Category Archives: Ali

The Greatest Show on Earth – March 8, 1971

pic 1 233x300 The Greatest Show on Earth   March 8, 1971 By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

          There are certain dates that will stick with you as long as you live. Your birthday, the birthdays of family members, anniversaries, the day that you got your divorce ( s ), etc…Happy and important days that mark milestones in your life.
 
          One such date I’ll always remember is March 8, 1971. The ” Battle Of The Century “, it was so aptly named.
          Two undefeated boxers who each had a legitimate pic 2 230x300 The Greatest Show on Earth   March 8, 1971claim to being the heavyweight champion of the world would collide. When Muhammad Ali first won the title in 1964 his name was Cassius Clay. He would shortly thereafter change his name and then proceed to change the face of boxing. He dominated the scene until 1967 when he refused induction into the US Military due pic 3 242x300 The Greatest Show on Earth   March 8, 1971
to his religious beliefs. Then came the Eight Man Elimination Tourney that was won by Jimmy Ellis. The powerful New York State Athletic Commission would recognize the winner of a match up between unbeaten boxers Joe Frazier and Buster Mathis. A bout in which Joe won. In 1970 Frazier stopped Ellis to claim the vacated title. Later that year Muhammad Ali returned to ring wars and halted highly ranked contenders Jerry Quarry and Oscar Bonavena. The stage was now set. Ali and Frazier would clash for the undisputed title.The first Ali – Frazier bout was the epic that all others are compared to, even today. There is no reason in this article to describe the bout itself. Reams of print have appeared documenting the action that took place in the ring that magical night. What I would like to share is the impact on me, and probably millions of others.

Fifty Years Ago

CC0001 crop Fifty Years Ago

By David Martinez

If you were around then, as I was, you know that it was fifty years ago this month that Cassius Clay (now known as Muhammad Ali) shocked the world by stopping Sonny Liston to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

The stoppage came after six complete rounds; but when the bell sounded to begin the seventh round Liston remained on the stool, not able to continue. The fight officially went into the record books as a seventh round knockout win for the young, brash confident 21 year old champion, Cassius Clay.

Liston was a 7 to 1 favorite that night and all the experts, myself included, picked him to retain his title.  February 25, 1964 was truly a memorable day in boxing history, one that will be remembered forever!

Ring Trivia

RING TRIVIA crop Ring Trivia(a feature from  dmboxing  every three months: March, June, September, December for your enjoyment)

 

1) Who was the last American to win a Olympic gold medal in the heavyweight division ?
a) Riddick Bowe
b) Tyrell Biggs
c) Ray Mercer
d) Henry Tillman

 

2) What former lightweight champion had the nickname “The Old Master” ?
a) Ismael Laguna
b) Benny Leonard
c) Joe Gans
d) Alexis Arguello

 

3) What major pop singer had to cancel their concert date at New York’s Madison Square Garden to allow the Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali heavyweight championship bout on March 8, 1971 ?
a) Carly Simon
b) Carole King
c) James Taylor
d) Dionne Warwick

 

4) What championship bout was the first million dollar gate ?
a) Dempsey vs. Willard (1919)
b) Dempsey vs. Carpentier (1921)
c) Dempsey vs. Gibbons (1923)
d) Dempsey vs. Firpo (1923)

 

5) In his 46 bout career, who was the only fighter to have knocked down the great Salvador Sanchez ?
a) Antonio Becerra
b) Fel Clemente
c) Juan La Porte
d) Juan Escobar

 

answers will be posted in three weeks or less for viewing!


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How High Should We Rate Riddick Bowe?

Bowe crop How High Should We Rate Riddick Bowe?By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

Hopefully the one time heavyweight champion of the world Riddick Bowe will never fight again. His post career problems have been well documented.

The question now is, where does Bowe rank among the great heavyweights of all time? How would he have fared against Louis, Marciano, Frazier or even dream fights in his own time against Lewis or Tyson? Here is a boxer who may have never realized his full potential. When he was near it his career declined due to his own self-indulgence.

After Lennox Lewis stopped Riddick in the 1988 Olympics, Bowe was considered a risky project. Rock Newman took the risk of managing Bowe and convinced the skeptical but astute Eddie Futch to undertake the task of molding Riddick. The rest is history. Bowe progressed nicely thru the ranks, turning pro in 1989 by halting future contender Lionel Butler in two rounds. In 1990 he stopped faded ex-champion Pinklon Thomas in nine. He also destroyed Bert Cooper in two.

In 1991 he kayoed Tyrell Biggs in eight and outscored ex-champ Tony Tubbs. He later kayoed future titleholder Bruce Seldon in one round. In 1992 he cemented a shot at the title by halting South African Pierre Coetzer in seven rounds.

Finally Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe was in the ring facing heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. The well-schooled and well-conditioned Bowe won a hard fought but convincing decision and the crown. Was this the turning point of his career? Was it the beginning of the end? The night Bowe won the title from Holyfield he could have arguably competed with any heavyweight who ever lived. He was that good.

So where did it all go wrong? Did Riddick believe he was unbeatable? Easy defenses against ex-champ Michael Dokes and shopworn journeyman Jesse Ferguson did little to sharpen his skills. His weight as well as his ego began to swell. By the time he met Holyfield in their rematch he had become a different fighter. So had Evander who had totally dedicated himself in training. Their second bout is mainly remembered for the “Fan Man” incident but in reality it was a highly entertaining fight. Even at the height of his skills against an ill prepared Bowe, Evander had all he could do to win the decision and regain the title. Without the championship, Riddick had become an enigma to himself. Would he rededicate himself or let the talent he had slip through his fists.

Riddick began his march toward reclaiming his crown. He would beat once highly regarded Herbie Hide and knock out overrated Jorge Luis Gonzalez who had beaten Riddick in the amateurs. He would again meet a now ex-champion Holyfield in a rubber match. He would pick himself off the canvas to knock out Evander and it appeared Riddick was still a prime player in the heavyweight sweepstakes. All that came crashing down following two brutal and highly controversial bouts against Andrew Golota.
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Happy Birthday ~ ALI

In rememberence of Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday this week, January 17, I am bringing back one of my favorite features on THE GREATEST that was part of a series I did for for this Web site. Here now, for your enjoyment, is that story. Happy Birthday Champ!
Muhammad Ali Black and white Happy Birthday ~ ALI

Muhammad Ali

 

By David Martinez / Boxing HistorianThis is the last of a six part series on Muhammad Ali. It has truly been my pleasure to share with you my personal accounts of THE GREATEST heavyweight champion in my era of boxing.

For those of you who have missed any of this special series, you can simply go to the menu on this website and click on the category, “Ali”, to view each part.

So, in my final, part six, I will take you back to Saturday afternoon, March 5, 2005. The location was the Stevens Steak House, Commerce, California. The event was the annual California Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee ceremonies.

This wasn’t even a live fight, but I will simply recognize it as one of the most memorable events that I have attended in my almost fifty years of involvement in boxing.

As the ceremonies were just about to conclude, the doors opened at the restaurant and the 600-plus SRO crowd started to chant “Ali, Ali, Ali, Ali, Ali” as the three time heavyweight champion entered the room. It was so electric, it was as if the Pope himself had walked into the room, and it was one of those moments in time where one just had to be there to witness and feel it.
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JOE FRAZIER / R.I.P.

ali frazier JOE FRAZIER / R.I.P.

 By David Martinez / Boxing Historian

This past week boxing lost a great champion, Joe Frazier, who passed away after a brief battle with liver cancer at the age of 67.I will always remember Joe, and I am so blessed to have lived in his boxing era and to have witnessed his fights. He was a relentless fighter and fought every round going forward behind a vicious left hook, with his opponents having to withstand constant pressure from Smokin’ Joe.If there were six fights, in my opinion,  that absolutely stood out in his career they would have to be:

September 21, 1966  / vs. Oscar Bonavena … Frazier down twice in second round to rally and win a hard fought 10 round decision.

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RING TRIVIA answers for June 2011

gloves 150x150 RING TRIVIA answers for June 2011  ( a monthly feature from dmboxing.com )

 

1) Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky. What other former heavyweight champion was also born in Louisville and note both fighters also had their first professional bouts in Louisville ?

ANSWER ~ Marvin Hart

 

2) Which boxer was 22 years, 11 months younger than George Foreman when they fought ?

ANSWER ~ Shannon Briggs

 

3) The last TV comercial performed by Rocky Marciano before his death in 1969 was for what automobile product ?

ANSWER ~ STP Oil Treatment

 

 

RING TRIVIA-crop

RING TRIVIA for June 2011

RING TRIVIA crop RING TRIVIA for June 2011  1) Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky. What other former heavyweight champion was also born in Louisville and note both fighters also had their first professional bouts in Louisville ?

a) Jim Jeffries

b) Marvin Hart

c) Gene Tunney

d) Max Baer

 

2) Which boxer was 22 years, 11 months younger than George Foreman when they fought ?
a) Axel Schulz

b) Tommy Morrison

c) Michael Moorer

d) Shannon Briggs

 

3) The last TV comercial performed by Rocky Marciano before his death in 1969 was for what automobile product ?

a) STP Oil Treatment

b) Fram OIl Filters

c) Pennzoil

d) Texaco Gasoline

 

 

( RING TRIVIA is a monthly feature from David Martinez Boxing … with answers always available three weeks later for viewing )

 

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My Memory of Jerry Quarry

Quarry Scrap Iron 0001 crop My Memory of Jerry Quarry

Photos by David Martinez, March 19, 1970, Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, Quarry vs. Scrap Iron

By Rick Farris

( Former professional boxer and boxing historian )

In early 1999, I was watching ESPN, hoping to hear the result of a fight that had taken place earlier in the evening. When the sports news came on, I waited thru football scores, and golf, until the sportscaster finally said . . . “And now from the world of boxing”.

I expected a report on the fight. Nothing else going on in boxing at the time. Instead, I heard something that made me forget about the fight result I’d been waiting for.  I still remember the words . . .”A sad note to report in boxing today, former heavyweight contender Jerry Quarry has died at the age of 53.” I was stunned.

I was aware that Jerry had not been doing well and suffered from Dementia pugilistica.  I knew that he had been living with his mother Arawanda in a mobile home park near the Hemet area of Southern California and was under her care. Mutual friends from the past, such as former middleweight Mike Nixon, Jerry’s brother-in-law, had told me that Jerrycould no longer handle simple daily tasks, such as shaving. Jerry’s older brother Jimmy would help him with such things. I remember how sad it was to hear this a couple years back, and that Jerry would no doubt die young. However, I couldn’t imagine him dead at 53.

I wasn’t the only person surprised to hear of Quarry’s death. However, in my case it was something very personal. As a kid, all I wanted to do was become a boxer. Jerry Quarry helped make this possible. Jerry Quarry’s success and accomplishments are a part of boxing history. Being close to a boxer who won the National Golden Gloves Heavyweight title in 1965, and went on to fight for the World Heavyweight Championship as a pro, is a part of my history.

When I was twelve-years-old I had a dream that was a bit unusual for a middle class kid growing up in Burbank, California. I was going to be a professional boxer. I didn’t just want to be a pro fighter . . .I was going to be a pro fighter. I set a goal for myself and nothing was going to stop me. Nobody took me seriously, but it didn’t matter, I took myself seriously. However, this was not going to be easy. There were no boxing gyms in the Burbank area, or close by where I could start out. The YMCA didn’t have a boxing program and even if it had, I was looking for a place where real boxers trained, amateurs and pros.

In early 1965, the Western Regional Golden Gloves Championships were televised in the Los Angeles area and, naturally, I was glued to the TV. The heavyweight final was won by a 19-year-old from Bellflower named Jerry Quarry. Quarry scored a decision over Clay Hodges and would represent Los Angeles in the national tournament the following week in Kansas City. There was something special about this fighter and I couldn’t see anybody beating him in the Nationals. I was right.

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JACK “The Giant” O’HALLORAN

Jack0001 crop JACK The Giant OHALLORAN
THE FORGOTTEN WHITE HOPE
By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

As Muhammad Ali ruled the heavyweight division in the mid 60′s, white hope contenders came and went. Henry Cooper, George Chuvalo and Karl Mildenberger all were vanquished by the “Greatest”. When Ali was forced to relinquish his crown in 1967, the best of the white contenders was probably Jerry Quarry. By 1969 a huge brute of a man named Jack O’Halloran had compiled an impressive 16-1-1 record. Standing at around 6′ 6″ and weighing in the vicinity of 240lbs., Jack struck fear into opponents by his mere bulk. In 1969 he upgraded his opposition with mixed results. He dropped decisions to Joe “King” Roman, Joe Bugner and Tony Doyle. On August 19th he was halted by rugged “Florida” Al Jones. In turn he outscored Carl Gizzi and stopped Mexican contender Manuel Ramos in seven rounds.

On January 26th, 1970 in New York Jack was kayoed by George Foreman in five rounds. On April 9th he was destroyed in one round by Mac Foster. Jack lost a rematch with Roman but he did manage to outpoint Britisher Danny McAliden. 1971 was a dismal year for Jack as he lost to Jack Bodell, John Griffin, Ron Stander and Ron Lyle. Jack did decision Cleveland Williams and he kayoed Terry Daniels.
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