Final Bell March 2017

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FINAL BELL

LOU DUVA – Lou Duva passed away March 8, 2017. His mighty heart stopped beating two months shy of his 95th birthday. And in this case, an era has truly passed, an era where a handshake was the most important contract and a “boxing guy” was someone who worked full-time in the business and did so for love first (yes, the money was important as well). Lou learned boxing by hanging out in Stillman’s Gym in the 1930s, where his older brother trained. He earned his living as a truck driver, but spent every evening after work at the gym, absorbing the lessons of the established trainers and managers. It wasn’t just the boxers who fascinated Lou, but the business itself. He would hitch-hike to training camps and help out in corners at local fights (Duva had a brief pro career in the 1940s, but realized his calling was outside the ropes). Lou and two of his brothers saved enough money to open a boxing gym in the 1950s in Paterson. In December 1955, they promoted their first pro show at the Paterson Armory. Sugar Ray Robinson boxed an exhibition on that show. Lou helped Joey Giardello secure his middleweight title shot against Dick Tiger. He became close to Rocky Marciano. His work changed from trucking to bail bonds, but boxing was his constant. His five children helped in the boxing endeavors. Hard work created good luck. The Duvas found a terrific venue in Totowa to promote club shows. ESPN, in its infancy, televised some of the events. At this time, Lou met Shelly Finkel, a 34-year-old concert promoter. Finkel was promoting a USA-Poland amateur event and Lou was asked by the head the USA amateur boxing team to help Finkel. They formed a dream team, with Lou’s son Danny as the head of the promotional outfit (Main Events), Shelly as manager of its top boxers, Lou as co-manager and cornerman with Georgie Benton and Ace Marotta rounding out the corner. Main Events landed the epic Leonard-Hearns fight in 1981 and for the next 15 years dominated the business. Lou’s craggy mug became the face of boxing. But he was more than just a personality – I know that from personal experience. The first time I saw Lou Duva was June 10, 1991 at the Meadowlands Convention Center in Seacacus. I was covering a Joe Gatti fight (Arturo made his pro debut on the undercard) on a Main Events show. A fight broke out in the crowd between two pretty large fellows. Lou left the corner of one of the undercard boxers and broke up the fight in the crowd. Forcefully (not excessively). He was 69 years old then. He was as quick mentally as he was physically. When Hasim Rahman was whipping David Tua during their first fight, Lou was in Tua’s corner (I was working with Rahman’s promoter). Tua, way behind on the cards, hit Rahman well after the bell ending the 9th round. The referee, pretty inexperienced at that time, was contemplating what to do when Lou leapt into the ring and starting jabbering at the ref, waving his arms, pointing his finger. He was literally talking gibberish. The ref spent most of the 60 seconds hustling Lou back to the corner and trying to calm him down and whatever thought the referee had of disqualifying Tua, or giving Rahman five minutes to recover, was lost in Lou’s outburst. Inside, Lou was completely calm – he was the only one who actually kept his head. And he won Tua that fight. Like any other boxing person, I knew Lou, first as a writer, then a matchmaker. As a writer, he once asked me why I didn’t do a story on how drugs were destroying modern fighters (he knew this firsthand, losing Rocky Lockridge and Johnny Bumphus to dope). I blew him off, not wanting to do a puff piece on the dangers of drugs. How wrong I was (and how right Lou turned out to be). As a matchmaker, one of my proudest moments was just a brief incident. I was walking ringside at a Cedric Kushner show when I heard a voice: “Hey Eric. When are you going to leave that fat bastard and start working for me?” I literally looked behind me to make sure Lou wasn’t talking to someone else. Lou Duva thought I was good enough to work for him. I’ll never forget how good that made me feel. Lou had his first heart attack in 1979. His doctor told him the stress of boxing and his diet were contributing factors. Lou loved boxing. And pasta. Bread. Wine. He didn’t cut back on any of it. “Everybody has to die sometime,” he said in an interview shortly after his heart attack. “When I go, I want it to be doing something I love. But, believe me, it’s not going to be easy for me to die. It’s not going to be easy at all.” Lou lived 38 more years after that heart attack. He did die hard. But more importantly, he lived well. He was one of the heads of this family that is boxing, the last of the fathers of boxing’s greatest generation. God speed. Eric Bottjer

BHEKI MOYO  – The South African born British light middleweight trial horse known as ‘Becks-Tiger’  was a veteran of 75 four and six round contests. He fought out of Earl’s Court, London and died March, 2017 at age 42. He fought professionally from 2005 to 2015 and compiled a record of 0-73-2. He was stopped 6 times. BoxRec

TERRY HANNA –  The Belfast, Northern Ireland bantamweight died February 25, 2017 at age 62. Terry was a car panel beater by trade. He was a former three-time Ulster amateur bantamweight champion while representing the Belfast Immaculata Club. His excellent amateur form, however, did not transfer to the paid ranks, losing all six bouts from 1977 to 1979. BoxRec

PETER SHARPE – The Belfast, Northern Ireland welterweight died February 25, 2017 at age 62. He fought professionally from 1955 to 1968 and compiled a record of 44-37-1 (KOs 19) and was stopped 5 times. During his career he won Northern Ireland Area Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, and Irish Middleweight Titles. Some of his most prominent opponents include Brian Curvis, Mick Leahy, Wally Swift, Tom Bogs, Bunny Sterling, Pierre Fourie, Les McAteer, Fortunato Manca, Boswell St Louis, Bo Hogberg, Bo Patterson, Johnny Kramer and Peter McLaren. BoxRec

LEROY BENSON – The Saint Paul, MN middleweight died February 23, 2017 at age 83. He fought professionally from 1957 to 1968 and compiled a record of 6-2-1 (KOs 1) and was stopped once. After his professional career he had a long successful career as a referee and boxing judge. BoxRec

RICARDO DOMINGUEZ – The Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico lightweight passed away on February 21, 2017 due to colon cancer at the age of 31.  He fought professionally from 2001 to 2014 and compiled a record of 37-11-2 (KOs 22) and was stopped 4 times. Dominquez was unsuccessful in two bids for lightweight titles; losing a 12 round decision to Humberto Soto for the WBC title on May 15, 2010; losing a 12 round decision to Miguel Vazquez for the IBF title on November 27, 2010. BoxRec

PATRICK LANE – The Saint Paul, Minnesota Light-heavyweight died February 19, 2017 at age 85. He fought professionally in 1951 and compiled a record of 6-2-0 (KOs 3). He was stopped twice. BoxRec

EDDIE MARCINKO – The Baltimore, MD featherweight died February 18, 2017 at age 91. He fought professionally in 1943 and compiled a record of 1-1-1 (KOs 1). He was stopped once. BoxRec

MARTY FELDMAN From J Russell Peltz on February 14, 2017. Marty Feldman passed away today at 83 and I feel like crying. That’s him in the photo from the early 1980s with one of this prize pupils, Frank “The Animal” Fletcher, the Southwest Philly middleweight who was one of boxing’s most exciting TV fighters back then. Marty won 23 of 25 fights as a middleweight pro in the 1950s and early 1960s, fighting out of Paterson, NJ, but it was as a trainer that I knew him, working with fighters like Augie Pantellas, Fletcher, Prince Charles Williams and Dave Tiberi and many, many others. We were as close as two people could be in this wonderful (?) business. Marty taught me a lot about people and a lot about life. I first met him when I was 22. I popped into a deli in West Philly where he was working. It was at the beginning of my career and I tried to get Augie Pantellas, the Broomall, PA, featherweight Marty was training, to fight for me. Marty always reminded me there was no such thing as 99% loyalty. He told me you’re either 100% or you’re nothing. Don’t ever tell someone you’ve been with him in the past, but THIS time you have to go the other way. NOT! That didn’t cut it in Marty’s world. Either you’re 100% or get lost. I learned this first-hand. I had been promoting Trenton featherweight Sammy Goss at the Blue Horizon and Lou Lucchese had been promoting Pantellas at the old Arena and the biggest fight you could make at the time was between those two. One night they were both being showcased on a card promoted by Herman Taylor at The Spectrum in the summer of 1970. After Goss and Pantellas each scored victories, I did something that you just don’t do–I went into their respective dressing rooms and tried to get them to sign contracts to fight each other. You never, ever go into another promoter’s dressing room and try to conduct business. Long-time manager Joe Gramby explained that to me afterward. Anyway, Goss signed on the spot but Marty said there was no way Pantellas would sign, that it wasn’t enough money, which, of course, was not the real reason. Then Sam Margolis, the manager of Pantellas, said that if Herman Taylor didn’t promote the fight then the fight wasn’t going to happen. Sam and Herman went back a long way and Sam wanted Herman to have the fight. “That’s interesting,” Marty said. “I’d sure like to see Goss in the ring all by himself that night because Panetllas won’t be there unless Lou Lucchese is the promoter.”Years later, when we got close, Marty said: “Augie had 22 fights at the time and Lucchese had promoted almost all of them. How could I tell Lucchese, who had done all those shows for small money and helped build Augie Pantellas that when the payoff fight comes around we’re gonna go somewhere else. You don’t treat people that way.”Lucchese wound up promoting the fight on Oct. 6, 1970, and it drew more than 10,000 fans to The Spectrum at a time when little guys simply were not that popular. Goss won by decision. Marty and I got close after that and I remember once saying that if one of my sons ever became a boxer, I wouldn’t let anyone train him but Marty. It may not have been a popular statement with other trainers, but it was true. There are so many great stories I could write about my time with Marty. This is indeed a sad day.

BOBBY DALDY – The Melbourne, Victoria, Australia junior lightweight died February 3, 2017 at age 72. He fought professionally from 1963 to 1968 and compiled a record of 18-8-2 (KOs 7). He was stopped 3 times. During his career he held the Australian junior lightweight title and fought such fighters as Johnny Famechon, Toro George, Young Nasser, Less Dunn, Ray Perez, Steve Parsons and Max Murphy.  BoxRec

YOUNG MANNERS – The Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia featherweight, born  Kevin James Sellick, died in February 2017 at age 72. He fought professionally from 1953 to 1961 and compiled a record of 9-4-2 (KOs 7). He was stopped 2 times.  BoxRec

TONY LaBARBARA – Ring 44 Boxing Hall of Fame member Tony Labarbara passed away on January 30, 2017 at the age of 79. Tony had a short amateur career highlighted by a runner-up finish in the 1956 Buffalo Golden Gloves. Labarbara won his first 14 professional fights when he headlined a fight against tough Ike Chestnut at Memorial Auditorium in April of 1962. The winner was promised a shot at  Jr. Lightweight champion Flash Elorde. Unfortunately the bout ended in a draw and neither fighter received their chance at a world title. In 1964 Tony was signed to fight Frankie Narvaez at Madison Square Garden again for the right to fight Flash Elorde for the title. Tony entered the ring with a record of 17-1-2 against Narvaez’s record of 16-1-1 but he would lose by TKO in the fifth round. Labarbara took some time off after this fight to train fighters like Tony Ventura, operate a health club, and work a civil service job.  In 1968 the lure of the ring was too great for Tony and he recorded a 4-0-1 record before deciding to hang up the gloves for good in 1969 compiling a 21-2-3, 7 KOs record. Tony ran his longtime used car business on the west side of Buffalo until he became too ill to continue. Bob Caico

JEAN ARVILLE – The Paris, France welterweight, born in Longny-au-Perche, Orne, France, died January 25, 2017 at age 88. He fought professionally from 1953 to 1956 and compiled a record of 10-3-1 (KOs 5). He was stopped once.  BoxRec

ISMAEL GUTIERREZ – The Chihuahua, Mexico bantamweight died January 24, 2017 at age 79. He fought professionally from 1958 to 1966 and compiled a record of 8-17-0 (KOs 6). He was stopped 9 times.  BoxRec

SALVADOR HUERTA –  The Tijuana, Mexico lightweight died January 18, 2017 at age 67. He fought professionally in 1979 and compiled a record of 0-2-1 (KOs 1). He was stopped once.  BoxRec

SHUICHI HOZUMI –  The former world rated flyweight contender died January 11, 2017 at age 57. He fought professionally from 1977 to 1987 and compiled a record of 29-5-0 (KOs 8) and was stopped 2 times. Hozumi, a Japanese light-flyweight, flyweight and OPBF flyweight champion, was unsuccessful in two bids for world flyweight titles; losing by second round stoppage to Santos Laciar for the WBA title on May 5, 1983; losing a 12 round decision to Hilario Zapata for the WBA title on April 7, 1986. BoxRec

JACKIE DONNELLY – Former 1960s world lightweight contender Jackie Donnelly of Buffalo, New York died on January 9, 2017. He was 81. Donnelly fought professionally from 1958-1963 and compiled a record of 26-2-1 (KOs 11). He was stopped once. Before he turned professional he was the 1957 Buffalo golden gloves champion and was an air force champion. Between September 1961 and February 1962 he was ranked as high as the # 8 lightweight in the world by The Ring magazine. He earned his # 8 rating by defeating Paolo Rosi for the New York State Lightweight Title in Buffalo, New York on July 8, 1961. During his career he defeated such fighters as Paolo Rosi (split 2 fights), Dickie DiVeronica (twice), Orlando Zulueta, Tommy Tibbs, Chico Velez, Benny Gordon, Rocky Randall and Mickey Driscoll. Besides Paolo Rosi, who stopped him in the second round of their rematch, his only other loss was to Bobby Scanlon for the New York State Lightweight Title in Buffalo, NY on May 3, 1960. After retiring from the ring, he spent many years giving back to the community by volunteering and coaching youth boxing in Western New York. Bob Caico

CECIL ARMSTRONG – The former Aylesham amateur boxer died in early January 2017 at the age of 84. Armstrong was the first and only boxer from the area, until Shane McGuigan in recent times, to be rated in the top 10 British Amateur Ratings – making #10. The British Amateur Ratings were featured in The Ring magazine October 1952 issue, page 63. As a coal miner (which he was all his working life) he represented Snowdown Collier in the National Coal Board (N.C.B) Championships, doing well each year he entered. His father eventually advised him to give up boxing as he couldn’t get the training facilities in this little corner of Kent that the other N.C.B. boxers in other parts of the country got. This was also true for amateur bouts he entered with non N.C.B. boxers from London, etc. In later years he was well known as an official for Kent in the Dart’s World. As a boxer he won more than he lost. Harold Alerderman, M.B.E.

JIMMY DINARDO  The Berlin, NH welterweight, born Vincent Dinardo in Berlin, NH on June 3, 1930, died January 9, 2017 at age 86. He fought professionally from 1946 to 1949 and compiled a record of 23-13-4 (KOs 14). He was stopped 5 times.  BoxRec

EDWARD JAMES BERNARD – The Reverend Edd Bernard, age 69 and long-time resident of Plymouth, MA, died suddenly on January 4, 2017. He was raised in Hull and Quincy, MA where he developed a love and skill for boxing which would lead him to winning the Greater Lowell, MA 118 pound Open Class Golden Gloves title in 1969 under the name Eddie Lehan. Edd’s distinction within the ring will be recognized on April 9, 2017 when he will formally be inducted into the Ring 4 Veterans Boxers Association Hall of Fame. Boxing, however, was not to be Edd’s greatest calling. Though he was a great athlete and would earn his black belt and teach martial arts, Rev Edd was drawn by God to ministry. He received his BA in religion from Nyack College, and attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary as well as Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, NY. He was ordained in 1983 and became pastor of several local churches, most recently, Halifax Congregational Church in Halifax, MA. When he wasn’t behind the pulpit Rev Edd took great delight in counseling and celebrating the lives of the young people in his community. Known for being down-to-earth and approachable, Rev Edd was loved by young and old alike, a confidant to many, and will be missed by all. Ring 4 VBA

JOHN KELLY – John Kelly one of Belfast, Ireland’s finest boxers died on December 29, 2016 at the age of 84. Born in the city in 1932, Kelly fought his way to glory in the 1950s, taking the Irish, British and European bantamweight champion titles. Between December 1953 and May 1954 he was ranked as high as the # 3 bantamweight in the world by The Ring magazine. Following a successful period as an amateur, Kelly had his first professional bout in 1951, winning against Peter Morrison by a technical knockout, and his last in 1957, when he knocked out Teddy Barker at the King’s Hall. Along the way the 5 ft 4 in fighter had 28 bouts, winning 24 (14 by KOs). In June 1953 he defeated Bunty Doran by 11th round retirement at the Ulster Hall. The victory brought Kelly both the Irish bantamweight title and the British Boxing Board of Control Northern Ireland area title. In October that same year, and still undefeated as a professional, Kelly won both the British and European bantamweight titles after a fifteen-round bout against Peter Keenan in the King’s Hall. That year of 1953 was to be the peak of his career in the ring. In early 1954 he lost his European title to France’s Robert Cohen, and later in the year also lost his British title to Peter Keenan. Kelly, who lived at Shaftesbury Avenue in the city’s Ormeau Road area, died peacefully after a long illness. Belfast Telegraph

BOBBY FLORES  The Houston, TX heavyweight died December 29, 2016 at age 38. He fought professionally from 2004 to 2009 and compiled a record of 7-2-0 (KOs 7). He was stopped once.  BoxRec

MARIANO PEREZ –  The Melilla, Ciudad de Melilla, Spain junior welterweight died December 27, 2016 at age 68. He fought professionally from 1969 to 1981 and compiled a record of 24-7-0 (KOs 14). He was stopped 5 times.  During his career he held the Spanish junior welterweight championship from November 8, 1975 to June 5, 1976. BoxRec

GORDON KILEY –  The Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada welterweight died December 26, 2016 at age 89. He fought professionally from 1947 to 1954 and compiled a record of 6-3-4 (KOs 3). BoxRec

BENNY RUSK –  The Atlantic City, New Jersey heavyweight died December 24, 2016 at age 91. He fought professionally from 1942 to 1948 and compiled a record of 19-15-6 (KOs 12). He was stopped 2 times. During his career he fought such fighters as Roland LaStarza, Pal Silvers, Billy Grant, Larry Kellum and Billy Williams. BoxRec

LUCINIO SCONFIETTI  The Lombardia, Italy light-heavyweight born in Lombardia, Italy on October 2, 1926 died December 24, 2016 at age 90. He fought professionally from 1950 to 1951 and compiled a record of 1-1-2. BoxRec

DANIEL GUTIERREZ – The former 1960s Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico bantamweight died December 24, 2016 at the age of 72. He was born Daniel Gutiérrez Delgado in San Luis Potosí, Mexico on May 8, 1944 and fought professionally from 1964-1970. While he is listed as having fought 20 times, many of his early fights in Mexico have not been officially recorded. During his career he fought such fighters as Ruben Olivares, Efren Torres, Ocatvio Gomez, Lenny Brice, Manuel Flores, Orlando Amores, Armando Villa, Ramiro Garcia and Pedro Cordero. His listed record is 11-9-0 (KOs 5). He was stopped 4 times. BoxRec

SHAWN POWELL  The Schenectady, New York featherweight born in Saratoga Springs, New York on February 25, 1972 died December 11, 2016 at age 45. He fought professionally from 1993 to 1999 and compiled a record of 11-13-1 (KOs 7). He was stopped 4 times. BoxRec

JAMES ARTHUR LIVINGSTON, JR. – James Arthur “June Bug” Livingston, Jr., 60 of Trenton, NJ. died December 22, 2016 at Capitol Health Regional Medical Center. Born in Trenton, NJ, June Bug was a lifelong area resident. He was educated in the Trenton Public School System. James started boxing in 1970. He quickly took to the sport and won his first Golden Gloves title in 1972. He had 209 fights over the course of his career with an outstanding record of 196 wins and 13 losses. Some of his accomplishments include being a three time Golden Gloves Champion, a three time AAU Champion, National Golden Gloves and AAU runner up, Original Champion World Games, #1 Ranked Flyweight, USA Boxing Team 1973 and Bronze Medalist 1973 Pan Am Games. Livingston fought professionally from 1979-1982 and compiled a record of 5-3-0 (KOs 5). He was stopped twice. Bug had a tremendous impact in boxing and dedicated his life to training hundreds of kids in Trenton. In addition to a love of boxing, he was also a professional barber. The Trentonian

MELTON BOWEN – Former Miami, Florida based heavyweight Melton Bowen died November 22, 2016 at the age of 47. He lived and trained in Miami, reportedly working with Robert Daniels and Jose Ribalta. He fought professionally from 1987 to 2007 and compiled a record of 35-9-0 (KOs 28). He was stopped seven times. On December 16, 1994 he made an unsuccessful venture into MMA. He was the first fighter ever to wear MMA gloves in the UFC. After his fighting career Bowen worked as a Miami-Dade County Schools’ security guard. BoxRec

DAVID “SMOKEY” DAVIES – Davies of Gillingham, Kent born in Mitcham, Sorrey on December 21, 1939 died of colon cancer on October 12, 2016 aged 76. His dad was a Welsh “Booth” boxer who boxed as “Young Stewart” (he boxed on the Stewart Family’s Booths). He started boxing as a schoolboy in Mitcham and came to Kent when called up for national service in 1958 and met his wife Lily, daughter of ex pro boxer Billy Mannering (Chatham)  and once out of the Army he stayed in Kent and continued boxing. He boxed for Aylesham Paper Mills A.B.C. and St. Mary’s Chatham, Kent. Although he never reached the heights he would box anyone near his weight from welterweight up to light-heavyweight. He also had a few booth bouts as well as helping to train manager Gus Harris’ stable of pros.  He also sparred countless rounds with pro heavyweight Alex Barrow. Davies loved to fight and often came in as a last minute substitute when he had just gone along to watch. As much as he loved to fight, he never had a fight outside the ring. He was a bricklayers hoddie by trade, a long time member of the London Ex-Boxers Association and the Kent Ex-Boxers Association. Harold Alerderman, M.B.E.

 

MAY THEY ALL REST IN PEACE!