WALLACE COLLIER “BEAT ROCKY MARCIANO”

DESERVED MEDAL OF HONOR & FOUGHT MARCIANO THRICE

Wallace Collier

Wallace Collier


San Francisco, CA– Being of the belief that few real American heroes get their acknowledgment and propers, it gives me great pride to to tell you about Wallace Collier. A three war veteran, Collier who fought Rocky Marciano, served the United States in World War II, the Korean conflict, in addition to being deployed in Vietnam.

CHAMPION OF MINNEAPOLIS COMMUNITY

Collier passed away a fortnight ago at the age of 92, this after beating Colon Cancer in a lifetime that was dedicated to “public service.” His obituary said, “Wallace H. Collier was a three-time war veteran, a black belt in taekwondo and a boxer who fought and beat Rocky Marciano. He was not one to boast about his feats of strength as he didn’t have to.”

CHAMP’S BIGGEST MUSCLES “BETWEEN EARS”

His strength was not only reflected in his muscular build but in his commitments: in the line of duty, to his wife of 62 years, as a dad to his two sons and a father figure to the students at North High School who called him Mr. Wally.

GENEROUS MAN APPRECIATED BY “YOUNGER” GENERATION Read more

BOB ARUM ADDED TO “WALL OF FAME”

ATOP BOXING WORLD ALMOST 50 YEARS

Ali, Rachman Ali, Bob Arum

Ali, Rachman Ali, Bob Arum


San Francisco, CA– When you look at big time boxing for the past 40+ years, there was always the presence of promoter Bob Arum and his Top Rank promotional firm.

ARUM WAS “A KENNEDY MAN”

Bob began working for the Justice Dept. and Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1960. After the assassination of President Kennedy, Arum told me that President Johnson wanted his own team of US Attorneys. Said Arum, “I was a Kennedy man.”

CLOSED CIRCUIT TV NUMBERS BLOW BOB’S MIND

During his Justice Dept. tenure, Arum was assigned to look over the monies brought in by a Sonny Liston-Floyd Patterson fight. Blown away by the numbers, Bob was bitten by both boxing and the bucks.

PRESTIGIOUS RECIPIENT HARVARD CUM LAUDE Read more

THE “AMERICAN DREAM” HAS DIED

Espedito "The American Dream" Martinez

Espedito Martinez


San Francisco, CA– If someone were to ask people outside of myself, they’d say the “American Dream” (Dusty Rhodes) died June 11. For me and some others, the real “American Dream” passed away June 13, 2015 in a local hospital. It took a Stroke to deck Espedito Martinez, a man of humble origin who went from driving a Taxi in Tijuana, to cruising The City in a classic mint Mercedes Benz convertible.

Many moons ago, Espedito, whom I only called Sir or Mr. Martinez in the 40+ years I knew him, told me about the struggle to get out of Mexico with wife Eleanor and first son Alfredo “Fast Freddie” Martinez. How he spent a few years in National City, a border town between TJ and San Diego. “That’s where Hector was born,” his second son. “Driving a taxi for little money, I knew I had to leave if I wanted a better life.”

Ending up in South San Francisco, CA, Espedito bought a house on Orange Ave and had his only daughter Rosie. Realizing that a Union job was the key to ascending the economic ladder in the then late 1950s, he ended up with a Teamster gig at the local trash company.

Hard working and far more intelligent than his basic schooling might indicate, Espedito and Eleanor saved some money and before you knew it, they had financial security outside of his work after purchasing a six unit apartment building when California property was probably worth 1/10th of what it is now. Read more

REFEREE FRANK CAPPUCCINO TAKES TEN COUNT!

FRANK CAPPUCCINO ALWAYS HONEST & BLUNT

Frank Cappuccino

Frank Cappuccino


San Francisco, CA– Professional boxing referee Frank Cappuccino who was involved in some of history’s great fights of the 80s & 90s passed away at the age of 81 or 86. I’m not going to put any spin on this, death or not, but the man born Frank Capcino in either 1929 or 1934, was one of the finest officials of his era, a man who didn’t take any s*it from anybody.

WORKED SIX MIKE TYSON FIGHTS

An amateur that made it to the Pennsylvania state championships, a finalist in both the Diamond Belt and Golden Glove tournaments circa 130 lbs., this before a brief professional career came and went. In 1958, Frank became a referee and five decades later when he called it quits in 2008, Frank had done over 10,000 professional matches including a half dozen Mike Tyson scraps and an epic Arturo Gatti-Mickey Ward fight.

AGAIN, THE “NO SPIN” ZONE ON FRANK Read more

EDDIE MAFUZ HONORED ON WALL OF FAME

BOXING LOST BORICUA GODFATHER IN EDDIE MAFUZ

Eddie Mafuz & Isaac Logart

Eddie Mafuz & Isaac Logart


New York, NY– Of all the obituaries I’ve written, (and as we get older it gets more often) having to tell the boxing world about the death of Eddie Mafuz in November 2005 was a very hard thing to do. Today we add Eddie to the Ring Talk “Wall Of Fame.”

EDDIE PART OF BOXING’S 98 %

Having known him for about 20 years, I would occasionally venture to New York City and from time to time I’d see Eddie and his late wife. The 80’ish Mafuz had been in boxing since the 1940s and could run off the records of some of the greats, and even the not so greats he was around.

MANAGER, CORNERMAN, IN THE GYM, EDDIE DID IT ALL!

Some people will say, Eddie who? But for those of us that have been around the ring more than once, Eddie Mafuz was a hell of a guy who passed away from a heart attack in 2005. Ironically Lydia Mafuz, Eddie’s granddaughter told me that he was at the Dr.s office for something routine. Suddenly, he collapsed and passed soon thereafter.

RELATIONSHIP WITH DON KING FOR 30+ YEARS Read more

BOXER ERIC MARTIN TAKES ON SICILIAN MAFIA

ERIC MARTIN STORY FROM THE ARCHIVES!

Engels Pedroza-Carlos Padilla-Eric Martin

Engels Pedroza-Carlos Padilla-Eric Martin

South San Francisco, CA– While jogging weeks before his death, I literally ran into Eric “The Prince” Martin for the last time. Running through the streets of this little city, a community a few miles south of The City by The Bay, Eric turned the corner at Grand & Maple. He was leaving the Physique Magnifique boxing gym where he was the “House” trainer. We talked, nothing major, exchanged wishes and the next thing I know “The Prince” is dead.

“SUPER SIZE ME” DIET KILLED “THE PRINCE”

One of the worst eaters I ever knew, especially from an athletic point of view, Eric preferred McDonald’s hands down over a filet, and in the end that would lead to his death. A type 2 Diabetic, that and complications from a tooth extraction brought Eric’s life to an end December 23, 2007 at the age of 48.

CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF GREAT BOXER SANS CONNECTIONS

Uncrowned Champ Eric Martin

Uncrowned Champ Eric Martin

Eric’s record is less than impressive. At the same time, he fought seven world champions, none of whom could stop or drop the former San Francisco Police Dept. recruit who left the academy to fight professionally. On any given night, he could be and or beat the best “boxer” in the world. The problem with Eric was two-fold. 1. He was a great boxer who lacked the ability (punch or mean spirit) to finish guys. 2. That being said, Eric couldn’t sell tickets and his manager, the late Bill Mateo was about as straight as San Francisco’s Lombard St.

ERIC WAS PIMPED BY THEN MANAGER

Loyal to an ignorant fault, Martin wouldn’t listen to those of us that knew the game and cared, thus he stayed with Mateo and instantly became an underpaid opponent who would go anywhere and fight.

DIDN’T CRY WHEN BILL DIED

I mentioned Martin had fought seven guys who claimed world titles. Eric made the boxing world take note when he all but bi*ch slapped future World champ Lupe Aquino (22-1, 16 KOs) on the Larry Holmes-Marvis Frazier card in 1983, resulting in an absurd draw. Not impressive physically, but always in shape, Eric needed four rounds to make the “house” judges realize he was in the fight, let alone winning it! Mateo, who died in 2005 from a heart attack really had little regard for Eric, and like a guy in love with a crack addict, Martin put up with Mateo to a point where I might have wanted to end the manager’s role, if not his life.

SEVEN CHAMPS FROM 140-160 & NONE COULD DROP/STOP ERIC Read more

JIMMY LESTER AND ANA REMEMBERED

QUICK LOOK BACK IN TIME

Jimmy Lester

Jimmy Lester

San Francisco, CA-I’m sitting here in a somewhat depressed state. The reasons are two-fold. A professional friend of mine for almost 20 years has Cancer spreading through her like fire in a skyscraper, meaning Cancer is jumping from floor to floor. Secondly Jimmy Lester, a San Francisco born prizefighter died here yesterday from a major heart attack. Because Ana Bustamante is not known to you fight fans, let me say that she is one of the most wonderful people I have ever known, and yet another example of bad Karma happening to a truly great person.

JIMMY LESTER DIED LONG AGO!

Although the death certificate will say September 9, 2006, the truth is Jimmy Lester has been all but dead for a few years now. Unable to speak, paralyzed from the waist down, Jimmy died hard. With nicknames like Bay View Bomber and Bay View Blaster as he fought out of SF’s Bay View district.

ANOTHER SAD LIFE AFTER RING WARS Read more

PROMOTER JERRY HOFFMAN IN 15 ROUND FIGHT

SHAKEDOWN IN QUAKETOWN FIGHTS STELLAR

Jerry Hoffman

Jerry Hoffman


San Francisco, CA– The beach town of Santa Cruz, a college community with UC Santa Cruz is famous for beaches, an iconic amusement park and for a couple of decades now, Santa Cruz has produced some of the world’s finest cannabis.

MADE ONE STOP ON WAY TO BIG SUR

Having just blown through there a fortnight ago, I said to the people I was driving with. “This place was an incredibly hot fight town in the 90s. Here and down the coast in Monterey, world champs Shane Mosley, James Paige, Stevie Johnston, Jerry Hoffman promoted them here.”

PROMOTER/ANNOUNCER & WIFE DID ANTHEM

The reason why I bring this up is the man who was promoting those Quake Town and Riot At The Hyatt cards, Jerry Hoffman has been forced back into boxing as he is counterpunching Glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor.

RIGHT MEDICAL VENUE FOR 15 ROUND FIGHT

A longtime radio and TV veteran of the coastal communities, Jerry has got the Dr.’s at Stanford University working his corner. Research says the Mayo Clinic, UCLA or Stanford are the three best arenas for a confrontation with an unforgiving foe should you lose.

GODFATHER OF BOXING WRITERS DUG SANTA CRUZ Read more

SADLY MISSED DEATH OF STEVE LOPEZ

STEVE LOPEZ WAS ONE BRAVE MAN

Steve Lopez

Steve Lopez


San Francisco, CA– When Phoenix, AZ promoter Steve Lopez was diagnosed with Stage 4 Throat Cancer about five years ago, it looked as if he would be checking out of his room in the hotel of life shortly.

AMATEUR WRESTLER TOOK “BIG C” TO MAT

But that wasn’t the case as Steve refused to give in and battled Cancer in a manner that I am certainly not brave enough to do, to take “head on” the disease that took his life March 20. Having been a police officer and a fighter, I’ve seen people face death plenty of times, but none with the dignity of Steve.

CELL PHONE DISCONNECTED A BAD SIGN Read more

NEVER FORGET CHUCK MINKER!

CHUCK MINKER WAS BOXING’S FACILITATOR
chuck-minker
San Francisco, CA– This is one of the great people I’ve known during my tenure in combat sports. A respected professional boxing judge, Chuck Minker was the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission when Lung Cancer (He didn’t smoke) struck in 1992-1993, if my memory serves me correctly. An iconic figure in Nevada, Las Vegas is home of the Chuck Minker Sports Complex that’s located at the corner of Stewart Ave. and Mojave Road. There are people that you don’t ever forget, Chuck was one of those special individuals who bravely went “toe to toe” with the “Big C” and lost.

REFEREE MARTY DENKIN ON “WALL OF FAME”

HALL OF FAME REFEREE A “GO TO” GUY

Father & Son Referees David and Marty Denkin

Father & Son Referees David & Marty Denkin


San Francisco, CA– When it comes to West Covina, CA, if you have a pot hole in your street, a street light that flickers at night, a howling dog at 4 AM, don’t call the Police or City Council. If you want something done, call the great facilitator Marty Denkin.

NOT TO MANY PLACES DENKIN HASN’T BEEN

Boxing referee and now judge Denkin has been to just about every country in the world that has boxing as either a referee, judge, or some instances a promoter. The lead official on a 1994 card promoted by Harold Smith in Macau, this before it became “Las Vegas on Steroids,” Denkin had the task of trying to keep everything calm seeing the Police had whisked away promoter Smith from the 5 star Oriental Mandarin hotel because of a riot that broke out at the fight arena.

MARTY HAS “ANOINTED” PROTEGES

There were other times when Denkin would reach out, but he tutored Jack Reiss, the ex-Fireman and now full time referee who got caught in an exchange between World 168 lb. champ Andre Ward and Edwin Rodriguez, he also did both Bermane Stiverne-Chris Arreola fights, the last Saturday. In the Ward-Rodriguez skirmish, Reiss, for the first time I ever witnessed, gave himself a Standing 8 Count of sorts after getting clipped by a punch.

RUSSELL AN “UPPER ECHELON” OFFICIAL

Denkin also mentored Pat Russell, the ex-DA Investigator from San Diego. Russell, I can first recall doing the debut of HBO Boxing After Dark main event in Summer 1996 at the L.A. Forum when Marco Antonio Barrera and Kennedy McKinney put on a thriller that was eventually won by Barrera. As far their personal health, if I had fighters, I’d feel safe putting my guy in with any of these three aforementioned referees.

MARTY CAN BE A HAM FOR THE CAMERAS! Read more

HONORING THE LATE EDDIE FUTCH

Eddie Futch & Joe Frazier (1974)

NO WALL OF FAME SANS “EDDIE”

San Francisco, CA– Having been introduced to Eddie Futch by fellow Hall of Fame inductee (writer) Jack Fiske, it was the mid 1970s. Eddie was still working with Joe Frazier and I had just graduated from high school. Futch was in town doing a press junket. At one time, San Francisco got all the pre-fight media meetings mainly because of Fiske, born Jacob Finkelstein in 1917, was as respected as a writer as Futch was as a trainer. With the third Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight being hyped up in a hotel ballroom here in town, Futch and Frazier were there, but for the life of me I can’t recall Ali being there. That may have had a lot to do with my watching Ali train so many times at Newman’s Gym on Leavenworth St., located in an area frequented by pimps, hoes, and junkies.

NEVER SAW EDDIE BRUSH ANYBODY OFF! Read more

ILLNESS BITES BOTH AN AUNT & A SPIDER!

PEOPLE CLOSE TO YOU GET SICK HURTS MOST

San Francisco, CA– Nothing hurts more than knowing a close friend or relative that has fallen ill. To me, you know the emotional type, this affects me greatly. My incredible aunt Julie Lutz fell and broke her “other hip” as she broke the other one several years ago. She is the last of a generation of people my mother’s family, the matriarch of the Nyreneng family. The surgery was last week and now she is in rehab in Pacifica, CA. It’ll be tough for her to recover, but the lady is an incredible person and will persevere.

SPIDER BYNUM RESPECTED LIKE FEW OTHERS

The only people I’ve heard call “Spider” Bynum by his real name “Arlen” are his wife Charlsie and ring announcers back when he was judging big fights. For the record, Mr. Bynum was the first member of the RingTalk.com “Wall of Fame.” A former fighter who fought in all eight original weight classes from flyweight to heavyweight, Bynum retired after an illustrious career primarily as a lawyer in Texas while working as a world class judge who worked or supervised WBC title fights worldwide, some 18-months ago. Anyway, Read more

MIKE MCCALLUM: HISTORY’S MOST UNDERRATED CHAMP & VIDEO!

Mike McCallum @ 154 lbs.


BOXING PHD MIKE MCCALLUM ADDED TO RINGTALK.COM “WALL OF FAME”

ISan Francisco, CA– Having been around the block since the early Cassius Clay days, I’ve seen my share of fighters. There were the pretenders, the contenders, the overrated, the out right frauds, and then there are the fighters who come, do their thing and attain greatness and get little fanfare. Quite possibly the greatest fighter that fits that last criteria is a fighter born in Jamaica named Mike McCallum. Perhaps the game’s best body puncher in history, his moniker was “The Body Snatcher.”

BIG BOYS WANTED NO PART OF “THE BODY SNATCHER”

I remember hearing the name Mike McCallum back in the 70s when he was still an amateur. Great chin, big heart, the jab, right cross, a potent left hook, Mike had all that and superb timing as well. The late great Johnny Tocco, who ran the Ringside Gym on Charleston and Main in Las Vegas from 1952 until the mid to late 1990s, Tocco told me that Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran, yes even Marvin Hagler, none of them wanted any part of Mike McCallum.

WOULD FIGHT ANYBODY, ANYWHERE! Read more

1 2