*** FLASHBACK – this article originally appeared on dmboxing.com on September 5, 2010
This is the first of a six part series of my personal accounts of Muhammad Ali. In Memory of Ali, I will display these six articles and will also include photos of my collectibles now through the month of July for viewing.
By David Martinez / Boxing Historian / dmboxing.com
I will start this part #1, by saying that the best closed circuit fight that I ever attended was with my late father, Daniel J. Martinez and two of my best friends, Al Garcia and Hector Ybarra, at the Santa Barbara, California “historic” Granada Theater. On March 8, 1971, we saw the most eagerly anticipated fight that I have ever been involved with in my 48 years in boxing … Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali.
I was so excited come fight time that I left my work early on that Monday afternoon just to be sure I was the first one in line to get tickets and the best seats: front row center balcony. I got both to view the fight.
I have had many ask me where I rate Rocky Marciano as a heavyweight champion. Could he have beaten Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, and Mike Tyson?
The answer is no to Johnson, Dempsey, and Ali; they would have beaten him. And the answer is yes to Frazier, Holmes, and Tyson; he would have beaten them. Also, had he met Joe Louis in his prime, I pick Louis to win.
NOTE: Jim Amato has contributed to dmboxing.com since 2008. His opinions and input to this website are honest and of the highest level. He is an expert in boxing in every sense of the word.
Poor Floyd Patterson. Everyone loves him but not everyone respects him as a fighter or champion. You rarely here his name tossed about when the topic of all time great heavyweights is brought up. What a shame!
Who is to blame for the heartbreaking oversight? People tend to forget that Patterson thrashed Archie Moore much more impressively then Marciano did the night he became the youngest man ever to win the heavyweight crown. Still when a ” Dream Match ” between Marciano and Patterson is talked about, Floyd is quickly dismissed… Simply put, Rocky had the PUNCH and Floyd did not have the whiskers.
Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)
This past weekend, witness an end of an era and the beginning of another era. Pacquiao defeated Tim Bradley easily and left no doubt who was the better fighter in their trilogy. The fight was fought at a measured pace with Pacquiao averaging only 35 punches per round and Bradley 25 punches per round but the two Pacquiao knockdown of Bradley in the seventh and ninth round highlighted the difference between the two fighters.
On Saturday night undefeated British heavyweight Anthony Joshua (16-0 / 16 by KO) defeated previously unbeaten Charles Martin (23-1-1 / 21 by KO) by second round knockout to win the IBF heavyweight title. The bout was shown on Showtime from the O2 Arena in London, England.
Heavyweight Champion James J. Jeffries
Image from original cigar box, circa 1900
(gift to David Martinez from Al Nelson, Boxing Historian, 1972)
***** FLASHBACK – this article originally appeared on dmboxing.com on July 2, 2010
By David Martinez / Boxing Historian
July 4, 2010 will mark the 100th anniversary of Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries, “Fight of the Century”, for the heavyweight championship of the world.
Leading up to this fight, Jeffries won the title in 1899 against Bob Fitzsimmons and after defeating all challengers he retired undefeated in 1905. Johnson won the title in 1908 against Tommy Burns to become the first black fighter to win the coveted crown.
The build up to this fight was nothing less than controversial with a white champion coming out of a five-year retirement to try to win the title back from a black champion.
Tony Alongi was among the better heavyweights of the 1960’s that time has forgotten. Alongi amassed 46 fights from 1959 to 1967. Tony won nine straight fights in his maiden year of 1959. He followed that by winning twelve more in 1960. In 1961 he stepped up the quality of his opposition. Tony won seven more contests. Among his victims were Tod Herring, Jefferson Davis and George Logan. In 1962 Tony suffered his first setback being stopped in ten rounds by Rodolfo Diaz. He came back to stop Joe DeGrazio in four but in 1963 he was stopped in five by the talented Billy Daniels.
Last week was a date that I will never forget in boxing – March 8th. It was 45 years ago that Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali fought in the Fight of the Century.
The bout was the most eagerly anticipated championship fight that I have ever been involved with in my 55 years in boxing. Two unbeaten fighters, both having legitimate claims to the heavyweight title, Frazier (26-0 / 23 by KO) and Ali 31-0 / 25 by KO).