Category Archives: Obituary

Johnny Ortiz … My Friend … My Best (Boxing) Friend

*** FLASHBACK – this article originally appeared on dmboxing.com on September 7, 2014 … In Loving Memory, I am re-posting in honor and respect to my friend Johnny Ortiz.

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By David Martinez / dmboxing.com

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On September 3, 2014, we laid to rest my best (boxing) friend – Johnny Ortiz, at All Souls Catholic Cemetery in Long Beach, California.

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Continue reading Johnny Ortiz … My Friend … My Best (Boxing) Friend

Bobby Chacon R.I.P. (Revisited)

NOTE: This article was originally posted last month on September 10, 2016 … re-posting in honor and remembrance to a friend and great boxing champion of his recent passing … may his memory be with us all now and forever!

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By David Martinez / dmboxing.com

On September 7, 2016, one of the most exciting, fan friendly boxers I have known, in my 55 years in boxing, passed away – two time featherweight champion Bobby Chacon. He was a friend to many, including myself, and was 64 years old at the time of his passing.

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Bobby engaged in some of the best fights of his era, during his brilliant career (1972-1988) 59 wins, 7 losses, one draw, with 47 wins by knockout. He fought all comers, to name a few: Tury Pineda,  Jose Luis Martin Del Campo, Frankie Crawford, Chucho Castillo, Ruben Olivares, Danny Lopez, Alfredo Marcano, Rafael Limon, Alexis Arguello, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Ray Mancini, Freddie Roach and Arturo Frias.

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Bobby’s fight vs. Danny Little Red Lopez at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, on May 24, 1974, can arguably be considered one of the greatest intracity rivalries in the history of boxing. I was ringside that night and witnessed a great fight, with Bobby winning by knockout in round nine. I remember sitting next to Bryant Gumbel who was working as a sports newscaster for KNBC channel 4 at the time. We both had two things in common – a love for boxing and being born in the same year.

Continue reading Bobby Chacon R.I.P. (Revisited)

Aaron Pryor – R.I.P.

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By David Martinez / dmboxing.com

This past week on October 9, 2016 boxing lost a great champion, Aaron Pryor, at the age of 61 due to heart failure.

Pryor won the WBA junior welterweight title from Antonio Cervantes on August 2, 1980. After ten successful WBA/IBF title defenses he briefly retired in 1985 with a undefeated record of 35 wins.

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I consider his first bout with Alexis Arguello on November 12, 1981 to be one of the greatest fights that I have ever witnessed in my 55 years in boxing. Being behind on two of the three scorecards, Pryor rallied to stop Arguello in the 14th round.

Continue reading Aaron Pryor – R.I.P.

Bobby Chacon R.I.P.

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By David Martinez / dmboxing.com

On September 7, 2016, one of the most exciting, fan friendly boxers I have known, in my 55 years in boxing, passed away – two time featherweight champion Bobby Chacon. He was a friend to many, including myself, and was 64 years old at the time of his passing.

bobby-5

Bobby engaged in some of the best fights of his era, during his brilliant career (1972-1988) 59 wins, 7 losses, one draw, with 47 wins by knockout. He fought all comers, to name a few: Tury Pineda,  Jose Luis Martin Del Campo, Frankie Crawford, Chucho Castillo, Ruben Olivares, Danny Lopez, Alfredo Marcano, Rafael Limon, Alexis Arguello, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Ray Mancini, Freddie Roach and Arturo Frias.

bobby-danny

Chacon Lopez 2

Bobby’s fight vs. Danny Little Red Lopez at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, on May 24, 1974, can arguably be considered one of the greatest intracity rivalries in the history of boxing. I was ringside that night and witnessed a great fight, with Bobby winning by knockout in round nine. I remember sitting next to Bryant Gumbel who was working as a sports newscaster for KNBC channel 4 at the time. We both had two things in common – a love for boxing and being born in the same year.

Continue reading Bobby Chacon R.I.P.

Abel Fernandez – R.I.P.

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By David Martinez / dmboxing.com

On May 3, 2016 a friend to many, former actor, and professional boxer, Abel Fernandez, passed away at the age of 85.

Abel played Native American Federal Agent William Youngfellow on the hit TV series, “The Untouchables” (1959-1963). The show’s star was Robert Stack, who played Eliot Ness.

Abel was born in East Los Angeles on July 14, 1930, and attended Belmont High School. At the young age of 16 he enlisted in the United States Army, where he became a paratrooper in the 11th Airborne Division. While serving in the military, he won the Asiatic Forces middleweight championship.

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After his discharge in 1950, Abel won the Los Angeles Times Golden Gloves Tournament and was runner-up at the National Golden Gloves in Chicago. He later boxed professionally in the light heavyweight division from April 1950 to March 1953.

Continue reading Abel Fernandez – R.I.P.

Bill Connell ‘aka’ Hot Dog Man / R.I.P.

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By David Martinez / dmboxing.com

My friend, everybody’s friend, Bill Connell ‘aka’ the Hot Dog Man, age 61,  passed away on February 5, 2016.

A New Jersey native, he moved to Carpinteria, California, in 1992 and opened up his “All American Surf Dog” hot dog cart stand just off the 101 freeway at the Bailard Avenue exit. He served hundreds on a daily basis and always with a smile and an open heart.

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Continue reading Bill Connell ‘aka’ Hot Dog Man / R.I.P.

Johnny Oritz … my friend … my best (boxing) friend

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By David Martinez / dmboxing.com
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On September 3, 2014, we laid to rest my best (boxing) friend – Johnny Ortiz, at All Souls Catholic Cemetery in Long Beach, California.
 
 
I was so respectfully honored to have been able to be a speaker and to be chosen as a pallbearer at the funeral JO 4services for my friend.
 
I will miss Johnny beyond belief and please join me, and family, and friends in prayer for his soul “forever” and “forever” in heaven with God.
 
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The Johnny Ortiz legacy will ALWAYS be connected and never forgotten on this website, by going to menu under Categories and click onto his name for viewing many features and also articles he contributed to www.dmboxing.com  JO 7JO 8

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Mickey Duff – R.I.P.

Mickey Duff

 

By David Martinez

 

On March 22, 2014 boxing lost a true icon in the sport – Mickey Duff.  Although I did not know Mickey personally, he was highly respected for all of his dedication and accomplishments in boxing.  He was a matchmaker, manager, corner man, and promoter.
 
Born on June 7, 1929 in Krakow, Poland, he moved to England in the late 1930’s and focused on boxing.  He boxed as an amateur before turning professional at the young age of 15, posting a professional record of 33 wins, 8 losses, and 3 draws.
 
His involvement with boxers included 19 world champions including Jim Watt, Alan Minter, Barry McGuigan, John Coteh, Terry Downes, Howard Winstone, Maurice Hope, John Mugabi, Cornelius Boza Edwards, Lloyd Honeyghan, Frank Bruno and Joe Calzaghe.
 
May his soul rest peacefully in heaven with God.

Ken Norton R.I.P.

Ken Norton 0001-cropBy David Martinez / Boxing Historian

I consider my first meeting with Ken Norton to be the night of July 2, 1970.  My late wife (girlfriend at the time) Constance and I went to the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles to see Ken Norton fight an unknown fighter from Caracas, Venezuela by the name of Jose Luis Garcia. In what I call (to this day) one of the biggest upsets I have seen in any arena, Garcia knocked out the previously unbeaten Norton (16-0 / 15 by KO) in eight rounds.Ken Norton -crop

Ken Norton passed away on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at the age of 70.  He is always remembered by boxing fans for his three fights with Muhammad Ali.

In that trilogy, he beat Ali in 1973 (breaking Ali’s jaw as well) in their San Diego bout by a split 12 round-decison. Later that same year, he lost to Ali in Los Angeles by a split 12 round-decision.  In their final bout at Yankee Stadium in 1976, many, including myself, thought he beat Ali.  He lost the bout and his bid to gain the heavyweight championship by a close, but unanimous 15 round-decision.

Continue reading Ken Norton R.I.P.

Emile Griffith R.I.P.

Emile Griffith 0002-cropThis past week the boxing world lost a great champion Emile Griffith. The former welterweight and middleweight champion passed away on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 in Hempstead, New York at the age of 75. 

In his career (1958-1977) Griffith posted 85 wins, 24 losses, 2 draws,  23 knockouts, with 1 no-contest.

As I knew him, he was always kind to others and a gentle man to all. May his soul rest in peace in heaven with the Lord.