealings, and took a ride with him on his yacht.”

It was inevitable that Davis, raised in a West Baltimore slum, would inherit Mayweather’s zest for the high life. He shares his mentor’s fondness for bling and for bodacious wheels. Within the last three months, he purchased a customized McLaren 765LT Coupe, one of only 765 manufactured by the British auto-maker, and a widebody Lamborghini Urus.

One surmises that he purchased the Urus to replace the Lamborghini SUV that was damaged in a hit-and-run accident in Baltimore in the early morning hours of Nov. 5, 2020. Four individuals in another vehicle were injured when Davis or his driver ran a red light and left the scene without stopping to render aid. Gervonta will have his day in court on Feb. 16 and the outcome could potentially scupper a Spring megafight with Ryan Garcia.

This was not Davis’s first brush with the law and in this way too his career has paralleled that of his mentor.

In 2015, he was charged with aggravated assault for sucker-punching a childhood friend at his home gym in Baltimore. In November of last year, police in Coral Gables, Florida, charged him with Simple Battery Domestic Violence after a video surfaced of him grabbing his former girlfriend and mother of his child by the neck at a charity basketball game.

As for Floyd Mayweather Jr, he continues to keep his name in the news for reasons that have nothing to do with boxing. Earlier this month, TMZ reported that he visited an art gallery in Miami and spent $3.1 million for “between 10 and 12” paintings including four by Andy Warhol. Yesterday it was reported that the semi-retired, 45-year- old boxer had an interest in purchasing an NBA team and that he had a $2 billion offer on the table to acquire a franchise he would not identify.

Previously he got involved in the sport of NASCAR. Mayweather’s The Money Team (TMT) Racing co-sponsored Conor Daly, a star driver from the IndyCar circuit who finished 35th in his NASCAR cup series debut at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 8.

Mayweather’s partner in his Conor Daly “investment” is Milton “Todd” Ault III, the founder of a company called BitNile, described as “a diversified holding company specializing in disruptive technologies, including cryptocurrencies and innovations in the field of decentralized finance.”

ault

Ault

On web sites and in disreputable business magazines, Ault is described as a “successful investor, entrepreneur, CEO, social media personality, motivational speaker and mentor.” In 2009, various publications reported that he was being sued by a group of 12 international hedge funds for bilking them out of $4.2 million, money ostensibly intended for developing a software program for stock trading and instead used to fund “pornographic-related endeavors” including a ‘’swingers’ ranch” in the Catskill Mountains.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

 

 

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Tiger Jack Fox took a Circuitous Route to the International Boxing Hall of Fame

Published

on

Tiger-Jack-Fox-took-a-Circuitous-Route-to-the-International-Boxing-Hall-of-Fame

Tiger Jack Fox was 47 years old, or thereabouts, when he suffered a fatal heart attack in front of a movie theater in his adopted hometown of Spokane, Washington. Three years earlier, he suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. He died broke.

Fox’s memorial service was held at 8 am on a Friday morning at Spokane’s landmark Lady of Lourdes Cathedral. It attracted a small turnout. Most of those in attendance were schoolchildren from the school that sat next door and was run by the Diocese. They likely knew nothing about the decedent who had passed away three days earlier on April 6, 1954.

A significantly larger turnout will pay homage to Fox this coming June during Hall of Fame Weekend in Canastota, New York. This morning, Dec. 7, it was announced that Fox, who fought mostly as a light heavyweight, would be going into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the Old Timer’s category. He will join a long list of posthumous honorees who died in relative obscurity.

There’s a lot of mystery — not to mention a lot of poppycock — surrounding the man born John Linwood Fox, not only his true age but his birthplace: Georgia? Indiana? Minnesota? He had his earliest confirmed fight in 1928 and fought until 1950, amassing a record of 138-24-12 with 91 KOs in documented fights. The key word here is “documented.” In his early years when he tramped about the northwest and southwest, many of his fights were off the grid, so to speak. This was true of many fighters of his era, especially journeymen that shared his pigmentation.

Professional boxers and wrestlers that plied the hinterland customarily roamed from territory to territory, hunkering down with a local promoter until they exhausted their pull. At various times, Fox hung his hat in Picher, Oklahoma, Springfield, Missouri, Terre Haute, Indiana, Salt Lake City and Portland, Oregon before taking up residence in Spokane where he had 11 fights in 1936-37 and several more in neighboring Idaho.

It was during his Terre Haute phase that Fox had one of his more interesting bouts, a 10-round contest in Indianapolis with veteran George Godfrey, the Leiperville Shadow, a former sparring partner of Jack Dempsey. The bout was billed for the World Colored Heavyweight Title.

Godfrey, who out-weighed Tiger Jack 257-181, was too big for Fox and got the decision in an uninteresting fight, keeping the gold-tinted belt that was put on display in the window of a drug store for promotional purposes.

Fox had at least 90 fights under his belt when he made his New York debut at Madison Square Garden in 1937. His match with unheralded Elton “Tex” Irwin was relegated to the walk-out fight following a middleweight title tiff between Freddie Steele and Babe Risko. Fox had Irwin on the canvas three times before the match was halted 29 seconds into the second round.

Fox had 11 more fights in New York before the year was out, seven at Rockland Palace, a Harlem dance hall, and was undefeated in New York rings prior to his 1939 engagement at Madison Square Garden with Melio Bettina in a bout sanctioned for the New York version of the world light heavyweight title. Fox was favored but didn’t bring his “A” game and was stopped in the ninth frame.

Fox, who fought only in spurts, had a handy excuse for his poor showing. Two months earlier, uptown in Harlem, he was stabbed in the chest by a woman wielding a 10-inch razor knife as he left a late-night party. He lost a considerable amount of blood and according to some reports suffered a punctured lung.

It was at Rockland Palace that Fox scored what in hindsight would come to be seen as one of his biggest wins. On May 22, 1937, he stopped Jersey Joe Walcott in the eighth round, knocking him down for the count with a right cross to the jaw. Twelve months later, he defeated Jersey Joe again, winning a clear 10-round decision on Walcott’s turf in Camden, New Jersey.

These two wins undoubtedly got Tiger Jack over the hump with the IBHOF electorate. A late bloomer, Walcott went on to win the world heavyweight title and preceded Fox into the Canastota shrine by 33 years.

Some of Fox’s setbacks were likely pre-arranged. Against white opponents, black fighters often had to “do business” to keep the checks rolling in. When fighting members of their own race for a percentage of the gate, black boxers often tailored their exertions to how much money was in the till. Fox fought many stinkers and it didn’t help that he was by nature a counter-puncher whose style – notwithstanding all those knockouts – wasn’t particularly fan-friendly.

This was the second straight year that the Old Timer’s committee selected a fighter identified with the state of Washington. Last year, the honor went to Sequim native Tod Morgan who like Tiger Jack Fox died young (he was 50) and died a pauper. Only one other Apple State fighter is in the Hall of Fame, the aforementioned Freddie Steele, the pride of Tacoma, inducted in 1999.

Arne K. Lang’s latest book, titled “George Dixon, Terry McGovern and the Culture of Boxing in America, 1890-1910,” has rolled off the press. Published by McFarland, the book can be ordered directly from the publisher (https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/clash-of-the-little-giants) or via Amazon.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

 

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

R.I.P. Hall of Fame Referee Mills Lane whose Life Story was Worthy of a Big Screen Biopic

Published

on

RIP-Hall-of-Fame-Referee-Mills-Lane wjose-Life-Story-was-Worthy-of-a-Big-Screen-Biopic

He probably never should have lasted as long as he did. After famed boxing referee Mills Bee Lane III suffered a debilitating stroke in March 2002, which left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak, the consensus medical opinion was that he it would be touch-and-go for him to survive the first few weeks. Even when he did make it through that critical early stage of recovery, it seemed a medical certainty that the feisty former Marine, at 65, could expect no more than a life expectancy of five years, tops, and most likely as a virtual prisoner in his own body.

But Mills Lane had been the third man in the ring long enough to discern when certain fighters, well behind on the scorecards and unlikely to find a path to victory, had shown enough resolve and moxie to go the distance if possible and make it to the final bell. It is a disposition of proud defiance he admired in others, and had exhibited himself on numerous occasions as an unapologetic free spirit. On those occasions when one must choose to be a leader or a follower, the little guy with the bald head and raspy voice always chose to stride boldly to the front.

For 20 years Lane was unable to verbally communicate with the family he so dearly loved, but there are some things, including goodbye, that a father need not express in words to make his feelings known. And, so, Mills Lane, at 85, silently took his leave of a life that mostly had been well spent in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Dec. 6, with his wife, Kaye, and sons Terry and Tommy, and their wives, at his bedside in the patriarch’s adopted hometown of Reno, Nev.

“He was on hospice at home, in Reno, with the family around him when he passed away between 2 and 2:30 in the morning, but his time of death wasn’t officially recorded until 3:16,” older son Terry noted. “He had a rough couple of days. It all kind of came out of nowhere and things progressed quickly. My brother and I got back to Reno this past Thursday to be with my mother at Dad’s bedside. Monday was one of the worst days of my life. Dad was just out of it. All we could do was whatever we could to make him comfortable.

“The reason we put him on hospice was he was beginning to have renal failure. I presume the stroke he suffered in 2002 was a contributing factor because he was in a pretty poor condition for 20 years.”

That Mills Lane was a respected and highly regarded referee is a given, and not just because he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the Non-Participant category in 2013, which in and of itself is a story that bears telling. But it is the winding road this son of Deep South wealth and privilege undertook to success on his own terms that makes him unique, so much so that his history of obstinate self-discovery almost screams out for close-examination by a Hollywood screenwriter.

Mills Lane began life as the patrician scion of a banking dynasty in Savannah, Ga., with extensive holdings in South Carolina. How wealthy were the Lanes? So much so that the Mills B. Lane House in historic downtown Savannah, completed in 1907, was hailed as a “jewel of the antebellum South” when it was placed on the market in 2007 with an asking price of $7.6 million. It seems a safe bet that no other future referee was raised in a mansion that boasted a marble entrance, Corinthian columns, parquet floors, 29 handcrafted canvas murals, nine fireplaces, five bedrooms, eight full baths, three half-baths and a large, in-ground pool.

Young Mills’ father went so far as to have already paid his son’s tuition at a prestigious Midwestern university, where he was to study agriculture. But being a banker and/or gentleman farmer didn’t especially appeal to the son, so he chucked it all in 1958 to enlist in the Marines. He took up boxing during his service stint, becoming All-Far East welterweight champion. When his hitch was up, he enrolled at the University of Nevada in Reno which was reputed to have a boxing team of some repute. He won an NCAA boxing championship at UNR, went 10-1 as a pro and from there continued to make his mark as a deputy sheriff, district attorney, two-time judge of Washoe County Circuit Court and, of course, boxing referee.

It was as a referee, however, that Mills Lane began to make his mark not only nationally, but internationally, working such high-profile and controversial bouts as Muhammad Ali-Bob Foster (1972), Larry Holmes-Gerry Cooney (1982), the Evander Holyfield-Riddick Bowe II “Fan Man” fight (1993), Oliver McCall’s crying jag against Lennox Lewis (1997) and, most notably, the Evander Holyfield-Mike Tyson II “Bite Fight” (1997). It might have been coincidence or possibly fate when Lane got the assignment for Holyfield-Tyson II when the originally tapped ref, Mitch Halpern, backed out when Tyson’s handlers objected to him and was replaced by the guy known as a lightning rod for fights sure to be branded into the public’s memory.

“The visibility of the `Bite Fight’ made Mills even more mainstream,” recalled Marc Ratner, former executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. “It almost seemed like he worked all the Super Bowls of crazy fights.”

Terry Lane said that the visibility of the “Bite Fight” was such that the producers of the (eventual) Judge Mills Lane TV show decided that their courtroom arbiter of justice just might be the same guy that had the stones to disqualify Tyson.

It was while at home in Reno, by himself, that Lane suffered the stroke that made him voiceless, unable to call out for assistance. Terry Lane is unsure how long he lay on the floor of his home, but the delay did not help.

“A few months earlier, our family had become bicoastal,” Terry Lane recalled for a story that appeared for TSS in 2014. “My brother had just begun high school in New York City after moving there from Reno. All of us were kind of going back and forth between Reno and New York. I had just started college in New York around that time. My mom, my brother and I were all back East and my dad was in Reno, by himself. We really don’t know how long it was before he was found. It might have been a day possibly as long as two days. We don’t know for sure.”

As if all that he already was facing weren’t enough, Mills had a fall in June 2013, almost to the day a full year before he was to be inducted into the IBHOF. His attendance for that event, which would have been considered extremely unlikely in any case, suddenly appeared to be impossible.

“When I got the call (from IBHOF executive director) Ed Brophy, I just assumed it would be Tommy and me going to Canastota and making a quick thank-you like we’ve done dozens of times before,” Terry said in 2014. “But Dad was really into it. I know he was very happy to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He can’t speak, but he still can emote and be expressive.”

Amazingly – well, maybe not so amazingly given who and what Mills Lane always had been before the stroke – he threw himself into the task of learning how to walk again, however haltingly. And when the Lanes accompanied their father to central New York, the miracle that couldn’t possibly happen became reality.

“I could not believe that we were able to attend,” Terry said. “Ed Brophy and his team, God bless ’em, made our lives so much easier at that time. It was a highlight for Dad to be there during a time when he truly was a prisoner in his own body.

“When he first had the stroke in 2002, we were told that his life expectancy was five years, maybe. Another massive stroke, which was always possible, would just take him out. So, in our own way, our family has been mentally prepared for this moment for 20 years. But then my dad never followed any accepted timeframe from for the living of his life. He lived way beyond any doctor’s expectations, and in that time, he still was someone who not only was a disabled stroke victim, but he was getting older. He turned 85 on Nov. 12 of this year.”

In other words, what the stroke started finally was finished by the aging process that affects everyone. Rest in peace, Mr. Lane. In sickness and in health, you stood as a beacon of hope for everyone who understands that every fight is capable of being won to some degree.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading
Advertisement
The-Hauser-report-Broadway-Boxing-Returns-to-Broadway
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The Hauser Report: Broadway Boxing Returns to Broadway

This-Week-in-Boxing-History-Jake-LaMotta-Stinks-Up-Madison-Square-Garden
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

This Week in Boxing History: Jake LaMotta Stinks Up Madison Square Garden

Chantelle-Cameron-was-Victorious-)ver-Jessica-McCaskill-But-Wants-More
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Chantelle Cameron was Victorious Over Jessica McCaskill … But Wants More

With-the-Crowd-in-Her-Corner-WBA-Champ-Seniesa-Estrada-Wins-Her-Top-Rank-Debut
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

With the Crowd in Her Corner, WBA Champ Seniesa Estrada Wins Her Top Rank Debut

Sunny-Edwards-Proves-Too-Slick-for-Felix Alvarado-in-Sheffield
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Sunny Edwards Proves Too Slick for Felix Alvarado in Sheffield

R.I.P.-Former-World-Champ-Buster-Drayton
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

R.I.P. Former World Champ Buster Drayton

Gervonta-Davis-vs-Ryan-Garcia-is-a-Done-Deal-for-2023
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia is a Done Deal for 2023

Avila-Perspective-Chap-211-Two-Title-Fighjts-in-Las-Vegas-on-Saturday-and-More
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 211: Two Title Fights in Las Vegas on Saturday and More

Results-from-Las-Vegas-where-Alimkhanuly-Overcame-Pesky-Denzel-Bentley
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Results from Las Vegas where Alimkhanuly Overcame Pesky Denzell Bentley

The-WBC-Wasn't-the-First-Entity-to-Overturn-the-Rseult-of-the-Fenech-Nelson-Fight
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

The WBC Wasn’t the First Entity to Overturn the Result of the Fenech-Nelson Fight

Jaime-Munguia-Wins-and-Waits-Charlo-Golovkin?
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Jaime Munguía Wins and Waits: Charlo? … Golovkin?

David-Avanesyan-My-Aggressive-Style-is-Going-to-Give-Crawford-Problems
Featured Articles5 days ago

David Avanesyan: “My Aggressive Style is Going to Give Crawford Problems”

Regis-Prograis-KOs-Jose-Zepeda-at-Dignity-Health-Sports-Park
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Regis Prograis KOs Jose Zepeda at Dignity Sports Health Park

Thomas-Hauser's-Literary-Notes
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Thomas Hauser’s Literary Notes

What-Path-will-Yokasta-Valle-Choose-Next?
Featured Articles1 week ago

What Path will Yokasta Valle Choose Next?

Shakur-Stevenson-vs-Isaac-Cruz-Floats-in-a-Cloud-of-Uncertainty
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Shakur Stevenson vs. Isaac Cruz Floats in a Cloud of Uncertainty

Natasha-Jonas-and-Terri-Harper-Two-Brirish-Women-Who-Own-the-154-Pound-Division
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Natasha Jonas and Terri Harper: Two British Women Who Own the 154-Pound Division

Juan-Francisco-Estrada-Holds-Off-'Chocolatito'-Again
Featured Articles5 days ago

Juan Francisco Estrada Holds Off ‘Chocolatito’ Again

Yokasta-Valle-Faces-an-Epic-Challenge-Against-Evelyn-Bermudez
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Yokasta Valle Faces an Epic Challenge Against Evelyn Bermúdez

Samuel-Carmona-Tabbed-to-Fight-Julio-Cesar-Martinez-and-Sunny-Edwards-is-Furious
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Samuel Carmona Tabbed to Fight Julio Cesar Martínez and Sunny Edwards is Furious

Tank-Davis-has-a-lot-in-common-with his-FORMER-promoter-Floyd-Mayweathers
Featured Articles13 hours ago

‘Tank’ Davis has a lot in common with his FORMER Promoter Floyd Mayweather

Tiger-Jack-Fox-took-a-Circuitous-Route-to-the-International-Boxing-Hall-of-Fame
Featured Articles2 days ago

Tiger Jack Fox took a Circuitous Route to the International Boxing Hall of Fame

RIP-Hall-of-Fame-Referee-Mills-Lane wjose-Life-Story-was-Worthy-of-a-Big-Screen-Biopic
Featured Articles3 days ago

R.I.P. Hall of Fame Referee Mills Lane whose Life Story was Worthy of a Big Screen Biopic

David-Avanesyan-My-Aggressive-Style-is-Going-to-Give-Crawford-Problems
Featured Articles5 days ago

David Avanesyan: “My Aggressive Style is Going to Give Crawford Problems”

Juan-Francisco-Estrada-Holds-Off-'Chocolatito'-Again
Featured Articles5 days ago

Juan Francisco Estrada Holds Off ‘Chocolatito’ Again

Tyson-Fury-TKOs-Derek-Chisora-in-Round-10
Featured Articles6 days ago

Tyson Fury TKOs Derek Chisora in Round 10

Light-Nips-Glanton-in-Florida-across-the-pond-Kelly-UD-12-Williamson-in-Newcastle
Featured Articles6 days ago

Light Nips Glanton in Florida; across the pond, Kelly UD 12 Williamson in Newcastle

Devin-Haney-Challenges-Teofimo-Lopez-as-Lopez-Prepares-to-Fight-Sandor-Martin
Featured Articles7 days ago

Devin Haney Challenges Teófimo López as López Prepares to Fight Sandor Martín

Avila-pERSPECTIVE-cHAP-214-'Chocolatito'-vs-'El-Gallo'-plus-More
Featured Articles7 days ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 214: ‘Chocolatito’ vs ‘El Gallo’ plus More

Tyson-Fury-vs-Derek-Chisora-The-Fight-That-nobody-Wants
Featured Articles7 days ago

Tyson Fury vs. Derek Chisora: The Fight Nobody Wants

Tyson-Returns-on-Saturday-with-a-Familiar-Foe-in-the-Opposite-Corner
Featured Articles1 week ago

Tyson Fury Returns on Saturday with a Familiar Foe in the Opposite Corner

What-Path-will-Yokasta-Valle-Choose-Next?
Featured Articles1 week ago

What Path will Yokasta Valle Choose Next?

Regis-Prograis-Knocks-Out-Jose-Zepeda-and-Clears-the-Way-for-Jose-Ramirez
Featured Articles1 week ago

Regis Prograis Knocks Out José Zepeda and Clears the Way for José Ramírez

Regis-Prograis-and-Fabio-Wardley-Excelled-on-the-last-Saturday-of-November
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Regis Prograis and Fabio Wardley Excelled on the last Saturday of November

Ian-Thomsen-Recalls-His-Days-with-Buster-Douglas-Before-Buster-'Shocked-the-World'
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Ian Thomsen Recalls His Days with Buster Douglas Before Buster ‘Shocked the World’

Regis-Prograis-KOs-Jose-Zepeda-at-Dignity-Health-Sports-Park
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Regis Prograis KOs Jose Zepeda at Dignity Sports Health Park

John-Ryder-and-Fabio-Wardley-Triumph-on-Dueling-Shows-in-London
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

John Ryder and Fabio Wardley Triumph on Dueling Shows in London

Avila-Perspective-Chap-213-Regis-Prograis-vs-Jose-Zepeda-Harks-to-Pryor-Arguello
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap 213: Regis Prograis vs Jose Zepeda Harks to Pryor-Aguello

Samuel-Carmona-Tabbed-to-Fight-Julio-Cesar-Martinez-and-Sunny-Edwards-is-Furious
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Samuel Carmona Tabbed to Fight Julio Cesar Martínez and Sunny Edwards is Furious

Shakur-Stevenson-vs-Isaac-Cruz-Floats-in-a-Cloud-of-Uncertainty
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Shakur Stevenson vs. Isaac Cruz Floats in a Cloud of Uncertainty

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement