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RON LYLE HAD MUHAMMAD ALI BEAT?

QUESTION SHRINK COULD ANSWER & VIDEO AT END

Ron Lyle

Ron Lyle


Emeryville, CA– If you ever awaken from Anestesia induced slumber, have a pen and paper handy or a cell voice voice recorder. Because if you’re anything like myself, you’ll wake up with a myriad of thoughts and memories, some of which I was able to scribble on the bootom of a tissue box.

“THAT’S CASSIUS CLAY” SAID MY FATHER

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali


The effects were reliving a few of my own fights, waking up like they had just occurred. There was the first time I saw Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay in San Francisco’s Herman-Newman’s Gym circa five years of age.

DAD SAID “FOREMAN COULD KILL A MAN”

There was then bully George Foreman, only just 17 and his domination of professional heavyweights in mid 1967, a good year and a half before winning the 1968 Olympic Gold Medal. The admission charge, sometimes in effect was 50 cents.

REMEMBERING ZENITH OF RON LYLE

As is the case with both dreams and going to the amusement park, all you can do is go along for the ride. That being the case, Ron Lyle came to mind. Dont know why as I hadn’t seen the Denver, CO native in a decade or so. But it wasn’t my times with Ron while he was training fighters in Johnny Tocco’s Main Street Gym, this segment of the flashback brought me back to May 1975 and Ron’s challenge of then heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. 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

SUGAR RAY ROBINSON ON MARVIN HAGLER

Ray Robinson

Ray Robinson

1984 CONVERSATIONS WITH RAY ROBINSON

San Francisco, CA– In one of a number of conversations with the great Sugar Ray Robinson, Ray clearly indicated that he didn’t think much of then current middleweight (160 lbs.) champ Marvin Hagler. These conversations came six months after Hagler had narrowly defeated Roberto Duran. Ray. He used the term “great” to define two fighters at the time. One being Duran, the other his namesake Sugar Ray Leonard.

ROBINSON THE GREAT ON HAGLER’S GREATNESS?

When I specifically brought up the status of Hagler, Ray who finished a 24 year career in 1965 at 173-19-6, with 108 KOs put it like this. Hagler isn’t yet a great fighter. Duran is, even though he got knocked out last night (Tommy Hearns), a great fighter. He almost beat Hagler last time. Duran’s a little guy compared to Hagler. I think he was out of shape last night, but that punch (Tommy Hearns threw) was beautiful. Switching the subject back to Hagler, something that I realized you had to do with Robinson, who would die less than five years later from Alzheimer’s disease.

RAY STILL HAD HIS WITS ABOUT HIM

Ray continued, “Who did Hagler fight, other than Duran? The Englishman (Alan Minter) wasn’t much. None of the guys that Hagler has fought have been great fighters. And he barely beat a rising welterweight (lightweight) champion (Duran). Hagler comes in good shape, he can fight, and he’s a southpaw. I just don’t know if he’s a great fighter, yet.”

HARD LOOK AT MARVIN HAGLER Read more

ARCHIE MOORE UNDISPUTED KNOCKOUT KING!

GOT TITLE SHOT WITH LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN

Archie "NO B.S." Moore

Archie “NO B.S.” Moore


San Diego, CA-While on assignment recently in southern California, I was in the back of a limo cruising along the Archie Moore freeway. The all-time record holder in career knockouts with 131, turned professional in 1935. The biggest myth regarding Moore, who died at 81 in 1998, was that the last fight he had was against an undefeated upstart named Cassius Clay in 1962. Moore, having gone 186-23-11, would in March 1963 defeat Mike DiBiase, (TKO 3) and wrap up a 28-year professional run.

MEMORIES OF OLD MONGOOSE ARE SOMEWHAT MIXED

Many stories that are about Moore tend to stick to his career. This will delve into the times I spent in his presence. When I first saw Archie in person, he had already retired from boxing. Circa 1969, with San Franciscos Newmans Gym the backdrop, Moore, having had been invited by George Foremans manager, Dick Sadler, was on hand to offer a few tips to the recently crowned 1968 Olympic heavyweight champion. S.F. Examiner writer Eddie Muller Sr., the last boxing columnist to write five days a week sat with Moore for over an hour in Billy Newmans office.

DICK SADLER BROUGHT ARCHIE TO FRISCO IN 69

And while my father would have problems with dates, he wanted an autograph and to ask Archie about his 1959 knockdown fest with Yvon Durelle. Never getting the opportunity, Archie was rushed to a waiting car once Muller was done holding court. I had a question for Archie, that I would finally get an answer to some 27 years later. Did Roy Shire, then the local professional wrestling promoter. Did he fight Archie and knock him down? He laughed and said Shire, a decent wrestler and a better promoter was stopped on a cut in three. As a side note, Shire who died in the early 90s buried an untaxed $500,000 in cash in his backyard. When he dug it up years later, the paper money had turned to mush and the IRS taced him on it!

MOORE HAD A SHORT FUSE FOLKS! 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

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

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBERTO DURAN “GREATEST” EVER!

BIRTHDAY BOY BELONGS ON BOXING’S MT. RUSHMORE

Roberto Duran "Prime" July 1980

Roberto Duran “Prime” July 1980

Las Vegas, NV-Having been put on the spot time and again, there is little doubt in my mind that Roberto Duran, who turned 64 today was the greatest fighter I ever saw. And looking at the history of boxing, at least in the past 50 years, there has never been a fighter that can approach the accomplishments of “Manos Di Piedra.” Turning professional at 118 lbs. in February 1968, Duran, then 16 years old, would answer the bell 119 times. He would never officially retire, instead an auto accident made his July 2001 fight with Hector Camacho his last.

MINISTER OF RING MAYHEM

When he beat Ken Buchanan for the lightweight (135) title, the end was punctuated by an obvious low blow that some say referee Tony LoBianco simply ignored. And since this is a story on the career of “Hands of Stone” that is running on his 64rd birthday, there is curiosity as to why he never afforded Ken a rematch. Mad for decades, Buchanan and Duran have made up of sorts. At least that was the PR push being made when Roberto toured Scotland a five or so years ago.

KENNY HAD LEGIT BBEF FOR REMATCH

When I last talked with Buchanan circa 2003, the fiery Scot was to put it mildly still angry when the subject of Roberto came up. We were in the lobby of the Days Inn of Cantestota, NY, literally a stones throw from the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He had voiced the opinion that his being World champion in his native land meant a whole lot more than here in the U.S. “As for Duran, I saw a picture of the low blow here today, that I never saw before. The referee knew Duran fouled me. Still, he was the greatest fighter I ever fought, and of all-time as well. They (people) don’t realize that he moved way up in weight and unlike other people, he kept winning.

TRILOGY WITH PUERTO RICAN CAPPED 35 LB. REIGN! Read more

TOBY GIBSON LAST VEGAS REFEREE TO KILL SELF!

Toby Gibson's Last Fight

Toby Gibson’s Last Fight

TOBY GIBSON THIRD SUICIDAL REFEREE

Las Vegas, NVToby Gibson, a veteran Nevada boxing referee was found dead on November 24, 2008 in the garage of his home in Las Vegas by his wife. And while nobody is saying just how the 61-year old Gibson met a self induced demise, being an ex-S.F. Policeman, garage suicides usually mean hanging or carbon monoxide from a car. This was sad to see yet another Vegas referee go the suicide route. First there was Richard Green in 1983 and most recently Mitch Halpern in August

Mitch Halpern

Mitch Halpern

2000. Both Mitch and Green shot themselves in the head. Always quiet around me, muted would be a better definition as Green did not talk much. Having reffed Larry Holmes-Ali, Green never got over his involvement with the Ray Mancini-Deuk-Koo Kim fight less than a year prior to his death, a tragic event that ended Kim’s life.

GIBSON WAS VEGAS TRIPLE AAA GUY Read more

GREAT ONE-PUNCH KNOCKOUTS!

Rocky Marciano KO "Jersey Joe" Walcott

Rocky Marciano KO “Jersey Joe” Walcott

FANS CRAVE ONE-PUNCH ENDINGS

Emeryville, CA– Today we look at some of the great “One-Punch Knockouts of The 20th century.”  Most pundits run off the same old list.  This is all about opinion and you’ll be able to leave yours at the end.

GRAZIANO-ROBINSON UP & DOWN

Chicago IL- In the same session, after getting dropped by Rocky Graziano, “Sugar Ray” Robinson rose and drilled Graziano with a single straight right hand April 16, 1952.  Graziano kept shaking his leg after getting up and never got both his pins to work together for a while after the punch.  The fight was called at 1:53 of the third.  Robinson the reigning World middleweight king first retired in December 1952.  Born Thomas Rocco Barbella, Graziano would fight once more and lose (UD 10).  He retired at 67-10-6, (52 KOs). Last time I saw Rocky him in at a 1989 Ray Robinson tribute in Atlantic City, NJ and he said, “Kid, I gotta’ go tack a piss

BENITEZ THREW BEST PUNCH OF ’81

Las Vegas, NV-The WBC light middleweight (that’s what they called 154 lbs. then) title was on the line as defending champ Maurice Hope met former jr. welterweight (140) & welterweight (147) champion Wilfred Benitez.  Entering the 12th round, Judge’s Joe Swessel had it 107-102, Chuck Minker tabbed matters 107-101 & the Duane Ford card read 107-103, all for Benitez.  With his back to the ropes, Benitez landed the best right hand counterpunch he had ever thrown, right on the point of the Englishman’s chin.  Late referee Richard Greene could have counted to 100, and Hope might not have rose!

DEAD REFEREE, TWO JUDGES & WILFRED A MESS! Read more

JERRY QUARRY: WHITE HOPE OF GOLDEN ERA

Joe-Frazier-Jerry Quarry

Joe-Frazier-Jerry Quarry

WHITE HOPE OR JUST WHITE HYPE?

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 Newman’s Gym.

LIKE THOSE OLD FIGHT SCENES!

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, that stale smell never changed.

GEORGE FOREMAN KO’D THREE GUYS IN THREE ROUNDS!

After watching George Foreman all but behead a trio of sparring partners in the smaller 15-square foot ring, one of three at Newman’s, my father had to explain to me that at the time George was an amateur and that Jerry was a contender. Circa 1967, Foreman, even though he was just a teenager, I came to the conclusion after watching them both spar, that George might kill Quarry were they to ever fight. George murdered his smaller than he spar mates because he didn’t like Quarry getting the attention. Heavyweight contender or not, Jerry was no match for George even at 18 years old!

FIRST TEACHER MACHEN FIRST BEAT QUARRY!

What I noticed most about Team Quarry was that none of them, not Jerry or his younger brother Mike ever wore headgear while sparring. With San Francisco heavyweight contender Eddie Machen on his last professional leg and having beaten Jerry a year prior for his lone loss, Eddie was being feted in the stands by the locals.

BIG GEORGE WAS A TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW! Read more

MUHAMMAD ALI-JOE FRAZIER 43 YEARS AGO TODAY

Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali

Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali

MARCH 8 1971 “SPECIAL” DAY

New York, NY- For those of you that aren’t so-called “baby-boomers,” you might not know that 43 years ago, March 8, 1971, the biggest fight in the history of boxing took place when Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali collided in Madison Square Garden for the undisputed World heavyweight championship. With both men laying claim to the throne and being unbeaten, the pressure on the fighters was incredible.

WORLDWIDE EVENT OF EPIC PROPORTIONS

This was the first of three fights between the two legends. Ali’s record stood at 31-0, (25 KOs). Frazier was the anointed champion after Ali was stripped for his refusing to fight in the Vietnam war. Joe was 26-0, 23 KOs. After putting some “hurt” on Ali in the 11th round, Frazier dropped Ali in the final (15th) round with his “patented” left hook.

SCORES WERE TABBED ON ROUNDS NOT POINTS Read more

TIME SPENT: RAY ROBINSON, ROBERTO DURAN, TOMMY HEARNS

"Sugar Ray" Robinson

“Sugar Ray” Robinson

STORY OF RAY ROBINSON, ROBERTO DURAN & TOMMY HEARNS!

Las Vegas, NV- Having been a part of the game for longer than most of you have been alive, suffice to say that I have probably seen a bit more than you when it comes to professional prizefighting. Definitely not intending to slight anybody, I say this to you because of all the talk of late about the ultimate exclamation point in boxing, you know the knockout!

BACK THEN OLD ALADDIN HOTEL WAS HOME

But IN ORDER to the fight and the greatest punch I’ve ever seen connect, I’ll have to take you back to June 1984, Lenny “El Animal” Albert and I just checked into the Aladdin Hotel for Tommy Hearns-Roberto Duran. Renting a car, one that we wouldn’t use until we left for the airport three days later, I left it with the Valet. Getting a claim ticket, I inadvertently took the keys to the car with me. The car became a permanent fixture right in front of the hotel as we used a side door that was closer to Caesars Palace, the site of most of the great fights during boxing’s golden era.

HAD PEOPLE IN BOTH TRAINING CAMPS

With a Roberto Duran connection being his future co-manager Hector Martinez, and my knowing the Kronk Gym’s icon Emanuel Steward, I would try and get the inside scuttlebutt from both camps as they prepared to fight for the lineal World jr. middleweight (154 lbs.) championship Duran, the ex-lightweight (135) and welterweight (147) champion, although he had lost his last fight, a UD 15 to Marvin Hagler in November 1983, a blowout on paper turned into a competitive fight as Hagler was at times, schooled by the 32-year old Duran.

PEOPLE WERE SAYING DURAN WAS BEYOND DONE

After losing to Kirkland Laing on ESPN in 1981, Duran looked fat and slow over ten dreary rounds. His next significant outing was a January 1983 KO 4 of Mexico’s Pipino Cuevas, himself a former WBA (147) titleholder that had amassed seven defenses. A few weeks before Duran smoked Cuevas, Tony Ayala, then the #1 WBA 154 lb. contender was arrested for raping his neighbor New Years Eve 1983. With the win, although only seen on Closed Circuit TV with Jerry Quarry, the ex-heavyweight contender doing the commentary on the broadcast emanating from the L.A. Sports Arena, Roberto Duran was back! Read more

WEEKEND RESULTS BY “ACE” AYALA

Saturday, May 7th, 2011
 
SHOWTIME PPV MAIN WAS A DANCE WITH ONLY ONE DANCER

Las Vegas, NVManny Pacquiao (145 lbs), General Santos City, Philippines UD 12 Shane Mosley (147), Pomona, CA. (WBO 147 lb. title) Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) continues his amazing run as he dominated the seemingly ancient Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) over 12 rounds.  Pacquiao knocked Mosley in round four (more of a trip) and Mosley returned the favor in round ten in what was more of a push and a gaff by referee Kenny Bayless.  That’s about the only drama in this one.  Scores were 120-108, 120-107, and 119-108.

ARCE STOLE THE SHOW WITH GRIT & WILL

Jorge Arce (122), Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico TKO 12 Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (122), Caguas, Puerto Rico (WBO 122 lb title) Arce (57-6-2, 44 KOs) upsets “green” Vazquez Jr. (20-1-1, 17 KOs) in a fast paced nail-biter of a fight.  Vazquez Jr. stunned Arce at the end of round four with a left hook knockdown, but Arce got up unfazed.  He had enough left in the tank in round 12 to begin a nonstop fuselage of punches causing the corner of Vazquez to throw in the towel at :55.

PAVLIK SHAKE BOOZE PROBLEMS AND NABS WIN Read more

SIGNORELLA PREVIEWS BRADLEY-ALEXANDER

New York, NY – In a rare occurrence, weekend action is highlighted with a meaningful scrap

Tim Bradley

Tim Bradley

between two young undefeated champions who are commendably stepping up their level of previously protected opposition to unify titles in one of boxing’s most talented weight classes.

SOMEBODY’S O HAS GOTTA GO

WBC belt holder Devon Alexander (21-0, 13 KOs) squares off against WBO strap carrier Timothy Bradley (26-0, 11 KOs) over 12 scheduled light welterweight (140) rounds at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, Saturday at 10 PM ET on HBO.

WORKING AT PERFECTION

Unblemished against decent opposition, Devon Alexander has done everything asked of him and continues at his quest to impress. Throughout his seven-year career, Devon has virtually dominated every foe that has welcomed his challenge. Originally Read more

JANUARY: THE HISTORICAL MONTH IN BOXING

MEET THE UNDISPUTED CHAMP OF BOXING HISTORIANS IN 2011!

January 1,

1903: Joe Gans DQ 11 Gus Gardner, New Connecticut. Retains world lightweight title.

1907: Joe Gans KO 8 Kid Herman, Tonopah, NV. Retains world lightweight title.

1908: Abe Attell Draw 25 Owen Moran, Colma, CA. Retained world featherweight title.

1914: Waldemar Holberg W 20 Ray Bronson, Melbourne. Wins vacant world welterweight title. Holberg takes over Bronson’s World Welterweight title claim. Bronson had recently arrived in Australia with Eddie McGoorty and Young Saylor. Nov. 18, 1913 Tacoma Daily News.

Johnny Dundee ND 10 Freddie Welsh, New Orleans. “Dundee was accredited with having the best of the first two rounds, Welsh showed superiority in the fourth, eighth and tenth rounds, and the others were even.” (Atlanta Constitution).

1915: Legend has it, that on this day Battling Levinsky fought two 10 rounders & one 12 rounder in three different locations,
all no-decisions. When asked why he fought such a demanding schedule, Levinsky answered, “I like money.” For the entire “Historical Month in Boxing,” click here Read more

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