WHITE HOPE WAS “REALIST”
“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.
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