Rusty Rubin is an award winning boxing writer, covering the sweet science for more than 35 years. He is a dear friend, an expert in boxing and has contributed to www.dmboxing.com since 2007.
Let’s take another walk down my memory lane.
Some years back my wife and I were invited to attend a fight card in New Orleans. Our host was former heavyweight, now trainer Beau Williford. Although I’ve never been big on humidity, when it comes to the Big Easy and Cajun cooking, you don’t have to ask me twice.
During this trip Lois and I met and became friends with the late Angelo Dundee (whom I already knew), Deidre Gogarty, Billy Major and Suzanne Riccio Major to name a few.
We also got to talk with (the late) Willie Pastrano, former champ, who five years earlier was given less than a month to live and was told to stop smoking. Willie was still enjoying life to the fullest, smoking, dancing, drinking and womanizing, but he was quite a character. We really enjoyed his company. He knew how to enjoy life to the very end.
The most improbable event happened and it would take an actuary or more to figure the odds on this occurring.
A week before the fight, we came out with the new issue of our magazine. In it, Lois had picked a cartoon (out of many sent to us) of a fighter sitting on his stool in the corner, and his mother battering his opponent with a handbag,
I gave the mags out to everyone at the press conference, and one young man from the UK, a former light heavyweight champion named Tony Wilson looked at the picture and somewhat seriously asked me the meaning of it. Tony had brought his charge with him as well as a middleweight kick boxing champion. All very nice folks as it turned out, but the serious way the question was asked, I somehow felt very unsure.
I explained to Tony the circumstances surrounding the cartoon, and he just shook his head. He said the picture was legit and the cartoon depicted his mother in the ring. Fortunately, Tony is a good natured guy and we became friends. Why? Because he also said he was sick and tired of people joking about it.
To this day I’d like the know the odds of Tony coming over from the UK to New Orleans and this fight, and me coming from Northern Nevada to cover it, and, the cartoon picked at random from many others appearing in that issue of Ring Sports. Boy could I have cleaned up if someone would have taken that bet.
Oh, and for the record the airline lost our luggage, and New Orleans is not a good place not to have back-up clothes as the humidity can get very high. Fortunately, the recovered the items and sent them to me the following day. Of course I spent close to $100 on new clothes when I arrived so I could feel comfortable and the airline did reimburse me.***
I’m still seeking a few more stories for my next book, true tales of inspiration, or of any miracles to help with my last book, send them to me post-haste. I have placed a deadline on all submissions for May 1. I expect to have the book available before the heat of the summer kicks in.
Remember 100% of the proceeds will be used to help find a cure for cancer.
All help on your behalf will be much appreciated.
For more information on how you can help, please read the bottom of this article.***
A tip for our readers, please check out REAL COMBAT MEDIA BOXING RADIO. It’s a show that I predict you will enjoy. And my predictions are the only reason you read my columns, right? Hold off on answering that.***
This week we have to deal with an important fight, yet a very hard one to predict. It’s what I not-so-fondly describe as a ‘trick’ fight.
This Saturday, April 12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, a rematch will take place between now WBO welterweight champ Tim Bradley and Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, for Bradley’s WBO title belt.
This is a re-match of a fight that Bradley won via a controversial split decision.
So why do I call this a ‘trick’ fight? Because they last fought more than two years ago and at 35 and in many wars, who knows how much Pac Man has left in the tank? There’s no questioning his heart, but his stamina is the issue here. He has also lost two of his last three bouts.
Pacquiao has been in 62 fights and none easy in the past few years. He has a record of 55-5-2 with 38 knockouts. By comparison, Bradley is five years younger, has half as many fights and has won all 31 of them, but only 12 by knockout.
Pac Man, a southpaw, stands a ½ inch taller at 5’6” ½, but gives away two inches in the important reach department, and Bradley knows how to throw the jab, but the more experience Pacquiao should know how to get inside the jab and cause damage to the more cautious Bradley.
While undefeated, Bradley 31-0, has only 12 knockouts, and really has to wear down his opponent here. And, at 35 and a very aggressive fighter, Pacquiao can be worn down.
My heart says Pacquiao, Pac Mans trainer Freddie Roach says Pacquiao, Pac Man says Pacquiao and yet I’m just not convinced.
I’ll call it another close decision, this time going to Pac Man and setting up perhaps a three-peat of what could easily be a very exciting series.
Also keep in mind that a Pac Man loss would probably make it more palatable for Mayweather to take him on. Mayweather has shown a reluctance to take a lot of chances to risk the zero at the end of his record. After all, being undefeated is where most of the money is in boxing.***
Prayers for the souls of British promoter Mickey Duff, 84, Marcus Henry, boxing scribe, 41, and George Tulbernhiyan, a former amateur boxer and fan who was killed in a car accident.
I also forgot to mention, (or didn’t have the info) that my old friend from Louisiana, Beau Williford had a heart attack and five bypasses in October and is fully recovered. Still, prayers never hurt.
I request prayers for the full recovery from a couple of serious surgeries for my long-time friends Doni Uren.
Another friend who is having some potentially serious problems is Dennis Wilcox, who can use some prayers as well.
I’m also sad to announce that another long time friend, Doug Tucker, ringside judge, is ailing and can sure use some prayers.
Also in need of your continuing prayers is Russian heavyweight Magomed Abdusada who was seriously injured in a fight, but with the heart of a champion, he is rallying.
Gary Balleto, Charles Rainier and former champ Wilfredo Gomez have been ailing so prayers are requested.
There are some ongoing reports that 72 year old great Muhammad Ali is not doing well.
Prayers for the return to health of outstanding boxing guys Alex “The Bronx Bomber” Ramos. Alex has done much to improve the welfare of retired boxers. Your prayers for him have worked in the past. Alex is still facing some serious obstacles.
Young ex-champ Paul Williams was involved in a motorcycle accident and needs your prayers for a full recovery. Reports indicate that he is doing okay.
Prayers also requested for the recovery of former champ Rocky Lockridge.
Also prayers for the recovery of outstanding Hall of Fame referee Mills Lane and Denis Wilcox.
Please say prayers for Phill Grazide of Santa Rosa, CA. a big supporter of amateur boxing, who is suffering the crippling effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
Also in need of prayers for the return to health is former champ Gerald McClellan, who is legally blind and confined to a wheelchair.
On behalf of all these great fighters who have risked their life and health in our great sport, we continue to thank you for your ongoing prayers. May the good Lord bless each and every one of you.***
Do you know of any people, boxing or otherwise, in need of spiritual uplifting and/or prayers? It’s absolutely free.
You can join Glove to Glove! It’s EASY! Just drop us a line.
Membership to our prayer group is always free to all and no one will ever contact you except for other prayer requests.
We never give out or sell out our membership list. I can almost assure you that your name or contact information will not suddenly appear on anyone’s mailing list. Why almost? Because there are hackers out there and every one is vulnerable.
In short, there is absolutely no obligation to join Glove2Glove. Every prayer request is most welcome and I know that all of the recipients will appreciate it.
Why? Because it’s healing to know that other people care, even people they don’t know, and to have the knowledge because God always listens!
To join the Glove2Glove prayer group, or just request much needed prayers, drop Dave Wilcox a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or contact me care of the website you’re reading this on.
Glove2Glove, which had been a long-time integral part of the recently defunct Ringsports.com magazine and website. It is a wonderful program that I wish to have continued a long after I have left the sport and this earth. I want to thank Dave and Deborah Wilcox, who have offered to take over the program and promised to continue it indefinitely. Their generous offer means a lot to me. We always welcome new members.***
Thanks and God bless.***
Rusty Rubin, is the award winning managing editor (of Ringsports.com) as well as now defunct Nevada Boxing and Ringsports Magazine.
He is also the acclaimed author of three highly acclaimed boxing books! “Woozel, Boxing and Me”, “Off the Canvas” and “Billy Soose, the Champion Time Forgot” co-authored by fellow scribe and friend Tom Donelson.
These three books are all available at Authorhouse.com, and all major book retailers. They are all more than worth the small purchase price, or contact me via this website for a personally autographed copy at a small extra shipping charge. Please know that all proceeds from these books will be used to fight cancer.
“I WOULD LIKE TO URGE THAT ALL OF MY MANY FRIENDS TO LIST THE FOLLOWING INFO ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE AS WELL AS YOUR E-MAIL.
“HAVING BEEN BLESSED WITH SO MANY GREAT AND CARING PEOPLE IN MY LIFE, I HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO GET INVOLVED WITH NETWORKING; I’M JUST TOO DAMN TIRED AND OLD FOR THAT, ALTHOUGH I KNOW IT’S FOR A GOOD CAUSE AND THAT NETWORKING IS THE BEST WAY TO GET THE WORDS OUT.
“HENCEFORTH, ALL PROFITS FROM THE SALE OF ANY OR ALL OF MY BOOKS WILL GO TO THE SUSAN G. KOMAN FOUNDATION, AND BE USED TO FIND A CURE FOR BREAST CANCER.
“I ALSO PROPOSE A CHALLENGE TO ALL OTHER JOURNALISTS, BOXING OR OTHERWISE, TO DO WHAT THEY CAN TO SUPPORT ME IN THIS EFFORT. IT’S ALSO A CHANCE TO CHANGE THE PUBLIC OPINION OF THE WORKING PRESS AND OUR SPORT, AS WELL AS DOING SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR WORLD.
“YOUR STORIES OF INSPIRATION AND MIRACLES ARE NEEDED BY MAY 31, for my next book to inspire others and do our share to fight cancer. If you have any to share, send them to Rustyrubin@sbcglobal.net, and in the subject matter write the word miracle. Let’s all do our part to help find a permanent cure for this dread disease! Names will be withheld by request as it’s the stories of inspiration that are most important. Please feel free to pass this request along to others who have experienced life changing experiences.
“Inspiration and stories of miracles can, but do not have to be boxing or cancer related! To those who have already contributed, my sincere thanks.
“Together we may be able to find a cure for cancer and result in a much needed knockout win for the sport of boxing.
“I now have some time to try to finish this latest work, which, God willing, will bring the world so much closer to finding a cure for cancer as well as improve the lives of others. Please send me your stories at email@example.com”.
Finally, “My 2013 New Year’s resolution, besides living long enough to finish this book was to spend the rest of my life by helping others, and I really need everyone’s help to do that. Just by putting a smile on someone’s face helps to heal, not to mention giving yourself an uplifting feeling.
Please step into the ring with me to add power to all the voices that are crying out for a cure for dread diseases.
Keep punching, always….Rusty