By David Martinez / Boxing Historian
December 5, 2008 is the date that will mark the 50th anniversary of legendary trainer Eddie Futch’s first of 22 world champions in his remarkable career. Don Jordan won the welterweight championship on December 5, 1958 with a unanimous 15 round decision over Virgil Akins at the Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California.
Besides Jordan, Eddie trained or managed such boxing greats as Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, Alexis Arguello, Virgil Hill, Michael Spinks, Trevor Berbick, Riddick Bowe and Hedgemon Lewis, just to name a few.
To describe what Eddie was in boxing for the sixty six years that he gave, would be like trying to tell you how a nuclear submarine is built. In my opinion, Eddie was the top boxing trainer in our modern era. He was responsible for four of the five boxers that beat the great Muhammad Ali in his career; they were Frazier, Norton, Holmes and Berbick.
Jordan trained under Eddie in San Jacinto, California, prior to that first championship fight and was co-managed by Don Nesseth and Jackie McCoy.
After winning the title that night, Jordan said “it was Futch who really whipped Akins at the Olympic. Without Eddie I’d still be like I was three years ago”.
That statement came to me from Jordan’s diary, courtesy of Eva Futch, the widow of Eddie, and it concluded by stating “ Friday December 5, 1958: Jordan, 145, beats Akins, 145 ½, for welterweight championship of the world”.
In memory of Eddie’s legacy, and with respect to my dear friend Eva Futch, let us recognize the fifty year anniversary date of Eddie’s first world champion – Don Jordan.