Category Archives: Steve Corbo

“The Fight”

The Fight The Fight

Chicago based ring announcer Steve Corbo, who has been a hit with audiences in Europe, recently recorded Luke Wordley’s top selling novel, “The Fight”.

At the top of the charts in Great Britain, “The Fight” has recently been released in the United States with the audio version being recorded by Corbo and released by Oasis Audio.

Two-time World Champion boxer, Nigel Benn, has enthusiastically endorsed “The Fight”. Reading the book this summer, he said: ‘I loved The Fight. I just couldn’t put it down. It is so realistic and true to life. I can’t recommend this book enough.’

Publishers Weekly reviewed “:The Fight” and said “Wordley has written a champion novel that will stand out in a crowded ring of contenders.”

Available at Amazon.com and book retailers throughout the United States.

(click on related links below)

http://oasisaudio.com/author-reader/steve-corbo/    

http://www.amazon.com/The-Fight-Luke-Wordley/dp/1613756259/ref=reader_auth_dp

West Coast Fighters Bring Heat To The Windy City

CORBO 1024x768 West Coast Fighters Bring Heat To The Windy City

 

By Steve Corbo

 

Veterans Park District’s Leyden Boxing Gym in suburban Chicago was the scene of some hot and heavy action last week as a couple of undefeated fighters from the West Coast got in some work with a spirited sparring session.

Roger Romo from Oxnard, California brought his professional record of 5-0-3, and a wealth of experience, into the gym to work with Tacoma, Washington’s Mike Gavronski, who sports a professional record of 13-0-1. In addition to having worked with the likes of Sergio Martinez and Kelly Pavlik, Romo has grown up in boxing as the younger brother of two time world champion Fernando Vargas.

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Gaetan Hart vs. Cleveland Denny (1980)

cleveland denny2 530x317 Gaetan Hart vs. Cleveland Denny (1980)

 By Steve Corbo
 
I will always remember this fight because I was there, at ringside, close enough to reach out and touch Cleveland Denny. In the late 1970′s my friend Johnny Lira was the USBA Lightweight Champion and one of world’s top rated lightweights. In ’79 he lost in his bid to capture the WBA World Lightweight Title.
 
A year later, Ring Magazine had him rated #5 in the world , he was looking to get back into the mix and get another shot at the title. Johnny was going to fight Gaeten Hart on the undercard of Sugar Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran, up in Montreal. The bout was scheduled for June 20,1980. But they weren’t able to make the fight and Cleveland Denny wound up in the ring facing Hart, instead of Lira. Johnny, myself and Mauro DiFiore decided to go up to Montreal anyway and see the show. What a show it was, taking place at the Olympic Stadium and in the same city where just four years earlier Sugar Ray Leonard won a Gold Medal in the 1976 Olympics. Johnny was on top of his game so we were with Angelo Dundee, Wildredo Benitez, media guys like the dean of all boxing historians Hank Kaplan, etc. We were surrounded by boxing royalty. We had no tickets, but somebody hooked us up and we got in on some TV/Radio Press Passes! We had no assigned seats! I ended up sitting in Leonard’s corner, on a folding chair I picked up from someplace, next to Joe Frazier. We talked about his son Marvis, who was an amateur at the time, and had just won the National’s.
 

Craig Bodzianowski R.I.P.

By Steve Corbo
ct spt 0731 bodzianowski obit 20130731 001 197x300 Craig Bodzianowski R.I.P.

 

As my last article was about to be posted, I received some additional sad news. Another friend from Chicago boxing circles, former Cruiserweight Contender, Craig “Gator” Bodzianowski passed away in his sleep, Sunday July 28. He was 52 years old. Incredibly, Craig gained his greatest success as a boxer, becoming world ranked and then fighting for a world championship title, after losing part of his right leg in a 1984 motorcycle accident and while fighting with the use of a prosthetic. He turned pro in 1982, after winning a Chicago Golden Gloves title and ran off 13 straight wins, 11 by way of KO. Then disaster struck.  While riding his motorcycle he was involved in a collision with an automobile, resulting in the amputation of his right foot and a portion of his leg. After a year and a half layoff he returned to the ring and went on to make history. In 1986 he stopped current boxing promoter Bobby Hitz, in the 3rd round, to capture the Illinois State Heavyweight Championship. In 1987 and 1988 he fought former WBC World Cruiserweight Champion, and fellow Chicagoan, Alfonso Ratliff with the Illinois State Cruiserweight Title on the line. Both times he dropped, razor thin, majority decisions. How close were these two fights? According to boxrec.com, The Illinois Boxing Commission appointed the same three judges to work both fights. All three judges scored both bouts identically. After watching these two guys go 20 rounds with each other, one of the judges still had it even! 

Johnny Lira and Lenny LaPaglia R.I.P.

By Steve Corbo Johnny crop Johnny Lira and Lenny LaPaglia R.I.P.

In December, 2012 I lost a good friend, Johnny Lira, to liver disease. He campaigned as a lightweight back in the late 1970′s and early 80′s. At one time he was the WBA’s #1 rated lightweight in the world. He also won the USBA lightweight title in spectacular fashion when he knocked out the undefeated Andy Ganigan. Nicknamed the “Hawaiian Punch”, Ganigan had a record of 25 – 0, with 23 wins by KO and he was looking to keep busy, while waiting for a shot at then champion, Roberto Duran. Johnny seemed a safe enough tune-up, he was only 14-0-1 with 8 wins by KO. The smart guys figured he’d go a few rounds, give Ganigan a little work and in short order become KO victim number 24. But the smart guys never could get a handle on the tough kid from Grand Avenue on the west side of Chicago.

Lira got his shot at a world championship in front of a home town crowd, when he took on WBA Lightweight Champion Ernesto Espana in 1979. The fight was televised on the old ABC Wide World of Sports with Howard Cosell calling the action. What a fight it was! Cosell called it even after five. Lira knocked down the champ in the seventh and it looked like he was going to put him away. But Espana fought back hard. That’s what champions do! Lira was dropped near the end of the 8th, then suffered a severely lacerated right eye and picked up a broken jaw. The ringside doctor stopped the fight after the ninth round.
There were more ring wars to come. After Espana, Lira’s career included losses to Willie “Fireball” Rodriguez, Howard Davis, Jr. and Alfredo Escalera. There were also wins over rugged Bobby Plegge, Al Ford  and Sammy Matos! Lira finally hung up the gloves in 1984 with a record of 29-6-1 with 15 wins by KO.

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Martinez vs. Murray

316 Martinez vs. Murray
                            By Steve Corbo

 

On Saturday, March 30, 2013, I saw one heck of a great fight when Mike Alvarado went to war for a second time with Brandon Rios. Alvarado came away with a unanimous decision victory setting up a third meeting between these two warriors. I think a couple of things must have made this such a sweet victory for Alvarado. First, redemption! He avenged his loss five months ago and evened up the score. Second, he was a 4 to 1 underdog when he stepped into the ring and he beat the odds!

 

Coming up on April 27, 2013, down in Buenos Aires, Argentina, another fighter is going to step into the ring, an even bigger underdog than 4 to 1. Little known Martin Murray from St. Helens, Merseyside in the United Kingdom, will be squaring off against WBC Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez, with Sergio’s Middleweight title on the line.

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The NFL, NBA, MLB and Boxing

 By Steve Corbo
 Corbo2 The NFL, NBA, MLB and Boxing
 
Author Steve Corbo (kneeling) with current NFL player Tommy Zbikowski and members of the University of Notre Dame Football Team, including NFL Quarterback Brady Quinn, after one of Zbikowski’s amateur bouts.
 
      
 
       Like most of us I was dismayed by the performance of the Men’s US Olympic Boxing Team in London. Add to our Olympic debacle the AIBA problems with USA Boxing, and it gets downright discouraging. Even those of us who love the game have to admit, boxing in the United States, just isn’t what it used to be.  And that is especially true in the heavier weight divisions.
 
       To remind myself of what it used to be like I looked at a Ring Magazine from April 1980.  “The Ring’s World Ratings” listed the top ten heavyweights in the world, nine (9) of whom were from the United States.