By David Martinez / Boxing Historian
In all my years following boxing, since 1960, there have been
lots of people that have given me gifts for my collection, and
believe it or not, after 47 years, I can honestly tell you exactly
who gave me what and when!
This is a short story about just one of those boxing gifts that
I recently received from a lady, my friend, Eva Futch, the widow
of the late Eddie Futch.
David Martinez and Eddie Futch
Most of the boxing world certainly knows who Eddie Futch was – he was without a doubt one of the all time top trainers and corner men in boxing… ever.
He worked with boxers such as: Don Jordan, Hedgemon Lewis, Bob Foster, Joe Frazier, Virgil Hill, Ken Norton, Alexis
Arguello, Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks, Trevor Berbick, and Riddick Bowe – just to name a few.
In my opinion, Eddie was best remembered for two things in his outstanding career in boxing, which were: on March 8, 1971, in what
we in boxing know as the “fight of the century”, he guided Joe Frazier to a 15 round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten
Muhammad Ali; and in 1975 for his decision to stop the Ali vs. Frazier fight, “The Thrilla in Manila”.
Joe Frazier could not see the punches Ali was throwing because of his swollen eyes after 14 brutal rounds.
In October 1999, exactly eight years ago, I had one of many pictures taken with Eddie, and recently sent that photo to Eva Futch.
I received a nice thank you letter, but I did not know that the bigger surprise would come later from Eva.
She looked at the photo that we had taken, and sent me the exact neck tie that Eddie wore when he posed in that photo with me.
To say that I was surprised when I found the FED-EX package on my door step, is truly an understatement.
I was touched, and as a boxing historian and collector, her gift was just priceless.
What makes this gift so priceless is that it is so personal.
In an e-mail note to me later, she expressed that through the years she has carefully chosen certain family members to receive gifts from Eddie so they could have a physical reminder of his life.
She also sent me a photo of Eddie which she autographed, and a prayer card from Eddie’s funeral.
I am posting with this article that photo from 1999, Eddie and myself, and also a beautiful letter that was
included with Eva’s gifts to me – a lifetime remembrance of Eddie Futch.
Eddie Futch died from natural causes on October 10, 2001, exactly two years after our photo was taken together … may God bless
his soul in heaven!