Final Bell January 2018

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Ellsworth (Spider) Webb –  Word reached us on January 12, 2018 that the former 1950s – 1960s middleweight contender passed away in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 23, 2017 at the age of 86. He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 20, 1931 and campaigned out of Chicago, Illinois. As an amateur he won NCAA junior titles in 1950 and 1951 at Compton Junior College. After graduating from Compton, Ellsworth entered Idaho State where he won NCAA light middleweight titles in 1952 and 1953. In four years of college competition he went undefeated in 71 fights, winning 57 of his fights by knockout. Ellsworth was also a member of the great 1952 U.S. Olympic Team that won five gold medals at Helsinki. Unfortunately, he wasn’t one of the winners. He had the misfortune of meeting Hungary’s legendary Laslo Papp, the 1948 Olympic middleweight gold medalist who also went on to capture gold in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics. Papp, a hard-hitting southpaw, knocked out Webb in the second round.  After the Olympics Webb returned to Idaho State and repeated as NCAA champion in 1953. After his college career ended he turned professional under the tutelage of outstanding Chicago trainer Carl Nelson and made his professional debut on July 1, 1953. Between November 1956 and February 1961 he was ranked as high as # 2 in the world by The Ring magazine. Webb was unsuccessful in his only bid for a world title when he lost a 15 round unanimous decision to N.B.A. champion Gene Fullmer in Logan, Utah on December 4, 1959. Spider was the quintessential boxer-puncher who engaged in many exciting fights in his forty fight professional career that began in 1953 and ended in 1961. He finished with a career record of 34-6-0 (KO 19/KO by 1). During his career he defeated such fighters as Joey Giardello, Dick Tiger (split 2 fights), Terry Downes, Rory Calhoun, Holly Mims (split 2 fights), Bobby Boyd, Neal Rivers, Franz Szuzina, Randy Sandy, Charley Joseph (split 2 fights), Charlie Cotton, Wilfie Greaves, Jimmy Martinez, Jimmy Beecham, Willie Vaughn, and Pat McAteer. His six losses were to the aforementioned Gene Fullmer (0-2), Dick Tiger (1-1), Holly Mims (1-1), Charley Joseph (1-1), and a controversial decision loss to Red Elby in his third professional fight. By Dan Cuoco, IBRO

Luis Rosa – The New Haven, Connecticut featherweight was killed in a traffic accident on January 11, 2018 at the age of 26. He was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico on April 27, 1991 and fought professionally from 2010-2017, compiling a record of 23-1-0, 2 NC (KO 11/KO by 0). During his career he defeated such fighters as Luis Hinojosa, German Meraz, Jonathan Perez, Luis Orlando Del Valle, Jorge Diaz, Jose Angel Beranza, Giovanni Caro and Carlos Osorio. His only defeat occurred on November 10, 2017 when he lost a 10 round split decision to Yuandale Evans for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Featherweight Title. BoxRec     

Giovanni Girgenti –  The former Italian Featherweight and Super Featherweight champion died on January 10, 2018 at the age of 75. Girgenti was born in Marsala, Sicilia, Italy on December 18, 1942 and fought professionally from 1965-76. He retired with a record of 48-15-5 (KO 15/KO by 1). During his career he defeated such fighters as Renato Galli (3-1), Ugo Poli (1-0-1), Mario Redi, Domenico Chiloiro (3-0), Nevio Carbi, Giancarlo Casti, Augusto Civardi, Manny Santos, Lino Mastellaro, Franco Innocenti and Michel Houdeau. He also fought such fighters as Eder Jofre, Johnny Famechon (0-2-1), Jose Legra, Svein Erik Paulsen, Ould Makloufi, Elio Cotena, and Marius Cordier. BoxRec     

Billy Collins The former 1960s welterweight contender passed away January 9, 2018 at the age of 81. He was born William Ray Collins in Memphis, Tennessee in 1937 and fought professionally from 1958-1965. He retired with a record of 38-17-1 (KO 25/KO by 3). In 1958 Collins won the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions at lightweight. Between May 1965 and March 1966 he was rated as high as the # 7 welterweight in the world by The Ring magazine. During his career he defeated such fighters as Tony Fortunato, Antonio Marcilla, Bobby Cassidy, Guy Sumlin, Gabe Terronez (split 2 fight), Pete Toro, Rafael Gutierrez, Joe Salci, Vince Bonomo, Ricky Ortiz, Peter Schmidt, Ronnie Cohen, Bobby Bartels, Kid Rayo and Eli Leggett. He also fought such fighters as Curtis Cokes, Duilio Loi, Virgil Akins, Jorge Fernandez, Willie Ludick, Jose Stable, Tony DeCola, Battling Torres, Stan Harrington, Cecil Shorts, Percy Manning, Hurricane Kid and Sugar Cliff. 10 of his losses occurred in his last 16 fights. He was the father of ill-fated 1980s welterweight Billy Collins, Jr. BoxRec

Lou Myers – Australian promoter and trainer Lou Myers from the 1970’s passed away on the Gold Coast, Queensland on January 8, 2018. Lou trained Australian light middleweight champion Shane Patrick who captured the title by outpointing Ricky Patterson over fifteen rounds at the Blacktown RSL club in 1976 with former world bantamweight champion Jimmy Carruthers working as the third man in the ring. Lou also trained Australian junior lightweight champion Larry Valesini who captured the title by outpointing Roger Henry over twelve rounds in 1979 at the Rooty Hill RSL. Australian light heavyweight contender Rocky St Claire and NSW light middleweight champion Lou Hurst were also trained by Lou who promoted regular shows at the Blacktown RSL near Sydney during the 1970’s. By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing

Gene Young – The former 1959 intercity Golden Gloves’ bantamweight titlist died January 7, 2018 at the age of 79. He was born Howard Eugene Young in Glen Easton, West Virginia on September 29, 1938. Young fought out of Moundsville, West Virginia as a featherweight from 1960-1967 and compiled a record of 17-9-0 (KO 3/KO by 5). He was managed by legendary manager/promoter Don Elbaum. BoxRec

Richard Pakozdi – Boxing lost another member of its esteemed fraternity as referee Richard Pakozdi passed away January 5, 2018 after a tough battle with Cancer. He was 67. Among his accomplishments, Pakozdi reffed three world title bouts. An athlete in his youth, Pakozdi was a golden gloves boxer and played minor league baseball in Florida. Pakozdi began refereeing in the amateurs, especially in the Rochester, New York area, including golden gloves, Empire State Games and the Aquinas Mission bouts. Pakozdi entered the pro officiating ranks in 1991 and within two years scored the job of third man in the ring for Oscar de la Hoya’s sixth pro bout with Mike Grable. Other future or former champs Pakozdi reffed during his twenty-five years in the squared ring were Lonnie Bradley, Aaron Davis, Hasim Rahman, Charles Murray, Julio Cesar Green, Tim Witherspoon, Shannon Briggs, Carlos Molina, Serhiy Dzinziruk, Alberto Machado and Demetrius Andrade. As mentioned earlier, he also reffed three world title bouts: Luis Ortiz-Bryant Jennings (WBA interim heavy), Jesus Cuellar-Claudio Marrero (WBA interim feather) and Christy Martin-Dakota Stone #1 (WBC super welter). Pakozdi also is a past recipient of the Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame’s Carmen Basilio award. For the last seventeen years, Pakozdi worked in the field of neuro-muscular therapy. He owned and operated Advanced Health Therapy Center in Brockport, NY. Pakozdi specialized in Bowen Therapy, which focuses on the central nervous system and he was one of only three specialists practicing Bowen therapy in New York State. Pakozdi is survived by his wife of thirty-seven years Connie, his daughter Jackie Iwasko (Mark) and two granddaughters Chloe and Victoria. Truly one of the good guys in boxing, Richard “Dick” Pakozdi took charge in the ring in an understated way, was unassuming outside it and always quick with a smile. By Boxing Bob Newman, Fightnews





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