BOXING “GOOD GUY” ALLEN ROSENFELD PASSES AWAY
– Ron Ross
Allen Rosenfeld, boxing historian, writer and author of the highly acclaimed “Charley Burley, The Life & Hard Times of an Uncrowned Champion” lost a hard fought battle to leukemia Saturday on his 79th birthday. Allen was my dear friend and his passing leaves a great void. Then again, Allen was a friend to all who knew him in the boxing community. To know him was to love him. He was this sweet-natured, gentle guy who had that special ability to bring a smile to the faces of all around him.
Next to his loving wife Ruth, his daughters Nancy and Jennifer and granddaughter Millie, the boxing world was his passion, which, in itself, was as easy to accept as trying to squeeze a square peg in a round hole – it simply didn’t fit. Allen Rosenfeld conjured up an image of a smile and gentle pat on the cheek, not a snarl and punch on the jaw.
A Michigan native, Allen received a Master’s Degree from Wayne State University then joined the family’s real estate business, which became his life-long “primary” career, but it was his “secondary” career, that of a “gym rat” that was his true passion. The romantic lure of Times Square, Madison Square Garden and Stillman’s Gym drew Rosenfeld like a magnet. Still a teenager, he would make the 300-mile drive from Michigan to New York in a jalopy with some friends just to share in the atmosphere of Lou Stillman’s world-renowned fistic emporium. He boxed as an amateur in the 1940’s-50’s and in the service. He wasn’t a champ. He was just a guy doing something that he loved.To Allen, it wasn’t about winning or losing – it was about being a part of a world that was his Camelot and all the knights in this world shed their suits of armor for satin shorts and leather gloves. His passion led him to become a boxing writer for Boxing & Wrestling Illustrated and Ring Magazine.
I’m going to miss those frequent packages in the mail of boxing articles and tidbits of interest that he would send to make sure I was kept abreast of all recent and historic information. I’m going to miss his way of making you feel good about yourself and mostly I’m going to miss his true friendship.
From fighters he wrote about to fellow scribes, historians and just anyone that happened to make his acquaintance in the boxing community, his loss will be felt but Allen Rosenfeld will not be soon forgotten. His strongly researched and magnificently crafted biography of Charley Burley will serve as his legacy to that world.
Farewell, dear friend.