By David Martinez / Boxing Historian
It was this past June 21, 2008, and I was the one chosen to be the presenter at the California Boxing Hall of Fame in the Posthumous Category for the man I consider the best trainer in boxing in our lifetime, Eddie Futch.
As this Saturday, August 9th , approaches, it marks Eddie’s birthday; as I was so honored to be his presenter, I am equally honored to write this short piece about him.
To describe what Eddie was in boxing for the 66 years that he gave his life to it, would be like trying to tell you how a nuclear submarine is built.
Eddie was born on August 9, 1911, in Hillsboro, Mississippi, and he passed away peacefully on October 10, 2001.
He trained or managed 22 world champions, which included Don Jordan, Hedgemon Lewis, Bob Foster, Joe Frazier, Virgil Hill, Ken Norton, Alexis Arguello, Michael Spinks, Trevor Berbick, Larry Holmes, and Riddick Bowe, just to name a few.
Eddie, in my opinion, was most remembered for two things in his outstanding career: on March 8, 1971, in what we know in boxing as the “Fight of the Century”, he guided Joe Frazier to a 15 round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Muhammad Ali; and in 1975 for his decision to stop the Ali vs. Frazier fight “The Thrilla in Manila”, because of Frazier’s eyes swollen shut after 14 brutal rounds.
A very interesting note is that during his career, Eddie trained four of the five boxers that beat the great Muhammad Ali; they were Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick.
A man that is respected by all who knew him, may we recognize Eddie Futch on the anniversary date of his birthday, August 9, and may his soul continue to rest peacefully in heaven!