SAN FRANCISCO BOXING LEGEND AL CITRINO

Al Citrino

“BIG AL” NOT A GUY TO MESS WITH
San Francisco, CA- Growing up in Herman-Newman’s Gym in the Tenderloin section of this City by The Bay, I ran met some individuals with unique and unequaled personalities. Today, we look back at at the career of Amadeo “Al” Citrino. Born here of Italian decent, Al was a “positive” fixture of San Francisco boxing from his professional debut in 1930 until he passed away in 1993.

BEAT ONE WORLD CHAMP, LOST TO ANOTHER

Not the tallest featherweight (126 lbs) by any means, Al stood about 5’6 and like a man he would later fight, the greater than great Henry Armstrong, lost his first professional fight which took place on May 7, 1930 at National Hall here. He would go unbeaten in 16 fights, that included two draws before losing again in 1931 at another San Francisco fight venue in Dreamland.

BOXING HAD “HOME COOKING” EVEN IN THE 1930’S

Al would engage in 15 more fights, again with a couple of draws before he lost two successive six round decisions to unheralded Pastor Galope and Joe Calder, both in the state of Washington, the only place Al fought in 13 years outside of California. Both fighters were from Washington, which made the wins losses via the result of “home cooking.” Al and Calder fought again here in 1935 and Al stopped him in two.

CLASH WITH HENRY ARMSTRONG SHOWED AL’S GRIT Read more

TOP BOXING MOBSTER DEAD AT 91

BOXING UPDATE MAGAZINE JUNE 1996: DEATH OF A BOXING SCOUNDREL

Don Turner(?), Blinky Palermo & Herman Taylor

Don Turner(?), Blinky Palermo & Herman Taylor


San Francisco, CA-Frank “Blinky” Palermo died a month ago at 91 but it was 50-60 years too late for boxing. The convicted extortionist who, along with Frankie Carbo and three other less lights, went to Federal prison in the mid 50s, passed away in Philadelphia, his long time fief. Hardly anybody realized he was still living let alone dying and the list of mourners was blank. Those who found out later did not shed a tear.

Plain and simple, Palermo was an undercover fight manager, a fight fixer and gangland figure who got rich directing the careers of such as Ike Williams, Johnny Saxton, Coley Wallace, Virgil Akins, Billy Fox, Clarence Henry, Dan Bucceroni, in between operating the biggest numbers (illegal lottery) game in Philadelphia. With Carbo (allegedly the brains of the fight fixing practice) Blinkys stable of fighters would win or lose on command and the payoffs in betting were astronomical. And of course, there was the almost always mandatory rematch fight with surprising results. Blinky’s biggest heist was the importation of his undefeated middleweight Blackjack Billy Fox from Philly into Madison Square Garden and subsequent knockout of Jake LaMotta in 1947.

LaMotta was popularly known as “king of the middleweights and was a heavy early betting favorite. But shortly before the bell the air of a fix Read more

NO VALENTINES LOVE FOR FLOYD OR MANNY

LEGENDARY FIGHTERS NEED TO PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

Las Vegas, NV- Neither Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao deserve any love from sports fans at this point of their careers. Negotiations for the one fight that basically every person who has the slightest interest in boxing wants to see has appeared to hit a brick wall. Currently the vacationing Mayweather claims that he is fighting on May 2nd at MGM Grand in Las Vegas regardless of the opponent. Bob Arum, Manny Pacquiao’s promoter, has been giving increasingly contradictory comments to the press. The fighters claim they want to fight one another, but so far “No Cigar.”

The networks Showtime and HBO, who are to supposed to be partners in this deal have also given conflicting information. The public, while losing faith that this fight will come to fruition is also losing patience. Both sides just need to sit down and iron out a deal. One has to wonder if ego’s from both sides is what is preventing this deal from being worked out.

 

TIME TO FOCUS ON UPCOMING FIGHTS Read more

UFC SUFFERING STEROID EPIDEMIC

UFC P.E.D. SCANDAL SPIRALS OUT OF CONTROL

Ultimate Steroid Championships?

Ultimate Steroid Championships?

Los Angeles, CA- When news broke last week that the beloved “Greatest of All Time,” former UFC middleweight (185) champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva (34-6) tested positive for two performance-enhancing drugs in pre-fight tests for his January 31 bout with former Strikeforce welterweight (170) champion Nick Diaz (26-10, 1 NC), the mixed martial arts world was turned upside down.  Silva had developed an unbeatable aura before his back-to-back TKO2 losses to Chris Weidman (12-0).  A young man from Brazil who beat all odds and become possibly the best fighter in MMA history.  He rose from obscurity to do things in the cage no one had ever done before.  All of Silva’s accomplishments are now sadly accompanied by an asterisk.

SILVA ONLY THE BEGINNING

Since Anderson’s positive test last week, two more big names in mixed martial arts have popped for steroids.  Current World Series of Fighting contender Jon Fitch (26-7-1, 1 NC) failed a drug test because of elevated testosterone levels prior to his December 13 loss to Rousimar Palhares (17-6).  Palhares failed a drug test for elevated testosterone levels at UFC on FOX 6 back in 2012.  Fitch was always a strong opponent of performance-enhancing drugs, which made his positive test a shock to many.  UFC welterweight contender Hector “Showeather” Lombard’s (35-4-1, 1 NC) drug test failure, which was announced this week was not surprising to me. Read more

FLASH MAGAZINE #85: FALL OF BUSTER DOUGLAS

FLASH MAGAZINE STORY FROM OCTOBER 1990

Buster Clipped By Evander

Buster Clipped By Evander


Columbus, OH-Recently I had the opportunity to spend some time with my buddy John Johnson, who was Buster Douglas’ manager, and a former Ohio State assistant football coach. I’d been here before in April 1990 and penned a story on the then World heavyweight champ entitled: Buster Douglas: Different Man, Different Approach.

Well, he certainly had a different approach at the time. He had done numerous charity gigs and was putting his name behind a homeless shelter here in town dubbed, Make Room Columbus.

Then came the metamorphosis from champ to chump, and James Douglas forgot about the people of Columbus. He is now despised in the capital of Ohio. Mention his name and the people that do remember him wrinkle their noses in disgust. “He took the money and ate” said one Ohioan who knew Buster. You might remember the big hub bub James was getting saying he was naming another shelter after his mother who passed away while he was training for his monumental battle with Mike Tyson 11 months ago. Well in this case, he has at least purchased a lot. There has been no groundbreaking but James has told people he intends to fulfill his pledge.

Of course, he says that from his San Marcos island dwelling down in Florida. He is a wanted man of sorts due to the promises made and broken. A nearly 325 pound millionaire sits alone in his Florida villa having distanced himself from everybody but his accountant. Read more

25 YEARS SINCE TYSON KO’D BY BUSTER!

FEBRUARY 11, 1990: “KID DYNAMITE” IMPLODED
Douglas KO's Tyson
Pittsburgh, PA- I was just a sophomore in high school, hanging out in our basement TV room and planning to watch Dominique Wilkins, Larry Bird and others at the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk and Three Point Contests, back when those activities featured the game’s best and were must-see TV. The plan was to flip on HBO and catch “the Baddest Man on the Planet” (and that wasn’t just a nickname at that time) Mike Tyson (then 37-0, 33 KOs) quickly knock out James “Buster” Douglas, whom some generously referred to as an underdog, since that implied that he had a chance. After that brief respite, I would return to the All-Star festivities. Little did I know that I wouldn’t watch anymore basketball that night.

HINDSIGHT’S 20/20: NO ONE SAW THIS ONE COMING

In retrospect, the signs were there: Tyson’s mentor and father figure Cus D’Amato had passed away, and he’d replaced his under appreciated trainer Kevin Rooney and the rest of his team with hacks that seemed to spill over from his entourage and, infamously, Don King. His marriage had fallen apart, and personal problems mounted. He undertrained for Douglas and, though he still looked great, he seemed just a little soft and a lot distracted; clearly, he wasn’t taking Douglas seriously, but then again, did he need to?

“BUSTER” DOUGLAS: “I JUST WHIPPED HIS ___”

As it happened, the contest showed us the amazing possibilities when an uninspired, unmotivated favorite faces and inspired and motivated underdog, no matter the odds. (How any fighter can take another “lightly” – one of the false or ridiculous excuses we hear from sour grapes losers nowadays – makes you wonder after what happened in Tokyo that night.) A lean, conditioned Douglas kept his jab pumping in the champ’s face all night, repeatedly drilling “Iron Mike” with chopping rights behind it, round after round. A short Tyson uppercut in the eighth nearly bandaged the situation, though damage at that point had already been irreparably done. The Tyson puzzle had already been solved. More importantly, the fear factor had been vanquished. Bully the bully. Take the fight to him. Douglas regained control in the ninth, as Tyson barely survived the round.

TENTH ROUND: THE END OF TYSON AS WE KNEW HIM! Read more

GREATEST BOXERS OF SAN FRANCISCO

San Francisco born Andre Ward

San Francisco born Andre Ward

#1 WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP JIM CORBETT

San Francisco, CA- The best fighter born and raised in the City by the Bay was James J. Corbett. Also known as Gentleman Jim, his career spanned from 1886 to 1903, while his hold on the World heavyweight championship began in 1892 and ended in 1897. With a final record of 12-4-4, with 5 KOs, Jim is ranked # 19 of all time in the International Boxing Research Organization. When he stopped champion John L. Sullivan (35-0-2) in 21 rounds on September 9, 1892 in New Orleans, LA, it was the first heavyweight title fight fought under the Marques of Queensbury rules with gloves.

CORBETT BEAT THE UNBEATABLE JOHN L, Some of Gentleman Jims highlights involved his winning in 27 rounds over Joe Choynski. The fight was held on a barge in Benicia, CA in 1889. Corbett also had a 61-round No Contest with Peter Jackson (41-1-3) in a fight that started at 9:28 PM and ended at 1:33 AM in May 1891. Ahead on points, Corbett was stopped in the 23rd round of a World heavyweight title fight by Jim Jeffries in 1900. Jim would fight Charley Kid McCoy (69-5-9) before rematching Jeffries three years later. Jim was 39 years old and lost via KO 10 in his final ring appearance on August 14, 1903. He died at 66 years of age in 1933.

THE LITTLE HEBREW COMES IN AT #2 Read more

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: HENDERSON MOVES UP

BENDO TESTS THE WATERS AT 170

Benson "Split Decision" Henderson

Benson “Split Decision” Henderson

Los Angeles, CA- Former WEC and UFC lightweight (155) champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson (21-5) is moving up to welterweight (170) on Saturday night in the main event of UFC Fight Night:  Henderson vs. Thatch.  “Bendo” has been a huge lightweight for years, and will fight in a division that is likely closer to his natural weight.  Brandon “Rukus” Thatch (11-1) will be looking to derail Henderson’s welterweight debut.

WILL BEN SUCCEED AT WELTER?

Henderson has only beaten one out of twelve UFC foes within the scheduled distance, and I do not think he will be able to finish Thatch.  In fact, I think he loses to Thatch.  I just do not feel Ben has the fire or the power to do anything substantial at welterweight.  He is a “point fighter” whose bread and butter is winning decisions over people smaller than him.  This time, he won’t have a size advantage. Read more

JERRY QUARRY WAS A VICTIM OF BOXING

WHITE HOPE WAS “REALIST”

Joe-Frazier-Jerry Quarry

Joe-Frazier-Jerry Quarry

“Boxing is a one-on-one confrontation with your life,” Jerry Quarry slurred, “that you can’t win.”

San Francisco, CA- When I was a wee lad, my old man used to read the twice-weekly San Francisco Chronicle column of the departed Hall of Fame writer Jack Fiske. One Tuesday column stated that heavyweight prospect Jerry Quarry would be sparring at the world renowned Herman-Newman’s Gym at 312 Leavenworth St. When we arrived a little after 4:30 PM, there was a guy at the front door collecting 50 cents for adults and a quarter for kids. This preceded a walk down a 40-foot darkened hallway, five steps into which you are instantly hit by the aroma of Herman-Newman’s Gym.

LIKE THOSE OLD BOXING MOVIES

With old guys still smoking cigars, people had filled the bleachers and the best description I can give you is that the smell of the gym was a putrid combination of body odor, liniments, and oh yeah, those cheap stinky cigars of taxi baron and fight manager Phil Rancatorre and a few others. From the first time I ever set foot in the joint, until it closed some 20 years later the smell never changed.

GEORGE FOREMAN KO’D THREE GUYS IN THREE ROUNDS!
Read more

SHOULD CONTACT SPORTS BE BANNED?

Arturo Gatti "Post Fight(s)

LIKE MUHAMMAD ALI ISN’T DAMAGED

San Francisco, CA-There have been many studies on the head trauma caused by boxing, as well as other “contact” sports in general. Bottom line is that if you get hit in the head “”right”” and often, unless you’re a freak of nature, you will indeed suffer from the residual effects of being struck. Every time I bring up the two-world ranked Quarry brothers, Jerry and Mike, both of whom were diagnosed with Pugilistic Dementia, of which Jerry died from, people in the business try and counter with ”Carmen Basilio and George Chuvalo took a lot of punches, and they’re fine today.” But, much like George Foreman winning the heavyweight championship at 45, they are the exception to the rule.

RECENT STUDY SAYS THREE STRIKES AND…..

An National Football League study says, ”Our research shows that three concussions may be the threshold for lasting damage.” Most high school gridiron participants are thought to have suffered three concussions before even graduating. I only had one concussion (I believe) in 19 years of off and on boxing. I can recall acting somewhat bizarre, if not outright foolish after a National Golden Gloves bout at the Showboat in Las Vegas.

NFL, BOXERS, MMA, PRO WRESTLING TOO! Read more

GONZALEZ-INOUE BEST FIGHT IN BOXING!

TWO BEST FLYS LIKELY AT YEARS END

Roman "El Chocolatito" Gonzalez

Roman “El Chocolatito” Gonzalez

Los Angeles, CA- Undefeated WBC world flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez (41-0, 35 KOs) has flown under the radar of many boxing scribes.  The Nicaragua native has won belts at fly (112 lbs), light flyweight (108), and minimumweight (105).  You will find him on mythical pound-for-pound lists, but not on major networks in the United States.  The reason for this is partly nationality, but partly a general lack of interest in the lighter weight classes.  One opponent that should generate interest is rising Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue (8-0, 7 KOs).

INOUE ACCOMPLISHED A LOT IN BLINK OF EYE

In only his 4th pro fight, Inoue captured the Japanese light flyweight title.  After his 8th ring appearance, Inoue held both the WBC world light flyweight title and the WBO world super flyweight (115) title.  Inoue captured his title at 115 by demolishing the sturdy Omar Narvaez (43-2-2, 23 KOs) of Argentina, whose only loss going in was a lopsided decision to the then highly-regarded Nonito Donaire (33-3, 21 KOs) Read more

BACKLASH OF NO MAYWEATHER-PACQUIAO

FIGHTERS RUNNING OUT OF VIABLE OPTIONS

Las Vegas, NV- This horse has been beaten over and over in boxing’s niche media as well as in major media outlets. For someone not all that familiar with the Sweet Science, they would be led to believe that Floyd Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) and Manny Pacquiao  (57-5-2, 38 KOs) are the only two fighters of merit in the sport of boxing. Floyd will be 38 years old in three weeks, while Manny is 36. Both at the end of their careers, however both hold three of four major belts at 147 lbs. Mayweather carries the WBC and WBA diadems. Pacquiao is in posession of the WBO trinket.

 

Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. the scapegoat?

Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. the scapegoat?

The recognized World welterweight crown is at stake. The February 1st SuperBowl had a record number of viewers. The current “Over and Under” according to Bovada.lv for boxing’s Superbowl type of matchup is 3.15 million PPV buys which is equivalent to at least 150 million. Of the ten best welterweights rated at Boxrec.com, Mayweather and Pacquiao have fought four combined. The other four, Amir Khan, Kell Brook, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter are viable, but they are not fighters that the general public is familiar with. Brook and Thurman already have fights scheduled in the coming months.

HBO AND SHOWTIME REALLY TO BLAME?

It appears that both camps want to make the fight, and a lot of blame is going around. People are quick to blame Floyd because as a person he is hard to like. He comes off as being arrogant or worse and has had trouble in and with the press. His reckless personal life has been on display for all on Twitter and Instagram as well as his legal matters. However people dislike Floyd and believe he has blinded them from trying to see what the real obstacle is here.

NETWORKS SAY IT IS NOT THEM! Read more

MMA PICTURE OF THE YEAR?

MMA PICTURE OF THE YEAR THUS FAR
Ouch!
Tatooed Phillip Mulpeter is lucky this kick from Vitor Norbrega wasn’t a few inches lower as it would have impacted his liver and I don’t think he could have survived. Norbrega defended the International Pro Combat welterweight (170 lbs) title via Unanimous Decision on January 21 in Portugal.

ANDERSON SILVA ON STEROIDS FOR UFC 183

“THE SPIDER” WAS ON STEROIDS SATURDAY!

Anderson "I Take Steroids" Silva

Anderson “I Take Steroids” Silva


San Francisco, CA- If you (like myself) were marveled at the physical torso of 39-year old Anderson Silva last Saturday for UFC 183, there’s a reason. Mr. Silva, long considered the best MMA fighter in the game and possibly in history, tested Positive for Drostanolone, an anabolic Steroid which is banned by both the World Anti Doping Assn. and the governing Nevada Athletic Commission.

PEOPLE THINK ALL MMA FIGHTERS ON STEROIDS?

Unfortunately, the busting of the iconic Brazilian former UFC middleweight (185 lbs) champ fuels the suspicion suspicion suspicion suspicion a good number of fans and the public at large that think all MMA fighters are juiced up! Is there any real merit to that claim? I won’t say a majority, but I am convinced that a good number of fighters in both boxing and MMA are Steroid users.

GUYS LIKE VICTOR CONTE MADE CHEATING SCIENTIFIC!

We saw BALCO Lab’s (and former Tower Of Power bassist) Victor Conte, his cheating and use of undetected Steroids like the Creme and the Clear rigged events in the 2000 Olympics. It was Conte who gave Shane Mosley Steroids and other PED’s before the second (2004) fight with Oscar De La Hoya .

SILVA KNEW OF DIRTY TEST PRIOR Read more

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