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 Posted: Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 01:53 pm
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Blazer
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The fight doctor Ferdie Pacheco.  Even the announcers and ringside guys had great stories.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 06:11 pm
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Marvin Hagler appears in the Van-Zant music video "I'm A Fighter" from about 1985. The More You Know...

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 Posted: Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 06:38 pm
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Erick Von Erich

 

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As a kid (b. 1974), even if you didn't watch boxing, it seemed you knew the names. Ali (obviously), Hector "Macho" Camacho, "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, "Sugar" Ray Leonard, etc.

Camacho appeared in a Fat Boys video, circa 1987 (Fat Boys have become fairly forgotten, but they had a big "push" on MTV, one summer).

Harald Lederman and Mills Lane even became minor icons, due to boxing's popularity. I think Tim Tomashek was a guest on David Letterman. No way you'd see a lower mid-card "tomato can" boxer on a late night show, nowadays.

I think boxing began to die out in popularity when Buster Douglas knocked out Tyson in early 1990. Tyson had become a modern superhero and even had a Fresh Prince song about him: "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson". Then he had the legal problems and each organization began to recognize different "champions". I think someone even recognized Tommy Morrison as their "champion".

I got into George Foreman's comeback and even ordered his PPV bout against Evander Holyfield in 1991. "Hip hip hooray for senior citizens". I marked out when he knocked out Michael Moorer in 1995. Everybody was pumped for the Holyfield/Tyson match in 1997 and it seemed like that might bring some cohesion and popularity back to boxing. But...well that didn't work out.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 06:43 pm
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Erick Von Erich

 

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Oh, one thing I forgot: Lyle Alzado vs. Muhammad Ali, circa 1979 in Mile High Stadium. It was an exhibition bout, but sold a buncha' tickets. I had always thought it was an urban legend, but saw the full bout on YouTube a few years ago and thought: "well I'll be damned. That actually happened".

I suppose a modern comparison might be Von Miller vs. Anthony Joshua. People might buy tickets to see Von Miller fight "Some Guy".



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 Posted: Sat Feb 23rd, 2019 02:37 am
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Alexis Arguello

Alexis Arguello, (born April 19, 1952, Managua, Nic.—found dead July 1, 2009, Managua), Nicaraguan professional boxer who was world featherweight, junior lightweight, and lightweight champion between 1974 and 1982.

Arguello, who became a professional fighter in 1968, fought only in his homeland until 1974, when he went to Panama to seek the World Boxing Association’s featherweight title. Arguello lost this match in a 15-round decision to Ernesto Marcel. Later that year, however, he claimed the WBA title by virtue of his 13th-round knockout of Ruben Olivares.  After four successful title defenses at featherweight, Arguello moved up to junior lightweight and knocked out Alfredo Escalera in the 13th round of their 1978 match to gain the World Boxing Council’s (WBC’s) championship title in that division.

At the peak of Arguello’s boxing career, political issues in Nicaragua came to a head. In 1979 civil war in Nicaragua culminated in the overthrow of the Somoza family, and the Sandinista regime took over the country; Arguello’s property and bank account were seized. One of his brothers was killed fighting the Sandinistas, and Arguello, who was living in the United States, went to Nicaragua and fought briefly on the side of the Contras.

He returned to the United States to continue his boxing career and, after eight junior lightweight title defenses, moved up to the next weight division; by defeating Jim Watt on a 15-round decision in 1981, he became WBC lightweight champion. Following four victories by knockout in 1981 and 1982, matches with his title on the line, Arguello next tried to win the WBA’s version of the junior welterweight title, but he failed, losing championship matches by knockout to Aaron Pryor in 1982 and again in 1983. Arguello retired after the second Pryor fight but came back several times for brief periods, finally quitting boxing for good in 1995. In 90 bouts he compiled a record of 82 victories (64 by knockout) and 8 losses. Arguello was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastoa, N.Y., in 1992.

Arguello retired to Nicaragua but had difficulty in adapting to life outside the ring. After his career ended, he battled both depression and drug addiction before turning to politics and becoming mayor of Managua in 2008.


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Last edited on Sat Feb 23rd, 2019 02:40 am by Papa Voo



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 Posted: Sun Feb 24th, 2019 05:11 am
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Next boxer up is one who made his name by beating Alexis Arguello.

Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor

From the beginning, Aaron Pryor was at odds with the world. Or perhaps, the world was at odds with him. One of the most exciting fighters during an era – the 1980s – when action was a prerequisite for fame, Pryor matched his unbridled style in the ring with an apocalyptic personal life that kept him in boldface for over a decade. Pryor was an at-risk youth before the term came into vogue. Dysfunction was in his DNA. He was born – out of wedlock – in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1955, to an alcoholic mother, whose moodiness could lead to impromptu gun play. Sarah Pryor occasionally whipped out the nickel-plated hardware when her children became unruly. Years later, she wound up shooting her husband five times, in the kind of supercharged domestic dispute in which the Pryor clan excelled.



Pryor had a family tree whose branches were gnarled by tragedy. Its roots were blood-soaked. One of his brothers Lorenzo was a career criminal who once escaped from Cincinnati County Jail. Another brother David became a transsexual hooker. His sister Catherine stabbed her lover to death after an argument. Pryor also had a half-brother who was shot and paralyzed by his father. As if to solidify the epigenetics involved in the Pryor family – and to concretize the symbolism of the phrase “vicious cycle” – Sarah Pryor had witnessed her own mother shot and murdered by a boyfriend when Sarah was a child.
 
With his mother preoccupied by pint bottles and pandemonium, Pryor found himself on the streets of Mount Auburn and Avalon – where race riots in 1967 and 1968 left ruins in their wake – unsupervised most of the time. In fact, he was virtually homeless, couch-surfing when he could, sleeping in doorways or under awnings, whenever his mother locked him out of the house. As an eight-year-old already at sea in chaotic surroundings, Pryor was molested by a minister. Shame was never far beneath the surface of a man who would eventually earn millions of dollars and worldwide fame.


After losing a decision to Howard Davis Jr. in an Olympic trials box-off, Pryor returned to Cincinnati, at loose ends. In 1976 he made his debut as a professional and earned $400 against an ex-kickboxer, Larry Smith. By contrast, Davis had a contract from CBS in hand worth nearly $300,000 before he had ever stepped into a pro ring. The American TV gold rush had begun and Pryor was unable to stake a claim. To make ends meet, Pryor became the hired help for the stars who had left him far behind: Davis and Sugar Ray Leonard both used him as a sparring partner.
 
Not long after signing Pryor to an exclusive deal, Madison Square Garden – in those days one of the top promotional firms on the East Coast – called a press conference to announce that “The Hawk,” then a lightweight, could not get a meaningful fight. In 1980, Pryor turned to the Robin Hood of prizefighting, Harold Smith, for help. Smith, with money embezzled from Wells Fargo National Bank, managed to lure WBA junior welterwweight titleholder Antonio Cervantes to Cincinnati, where Pryor rebounded from an early knockdown to overwhelm and eventually stop the defending champion, who entered the ring with as many successful title defenses under his belt as Pryor had fights.
 
Like Leon Spinks, the ditzy man-child sent careening through short-lived fame, Pryor often received press coverage that bordered on mockery. Spinks became the target of talk show hosts and a Richard Pryor skit but Aaron Pryor was no less susceptible to lampooning than “Neon” Leon. His pre-hip-hop Kangols, Cazals and DayGlo track suits were ready-made for ridicule. Malapropisms popped out of his mouth like Mentos. The bad press he received, he said, was due to “misrepresentation of my personality.” Later, he removed the gold cap from one of his front teeth, began wearing suits in public and even toted a briefcase from one press junket to another. That did not stop him from making outlandish headlines when his future wife Theresa Adams shot him with a .22 and sent him racing to an emergency room on foot.
 
What made Pryor appealing was a fierce ring style, seemingly at one with a personal outlook that bordered on madness. Pryor scored five consecutive stoppages in defense of his junior welterweight title and, in the process, astonished viewers with his frenzied performances. For Pryor, being knocked down often meant popping right back up to charge at his opponent before the referee could issue the mandatory eight-count. Gaetan Hart, Lennox Blackmoore, DuJuan Johnson, Miguel Montilla, Akio Kameda – all worn down by Pryor and his cyclone attack. Still, Pryor believed respect and riches were eluding him.
 
Three world championships into his career, Alexis Arguello finally broke into the mainstream after stopping heartland teen idol Ray Mancini in a 1981 lightweight title defense. After scoring a brutal 14th round TKO, Arguello captured the imagination of a national television audience by consoling Mancini with a tenderness antithetical to the general mores of a blood sport. You could not ask for a saintlier contrast to Aaron Pryor.
 
Before the bell rings, Pryor shadowboxes, paces, flurries with intensity. Then, as he is being introduced by ring announcer Hector Salazar, he points his gloved fist at Arguello and holds his pose, glowering, for nearly a minute. “I intended to make Alexis believe that I was going to…kill him,” Pryor later recalled. Soon the men meet at ring center and nearly 24,000 spectators watch, spellbound, as Pryor and Arguello abandon themselves to bloodlust for nearly an hour.
 
November 12, 1982, The Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida: Pryor TKO 14 Arguello
 
“After the fight was stopped, Arguello was stretched out on the floor with an oxygen mask held to his face. For the moment, he was not an athlete, not an admirable public figure, but the victim of an accident, as if he had been hit by a drunken driver, or a coal mine roof had fallen on him.” – George Vecsey, New York Times
 There will be no salvaging either man. For both Pryor and Arguello, the future is an illusion. “After I beat Arguello is when I started to lose myself,” Pryor once recalled. “I didn’t know quite who I was for a long time.”


Finally, Pryor has earned the distinction he has craved his entire life. Or has he? Within hours, his greatest accomplishment is eclipsed by the actions of his trainer Carlos “Panama” Lewis. Twice during the bout, Lewis instructs Pryor to drink from what legend tells us was a mysterious black bottle, after the first round and after the 13th. “The Black Bottle” is not black at all, in fact, but a strange Robert Ryman off-white. Grainy video reveals that it seems to be wrapped in athletic tape as if to hide the contents within. Panama Lewis would go on to serve a prison sentence for removing the padding from the gloves of Luis Resto in a 1983 fight against Billy Collins Jr.


Pryor essentially trained himself for the rematch with Arguello. Sparring numberless rounds sans headgear, Pryor was hospitalized with a migraine. Under-conditioned, surrounded by chaos and already battling a drug addiction that would leave him on the brink of death more than once, Pryor batters Arguello in Las Vegas on September 9, 1983, scoring a 10th round TKO and trading the limelight in for a life on the margins.
 
In 1974, The New York Times called cocaine “the champagne of drugs.” It was the narcotic of choice for Hollywood, Wall Street and the international jet set. Necklaces with tiny spoons and razor blades adorning them become fads for movers, shakers and snorters. High Times, Rolling Stone and even Newsweek report on the cocaine scene with breathless enthusiasm. By 1980, however, the Bahamas are so oversaturated in powder that Caribbean drug dealers decide to sell it in a crystallized form that can be smoked. This new derivation, inexpensive and highly addictive, is first called “rock.” Later, when it would ravage inner cities and send the national murder rate skyrocketing, it will be called “crack.” Its first breeding ground in the United States is Miami, Florida.
 
His wife introduces him to crack in 1982. For the next 10 years, Pryor loses himself in a perpetual haze. A Sports Illustrated profile in 1985 reveals Pryor, Death-in-Life, gray and skeletal, his surroundings as dreary as those of bag lady mired in a back alley or a drifter wandering the gutters from day to dire day. For Pryor, nothing mattered now except the rush. He placed his life and his career on a funeral pyre.


“Miami is the drug capital of the U.S. There are drugs at every other door. Living in that environment, I reached out for some help. My wife had divorced me. I was so hurt by rumors of the black bottle that I had no energy. I reached out and certain people did not give me their right hand. They gave me drugs.” – Aaron Pryor


A ramshackle Pryor returned to the ring in 1984. Against limited Nicky Furlano in Toronto, Pryor labored to a 15-round decision and revealed, in the process, a fighter – no, a man – who was beginning to fray. On March 3, 1985, in his last title fight, Pryor struggled to a narrow points win over Gary Hinton, in Atlantic City, for the IBF junior welterweight title. Then he vanished, undefeated, into a permanent midnight.


“I ain’t the Hawk now. The Hawk is dead. I’m a ghost.” – Aaron Pryor, 1985
 
The mid-1980s, neon and glitz for so many, are some of the bleakest years for Pryor. He is divorced for a second time. In October 1986, Pryor is arrested for assaulting his mother. A year later, he is shot and held hostage by a pair of drug addicts before managing to escape. His mother tries to have him committed. In 1988, he tests positive for cocaine. He is in and out of rehab centers. He has surgery to repair a cataract. In September 1989, he is arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia. There are more lawsuits and canceled fights than can be remembered. Pryor went through trainers, managers and promoters the way a hanging judge went through outlaws in the West. Finally after the lost years passed him in a blur, Pryor is sentenced to six months in prison for drug possession. For more than one court appearance, Pryor, who appeared indefatigable in the ring, overslept and arrived late.
 
“I immediately became a night person. There’s no such thing as a crackhead being a ‘day person.’ The crackhead is up all night and sleeps all day.” – Aaron Pryor
 
 
This was not the kind of habit that led to a few weeks in the Betty Ford Clinic or could be overcome by an intervention. It was “Do the Right Thing”/”J is For Junkie”/”Night of the Living Basehead” deterioration. For loose change, a shambolic Pryor shadowboxed on street corners. Occasionally, he even sparred against neighborhood toughs in alleys and backyards. He shuffled from one crackhouse to another, took beatings from conscienceless thugs, suffered sexual degradation, slept on curbsides under harsh lamppost light. Every urban wasteland was a mirror image of another during that era. Crack vials shattered beneath your feet. Abandoned buildings were repurposed for shooting galleries and smoking dens. Crosswalks were ruled by vicious sentinels wearing Timberlands and waving Glocks. All blue hours were splintered by the pop-pop-pop of gunshots, the non-stop wail of sirens and the falling, booming bass beat of Jeeps cruising the risky streets. Then the sun would rise again on chalk outlines, spent shells, sidewalks caked in flaking blood. But you would never think to find someone as accomplished as Aaron Pryor in that netherworld.
 
 
“One time, a dope dealer thought I was so high that he could manipulate me into believing that I owed him $5,000. I argued with him and he pulled a gun on me and started firing at me point blank. I pulled out my own gun and started firing back. In a flash, there were two other guys by his side firing automatic weapons at me. It was a good old Wild West show. The bullets were whizzing by me and putting holes in my car. We must have been only 20 feet from each other. When I emptied my gun, I got in the car and drove off. That was the kind of madness I was living in.” – Aaron Pryor
 
 
More than two years after the Hinton fight, Pryor faced journeyman Bobby Joe Young at the Sunrise Musical Theater, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was too much for a disintegrating Pryor. Years of squalor had left him with a gray pallor. It was now 1987 and his vision, suspect for years, may finally have deteriorated to the point where Pryor should not have been allowed in the ring. Before the fight even began, Pryor had his mouth bloodied in a scuffle with Young’s trainer Tommy Parks. Young scored a knockdown in the first round, staggered Pryor repeatedly and floored the ex-champion hard in the seventh with an overhand right. As referee Bernie Soto tolled the mandatory eight-count, a wobbly Pryor dropped to one knee and made the sign of the cross. Then Soto reached “10.”
 
 
“Lord, I’m so low down, baby, I declare I’m looking up at down.” – Big Bill Broonzy
 
 
His umpteenth comeback, in 1990, was a travesty. A sleazy fly-by-night promoter named Diana Lewis decided that Pryor would be enough of a sideshow attraction to make the harsh phrase “blood money” a remunerative reality. Nearly blind in one eye, Pryor was granted a license to fight in Wisconsin, whose Department of Licensing and Regulation ruled that denying the tattered Hawk the right to fight was tantamount to discrimination. Pryor stopped Darryl Jones, his pal of many years, in three farcical rounds and returned to the streets.
 
 
“All of it had to do with drugs. With crack. He has been assaulted – mentally, physically, sexually. He’s been beaten, not just with fists but with guns, sticks, bats. Some of these leeches have taunted him to shadowbox for them. They have mocked him, humiliated him, threatened him. All for what? A little rock of cocaine? For that trash, they’ve made him beg. Made him do unimaginable…” – Cincinnati trainer Mike Brown, 1993
 
 
Lying in a crackhouse, seemingly on the verge of death, Pryor finally has an epiphany. He is rushed to a hospital with bleeding ulcers and undergoes surgery. When he is released after two weeks – now sporting a long scar across his stomach, the last of several life marks – he heads straight for a church and to a new beginning, one that lasts for more than 20 years. Aside from a few national television appearances alongside his son Aaron Pryor, Jr., a journeyman super middleweight, the Hawk no longer has the spotlight on him. This new anonymity is a sign of serenity – something Pryor finally earned with blood and sweat, his last victorious fight. Aaron Pryor died of heart disease on October 9, 2016, at the age of 60.
 
 
 

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Last edited on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 05:41 am by Papa Voo



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 Posted: Sun Feb 24th, 2019 05:24 am
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Two things come to my mind when speaking about Aaron Pryor:

-His wild swinging and reckless flurries seeking to destroy his opponent.

-The “black bottle” incident. (The bottle was not even black 😁) The bottle was more gray in color. 


Good highlight clips of The Hawk

https://youtu.be/6sQkdcJW5FY

Clip of the “bottle” incident

https://youtu.be/00Z1QZaHqZ8

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Last edited on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 05:17 pm by Papa Voo



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 Posted: Sun Feb 24th, 2019 05:22 pm
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Mike Weaver vs. John Tate
March 31, 1980

Talk about going down like a ton of bricks!   


Thirty Years Later: Weaver vs. Tate Remembered

By Lee Groves

March 31, 2010

Thirty years ago today, a single left hook from Mike Weaver rewrote history in ways that couldn’t have been fathomed at the time. 

It turned Weaver from no-hope challenger to instant champion and separated John Tate not only from his senses but also from potential superfight riches. 
The dramatic finish that occurred at 2:15 of the 15th round produced shock waves that continue to ripple throughout boxing history. It serves as a definitive example of how a fighter can rescue himself from a seemingly hopeless situation and achieve the ultimate dream. 

On the flip side, it also serves as a cautionary tale for those who think they have a fight in his hip pocket and the sports world by the tail. 

That wondrous hook changed the lives of two men in triumphant and tragic ways and the following is a look back at the event that started it all.

On March 31, 1980. boxing was a sport that enjoyed a solid place in the mainstream consciousness. ABC cleared out its entire Monday night schedule to air a championship quadruple-header emanating from three diverse sites. 

The two highest profile fights of the night would take place in Landover, Md., where Sugar Ray Leonard made his first WBC welterweight title defense against Dave “Boy” Green and Las Vegas when WBC heavyweight champion Larry Holmes met the unbeaten Leroy Jones.
Leading off the four-plus hour telecast was a startling upset in Knoxville, Tenn., as perennial challenger Eddie Gregory dethroned WBA light heavyweight champion Marvin Johnson with an 11th round TKO. 

But most of the 12,769 who crowded into the Stokley Athletics Center on the University of Tennessee campus that evening came to see “Big” John Tate, a native of Arkansas who was now a regional icon. 

Following a successful amateur career that was capped by a bronze medal in the 1976 Olympics, Tate continued his roll into the pros as he disposed of Walter Santemore (twice), Eddie “The Animal” Lopez, Bernardo Mercado and Johnny Boudreaux to set up his first crossroads fight against Duane Bobick. 

Like Tate, Bobick was a highly decorated amateur star whose Olympic dreams were derailed by Cuban legend Teofilo Stevenson, the only difference being the year (1972 vs. 1976) and the round of the knockout (round three to round one). 

Despite his 48 victories (42 inside the distance), Bobick was best known for his 58-second knockout loss to Ken Norton in May 1977. Bobick had won eight straight after Kallie Knoetze stopped him in three rounds a year earlier and his experience was supposed to test Tate’s skill and composure.

What the nationwide audience instead witnessed was a blowout. Tate – usually so methodical that he was nicknamed “The Machine” – jumped on Bobick from the start and hammered him into submission after scoring two knockdowns. The ironic time – 2:15 of round one.

The spectacular showing earned Tate a spot in a four-man WBA tournament in 1979 to determine the successor for the retiring Muhammad Ali. Tate traveled to South Africa and knocked out Knoetze in eight while Gerrie Coetzee scored a stunning first round knockout of ex-champ Leon Spinks in Monte Carlo. Tate then returned to South Africa later in the year and decisioned Coetzee before 86,000 fans to win the belt.

Tate’s first challenger would be Weaver, who became the WBA’s mandatory challenger largely on his stirring but losing challenge to WBC champion Larry Holmes nine months earlier at Madison Square Garden.

Before the Holmes fight, Weaver was best known for an Adonis-like body that belied his weight of 207 ½ lb. He got his first taste of boxing when he served at Camp Lejeune between 1968 and 1971 and he turned pro in September 1972.

Overmatched early in his career, Weaver lost three of his first four fights and after 12 outings his record was a mediocre 6-6. Weaver slowly found his stride by winning eight straight fights but was knocked down a few pegs with back-to-back losses to Stan Ward and Leroy Jones.

Weaver eventually earned the notice of the WBC – and Holmes – by scoring five straight knockouts, including triumphs over Bernardo Mercado and Ward.

Still, the Holmes-Weaver match was so lightly regarded that it landed on a fledgling cable channel called HBO instead of the three broadcast networks. The title of one magazine article previewing the fight perfectly captured the mood of the populace – “Mike Who?”
Weaver ended up showing everyone who he was on June 22, 1979 as he pushed an ailing Holmes toward his physical and emotional limits. Holmes, however, once again demonstrated his giant fighting heart by knocking Weaver down with a vicious uppercut late in the 11th and pounding away at the challenger in the 12th until referee Harold Valan intervened.

If ever a loss enhanced a fighter’s standing, it was Weaver with the Holmes fight and the shot against “The Easton Assassin’s” titular counterpart was his reward. Another potential perk for the Tate-Weaver winner – especially if it was Tate – was a big-money fight with Ali, who decided that permanent retirement wasn’t yet in the cards.

The sudden and surprising end to Gregory-Johnson set the stage for what was to follow, only no one could have known it at the time. 

Going in, the conventional wisdom was that the 25-year-old Tate – a perfectly proportioned 6-4, 232-pounder – would use his three-inch height and two-and-a-half inch reach advantages to break down the plodding and phlegmatic challenger over the long haul. Though Tate had scored 16 knockouts in 20 previous wins, he wasn’t regarded as a one-shot artist.

On the other hand, the 21-9 (13 KO) Weaver was armed with knockout drops, especially in his left hook. Unlike Tate, Weaver had major problems in terms of output. He usually started slowly and didn’t speed up much after that but somewhere along the way he managed to slip in a big one or two and turn the tide for good.

With the crowd loudly chanting “Big John Tate,” their hero sprinted out of the gate. He used his bulk to force Weaver backward and his quicker hands to repeatedly bounce punches off the challenger’s face.

A hard right cross-left jab jolted Weaver midway through round two but most of the time Tate kept Weaver at bay with long, stabbing and accurate jabs. Weaver sneaked in an occasional hook, but most of the time he either whiffed or found himself entangled in Tate’s long arms.

The crowd roared in the third as Tate cut loose with combinations whose speed belied his massive size. Tate again tasted Weaver’s vaunted hook, but did little more than blink for a brief moment before resuming his assault.

Tate continued to pound away energetically in the fourth, and ABC’s Keith Jackson marveled at how a man of Tate’s size could maintain such a hard pace.
The blows, though numerous, had no discernable effect on Weaver. The challenger kept plugging away whenever he could and he even managed to open a small cut around Tate’s right eye.

Between rounds four and five Tate’s trainer Ace Miller urged his man to pace himself, and his charge dutifully obeyed by circling and firing long-range punches. That alone was enough to win the round because Weaver could not pull himself out of his offensive rut.
Tate returned to the attack in round six as an early right stunned the laid-back Californian. The defending champion was feeling so confident that he broke out into a modified Walcott shoulder shuffle.

Meanwhile, Weaver was showing little of the nerve and verve that powered his challenge against Holmes but he was getting in his fair share of jabs. Those did little to counteract Tate’s steady work, and midway through the seventh Tate amplified his growing points lead by pummeling Weaver along the ropes. The punches didn’t hurt Weaver in the classic sense but they did hurt his cause in a big way.

Weaver had to know he was trailing badly on the scorecards but the attitude he projected suggested he wasn’t overly concerned. A right uppercut jolted Weaver’s head in the eighth and Tate’s precise relentlessness carried the ninth as the crowd revved another chorus of “Big John Tate” chants.

Jackson reported in the 10th that Weaver’s corner was growing more frustrated with their man’s effort.

“You’re fighting for the heavyweight championship if the world and you’re not throwing any punches,” Jackson quoted the corner as saying. “You’ve got no chance to win the fight if you don’t go out and throw some punches.”

But it was Tate who was throwing the punches in the 10th. He pushed Weaver toward the ropes and belabored him with a two-fisted assault that brought back little response. Tate was doing whatever he pleased and Weaver did little to stop him from doing so.
“As you can see, Weaver didn’t go there to fight, he just went there to try to survive,” Holmes told Howard Cosell from his dressing room between rounds 10 and 11. “I think the people viewing this know who the real champion is. Larry Holmes is the world’s champion, the baddest guy in the whole world. And when I destroy Leroy Jones tonight they won’t have anything to say. I’m a fighting champ and I’ll destroy all of them. Tate does not impress me.”

He impressed everyone else with his array of skills, if not his punching power. Tate dominated the 11th with more long-range boxing and between rounds Weaver’s corner again implored their man to throw more punches. They - along with many other observers - couldn’t fathom how a fighter competing for a piece of boxing’s greatest prize could appear so listless and devoid of passion.

Weaver finally broke through the wall of Tate’s dominance in the 12th. Moments after Tate landed a short right to the chin a minute into the round, Weaver connected with an arcing hook that sent Tate reeling into the ropes. With the crowd suddenly jolted from their complacency it took Tate several long seconds to slap on a saving clinch. 
Weaver swung for the fences and missed wildly as Tate propped himself on the ropes, grabbing at every opportunity in order to clear his buzzing head. The crowd’s chants now had a imploring, nervous tone and between rounds Miller tried to prick Tate’s pride by ordering him to “act like a G** ***n champion.”

Curiously, Weaver allowed Tate to escape in the 13th by refusing to press his advantage. He simply followed the backpedaling champion around the ring and enabled Tate to re-establish his equilibrium.

As if his mathematical hole wasn’t deep enough, Weaver applied another shovelful in the 14th by losing a point for a low blow. Still, Weaver had one of his better rounds as he wobbled Tate with a hook in the final 23 seconds that had the champion sagging into the ropes.

Going into the last round, Weaver trailed 138-133, 137-134 and 136-133. The deeply religious Weaver silently recited the 23rd Psalm as he sat in his corner for the last time, for he knew that only a miracle could spare him the 10th – and perhaps most disappointing – loss of his pro career.

His corner, however, added another source of motivation, this much closer to home: “Your mama’s watching. Let’s go to work.”

Tate knew all he had to do was stay upright to retain his title. The combination of his heavy work rate and Weaver’s late-round damage had taken a toll on his stamina and he spent the first portion of the round clutching and grabbing whenever he got the chance. But for the first time in the fight, Weaver showed genuine urgency as well as a sustained attack.
With less than a minute to go, Weaver bulled the bigger but wearier man toward the ropes near the champion’s corner. Tate tried to shoulder Weaver away, but was met with a return shove that caused him to bounce into the strands.

It was here that Weaver was about to earn his spot in heavyweight championship lore.
Weaver made the most of the ropes’ boomerang effect as he first dug a right to the pit of Tate’s stomach, then uncorked a gorgeous short left hook that exploded off the side of the champion’s face.
Upon impact Tate’s body was transported to a semi-conscious purgatory as his torso swayed to the left and his arms awkwardly splayed sideward. 

Weaver finished the job with a final head snapping right to Tate’s dangerously exposed chin. Tate’s magnificently sculpted 232-pound body pitched forward and slammed the ground like a leaden log and showed just as much life as referee Magana tolled his superfluous count.
“Tate goes down on his face!” Jackson shouted. “Weaver hit him with a left hook and Tate’s down! He’s just beginning to move… the fight is over! Weaver’s knocked him out in the 15th round!” 

The shock and amazement at this turn of events jolted the collective consciousness; what had looked to be a routine title-retaining decision victory for Tate had suddenly turned into an ending for the history books. 

For Weaver, this incredible turnabout would be a touchstone moment and his ticket to boxing immortality. Unfortunately for the man nicknamed “Hercules,” his reign was marked by a pair of one-year layoffs triggered by outside-the-ring machinations that culminated in a highly controversial 63-second stoppage loss to Michael Dokes. 

Despite all the messiness that followed, the purity of Weaver’s title-winning triumph remains untouched. He fought on for 20 more years, challenging twice more for the title before retiring at age 49 following a sixth round TKO to a 51-year-old Holmes.
For Tate, the Weaver loss triggered a long and precipitous fall from grace. He became a punch line for comedians and commentators alike, especially after Tate suffered a second consecutive KO loss to the unheralded Trevor Berbick less than three months later. 
One particularly low point came in the May 1981 issue of Ring when an infamous poll not only named Tate the “worst” heavyweight champion of all time, his photo graced the cover. To be fair, the photo was used to tout George Vecsey’s feature story entitled “What ever happened to Big John Tate?” but wound up serving a dual purpose.

Tate built up a 10-fight win streak between February 1981 and August 1983 but he never again got close to challenging for a title. He retired for three years before staging a five-fight comeback from April 1986 to March 1988, but because he fought as high as 293 pounds it didn’t serve much purpose. A 10 round loss to Noel Quarless ended Tate’s career for good.

A 43-year-old Tate died from injuries sustained in a one-car accident in April 1988 that saw him suffer a stroke while driving and crash into a utility pole. His demise sparked a series of rhetorical questions because the start of his downfall was so easily ascertained.
What would Tate’s life have been like had he made it to the final bell against Weaver? Would he have fought Ali? Would Ali, in turn, have been spared from the beating he would suffer against Holmes had he lost to Tate? Or would Ali have suffered the same fate in a unification fight with Holmes had he beaten Tate?

If Tate beat Ali, what impact would that have had on his confidence, his standard of living or how he is perceived in history? Would he still be alive today?
There are similar “what-if” scenarios for Weaver.

Would a lopsided loss to Tate have prevented Weaver from getting a third title opportunity? Would he have been willing to take the long road back to another title shot and would he have emerged unscathed? How would Weaver be remembered had he lost a lopsided decision – or would he even be remembered at all?

The fates of boxing are cruel and kind at the same time and the events of March 31, 1980 show just how true that is.


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Great fight!  

Tate just needed to make it through one more round. 

Here is that last round: 

https://youtu.be/lKGXdj2gCvU

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Last edited on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 05:36 pm by Papa Voo



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Night of Champions...I remember it vividly. Good stuff.



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khawk wrote: Night of Champions...I remember it vividly. Good stuff.

That is the stuff I miss.  Nothing close to it today with the MMA stuff. 



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Mike Weaver vs Michael Dokes 

Weaver loses title with a controversial “quick” TKO

October 12, 1982 


Mike Weaver wandered around the edge of the ring pounding his fists together, a dazed and quizzical expression on his face. In the center of the ring, the same Las Vegas ring where one month earlier Korean lightweight Duk Koo Kim had suffered a fatal beating, Michael (Dynamite) Dokes lay face down, his legs jerking in ecstasy. A crowd of whooping followers swarmed over him. Meanwhile, Referee Joey Curtis was hurriedly escaping through the ropes. At 1:03 of the first round, Curtis had halted last Friday's bout between Weaver and Dokes and awarded the WBA heavyweight title to the 24-year-old challenger, Dokes. "Weaver was hurt bad. That's what I saw," Curtis said before disappearing.

But observers close to the action at Caesars Palace thought Curtis had made the wrong decision. Dr. Donald Romeo, the ringside physician, said, "They shouldn't have stopped it. The referee was wrong. Weaver was fine. The fact is he's just a notoriously slow starter." Sugar Ray Leonard thought Curtis must have "panicked." Larry Holmes, who like Leonard was on hand as a TV commentator, opined, "Curtis couldn't referee my kids in a baseball game."

The WBA official monitoring the fight, Nick Kerasiotis, said only that he was "very surprised" at the decision and that he wanted to review the films. The 30-year-old Weaver's handlers interrupted their outrage to quickly file a protest with the WBA and suggested to all who would listen that the fight had been fixed by promoter Don King, a Dokes adviser. (The WBA is expected to urge a rematch, but not to rule no contest and reschedule the fight, as the Weaver camp demanded.) King grinned like a demon and said little. King always grins like a demon, although he usually says a lot.

Dokes, who had been top-rated by both the WBA and WBC, rushed at Weaver at the opening bell and pummeled him. The big blow that began Weaver's fall was a left hook. Almost simultaneously Weaver fogged Dokes with a strong left hand of his own to the forehead, but Dokes's punch had by far the more telling effect. He followed it with a right and another left hook, and Weaver was down. Though he rose quickly and calmly took the mandatory eight count, thereafter he never made it five feet from where he got up. An 18-punch fusillade pinned him on the ropes. He was unable, or unwilling, to throw anything in return. Suddenly the hovering Curtis stepped between the fighters as though breaking them from a clinch. Instead, astonishingly, he led Dokes away and lifted his hands. The new champion sprang high in the air and crashed to the canvas, in the process banging his head harder than Weaver had been able to do. It seemed at first that Dokes, lying there twitching, was the one knocked out. Dr. Romeo's first concern, in fact, was for Dokes, not Weaver. "Dokes was on the floor in some kind of trance, some kind of euphoric state," he said.


When they realized the fight was over, the 4,500 fans, having paid as much as $50 a seat for the minute of action, began to boo and then chant "Bull——! Bull——!" and "Fix! Fix!" Meanwhile, a brawl broke out in the ring between the two camps. Dokes had demanded the championship belt that Weaver had worn into the ring. Audrin Weaver—why is it that brothers of fighters always seem to take losses so much more personally than the fighters themselves?—swiped at Dokes, precipitating a chaos that, coupled with the crowd's growing disgruntlement, persuaded ringmaster Chuck Hull that he would be best advised not to announce the TKO at all. He fled from the ring on Curtis' heels.


When the Caesars Palace musclemen at last got things calmed down, the dethroned champion's anger had abated, and he had regained his usual expression of blank beatitude. A still delirious Dokes had his arms around Weaver's neck. He was kissing him repeatedly. "I told him I loved him," said Dokes later. "And he said he'd ask God to bless me." Weaver was then carried on shoulders from the hall in a slow parade of moral victory.


Curtis appeared at King's postfight bash to press his case for the quick TKO. "I asked [Weaver] after the knockdown if he was all right, and he didn't give me a correct answer," Curtis said. Earlier Weaver had maintained that the referee had never talked to him, had never looked into his eyes to check him out. "I asked him, 'Are you O.K.?' " Curtis said hotly, "and he gave me a feeble 'O.K.,' so I decided to let it go on for a few more punches."


"You don't stop a champion without speaking to him," Weaver had charged.


"If he says I never said anything to him, he was more out of the picture than I thought," said Curtis.


Weaver and Curtis ended up calling each other liars. In truth, Curtis did speak to Weaver after the knockdown, but, as Weaver claimed, he didn't do so again, nor did he make any further effort to examine Weaver before declaring Dokes the winner.


A 10-year veteran with nine title fights to his credit, the 55-year-old Curtis had been chosen as referee only that morning at a meeting of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. "Kim was all they stressed at that meeting," he said. "And Kim was always in the back of my head." A day later, Roy Tennison, executive secretary of the commission, delivered a rare reproof, saying, "I think the ref overreacted because of all the safety talk. I recommend a rematch based on his stopping the fight too early and on Weaver's reaction [in the ring]. Weaver was real sharp and knew what he was doing."


Weaver, in fact, didn't do much of anything Friday night, which seems to be a pattern with him. He had fought only twice since he had knocked out John Tate for the title in March 1980, just when it seemed that Tate was about to add another loss to Weaver's mediocre record (22-9-0 upon winning the crown). His two title defenses were mildly courageous—particularly when he stopped Gerrie Coetzee after being hurt—but altogether lackluster. He has been totally eclipsed in the none-too-broad shadow of Holmes, the WBC title-holder who TKO'd Weaver in 1979. According to Bobby Lewis, Dokes's owlish trainer with the bristle-brush mustache, Weaver looks like Hercules—a nickname he despises—but fights like Hamlet: reflectively, if at all. Lewis had already beaten Weaver, with Duane Bobick in 1974, and was training Ron Lyle when Weaver came in as a sparring partner. "He left after about three days," Lewis recalls. "I didn't think he had the heart. So the plan was, go get him."


Dokes, out of Akron, had shown the speed of some welterweights on his way to a 25-0-1 record. He hasn't been knocked down since his amateur days when, at 17, he ran up against the great Teofilo Stevenson. That fight is notable in retrospect, because Dokes came out against the Cuban the same way he would against Weaver, wild-eyed and snorting. Stevenson dropped him in the first, but Dokes came back the same way in the final two rounds and roughed up Stevenson badly before losing a split decision. As a pro, Dokes's decisions over Tex Cobb and George Chaplin were undistinguished, but he had impressive KOs of such unworthies as Ossie Ocasio, John L. Gardner, Harry Terrell, Lynn Ball and Franco Thomas, whom he put away in an aggregate of 11 rounds. By Friday night he went in as nearly a 3-1 favorite.

The new champion didn't show up at the press conference following his triumph—he went back to the hotel and climbed into a bathtub that had been half filled with Taittinger champagne. Weaver, showing a three-inch line of swelling over his right temple, did appear, sitting next to his manager, Don Manuel, and Audrin, both of them red-eyed. Manuel said, "The last thing I told Mike before the bell rang was to watch out for the early rush. 'If Dokes throws a lot of punches, and you don't throw any, they'll stop the fight.' It was just like it was scripted." But Manuel stopped short of the word fix. Dokes, who appeared later in a champagne-soaked red robe outside his room, didn't, though. When asked about the charges, he said fiercely, "Do you think the knockdown was a fix? Do you? Do you?" Then he smiled as broadly as possible for someone who isn't Don King. "Did you want another Duk Koo Kim?" he asked.

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Last edited on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 06:47 pm by Papa Voo



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Michael Dokes Obituary


Died August 11, 2012

(What a lifestyle!) 

Michael Dokes, who used his swift, punishing fists to become the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1982 and, 15 years later, to beat his live-in girlfriend so savagely that he was convicted of attempted murder, died on Saturday at a hospice in Akron, Ohio. He was 54.
The cause was liver cancer, his brother Kevin said.

Dokes, who was known by the nickname Dynamite, aspired to a larger-than-life persona, wearing fedoras and mink coats, and entering the ring blowing kisses and tossing roses to women in the crowd. He claimed to have bathed in $20,000 worth of Champagne.
But his career was a roller coaster of ups and downs remarkable even for his rough-and-tumble sport. His mother pushed him toward boxing to stop him from fighting on the streets of Akron, and he won national amateur heavyweight titles as a teenager. In 1977, at 18, he fought a 35-year-old Muhammad Ali in a highly publicized exhibition match in Miami, and in 1982, at 24, he scored a technical knockout of Mike Weaver in just over a minute in Las Vegas to win the World Boxing Association heavyweight crown.

He lost the title nine months later to Gerrie Coetzee, and later confessed that he had used cocaine less than 48 hours before the fight. He was convicted of at least three charges of drug possession and trafficking, and was in and out of narcotics rehabilitation programs. Boxing Insider quoted him saying that he once trained for a fight on “Jack Daniel’s and cocaine.”

He compiled a 53-6-2 professional record with 34 knockouts. Some of his fights won high praise. Ring magazine called his 1989 bout with Evander Holyfield, who scored a technical knockout in the 10th round, the best heavyweight battle of the 1980s. Holyfield said Dokes’s hands were the swiftest he had encountered.


Other fights were disasters. In a title bout against Riddick Bowe in 1993 at Madison Square Garden (the gate receipts of $1.4 million set a Garden record), Dokes was beaten so brutally in the first round that the referee stopped the fight. Dokes had downed a huge plate of pasta before the match, The Plain Dealer of Cleveland reported.


“The past is history, the future isn’t here yet, and the present is linguine and clam sauce,” he told the newspaper.


Michael Marshall Dokes was born on Aug. 10, 1958, in Akron, where he grew up. He was runner-up for the Amateur Athletic Union and the Golden Gloves titles in 1974 before winning the A.A.U. title in 1975 and the Golden Gloves in 1976.


In the 1975 Pan American Games, he lost a 3-2 decision to Teófilo Stevenson, the powerful Cuban heavyweight who died in June. Dokes’s amateur record was 147-7, including victories over the future heavyweight champions John Tate and Greg Page.  Dokes, who was 6 feet 3 inches and had a 78-inch reach, never won a fight as a heavyweight champion. 

His rematch with Weaver was scored a draw, meaning that he kept the title.

In 2000, three years after his retirement from boxing, he pleaded guilty in a Nevada state court to attempted murder, second-degree kidnapping and intent to commit sexual assault for attacking Sandra Kaye Cummings, his girlfriend of more than nine years. Her injuries, which included a broken nose and cheekbone, were so severe, the police said, that she could not be recognized in a driver’s license photograph. He was sentenced to 10 years, and after being paroled in 2008 he returned to Akron.

In addition to his brother Kevin, Dokes is survived by his sister, Alisa Dokes Williams, and his brothers Steven and Charles.


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Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini vs Duk-Koo Kim

November 13, 1982 




The tragic title fight that changed boxing


Article from November 6, 2012


SEOUL — Thirty years ago this month, South Korean boxer Kim Duk-Koo entered a Las Vegas ring for a world championship bout that would end with his death, trigger at least one suicide and change the sport forever.

For a generation of South Koreans, millions of whom watched live on television, the fight between Kim and world lightweight champion, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, remains a powerful memory.
Now a new book and accompanying documentary that coincide with the 30th anniversary hope to shed fresh light on the bout, its tragic aftermath and the impact it had on the lives and families of its two protagonists.For Kim, then 23 and fighting for the first time in the United States, the glitz of Caesar’s Palace with its celebrity audience including the likes of Frank Sinatra, was a different universe from his impoverished upbringing in Korea.

“I remember when we landed in Las Vegas for the fight,” his trainer, Kim Yoon-Gu, now 56, recalled.

“The city was all lit up at night. It was like landing on a garden of flowers in the desert. We’d never seen anything like it,” he told Agence France-Presse at the boxing gym he runs in Seoul.

US boxing commentators had pretty much written Kim Duk-Koo off before the November 13, 1982 clash with Mancini, a powerful 21-year-old from Youngstown, Ohio making his second defense of the world title.

But Kim was confident. Before leaving Seoul he had a carpenter rig up a mock coffin which he said he would use to bring back Mancini after the fight.

Unimpressed with such bravado, his trainer stomped it to pieces which he then hid under the ring in Kim’s training camp.



A brutal fight


The fight when it came was a particularly brutal one.


For 13 rounds, the two men went toe-to-toe in a slugging match that left both with badly swollen faces and struggling to see through bruised, puffed-up eyes.
At the end of the 13th, Kim Yoon-Gu tried to lift his fighter, telling him Mancini was exhausted and exhorting him to put in one last effort to finish him off.
“He clenched his teeth, nodded and said ‘Yes, I’ll do that’. And that was it. That was the last thing he ever said,” Kim said.

At the beginning of the 14th, Mancini connected with a straight right that snapped Kim’s head back and sent him crashing to the canvas.


The Korean managed to haul himself up by the ropes to beat the count, but referee Richard Green stepped in to stop the fight.

Kim Yoon-Gu had been tending to his corner and missed the actual knockout blow, but when he saw Kim on the ground, he knew at once that the fight was over.
“He was obviously hurt, but at that time we had no idea it was so serious,” he said.


Back in his corner, Kim collapsed and was taken from the ring on a stretcher to hospital where he was diagnosed with a blood clot on the brain and underwent emergency surgery.
He lapsed into a coma from which he never recovered and four days later he died.

On the flight back to South Korea, a traumatised Kim Yoon-Gu locked himself in the toilet and “cried and cried until we landed. 


“I thought about quitting the sport entirely. In the end, I decided to stick with it, but it was a very, very difficult time,” he said at his gym where photos and posters of Kim Duk-Koo adorn the walls.




Suicide, depression and redemption

The consequences of the Kim-Mancini bout were far-reaching and tragic in their own right.
Four months after her son’s death, Kim’s distraught mother killed herself by drinking a bottle of pesticide.

Four months after that, referee Richard Green also took his own life, although there was no indication that his suicide was linked to the outcome of the fight for which he was never held in any way responsible.

Mancini, a devout Catholic, endured a prolonged period of depression and, although he fought again, was never the same boxer.

“In all the obvious ways, he was haunted,” American sportswriter Mark Kriegel, author of a new biography of Mancini titled “The Good Son,” told AFP in a telephone interview.

“He also got over it. The complications for Ray have more to do with the fact that the rest of the world didn’t get over it and continued using that fight as a kind of reference point for his life,” Kriegel said.

Kriegel’s book, and an accompanying documentary of the same name, climax with an emotional reunion in June last year between Mancini and Kim’s family.

Kim’s fiancee, Lee Young-Mee, had been pregnant at the time of the 1982 title fight and seven months later gave birth to a son, Kim Jiwan, now 29.

While being interviewed by Kriegel for the book, Jiwan had suggested a trip to the United States to meet with Mancini.

“As full of duty and obligation as Ray was, he wasn’t going to turn down a request from the son of the man who, without intention, died at his hands,” Kriegel said.


At the meeting in Mancini’s home, Jiwan admitted to the “hatred” he once felt for the boxer, before absolving him of any blame.

“I think it was not your fault,” he said.

The Kim-Mancini bout proved to be a watershed in boxing, triggering a series of major changes to the sport.

Championship bouts were reduced from 15 to 12 rounds, the standing eight-count was introduced and the medical tests required of boxers before a fight were overhauled.




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Duk-Koo Kim

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