April 7th, 2013 By Pedro FernandezCAN FANS COMPREHEND THIS?
San Francisco, CA- Some of you are probably scratching your heads after reading the title, so in order to fully clarify what I’m talking about, it’ll take additional verbiage. Having known professional boxers since I could first remember, Frankie Klick, who beat Kid Chocolate for the World 140 lb. crown in 1933 was the first pro I ever met. For the most part, Frankie was always on his back, drunk as a skunk, lying on the sidewalk somewhere on Cortland Ave in the Bernal Heights District of this beautiful City by The Bay.
NEVER FORGET HIS STORIES & MEMORY ISSUES
Frankie, who went 84-26-13, 24 KOs from 1929 to his last fight against an old friend of mine Al Citrino (who was knocked down 12 times by Henry Armstrong, decades before training Pat Lawlor to wins over ex-champs Roberto Duran, Wilfredo Benitez and Rene Arrendondo) in 1943, when he was sober would tell me about the great fighters of his era, Joe Louis, Armstrong, Ray Robinson, even Archie Moore. But he never put himself at their level, admitting that he was brought in to lose to Kid Chocolate, pulled off what amounted to like a 20-1 upset, and lost his next fight, a non-title affair before he defended and lost the championship in 1934 to Barney Ross. My old man said, and Frankie readily admitted that he had been beaten up many times in his career.
ALMOST EVERY FIGHTER GETS BEATEN UP!
I can go through a list of fighters, some local, some national, a few amateurs, but mainly professionals that were beaten up and the residual effects of such are telling today. Bobby Chacon, as goofy as he got from being beaten up, I introduced him once at the California Boxing Hall of Fame and he went up and admitted he was “brain damaged.” Said Bobby, “I’m a fighter and that’s what happens.”
UNBEATEN & “UNBEATEN UP” TWO DIFFERENT THINGS
As for guys that retired unbeaten, Rocky Marciano is always brought up, and when I look at interviews of Marciano before his death in an airplane crash, that was brought about because Marciano, a cheap skate of epic proportions, refunded his airline ticket and hopped on a small plane for free. To his credit, he never appeared punchy.
MARCIANO “WAS NOT” THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULE
That being said, Rocky may have retired unbeaten, but not unbeaten up! Archie Moore put a beating on him, so did non-puncher Roland Lastarza and Joe Walcott, the point is that Rocky did go unbeaten, but not unbeaten up!CALZAGHE ONE OF FEW EXCEPTIONS TO RULE
When the ex-WBO 168 lb. titleholder Joe Calzaghe retired in 2008, not only was he unbeaten at 46-0, 32 KOs with 21 title defenses, the lad from Wales walked away unbeaten-up! Quite an accomplishment when you realize that out of the thousands of fighters who have boxed professionally, I can only cite Joe and 1950s heavyweight prospect Jack Scheberies, who retired abruptly after beating German prospect Hans Freidrich who went out “unbeaten up.” And if he continues on his current path, Floyd Mayweather will join this select group.
ANXIETY ATTACKS BROUGHT ABOUT RETIREMENT
Although BoxRec.com has him listed at 6-0, 4 KOs, according to promoter Don Chargin, both alumni of San Jose State College, Jack Scheberies was more like 15-0 with 10 KOs when “nerves” compelled him to hang up the gloves in 1954. A nicer than nice man, both to me and everybody I’ve ever mentioned him to, Jack had a heart of gold and once gave an unemployed mother of three an $800 car for a $25 down payment, this after took over his father’s use used car lot in Oakland, CA and became a referee. I was at a function some 20 years ago in Oakland speaking, when this woman told me how Jack helped her keep her family intact with a good running car and that she had no job or credit.
NOW YET THE “ROOT OF THE STORY”
The unnecessary beating Shane Mosley took from Saul Alvarez is one that he will pay for until they pour dirt over him. Some people think Manny Pacquiao, Vernon Forrest (twice) and Winky Wright (twice) gave Mosley a licking, but those beatings weren’t much when compared to the damage Alvarez inflicted. That being said, I’m going to call out both his trainer Nazim Richardson and trainer/HBO analyst Emanuel Steward, both good men and trainers.
THE FIGHT SHOULDA’ BEEN STOPPED!
Richardson should have thrown in the towel before the tenth round, if not then, certainly thereafter. But he didn’t. Instead he allowed the much smaller Mosley, who can no longer cheat and use performance enhancement drugs, something he has admitted to knowing of prior and then doing so. I’m talking about a couple forms of steroids and EPO (blood doping). Mosley, who is nearly 40, can’t push guys around the ring and that was illustrated when Manny Pacquiao mauled him for the better part of 12 fistic frames.
BOXING’S RESIDUAL EFFECTS ARE NOT LIKE A COLD!
The damage done by having someone punch you with reckless abandon to both the torso and cranium cannot be undone. Unlike the common cold, which most people can kick within 14 days, the results of taking hard punches repeatedly is like a progressive disease, like Lung Cancer, it doesn’t go away if you stop smoking. The same can be said from taking a beating.
PEOPLE THOUGHT SHANE WAS “MUMBLING” YEARS AGO
Having televised one of Mosley’s first four or five professional fights, I knew he was something special. In post fight interviews he was quick to respond, didn’t have to obviously think about what he was going to say before he said it, which today appears not to be the case. In other words, he’s a “beaten up” fighter who may have facial features that are distorted today, it will be his neurological state in five to ten years that concerns me more.
STEWARD & RICHARDSON BOTH GAFFED!
I am not one to believe that you let a fighter continue taking a beating. And what Alvarez was dishing out was a “complete” beating both to the body and the head, rocking Mosley much like President Kennedy in his famous rocking chair at the White House. Steward, Richardson, even trainer Jeff Mayweather while appearing on the Sunday edition of the “Ring Talk Boxing & MMA Hour,” was of the opinion that it was OK to let Mosley continue because of the fact he had never been stopped before!
LOST BRAIN CELLS ARE FOREVER GONE!
In closing, sustained beatings in boxing would not occur, boxers wouldn’t suffer concussions or brain bleeds at a 21% clip, not if boxing changed two things. The first being, the size of the gloves. Anybody 130 and below should wear six ounce gloves. From 130 to 160, eight-ounce gloves should be utilized. From 168 to heavyweight, ten-ounce gloves should be the rule. Truth be told, I even wince at that for if I had my druthers, boxers from 108 to 130 would use four ounce padded gloves, 130 to 160 would mean six-ounce mitts. And anything about 168, eight ounces should be the rule.
LEARNED ONE THING FROM SMALL GLOVES!
When I throw out the 21% factor of boxers getting concussions, the test results I’m relying on were from a five-year period in the state of Nevada. In that same time span, only 2% of the UFC related cage fighters who use four-ounce gloves incurred such injuries. For the safety of the fighter, the gloves need to be smaller for all the big gloves do is allow a sustained beating to occur, much like the Saul Alvarez-Shane Mosley fight which resulted in a 12-round unanimous decision loss for Mosley. Would the fight have been any different had they halted matters after eight? No, but Shane Mosley would’ve paid less of a price than he did and might even enjoy a longer and more productive lifespan.