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Found 7 results

  1. Petey Sarron

    RSR Remembers Former World Featherweight Champion Petey Sarron By Antonio Santiago-May 26, 2007 Honestly speaking, the job that I enjoy the most at RSR is writing about former or past boxers. Sadly, boxing is not like other public activities, such as music, where the name Ella Fitzgerald still holds a lot of weight, religion, where historical names are still revered and historians quoted, or politics, where Napoleon, Fulgencio Batista and Abraham Lincoln are either held as heroes or vilified to this day, decades, even centuries, after their deaths. Boxers take blows and go through great physical harm just to leave their footnote in this world, their side of the story, their vision and humanity. Great historical figures like Ernest Hemingway, Queen Elizabeth II, the Marquess of Queensbury and Frank Sinatra as well as modern legends like Sylvester Stallone and former Puerto Rican Governor Carlos Romero Barcelo are known to be staunch boxing supporters. It is interesting then, that many of the world's wealthy business people, royalty, and socialites would have the above mentioned persons visit their homes for dinner any time, yet inviting someone like, say, former world Welterweight Champion Donald Curry or multiple division Champion Johnny Tapia over for a good old time anecdote swap along with caviar and Ernest and Julio Gallo would be considered a downturn by those who can afford to do that. Because your average boxing legend, be it a champion or not, is greatly forgotten by society in general, I love to pay my humble respect to those who brought all of us joy and hope at a time with their victories by remembering them in this column. I was thinking, and I am being actually serious about this, an RSR Remembers article on Fernando Vargas. But Vargas, whose career may be done is still not officially retired. And then it hit meâ¦how about Petey Sarron? Sarron is, fairly or unfairly, mostly remembered for one night in his career, the night he lost the World Featherweight Title to Henry Armstrong, who in turn began his historic, three division titles at the same time, run that same night. But Sarron had a great career of his own, beating solid boxers like Billy Grime, Al Foreman, Benny Bass, Frankie Wallace and Baby Manuel. He even beat a guy named Babe Ruth by a ten round decision! One of the few knocks on Sarron's career, however, is that he lacked the pop to hit the home run like baseball's Babe Ruth, scoring only 25 knockouts in more than 100 bouts. Sarron made his professional boxing debut on July 1, 1925, battling to an eight round no-contest with Red Burke, as no-contests were vastly regular at that era, when many jurisdictions had not applied scoring in boxing fights yet. Before Sarron got his first world title try, he was already 78-18-11 with 13 no-contests. He lost to Freddie Miller, who had one of boxing's best rivalries with Sarron, by a fifteen round decision for the NBA Featherweight Title on March 2, 1936, at Coral Gables, Florida. In Sarron's next bout, he would again challenge Miller for the title, on May 11 of the same year in Washington, DC, with Sarron finally getting his dues paid when he conquered that NBA World Featherweight Title by out-pointing Miller over 15 rounds. After three wins, including a fine victory over Nick Camarata, Sarron made his first title defense, and he proved his mettle by getting off the canvas twice, once in round one then in round ten, to defeat tough Baby Manuel by a fifteen round decision in Dallas, Texas, on July 22. Sarron would then make South Africa his home away from home, as he had done earlier in his career with Australia, holding seven of his next nine bouts there-the other two took place in England-including a ten round non title loss to Miller and a twelve round decision over him to retain the title in a torrid, compelling affair that took place on September 4, 1937. Like two normal brothers, Sarron and Miller fought constantly, but could not be separated from each other for long. Upon return to North America, however, Sarron was welcomed by another well loved member of the fistic family, Hammering Hank, Henry Armstrong. Sarron's welcome by Armstrong was not filled with the typical presents and greetings, as Armstrong presented Sarron with a brutal array of power punches and greeted him with one of the most fearsome beatings ever witnessed in a boxing ring. What mostly nobody remembers about that fight, however, is that Sarron almost went six full rounds in a fight he clearly had no chance of winning, his deep wells of courage not allowing him to handle Armstrong the title without offering Hank a good day's work. Sarron finished his career after a points loss to Sammy Angott on July 17, 1937. He had a record of 97-24-12, 25 KO's, and 17 no-contests. In fact, he had one of the most solid chins in boxing history, his loss to Armstrong being the only knockout loss he ever suffered in 150 bouts. Among the many things people forget is the fact Sarron was in fact the first Syrian world boxing champion. Although born in Birmingham, Alabama, Sarron was proud of his Syrian heritage, a fact underlined by Time magazine, which reported his title winning effort against Miller. Many, myself included, had assumed Mustafa Hamsho was the only Syrian ever who was even close to becoming a world boxing Champion. Ironically, so far the International Boxing Hall of Fame has also seemingly forgotten Sarron, even as they have Miller, the guy Sarron took the title from, already enshrined. Sarron later became a referee, and he passed away July 3, 1994. Royalty, religious leaders, and superstars may be remembered by mass audiences, but we choose to remember those who put their body at risk for our general entertainment, often men and women who unjustifiably leave the sport and entertainment business into the darkness of a night that will never change into day again. Because of that, today we remember Petey Sarron, a warrior the sport of boxing should feel proud of.
  2. Kennedy McKinney

    Forgotten Legends: Kennedy McKinney By: Steve Gallegos Throughout the 1980’s into the 90’s, the Heavyweight division in boxing still hailed at the top; however in the early 1990’s a string of fresh new talent began to emerge in the lower weight divisions. Some of that talent included fighters like Johnny Tapia, Michael Carbajal, Kevin Kelley, Junior Jones and Orlando Canizales. They were little big men as they were smaller guys who packed a heavyweight punch. There was another member of that elite group that has long since been forgotten. He was former two-time super bantamweight champion, Kennedy “King” McKinney. A very exiciting, hard hitting fighter with a iron will and chin, McKinney put the super bantamweight division on notice in the 1990’s. McKinney was a very good amateur who competed in many national tournaments. He represented the United States at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea in which he brought back the Gold medal in the bantamweight division. He turned professional in February of 1989 and would go 21-0-1 with 13 KO’s over the next 3 1/2 years. He would get his first crack at a world title when he faced South African Welome Ncita. They met on 12/02/92 in a very small arena in Tortoli, Sardegna, Italy for the IBF Jr. featherweight championship. The early rounds were a back and forth war waged on the inside. In the middle portion of the fight, McKinney began to find his range with his right hand. He was setting up the right hand with his left jab and hurt Ncita many times in the sixth, seventh and eighth rounds. The pace picked back up in the ninth as both fighters had they’re moments. In the 10th, Ncita would have his best round as he rocked McKinney and almost had him on the canvas. The 11th round was the best round of the fight as Ncita rocked McKinney with a combination. McKinney was hurt, turned his back and went down. It appeared McKinney had quit; however he got up and took the count. Ncita went in for the kill, landing hard shots to the body and head; however he punched himself out and McKinney once again found his range. Towards the end of the round while against the ropes, McKinney landed a flush right hand that put Ncita down and out. It was a tremendous ending to a great fight and McKinney was now a world champion. He would successfully defend his title five times over the next 15 months, two by KO including a majority decison win over Ncita in a rematch. On 08/20/94, McKinney traveled to South Africa to defend his title against then unknown South African challenger Vuyani Bungu. It wasn’t McKinney’s night as Bungu controlled the bout with his crisp boxing en route to a convincing 12 round decision in Ring Magazine’s upset of the year. McKinney would take a year off from boxing and returned the in August of 1995 with an eighth round TKO over unbeaten John Lowey to claim the WBU super bantamweight title. This setup a showdown with future Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera. Barrera came into the bout with an outstanding record of 39-0 with 27 KO’s and he successfully defended his super bantamweight title four times. They met on 02/03/96 at the legendary Great Western Forum in Englewood, CA for the WBO super bantamweight title. It would be the first main event on HBO’s legendary Boxing After Dark series. Earlier in the week at a press conference to promote the fight, McKinney got under Barrera’s skin by telling him that he couldn’t beat him and how dare he try to come in and beat him while calling him “Boy”. Barerra got upset and stood up and clocked McKinney with a right hand; therefore it was a very intense atmosphere going into the bout. It was a pro-Barrera crowd that night and the Forum crowd booed when McKinney was introduced. The first round was all action as both men had their moments. McKinney was successful with his jab and was able to get in a couple of hard right hands. Barrera however was unphased as he landed hard shots of his own to the body and head while taking the round. The second round was more of the same as McKinney was able to weather Barrera’s vicious attack and stuck to his game plan by throwing his jab to set up his terrific right hand and had better success than the previous round. The third and fourth rounds were much of the same as McKinney controlled the pace with his jab and right hands. He used his longer reach to his advantage by not allowing Barrera to get on the inside and his punch output began to increase. As the bout neared the midway point, McKinney elected to abandon his jab and go toe to toe with Barrera. Both men landed hard shots to the body and head and it was nonstop as the bell sounded to end the sixth. In the eighth, the tide turned in favor of Barerra as he landed a hard combination that put McKinney on the canvas. Barerra, known as being a great finisher went in for the kill landing hard shots and put McKinney on the canvas again. McKinney was able to get up and survive Barrera’s onslaught to make it out of the round. Barrera continued to pressure McKinney in the ninth and would put Kennedy down again with an accumulation of punches. McKinney showed amazing heart by getting up off the canvas again and make it out of the round. McKinney regained the momentum in the 10th as he was able to land his right hand at will, stunning Barerra and causing him to back up. In the 11th, McKinney re-established his jab and he was able to land a hard flush right hand that buckled Barrera, causing his glove to touch the canvas; therefore it was scored as a knockdown. McKinney had the momentum going into the final round; however McKinney’s corner told him he needed a knockout. In the early stages of the 12th, Barrera put McKinney down with another quick combination; however McKinney appeared to slip and didn’t feel it was a true knockdown. In either case, it was scored a knockdown. McKinney elected to stand and trade with Barrera, giving it his all. Barrera would put McKinney down with a hard body shot, however referee Pat Russell unusually ruled it a slip. McKinney was hurt and Barrera went in for the kill to put McKinney down with a straight right hand as referee Pat Russel stopped the bout. Larry Merchant said it best, “A fitting end to a great, great prizefight“. It was a great way for boxing to start off 1996 and it was 1996’s “Fight of the Year”. Despite taking the brutal punishment, McKinney was back in the ring only three months later and won his next two bouts by decision, however the performances were subpar. 14 months after the sensational war with Barerra, McKinney was back in line for another title shot as he went back to South Africa to challenge Vuyani Bungu in a rematch, however he would once again come up short by losing a close 12 round decision. McKinney once again wasted no time and he was back in the ring only a month later as he won a unanimous decison over former world champion Hector Acero-Sanchez. He would win his next fight by TKO to set up another title shot. This time against super bantamweight champion “Poison” Junior Jones. Jones was on a high as he was coming off of two big wins over Marco Antonio Barrera. He was in the top 10 pound for pound and was confident he was unbeatable at 122 lbs. They met on 12/19/97 at Madison Square Garden, New York City. It was the co-feature on a huge night headlined by “Prince” Naseem Hamed, who was making his American debut against Kevin Kelley. Jones was hoping to land that big money fight against Hamed and was very confident he would overpower McKinney. McKinney appeared to show Jones no respect by turning his back during the referee’s instructions. McKinney also said that Jones had a glass jaw and the fight wouldn’t go eight rounds. Jones, an excellent boxer with a great jab and controlled the pace of the first two rounds. In the third round, Jones picked up the pace and put McKinney on the canvas with a good combination to the body and head. McKinney got up off the canvas and Jones went in for the kill, hoping to take his man out. In the middle of Jones’ onslaught, McKinney was able to land a hard right hand that buckled Jones towards the end of the round. Jones came out in the fourth, still dazed and winded from punching himself out. McKinney patiently began to stalk Jones, landing right hands at will. Within the last half minute of the round, both men threw right hands, however McKinney’s landed first and it landed hard, putting Jones on the canvas. Junior was able to get up, however he had nothing left and when the referee said fight, Jones then stumbled and fell forward, causing referee Wayne Kelly to stop the fight. It was a great comeback win for McKinney and he was back on top as he was once again a world champion. “Prince” Naseem Hamed would score an impressive fourth round knockout of his own in the main event. McKinney came into the ring after the fight with his new title belt to congratulate “Naz”, hoping he could get that big money fight. Negotiations began for a mega fight between Hamed and McKinney and it was close to being scheduled for “Halloween” night, 1998 in Atlantic City, however Hamed elected to fight Wayne McCullough instead. McKinney then decided to move up to featherweight to challenge WBC champion Luisito Espinosa. They met on 11/28/98 in Indio, CA and the winner of this fight was promised to get a shot at “Prince” Hamed. McKinney was coming off an 11 month layoff and the ring rust showed in the ring as he was destroyed in two rounds. It would be the end of Kennedy McKinney’s career near the top. He would go 3-2 from 1999-2003 before retiring with a record of 36-6-1 with 19 KO’s. Today he runs a boxing gym in Olive Branch, MS. He was a hard nose, blood and guts warrior who was right there in front of his opponent for every second of every round. Probably the most successful American super bantamweight of all time and he put the division on the map in the 1990’s. We hope to see him in Canastota someday. RingTV - Best I Faced Watch Fights
  3. Anton Christoforidis

    Anton Christoforidis: Unheralded but Undisputed Boxing Champion By TNH Staff - April 1, 2016 1 1062 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Anton Christoforidis is one of the most successful professional boxers of all time. Winner of multiple middleweight and light-heavyweight titles in Europe, North Africa, and the United States, Christoforidis has long been recognized as the first Modern Greek to become a world class boxing champion. Yet such acclaim did not come easily or without considerable and sustained effort. Christoforidis was born on May 6, 1917 in Mersin, a large port city on the Mediterranean coast of what is today southern Turkey. An interview with Christoforidis, a year before his death, offers this recollection: “when I was one month old, the Turks killed seven of the twelve members in our family, including my father. All that was left was my mother, sister, brother, a nephew and me. The rest of us were exiled to Greece in 1921 (European Stars and Stripes September 7, 1984).” Once in Greece the family eventually settled in Athens where Christoforidis began picking cotton by the age of six. Within two years of their arrival Christoforidis’ mother was dead. By the very early 1930s, Christoforidis while struggling to live on the streets of Athens he was even then learning to box. Unable to make a living by boxing in Greece Christoforidis, around 1933, went to Paris and immediately entered boxing circles. Very quickly Christoforidis was recognized as a very competent boxer who possessed good basic skills. At the same time it was also clear that the young Greek did not possess “heavy hands” which is boxing jargon for the ability to cleanly and consistently knockout one’s opponents. Consequently, throughout his career Christoforidis focused on his innate ability to cannily size up the moment and out-work his adversary in the ring. From 1935 to 1939 Christoforidis fought not just in France but also Holland, Belgium, Germany, Greece and North Africa. From 1935, until late 1939, the young Greek had 46 professional fights in Europe. Various reports allege that Christoforidis’ first professional bout was against Theodore Korenyi in Athens, Greece, which he won by a second round knockout. On November 8, 1937, Christoforidis won both the Greek Middleweight and Greek Light Heavyweight titles from Costas Vassis in Athens, Greece. Christoforidis defeated EBU (European) Middleweight Champion Bep van Klaveren on November 14, 1938 in a title match. Christoforidis later said that one of the spectators of this bout was none other than Adolf Hitler. His first title defense, for the European middleweight was against France’s Edouard Tenet in Paris. Anton was ahead on points going into the eleventh round, but broke his left hand that round and was forced to finish the fight on the defensive. He lost via decision and so lost his European middleweight championship title. Yet it was his 10-round contest with Lou Brouillard, on April 5, 1939 that brought Christoforidis to the attention of American boxing promoters such as Ed Mead and other notables. Again, rather than a clean win by either boxer Christoforidis won by decision. By early November 1939, Christoforidis was brought to the United States by American boxing promoter Lou Burston. As reported by syndicated sports columnist Jack Cuddy: “Burston considers himself mighty lucky because this Greek battler shapes up as one of the finest middleweight prospects ever to hit town. Veteran lookers-over, like “Dumb Dan” Morgan, Lou Brix and Nat Rodgers (all notable boxing promoters) predict Anton will develop into the greatest of all Greek fighters, whether born here or abroad (San Diego Union December 31, 1939).” Press accounts of this period stressed that Christoforidis was “rated among the best fighters in Europe…out of 100 fights he’s said to have scored at least forty-five knockouts” (Daily Nonpariel January 7, 1940).” Christoforidis made his United States debut on January 5, 1940 in Madison Square Garden, defeating Willie Pavlovich by decision. After this success, for reasons not now known to history, Christoforidis settled in Geneva, Ohio. Anton next built up a six fight winning streak, which was stopped when future Hall of Famer Jimmy Bivins. Anton once said, “I won that fight; it was strictly a hometown decision.” Rather than a mere brag, in a rematch held on December 2, 1940, Christoforidis returned the favor and walked off with a 10-round decision, handing Bivins the first defeat of his American career. The Bivins win landed Christoforidis a shot at Melio Bettina for the vacant National Boxing Association World Light Heavyweight title. At this moment, in American sport’s history boxing titles were regional not national. With that in mind, Christoforidis won the NBA Light Heavyweight title-crown on January 13, 1941 in Cleveland, Ohio by defeating Bettina in a unanimous decision of a fifteen-round bout. It is with this success that Anton Christoforidis became the first Greek to become a world boxing champion. Just for the sake of a Greek-American historical perspective, at this very same moment, Jim Londos held various heavy weight boxing titles as well. American sports writers have never been known for their innate sensitivity. So, Christoforidis’ name became a long running topic of discussion. In the end, the fans dubbed the young Greek “Christo the Fisto” while the press grudgingly admitted the young boxer’s good looks and so tended to call him the “Greek Sheik.” But the world of American professional boxing was a volatile forum during this period. After knockout wins over Italo Colonello and Johnny Romero in nontitle bouts, Christoforidis lost his NBA title to Gus Lesnevich by unanimous decision on May 22, 1941. Although this event was not technically an NBA title fight, Lesnevich was later awarded the title by the NBA regardless on May 24, 1941. Never stopping long in his career Christoforidis next met and defeated both Ceferino Garcia and George Burnette. Then, on January 12, 1942, Christoforidis suffered his first knockout loss at the hands of rising contender and future light heavyweight legend Ezzard Charles in Cincinnati, Ohio. On February 2, 1943, Christoforidis won the “duration” heavyweight title from Jimmy Bivins and then promptly lost it to Lloyd Marshall on April 21st of that same year. Christoforidis fought his last bout on February 18, 1947 against Anton Raadik. While accounts vary it seems safe to say that at his retirement Christoforidis’ record consisted of 53 wins (13 by knockout), 15 losses and 8 draws. At his height of his career it was not uncommon for 12,000 to 14,000 people to attend a Christoforidis bout. A longtime resident of Ohio, upon his retirement Christoforidis ran a bar-restaurant in Geneva, OH for a good number of years. In 1961, Christoforidis and his wife were divorced and in 1968 he sold his interests in Geneva and moved to Florida to retire. In 1971, he took an extended trip back to Greece for the first time for a scheduled 45 days. However, he liked it so much, the 45 days turned into 15 years. As one might expect Christoforidis was a hero in Greece. On October 31, 1985, Christoforidis died suddenly of an apparent heart attack in Athens, Greece. Holder of at least five different European, North African and American professional boxing titles Anton Christoforidis is the first Greek to become an undisputed professional box champion. The logical question here is why do we not hear more of this champion and the other Greeks like his contemporary Londos, who all were literally at the pinnacle of American sports? CBZ - Anton "The Sheik" Greek vs Jimmy Bivins
  4. Peter Mathebula

    Terror's special place in history by Ron Jackson 16/08/2012, 12:44 Peter Mathebula earned himself a special place in SA boxing history when he won the WBA flyweight title in 1980. The date was December 13, and Mathebula beat Tae Shik Kim from South Korea on points in the Olympic Arena in Los Angeles to take the belt. Mathebula, who was born on July 3, 1952 and spent his early years in the Mohlakeng Township near Randfontein in Gauteng, became the first black South African to win a world title. Only three other South Africans – Willie Smith, Arnold Taylor and Vic Toweel – were regarded as world champions before “Terror” Mathebula defeated Kim. Mathebula, sporting a collection of scars that he had picked up in street fights, left South Africa almost unnoticed to go challenge the champion. Only two sports writers went to see him off at the airport. In a way, he was well prepared for the daunting task. He had grown up in an area where violence was part of life. He became, from the age of ten, a tough street-fighter. The 23-year-old Kim, from Seoul, was a feared fighter. He had knocked out 11 opponents in his 16 fights. His only loss was in his debut as a professional in September 1977. He won the WBA title when knocked out Luis Ibarra, who had a record of 19-1, in the second round. After retaining the title against Arnel Arrozal, Kim was the overwhelming favourite when he took on the little-known South African in a fight scheduled for 15 rounds. At the bell for the first round, Mathebula rushed in and started throwing punches in an effort to stop the champion early. But when it became clear that Kim could take his best punches, trainer Willie Lock told Mathebula to pace himself and stay in close. Mathebula used his jab to outbox Kim, who soon resorted to using his elbows, butting and even hitting on the break. In the fourth round, when he head-butted the challenger again, an old cut above Mathebula’s right eye opened. The doctor was called in to examine the damage in the sixth round, but let the fight go on. In the fourteenth round the desperate Korean launched a vicious attack but Mathebula hung on until the bell. The courageous South African’s eye was swollen nearly shut but he launched an all-out attack in the final round to earn a split-decision win – 145-143 on two cards against 145-142 for Kim. RUNNING START Mathebula received his first boxing lesson from Jake Mashigo, who had fought as a lightweight in the late 1960s. Mashigo first saw the youngster when he was taking some members of his boxing club on a training run. They were passing some shops when a boy of about nine years old joined the group – and stayed with them. The lad soon became a regular at the beerhall where the training sessions were held. He had his first fight in Roodepoort when he weighed about 21 kg. He beat up his opponent and Mashigo afterwards told him his opponent was nicknamed Terror. But because there was no “terror” left in him, the name was transferred to young Peter. In 1969, after winning most of his bouts, he teamed up with Theo Mthembu and Ted Khasibe at the Siphiwe Amalgamated Boxing Club in Dobsonville. He made his professional debut in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, on July 10, 1971 when he beat Sidwell Mhlongo on points over four rounds. However, he lost two of three fights in 1972 and had only one fight in 1973, when he defeated Joe Ngidi in Durban. But Ngidi stopped him in the fourth round of a return match in June 1974. Ngidi won the vacant SA flyweight title on August 1, 1975 when he beat William Molatudi, but he lost it to Mathebula, who won by stoppage, in his first defence on May 1, 1976. SEVEN FIGHTS AGAINST SITHEBE Before winning the SA title, Mathebula had beaten William Molatudi to take over the Transvaal flyweight title, which he retained against Johannes Sithebe in the second bout of a seven-fight series between the two. All were exciting battles that went the full distance, except for their last one in September 1980, which Sithebe was stopped in the ninth round. In four of the fights the SA flyweight title was at stake. Mathebula also made successful defences against Ngidi, winning both fights inside the distance, before facing his first imported opponent, Freddie Hernandez, in Johannesburg. He was well beaten. However, he then won ten fights, seven inside the distance. One was for the vacant SA bantamweight title against Leslie Pikoli, whom he knocked out in the eighth round in Port Elizabeth on February 3, 1979. He retained the title against Vincent Ngcobo but lost if when Welile Nkosinkulu stopped him in the ninth round in December 1979. Dave Wolpert and Bobby Toll, who had just taken over as his management, felt a lot better when Mathebula recovered to beat Godfrey Nkate and Johannes Sithebe before being matched with Kim. They were supposed to fight in South Korea in May 1980 but Mathebula and his countrymen Raymond Slack, Willie Lock and Stanley Christodoulou were refused visas and had to abort the trip in Hong Kong. Mike Mortimer, chairman of the WBA rating committee, then struck a deal with the Korean Boxing Commission for the fight to be held in Los Angeles or Argentina. After beating Kim in Los Angeles, Mathebula received a hero’s welcome in Johannesburg. He was named SA Boxing World/King Korn Fighter of the Year and his trainer, Willie Lock, received the Man of the Year award. FIGHTING AT ORLANDO STADIUM Mathebula was scheduled to make the first defence of his title against Shigo Nakajima of Japan, but negotiations broke down and he was matched with Santos Lacier from Argentina. They fought at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on March 28, 1981. Laciar began to dominate after a slow first three rounds and knocked Mathebula down in the fourth and fifth. With his left eye cut, a tired-looking Mathebula came out for the seventh round. Laciar pounced and dropped the champion again. Mathebula beat the count but soon afterward indicated to referee American Stanley Berg that he was unable to see through the blood flowing from his eye. The fight was stopped two minutes and two seconds into the round. Some local supporters were so disappointed that they turned against Mathebula, whom they felt had let them down. “He drank and ate carelessly and forgot his responsibilities as a world champion,” one fan was quoted as saying. As WBA champion, Mathebula had indeed attended many functions. He had to dance to the tune of sponsors and did not train hard enough. He also probably underestimated Laciar. It was later revealed that he was 3 kg over the weight limit on the eve of the fight. He spent two hours in a sauna, which left him drained and weak. As a former WBA champion, he was still in demand and was offered a fight against another former WBA flyweight champion, Venezuelan Betulio Gonzalez. They met in Maracaibo in June 1981 and Mathebula as stopped in the tenth round. In a return match in Maracaibo three months later was knocked out in the sixth round. Fighting as a bantamweight in 1982, he beat Joseph Ngubane,who later won the SA bantamweight title, and knocked out Welile Nkosinkulu, lost to Matata Plaatjies and outpointed Siphiwo Fuma. On April 16, 1983 he outpointed Mandla Booi and in his last fight, on August 12, the same year he won the Transvaal bantamweight title by stopping Jacob Molefe in the tenth round to finish with a record of 36 wins (17 inside the distance) and 9 losses.
  5. Hilmer Kenty

    Kronk’s Hilmer Kenty - From AAU to WBA Champion! Interview By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (Jan 31, 2011) From 1972 to 1976 the amateurs in the US were as good as any in the entire world. Detroit’s Hilmer Kenty would spar with Thomas “The Hit Man” Hearns in the Kronk Gym and then fight the likes of “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor and Howard Davis, Jr. That was just to win either the AAU or Golden Gloves titles. A boxer had to be exceptional in those days and Kenty was exceptional! “I fought Aaron Pryor 7 times. He defeated Pryor for the US Championship in 1976 but lost in their last fight (after splitting 3-3). I lost to him to see who would fight Howard Davis, Jr. in the 1976 Olympic trials,” said Kenty. This writer witnessed Pryor and Davis and I believe Pryor could have made the team just as easily as Davis did. It all came down to attitudes and Davis had a better one. Kenty was 106-30 winning the AAU title in 1974 and 1975 at 132. He was 16 when he fought in the 1972 Olympic trials. “In the 1973 Golden Gloves finals I lost to Ray Leonard. He was fast and could punch. You could see the improvement each year with him. When he fought Tommy (Hearns) I know he did a lot of studying of his films in order to fight him the way he did. I had to learn to get inside of Tommy’s power in the gym,” said Kenty. “After winning the AAU titles (74-75) I lost to Howard Davis in 1976. He had such speed and quickness,” said Kenty. Pertaining to his 7 fights with Hall of Fame boxer Pryor was very interesting. “Pryor could be so aggressive yet people underestimated his boxing ability. He could be more dangerous when he had you chasing him. I lost to Pryor one night and the next night he beat Hearns,” said Kenty. Born in Austin, TX, in 1955, Kenty’s family moved to OH, at an early age. “My trainer was Bill Cummings through the amateurs. He started the Ohio State Fair tournaments. Manny Steward would later do something similar to Bill when he started Kronk. Our club was the IBC (the Invitational Boxing Club out of Columbus),” said Kenty. “When I turned pro Bill would be my trainer and manager. The professionals were a lot different in OH, as far as the number of shows. Bill’s main fighter was Steve Gregory,” said Kenty. Gregory would go 20-0-2 before losing in a world title bout. Kenty would win his debut defeating Steve “Hammer” Homan, 10-0 (8), in a 6 round decision in October of 1977 in Columbus. In his next fight in November he was beating Ray Carrington, 6-14, while his year older brother Forrest Winchester, 4-0 (4) was stopping Al “Earthquake” Carter, 3-0 (3), in 5 rounds. Carter would win his next 19 fights all by knockout before losing again. Winchester would go 15-0-2 beating future champ Manning Galloway, before losing a fight. Kenty would win 4 of his first 5 fights in OH, with one in Detroit. “I started fighting for the Kronk Gym in my sixth fight. Manny (Steward) would be the first person in the gym and the last person to leave,” said Kenty. He would score 6 straight knockouts in Detroit before defeating title challenger Arturo Leon, 22-15-2. Leon lost a decision in a title bout with Alexis Arguello the year before. “He was tough and smart. I was trying too hard for a knockout,” said Kenty. He would take a 10 round decision over Leon. A couple months later in Kenty’s next fight he found himself on the canvas not once but twice. “I got dropped in the first and second rounds by Canadian Ralph Racine, 24-7-1, but recovered and won the rest of the way taking a close decision,” said Kenty. He would end the year in 1979 stopping South American champ Sebastian Mosqueira, of Paraguay, and Scotty Foreman of New Orleans bringing his record to 16-0 in just 25 months. “I remember seeing Leo Randolph (1976 Olympic Gold) win a world title within 2 years in his eighteenth fight. That really inspired me to get an early title fight,” said Kenty. It would be 4 months later in March of 1980 he would fight WBA lightweight champion Ernesto Espana, 27-1 (24), of Venezuela, in the motor city of Detroit. Espana was on a 13 straight knockout streak. His only loss was in his fourth fight and that was reversed. He defeated Claude Noel for the vacant WBA title and stopped then unbeaten Johnny Lira in his only defense. This was your boxer – puncher match-up. The Joe Louis Arena in Detroit would have 13,172 in attendance. Espana made his US debut in the Lira fight. During instructions Espana’s trainer questioned Kenty’s gloves trying to unnerve the challenger. Kenty was cool as a cucumber with the smile of confidence. When Kenty went down to a knee in the first round Latino referee Larry Rozadilla called it a knockdown. It looked like they may have banged heads. Howard Cosell at ringside thought it was a slip. It cost Kenty the first round no matter what. Rozadilla would also score the fight along with another Latino Ismael Fernandez. Now HBO judge Harold Lederman would serve as the third judge. With a Latino referee and 2 Latino judges Espana had that going for him as the champion. Kenty had the thousands of fans behind him. In the second round it became a war. Only Kenty had a jab while Espana was throwing all power punches with Kenty getting the best of it. In the third round Kenty was keeping his left down inviting Espana to throw a right. Kenty had his way through rounds 2 to 5. Espana only went more than 6 rounds in 2 of his 3 decision wins and it was beginning to show by the sixth round with his face well marked. In the ninth Kenty rocked Espana back on his heels. Espana came back with an uppercut to the chin. A left hook knocked Espana into the ropes. Espana was on rubbery legs as he got to the middle of the ring. A barrage of over a dozen punches drove Espana into the ropes again. He was draped over the ropes taking punch after punch with the referee for some reason not stopping the fight. Kenty was knocking the head of Espana back time after time before the referee finally stepped in at the 2:53 mark of the ninth. At the time of stoppage the judges Rozadilla had it 78-75 and Lederman 78-74 for Kenty. Fernandez had it 76-74 Espana. Kenty’s handlers and Kronk fighters like Tommy Hearns were in the ring congratulating not only the new WBA lightweight champion, Hilmer Kenty, but Kronk’s first world champion! “No one knew who I was when I won the title. Hearns was the man. I didn’t handle success well”, said Kenty. Hearns would be their second champ. In his first defense back in the Joe Louis Arena in August Kenty had the OPBF Champion Young Ho Oh, 39-7-3, of South Korea down twice in the eighth round. He couldn’t come out for the ninth. “He wasn’t much,” said Kenty. Just 7 weeks later Kenty would give Espana a rematch at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium, in San Juan, Puerto Rico in September. It was 6 months since their first fight and Espana hadn’t taken any fights. “It was so hot out that the fast pace exhausted me. By the fourth round I could hardly punch,” said Kenty. He had been cut in the corner of his left eye in the second round of a slugfest. Kenty rocked Espana into the corner and Espana was shook. In the third round a left hook rocked Espana. He barely was able to walk back to his corner at the end of the round. Espana was cut over the left eye in the fourth. Espana was completely out on his feet as Kenty landed four unanswered punches before referee Marty Denkin stopped it at 2:57 of the fourth round. Kenty held his young son in the ring after defending the title and was all smiles glad it was over. Again just 7 weeks later Kenty would be in with a veteran who had an unusual style in Vilomar Fernandez, 24-7-2, a Dominican out of New York who had defeated WBC Super featherweight champ Alexis Arguello in a non-title bout 2 years earlier. He lost to Olympian Howard Davis, Jr., who chose to fight Jim Watt for his WBC title instead of Kenty for his WBA title. Davis thought he was taking the easier way out and suffered his first loss in Scotland. Fernandez had lost to Robert Duran in 1977 in a WBA title bout. The Fernandez fight with Davis was very close on 2 of the judge’s score cards so he would get the title shot with Kenty. The fight was at the Cobo Hall in Detroit in November. “He was a slick boxer and had good speed,” said Kenty. The referee Waldemar Schmidt of Puerto Rico would also score the fight along with judge’s Rogelio Perez and Guy Jutras. “I got leg cramps in the fourteenth round from losing weight in this fight,” said Kenty. The fight would go the distance of 15 rounds. All 3 judges gave Fernandez 141 points. Schmidt gave Kenty 145, Perez 147 and Jutras 146 with Kenty retaining his title for the third time. Due to cataract surgery it would be 5 months before meeting Sean O’Grady, 74-2, in April of 1981 in Atlantic City. O’Grady had only lost to Hall of Famer Danny “Little Red” Lopez and in a 1980 title fight with WBC champion Jim Watt in Scotland on cuts. He was ahead on all 3 cards after 11 rounds. Kenty was having enough problems making weight. “Before the fight I was scared. It seemed like he had all the support. He had Emmanuel Steward, Tommy Hearns and many other great boxers in his corner! He was the best boxer I faced. Even in Prior to the fight his manager/trainer Manny Steward told this writer Kenty had a bad cold and he didn’t want him taking the fight and knew O’Grady was more than ready. Kenty disagreed with being told this and said he was told “fight or lose your title” by Steward. “I should have never fought. I got hit in the chest in the first round and knocked down. My cold was so bad you could see the mucus coming out of my nose from the knockdown. I was down one more time in the fight,” said Kenty. Kenty lost his title in a fight he should not have taken and moved up to 140. O’Grady did not escape without injury as the blood was flowing down the side of his face from a cut outside his left eye at the finish. The scores were lopsided at 146-139, 146-138 and 147-137 all for O’Grady. That wasn’t going to be Kenty’s only problem. “Before the fight I was scared. It seemed like he had all the support. He had Emmanuel Steward, Tommy Hearns and many other great boxers in his corner! He was the best boxer I ever faced. Even in the later rounds he continued to try to beat me. He was so tough and fought with the heart of a champion. He threw up in his corner between the 10th and 11th round yet he still came out for more,” said O’Grady. This was taken from the story this writer did on O’Grady. “The crowd was electric. I remember them chanting for me and it inspired me to keep going. They probably inspired him, too! After the fight I really felt sorry for him. I am so proud that I won that fight. I interviewed him on Tuesday Night Fights and can say that we are friends. One thing I learned about boxing is that even though, through 15 rounds you say no words whenever you fight someone you look into their soul. You know what kind of person your adversary is. I can tell you Hilmer Kenty is a solid person. He is a man of character,” said O’Grady. “It was 3 months after the O’Grady fight that it was discovered I had a retina tare in my left eye,” said Kenty. He would be inactive for 14 months. “I was never the same after the surgery,” said Kenty. He would leave Kronk at that time. “I was told the surgery went well. People said I couldn’t come back and I think it gave me a burning desire to become champ again,” said Kenty. Kenty’s first fight back would be June of 1982 at the Joe Louis Arena where he would stop Christ Fernandez, 26-15-4, in the fourth round. This was a “to get the rust out” fight. Next would me unbeaten John Montes, Jr., 22-0 (17), of L.A., who also had a decision win over Arturo Leon. Kenty would come in at 133 ½, the lowest since before winning the title. With a plan of fighting every 2 months Kenty would meet Roberto Elizondo, 24-3 (19) who lost to Arguello for his WBC title less than a year before. Elizondo had his jaw broken by Arguello and lost a close decision to former champ Cornelius Boza Edwards right after that. In his last bout 2 weeks before this bout he scored a knockout. The fight took place at Great Gorge Resort, McAfee, NJ. Ray Leonard and Gil Clancy were doing the commentating. Leonard talked about his eye problems in comparing them to Kenty prior to the fight. He also felt Kenty was fighting inside more instead of boxing. In the first round Kenty boxed very well dominating Elizondo who couldn’t seem to land more than a couple of punches though the aggressor. The second round was a complete turn around as Elizondo was landing with effectiveness to both the body and head. Once he got Kenty on the ropes you knew it was the last place Kenty wanted to be. A couple of straight right hands got Elizondo’s attention but nothing to hold him off. At the end of the second round Kenty did not come out. Kenty was interviewed after the fight, obviously dejected. “I just didn’t feel like I had anything tonight. I don’t know if it was getting down to the weight or what. I want to apologize to my fans. I don’t think I could have gotten through a third round as you could see he was coming on and I hit him with a couple of good shots and it had no effect on him,” said Kenty. This would be his last fight at lightweight. Today, Kenty simply says “I quit”. He would be back in action 3 months later against James Martinez, 47-24-3, at the Yack Arena, in Wyandotte, MI. He would win a 10 round decision. It would be 7 months before he would fight again when he took on Ali Kareem Muhammad, 11-0, at the Boardman Sports Complex, Traverse City, MI. Again, Kenty would take the 10 rounder by decision. “He was tough,” said Kenty. After 2 more wins, 1 by knockout, Kenty was up to welterweight at 143. In April of 1984 he took on future IBF lightweight champion Fred Pendleton, 10-7-1, in Detroit, taking another 10 round decision. He was smart and a good puncher. This writer managed Pendleton for one fight and can tell you whoever gave him the nickname “Fearless” must have been using reverse psychology. In June Kenty scored a knockout and finished his career in August winning a split decision over Dave Odem, 10-5-2, at Riverview Ballroom Cobo Arena, in Detroit. “I always knew I had good boxing ability. Good view of the ring and got my opponent to do what I wanted him to do. For Odem to even go the distance with me I knew I didn’t have it anymore and retired at 29,” said Kenty. Kenty was pleased to become a world champion and is a man of God today. He attends the Plymouth United Church of Christ. “I was truly blessed to win the title in 2½ years. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior,” said Kenty. In the late 90’s he was appointed to the board of athletes by Govenor Blanchard. He also ran an electric supply business which he sold in 1997. “Today I feel I would like to get involved in boxing in some way,” said Kenty. As a former AAU champion and a world WBA champion it would be easy for Kenty to fit in somewhere in boxing. Like many boxers he may have gotten to the top too fast. Last year marked 30 years since he won the WBA title. Even today he is a well spoken individual like he was along with Sean O’Grady when they fought 30 years ago this April. O’Grady said it all when he said “I can tell you Hilmer Kenty is a solid person. He is a man of character”!
  6. Primo Carnera

    Primo Carnera: Heavyweight Champion or Mob Creature? Rich Thomas, Yahoo! Contributor Network - Nov 30, 2009 Primo Carnera was born in Sequals, a small Italian town north of Venice, on October 26, 1906. He grew up training to be a carpenter, moving to France at the age of 14. Even in his teens, however, Carnera was already developing the substantial physique that would go on to earn him international fame, so by the age of 16 he had joined the circus as a strongman. It was there he was noticed by French boxing promoters, and by 18 he had switched professions and become a professional pugilist. Carnera's strong point as a boxer was also his biggest selling point: his size. In an era when a good heavyweight was about 6 foot and 200 lbs., Carnera was almost 6' 6" tall and weighed around 265 lbs. He was a big, well-muscled man, and had a sideshow appeal akin to today's Nikolai Vaulev. Like Vaulev, he was very strong, but was ponderous and his main advantages in the ring were long reach, height, and heavy, thudding shots. Drawing crowds on the basis of his big, buff body, Carnera racked up a 14-1 record before meeting his first serious heavyweight contender in 1929, Young Stirbling. Stirbling took the bigger, but poorly schooled Italian to school, scoring with hard body shots and making Carnera look foolish. Then Stirbling hit Carnera below the belt, resulting in a Disqualification when Carnera could not continue. This was the first fight that some dubbed as "fixed," but was it? Probably not. Stirbling was relying heavily on body shots, after all, so that he crunched Carnera's family jewels is easy to believe. Even if Carnera were faking, which is a big if, it does not take a dirty referee to issue a DQ under those circumstances. A foul is a foul is a foul. The two met again in Paris roughly three weeks later. Stirbling was once again outclassing the inexperienced and unskilled Italian. As Stirbling turned to return to his corner after the 7th, Carnera hit him on the back of the head. This time is was Carnera who was disqualified for flagrant fouling. Strangely, some historians say this fight was fixed too, even though it was Carnera who lost it by DQ. However, the Stirbling bouts had attracted the attention of American boxing promoters, and soon Carnera was on his way to the States. It was here that his management came under the influence of Owney Madden, a British-born gangster who was involved in bootlegging, boxing promotions, as well as running the famed Cotton Club. Only in America Carnera's boxing career in America was almost immediately dogged by allegations of corruption. His second bout in the U.S. was in Chicago in January 1930 against Elzear Rioux. Rioux was knocked down six times in the 1st Round, with many in the audience swearing they never saw Carnera land a single clean punch. Worse is that Chicago was one of the most mobbed-up cities in the country at the time. The Illinois Boxing Commission let Carnera go, but fined Rioux and revoked his boxing license. It is clear that Rioux was a tomato can who did a very poor job of taking a dive. The big Italian met his next contender in June 1930 the form of George Godfrey, an African-American who was almost as big as Carnera and on a knockout streak. Godfrey was winning the fight when he was disqualified on a foul. In this case, the eye-witness reports are damning: the referee saved Carnera. Finally, in October 1930 Carnera was outboxed by a journeyman named Jim Maloney, and either because the Boston venue was beyond the reach of Owney Madden or because Madden had gotten lazy, Carnera lost the decision. In November, Carnera returned to Europe for a match in Barcelona with Basque fighter Paulino Uzcudun. Ringside observers say Carnera won only 2 Rounds, but he won the decision anyway. Then came a 1931 rematch with Maloney, which Carnera actually won fair and square. Perhaps chastened by the earlier loss, Carnera was clearly starting to learn something about boxing. In Contention By October 1931, Carnera was fighting Jack Sharkey, a future heavyweight champion and a man who had beaten Carnera's old rival Stirbling. Although he was smaller, Sharkey was a tough character who had gone 7 Rounds with Jack Dempsey. Sharkey knocked him down in the 4th and cleanly outpointed him, but Carnera was in the fight right up to the very end. He impressed many with his fortitude and improved ability. Carnera followed up on that momentum by meeting and defeating contender Kingfish Levinsky a month later. Carnera continued to fight and mostly win, drawing record-breaking crowds on the strength of his freakish size. In 1932 he knocked out the South African Heavyweight Champion, but then dropped two points losses before bouncing back to beat an undefeated Art Lansky (a fighter who would appear as a Braddock opponent in The Cinderella Man). Then he won a rematch with Kingfish Levinsky. Carnera's momentum was briefly interrupted by the unfortunate death of Earnie Schaaf, who had recently been savagely knocked out by contender Max Baer and should not have had medical clearance to continue fighting. Carnera's blows compounded the damage from the Baer beating, and caused an inter-cranial hemorrhage that resulted in Schaaf's death four days after the fight. Championship Jack Sharkey had previously announced that he would give a title shot to the winner of the Carnera vs. Schaaf bout. It has been rumored that this was arranged by Owney Madden, but it is just as likely that Sharkey was avoiding a fight with the incredibly dangerous puncher Max Baer. It is also rumored that Sharkey took a dive on orders from Madden, but keep in mind that Sharkey was 31 and had a lot of boxing miles on his body. In their June 1933 rematch, Sharkey made a lethargic, flat-footed effort that made him an easy target for the lumbering Italian, and Carnera gave him a bad beating, hitting with a right uppercut in the 6th that literally lifted Sharkey from the canvas. Sharkey denied taking a dive to his dying day, and certainly no sane man would deliberately catch an uppercut like the one that felled him. Now the World Heavyweight Champion, Carnera made the first defense of his title in Rome, in a rematch with Basque fighter Paulino Uzcudun. Fascist strongman Benito Mussolini was among those in attendance. That Carnera won on points is not disputed. His second defense was in Florida, against light heavyweight great Tommy Loughran. Loughran outboxed the plodding Carnera for several rounds, but Carnera fought a smart, yet rough and dirty fight that made the most of his size. He repeatedly stepped on Loughran's feet, pinning him down. Eventually Loughran broke a toe, further limiting his mobility. Carnera probably should have had points deducted, but as it was he won a gritty decision. In June 1934, Carnera defended his title for the third time against the feared funnyman of boxing, Max Baer. Baer's wild, aggressive assault felled Carnera eleven times en route to an 11th Round knockout. Carnera displayed great courage and stamina, getting up again and again just to be nailed by the hardest hitter in the game at that time. Even so, the big Italian was utterly demolished by the Clown Prince of Boxing. Former Champion Carnera started a comeback with a tour of South America, but in June 1936 met a rising, 19-0 Joe Louis. The backdrop for this fight was the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, so 62,000 people filled Yankee Stadium to watch another of what would be many racially-charged heavyweight bouts in the mid-1930s. Louis was even more dangerous than Baer, and reduced Carnera to utter helplessness in 6 Rounds. The fight ended with a crushing knockout. Carnera boxed occasionally after that, but was never again a serious world contender. In 1946 he turned to wrestling, where he once again became a star. He died in 1967 in his native Italy. Legacy Unfortunately, Carnera's name is bound up with shadowy mob dealings and allegations of corruption. Certainly there were Carnera bouts where officials were tampered with, and more where the opponent was either chosen because they were cream-puffs or were paid to take a dive. But how just how many allegations of fight fixing were true? In many ways, Carnera is the antecedent to today's Nikolai Valuev. Yes, Valuev undoubtedly robbed an aging Evander Holyfield in a bout in Switzerland in 2008. The political machinations that awarded him with the WBA title for a second time - a title he did not even win in the ring! - were pure farce. However, it is beyond doubt that Valuev beat guys like John Ruiz and Sergei Lyakhovich fair and square (if barely beat them). In many ways, it seems likely that Carnera's career is more tarnished than it deserves. After all, the aforementioned Holyfield robbed Lennox Lewis in their first bout (with the help of Don King), and no one thinks of him as a product of dirty judging. Carnera was an Italian boxer in the 1930s, the decade of the gangster. Viewed through that lens, conspiracy theories regarding the mafia come easy. Yet upon examining the facts, it becomes clear that Primo Carnera won plenty of real fights, and he did it the same way Valuev did: on the basis of sheer size, reach and strength. Sources:;; Joe Louis: The Great Black Hope. ****** vs Paulino Uzcudun I & II Film Vs Jack Sharkey II Film Vs Max Baer Film Vs Joe Louis Film ******* Another article Crumbling Mountain: The Body of Primo Carnera
  7. Gary Hinton

    IBF #140 Champ Inducted into PA HOF Interview by Ken Hissner (May 16, 2010) Doghouse Boxing West Philadelphia’s Gary Hinton came up through the ranks in the amateurs during the 1976-77 years when there was an abundance of good boxers. On May 16th this former IBF light welterweight champion will be inducted into the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. Hinton fought for the Executioners Gym at 60th and Vine under head trainer Tucchi Gordon. Hinton turned professional in January of 1978 for promoter J. Russell Peltz. He won three of his first four fights over Billy Jones in finally stopping him in their last fight. That fight was held at the Spectrum in South Philly after earning his way there with three wins at the now legendary Blue Horizon. In January of 1979 in his fifth fight he won an 8 round decision over Michael Ross, 2-1, also of Philly. “He was a tough fighter,” said Hinton. He followed this with a knockout over Lou Daniels, 6-3, before meeting Jerry Graham, 10-1-1, in his eighth fight. A decision win here put Hinton moved him to Atlantic City where he defeated Ronnie Green, 7-3-3, over 8 rounds in the ESPN tournament in June of 1980. Four weeks later Hinton was matched with future world champion and fellow Philly fighter Charlie “Choo Choo” Brown, 9-1-1. Peltz had a reputation of pitting the Philly fighters against one another which may not have produced as many champions as there should have been but it paid off at the box office. “I had him hurt in the last round and though I pulled it out. Green and Brown both were tough,” said Hinton. Three months later Hinton met Brown’s stable mate Ernest Jackson, 4-1, boxing to a draw over 8 rounds in Atlantic City. Just 6 weeks later he had a rematch with Graham, 11-3-1, defeating him at the Wynne Ballroom, in West Philly over 8 rounds. After posting a couple more wins he was matched with Puerto Rico’s Victor Mangual, 10-4-2, in the first of two meetings in July of 1980. Hinton increased his record to 13-1-1, with a win over 8 rounds. He would follow this up a little over a month later stopping Teddy Hatfield, 8-0, in 3 rounds at the Martin Luther King Arena in Philly. This was next door to the famous American Bandstand. In November of 1981 Hinton met the USBA champion, Curtis “Troubleman” Harris, 12-1, in a non-title bout in Atlantic City. “He kept holding me the whole fight but I still thought I beat him,” said Hinton. A rematch the next month with Mangual resulted in a 4th round knockout win for Hinton. He was only able to fight twice in 1982 scoring a pair of wins in Atlantic City. In early 1983 Hinton scored two knockouts before decisioning Steve Mitchell, 8-0, in Atlantic City. In March of 1984 he met fellow southpaw Jerome Kinney, 20-1, of Detroit. The vacant USBA light welterweight title was at stake with Hinton taking the title over 12 rounds. In July he defended his new title against Brett Lally, 16-3, in Atlantic City. “He would come in with his head and butt me the entire fight,” said Hinton. He managed to keep his title winning a majority decision earning an IBF title bout with now Hall of Fame boxer Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor. It wasn’t until March of 1985 in Atlantic City when Hinton, 23-2-1, met Pryor, 35-0, who was making his 10th defense. Two of the judges had it 143-141 for each fighter. Some how the other judge had it 146-139 for Pryor by split decision. This writer had it 143-142 for Pryor, 8-7 in rounds. “I thought I won that fight,” said Hinton. Pryor would not fight again for 29 months vacating his title. I had met Pryor in camp in Pleasantville, NJ, and he was like a different person than he was when I met him in Easton, Pa. years earlier. He was “born again” and couldn’t have been friendlier. “I had no problems with him prior to the fight. We had fought in the amateurs,” said Hinton. The old Pryor would have rattled a few cages. In the next year Hinton would fight twice against quality opponents with neither for Pryor’s vacant title. In August of 1985 he met Joe Manley, 22-3, in defense of his USBA title with the bout ending in a draw at Atlantic City. “This was over local channel 17 and I thought everyone saw I won that fight,” said Hinton. In November he won the WBC Continental Americas title easily defeating Darryl “Fast Fists” Fuller, 18-4-1, over 12 rounds in Atlantic City. Hinton got his second chance at the IBF light welterweight title which was vacant in April of 1986 but had to travel to Toscana, Italy for the opportunity. There he met Reyes Antonio Cruz, 34-0-1, of the Dominican Republic, who had defeated Fuller and Johnny Verderosa, 24-1, in the US, after fighting a bunch of tomato cans back home. All of the officials including the referee were from the US which made it fair for Hinton in winning by scores of 143-142, 145-140 and 144-142. He finally had his world championship increasing his record to 25-3-2! Hinton’s first defense would be a rematch against Joe Manley, 25-3-1. The fight was held in Hartford‘s Civic Center with their local hero Marlon Starling on the undercard. “I was always told I would grow into a welterweight if not bigger but I wanted to stay at 140. I was having trouble making weight for this fight and was cramping up by fight time. After 9 rounds Manley was ahead on all scorecards, by one point on one. Hinton was stopped in the 10th round and at age 30 would never get another title fight. “I changed trainers and management in moving up to 147,” said Hinton. “Peltz offered me a fight for a couple hundred dollars after losing the title,” said Hinton. He would sign with Mickey Duff of the UK and Ivan Cohen from South Philly. Duff was partners with Jim Jacobs and was involved with 16 world champions. Cohen had managed IBF light middleweight champion Buster Drayton and had over 20 fighters at the time. Today, he manages highly touted “Hammerin” Hank Lundy. The new trainer would be Philly’s Leon Tabbs. He also managed Jerry “The Bull” Martin who defeated James Scott in Rahway prison. “Hinton was a great prospect. Even though I was involved on the down side of his career I hoped he would have stayed with it. He was very easy to work with,” said Tabbs. First fight out of the box was against another Philly fighter in Frank “Silk” Montgomery, 13-4, in Atlantic City, May of 1988. John “The Beast” Mugabi was on the comeback after his war with Tommy Hearn’s in the co-feature. A young Willie “The Worm” Monroe, 6-1, was on the under card. Hinton would take a 10 round decision from Montgomery after a 19 month lay-off. His next bout would be in Tampa in July against Dexter Smith, 27-27-3, of Miami. Smith had knocked out Manley two fights previous to this. “He had me down early and I was in bad shape,” said Hinton. He managed to come back and take the decision over Smith. “It hurt leaving Tucci Gordon and as good a trainer as he was, Leon Tabbs was a cut above. When I see him working as a cut man today on television I can’t understand whey he isn’t still training fighters,” said Hinton. Tabbs was the first cut man used in 1990 when the MMA got started. In October Hinton met Mexican Juan Alonso Villa, 16-9, in his first fight in Philly in 7 years at the Woodhaven Sports Center. He stopped Villa at the end of the 4th round. Next, in February of 1989 he would travel to Auburn Hills, to meet local fighter Joe Walker, 8-4-1. “I was at my proper weight at 154. I dominated him and felt I could beat anybody that night,” said Hinton. Walker had fought to a draw with future champion Steve Little and defeated future champion Terry Norris by disqualification. Hinton won a 10 round decision. For Hinton in August of 1989 it would be in his last fight. Once again he had to lose weight to come down to 147 meeting the former WBC light welterweight champion Saoul Mamby, 39-22-6, in Tampa. “I knew there was something going on when Mickey Duff only gave me half the money. They hadn’t taken anything up until then. He went out of his way to make sure Ivan Cohen wasn’t there. When I was entering the ring I got that same feeling with the cramps when I lost to Manley from making weight,” said Hinton. Duff helped Leon Tabbs in the corner and Hinton was ahead going into the 9th round. The scores were 77-75 on two judge’s scorecards and 78-76 on the other all for Hinton. “Duff took over in the corner after the 8th round telling me just to box. I shouldn’t have done it but when I did he landed a right hand over my jab knocking me down. When I got up the referee asked me what state I was in. I kept saying I’m all right,” said Hinton. That’s when the referee Max Parker, Jr. stopped the fight. “If Cohen was there instead of Duff I believe I would have won the fight,” said Hinton. Hinton now lives with his wife several blocks from the gym where he got started. He now works at the airport and is in great shape at 53. “We lived down south for about 7 years before coming back. We will be out of town for the induction but my good friend and barber Spencer T will be accepting for me,” said Hinton. I visited Spencer at his shop near 40th and Lancaster to borrow some of Hinton’s tapes. “I have most of his tapes but have to find them. I look forward to the induction,” said Spencer. Hinton admitted to going in the wrong direction after retiring from boxing. It took hitting rock bottom before his life got turned around. He was separated from his wife and got back with her and claims to have never looked back at his life of sin for the past 20 years. Hinton will be inducted with his former foe Charlie “Choo Choo” Brown, Tyrone “Butterfly” Crawley, Mike Everett and Dwight Muhammad Qwai, the “Camden Buzzsaw”. Aaron Pryor vs. Gary Hinton (part 1 of 6) - other parts on youtube