Category Archives: Jim Amato

Sir Henry Cooper

Sir Henry Cooper0002 237x300 Sir Henry Cooper
 
By Jim Amato (Senior Boxing Writer)

He came from a fighting family and by the time his boxing career ended in 1971 he was the most beloved British boxer of all time. Only once did he challenge for the world’s title but he dominated the British heavyweight scene for over fifteen years. His popularity soared even more after retirement and eventually the Queen of England knighted him. Sir Henry Cooper was more than just a British fighter. He was a fine example of what British boxing is all about. 

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What if ? … James Toney vs. Michael Moorer

James Toney 215x300 What if ? ... James Toney vs. Michael Moorer Michael Moorer 217x300 What if ? ... James Toney vs. Michael Moorer

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

 

This is a fight that would have made sense if it was put together. Each boxer has ties to the state of Michigan.  It probably didn’t happen because by the time Toney became a heavyweight, Moorer’s star had diminished due to his one round kayo loss to David Tua.  A loss two years later to Eliseo Castillo pretty much took Moorer out of the elite class. Toney’s knockout of Evander Holyfield made him a major player in the division.
 
What if Moorer and Toney would have met at their heavyweight peaks ?  Who would have come out on top.  This could have been a very interesting battle. How would Toney have handled Moorer’s southpaw stance ?  What about Moorer’s quick, hard and accurate right jab ?  How would Moorer have dealt with Toney’s defensive wizardry and his pinpoint counter punching ability ?

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Canada’s Robert Cleroux beat Chuvalo twice

Bob Cleroux 1969 Canadas Robert Cleroux beat Chuvalo twice

 

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

 
No doubt the most well known heavyweight to come out of Canada is George Chuvalo. For a while Lennox Lewis called it his home and Trevor Berbick made his mark but George is still #1 in Canada. Nevertheless there is a very overlooked heavyweight contender from the 1960’s who at one time was closing in on a world title shot. His name was Robert Cleroux. The fact is that “Big Bob” had a trilogy of bouts with Chuvalo for the Canadian heavyweight title. Cleroux won two of those contests.

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The Preception

The Preception  285x300 The Preception

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer / contributed to “dmboxing.com” since 2008

It is not fun growing old. I am a product of my past.  A victim of my era so to speak. I constantly bump heads with the young fans of today. They glorify Hopkins, Manny, Mayweather and the Klitschko brothers. Even from a decade or so before it’s all about Holyfield, Whitaker and a guy named Mike Tyson. They are all great fighters in their own right. Then you can go back a little farther. Now we’re talking Holmes, Duran, Hagler, Leonard, Hearns, Pryor, Michael Spinks and Benitez. How about Julio Cesar Chavez, Edwin Rosario and the great Salvador Sanchez ? Some great names and outstanding fighters.

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Why Carlos is “King”

Carlos 278x300 Why Carlos is King
By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

I cut my teeth on the sport of boxing in the mid-1960. At that time the sport was just coming out of a somewhat dreary period of champions although talented, they lacked charisma.

It was Cassius Clay, later to be Muhammad Ali that energized the sport and opened the door for a group of boxers who in the late 1960’s and early 1970′s established themselves and that time as a truly ” Golden Era ” in boxing.

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Manuel Ramos – Mexican Heavyweight

Ramos Manuel Manuel Ramos   Mexican Heavyweight

By Jim Amato (Senior Boxing Writer) contributed to “dmboxing” since 2008

When you think of Mexican fighters it is usually a tough little hombre like a Ruben Olivares, Vincente Saldivar or Julio Cesar Chavez. More often then not the better boxers from Mexico scaled under 160lbs. In an exception to the rule during the mid 1960’s to the early 70’s this country produced a pretty fair heavyweight. He fought two world champions and nine others that attempted to win the heavyweight crown. His name was Manuel Ramos. Although he lost almost as many as he won, the names on his resume are quite impressive.

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Jeff “Candy Slim” Merritt

Jeff Merritt Jeff Candy Slim Merritt

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

He began his career in 1964 but it was not until 1973 that he crashed into the heavyweight ratings.  In between were periods of inactivity and a multitude of meaningless bouts.  He was a murderous, punching prospect that no worthy opponent wanted to chance his career against.  By the time he got his “shot” at the big time, he was 21-1 with 16 kayos.  He scored seven 1st round kayos and eight 2nd round stoppages.  Yet up to this point his claim to fame was being a Muhammad Ali sparring partner.  It is a shame that today very few remember Jeff “Candy Slim’ Merritt.  True, his tenure as a mainstream contender was less than a year but oh what a reputation he had.  Many at that time considered him the hardest puncher in the heavyweight division, bar none.

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Book Review

Book Review:  By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

 

“TRIBUTES, MEMORIES AND OBSERVATIONS” BY STEVE CANTON. FOREWORD BY AL BERNSTEIN.

 

Every now and then a boxing book comes along that is just so good. You have to tell the world about it. Steve Canton’s book “Tributes, Memories And Observations” is just that book. Steve has been around boxing for decades as a fighter, trainer, cut man, manager, radio host and writer. He has been around the world and now he has put down in words his many experiences. The things he has seen along the way and the great people he has crossed paths with.

 

Front Cover Steve Canton Book 198x300 Book Review

 

This book is a treasure of stories. It is not just about the accomplishments of boxers inside the ring. It is also about their exploits outside the ring as well. Personal stories that will capture your heart. With 370 pages of great reading, Steve added 550 photos. Many of them very rare. I truly enjoyed every moment reading this fine book. For me it is a top shelf keeper for my boxing book collection. I highly recommend it to all boxing fans. From the hard core to the casual. It is really just not about boxing. It is about life.

This book is fairly priced at $29.00. To order this book, please go to Steve Canton’s website www.sjcboxing.com

Jose Luis Garcia

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer / contributed to www.dmboxing.com since 2008

There may have never been a more talent rich period in the heavyweight division then from 1968 to 1978. With Muhammad Ali (a.k.a. Cassius Clay) on the sidelines due to his draft case other big men emerged. They would compete with each other on an almost equal basis for the next decade. Joe Frazier had risen to the top of the heap but the level below him would remain as mainstays in the ratings for years to come.

Jimmy Ellis, Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonevena, Floyd Patterson, George Chuvalo and Henry Cooper would eventually give way to Ron Lyle, Joe Bugner, Ken Norton, Earnie Shavers and Jimmy Young. All time great champions like George Foreman and Larry Holmes also made their mark and Ali re-emerged to reclaim his throne.

Lost among the giants of that time period was a fine heavyweight from Venezuela named Jose Luis Garcia. Although Jose never challenged for the world championship he did meet three who did. He also met three world champions in a career that never seemed to reach its full potential.

Jose turned pro in his native country in 1968. He would go undefeated in his first nine bouts before losing a decision to future light heavyweight champion Vincente Rondon. Three fights later Jose was halted by tough Allen Thomas in his first U.S. appearance. The lean Garcia was beginning to grow into a full fledged heavyweight.

Jose Luis Garcia Jose Luis Garcia

On July 2, 1970 Garcia scored the biggest victory of his career. In Los Angeles as a heavy underdog Jose met unbeaten and upcoming future champion Ken Norton. Garcia’s superior hand speed and deceptive power sent Norton crashing in round eight.

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Ronnie Harris – Ohio Middleweight Contender

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer / Contributed to dmboxing since 2008

The professional career of Canton, Ohio’s Ronnie Harris is often overlooked. A lot was expected of him and to many he failed to deliver. In retrospect Ronnie may be one of the best middleweights the state of Ohio has ever produced.

Harris 167x300 Ronnie Harris   Ohio Middleweight Contender

One of the first important wins in Ronnie’s career came in May of 1972 when he outpointed Cleveland’s Bobby Haymon. One year later he won another important contest with a decision over highly regarded Roland Pryor. Three months later Ronnie defeated Leon Washington in ten.

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