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Old 11-21-2009, 02:39 PM   #1
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The Spice O' Life

To stock my Laszlo Papp uni with fighters to serve as his pre-prime opponents, I've had to rate a number of boxers not in the TBCB default pool. Since I was at liberty to pick and choose, I found that I was gravitating to those with colorful names and careers.

One of things that I've always found fascinating about boxing is the personality of individual fighters. For me it's the spice that gives the sport it's unique flavor.

Thus, I thought that I'd use this thread to post ratings and info on some of the more colorful folks who have passed through ring lore.

I expect that my postings here will be rather irregular. When I find someone that I find interesting, I'll do a rate & post.

To avoid any replication, I have (and will) make a good faith effort to make certain that the fighters haven't appeared in Bear's Tomato Cans or elsewhere.
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:57 PM   #2
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Indian Benny Deathpaine

I just had to rate and add this guy to my primary pool---couldn't resist the name. As added spice, he was known as the "Aztec Assassin"!

He seems to have been a regular "ring rat" during his fourteen year career (1931-1944). According to BoxRec he took a year's hiatus in 1940 (maybe he tried selling Bibles?). Fought frequently in the light heavy ranks (total 118 bouts) and won regularly (74 wins), often stopping his opponent (57 times).

But here we need a reality check. Indian Benny mostly kayoed bottom feeders. In the end, he was pretty much a trial horse for young talent (Freddie Schott, Jimmy Webb, Allen Matthews, etc.), a short notice opponent, and a sparring partner.

A prime example of a boxing nomad, he fought regularly in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, and New England. He even wound up in Belize to pick up a ten round decision over Domenico Ceccarelli in in 1939! Only God knows where else the Aztec Assassin entered the ring--half of his recorded bouts in BoxRec tell us "Exact date and location unknown."

Gee, I'd really like to know where he fought that six round draw with Speedy Schaefer in 1932!

Here's a website with a little additional information.
http://www.antekprizering.com/deathpaine.html
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
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Ursal "Ginger" Snapp

A decade before it had Ellsworth "Spider" Webb, the middleweight division had Ursal "Ginger" Snapp. I suppose with those sort of first names, a nickname was in order to get some degree of respect in the boxing community!

Snapp totally discarded the Ursal thing during his ring career but picked it up once he retired. The pride of Klamath Falls, Oregon, "Ginger" did most of his fighting in the Pacific Northwest where he wore that region's middleweight crown.

A clever boxer, who was not above throwing a shot "south of the border", he put together an impressive record of 37-5-3 during a career that spanned from 1947 to 1952.

He fought the stiffs, as all fighters do, and outpointed Torpedo Reed (see my Laszlo Papp thread for his rating). But he was also in against some talent. He fought former champ Al Hostak and tough Milo Savage twice each and split the results with both men.

Snapp was only stopped three times. Twice it was on cuts, and once he was counted out in the ninth in his second fight against Hostak. Cuts seemed to be a problem for him throughout his career.

After leaving the ring he led what we'd call a rewarding life as a dedicated coach, a loving husband, a caring father, and a kindly grandad. Sadly, he passed away in September shortly after he and his wife celebrated their 60th wedding aniversary.

In doing the research for this rating, I couldn't help but get a sense that this was a very good man, indeed.

The websites below give you an idea as to just what kind of guy Ursal "Ginger" Snapp was in his lifetime.

Lives Lived: Ursal Snapp | TheUnion.com

Anniversary: Ursal and JoAnne Snapp | TheUnion.com
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:47 PM   #4
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Bowie Adams

Rocco DelSesto posted a rating for Adams a few years back which I've revised. I made my own adjustments in most of the categories--some minor, others major. Perhaps the greatest change was in the area of conditioning. Rocco had him at 4 (weight problems); for reasons outlined below I changed that to 9 (head case).

Although I left Rocco's biographical information intact, I did add some additional information. What follows is sort of an overview insofar as much of the major stuff is included in the bio section.

There were many "Great White Hopes" and then there was Bowie Adams! A great sounding name, right out of Hollywood, and that might be where it came from. There are strong indications that his real name was Ron Brown.

In any event Bowie ran off a knockout streak against opponents who would have made even LaMar Clark blush! After fighting some real competition (Billy Walker, Boone Kirkman, and Jose Roman), it was pretty obvious that Adams wasn't a prime cut of beef.

He returned in 1974 after a five year "retirement" and couldn't win in ten efforts. The following is a description of the "new" Bowie Admas, circa mid-1970s:

"Towards the end of his career, Adams no longer looked like the fit, All-American, Golden Boy of his early start. His crew-cut was replaced with long hair, his clean shaven face now wore a full beard, and his lean and muscular build was now thick and heavy."

Quite an interesting character. Besides a career as a professional fighter, Adams was a Hollywood stuntman, an animal trainer, and played a monster on a kid's television show.

Take the time to visit this website for a fascinating interview with Adams.

The Wallace, Ladmo and Gerald Fan Site - Where Monsters Lurk !

The photo below was posted by me last year.
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:54 PM   #5
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West Coast boxer Chester Slider spent his time yo-yoing between WW and MW. His name might make him a candidate. "And after that rounds, Slider's face is hamburger." or "The holes in Slider's game have been exposed."

The issue of the Referee from 1846 previewing his bout with Major Jones describes him as having boxing skills and an ability to work inside.

Chester Slider

Your uni has me reading 40s fight stuff

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Old 11-22-2009, 10:45 PM   #6
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West Coast boxer Chester Slider spent his time yo-yoing between WW and MW. His name might make him a candidate. "And after that rounds, Slider's face is hamburger." or "The holes in Slider's game have been exposed."

The issue of the Referee from 1846 previewing his bout with Major Jones describes him as having boxing skills and an ability to work inside.

Chester Slider

Your uni has me reading 40s fight stuff

bear
Pretty ironic! I'm actually reworking one of Slider's contemporaries, Richard "Sheik" Rangel. Slider met him three times beating him twice and once fighting to a draw. I have some major differences with the default rating, and I'll be posting my take on the Sheik within the next day or so.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:08 AM   #7
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Richard "Sheik" Rangel

This 1940s welter-/middleweight was a nasty piece of work by all accounts. Various reports indicate that the Sheik was a real animal in the ring.

Here's what BoxRec has to say:

"Rangel was known as an infighter who liked to defeat his opponents with pressure. He had a reputation as a very dirty fighter, who headbutted, elbowed, and even kicked his opponents."

Below is an account of his 1944 fight with Vincente Villavicenio from the Fresno Bee to further underscore this assessment.

http://xtremesport.org/old-tracks/ai...edway-1946.pdf

This guy was so dirty that he actually beat Fritzie Zivic at his own game via a ten round decision in 1942!

He's been rated by the TBCB team and is in the default pool. But this is one of the very rare instances that they missed the mark by a wide margin.

The team has him classed as a "boxer" who "seldom" fouls. Moreover, they have him fighting outside with a 3 while only granting him a 1 to battle inside.

I've pretty much done a complete makeover, but I came to same conclusion that the TBCB team did for an overall rating--he's a 5.

During much of his career (1934-1948), he fought in the Fresno, California area which spawned many fine fighters. Nevertheless, he was far from a homeboy travelling to the Eastcoast and fighting in Madison Square Garden and Philly's Convention Hall with a stopover at Chicago Stadium.

In addition to Zivic, he fought Fred Apostoli and an aging Henry Armstrong (a real war!) in losing efforts. He was only stopped eight times in 115 fights! One of those stoppages came at the hands of Sugar Ray Robinson via a second round TKO. But that's nothing that you would be ashamed of!

Overall, a mean sob and a pretty tough cookie.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:17 PM   #8
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Skinny Jimmy Rothwell

Some things just stay in your head, as insignificant as they might be in the overall course of life events. Such is the case with Skinny Jimmy Rothwell, a mid-to-late 70s welterweight fighting out of Philly.

Back in the late 1970s, a friend and I would watch this obscure boxing program, The Cavalcade of Boxing, over UHF (remember that funny, round antenna on the back of your tv?).

One Saturday morning, the show broadcast a bout featuring Mike Everett, younger brother of Tyronne, against this local guy, Skinny Jimmy Rothwell.
Everett was clearly favored, and the bout was a warmup for Mike's upcoming match with Pennsylvania welter champ Alfonso Hayman.

As you might expect, Rothwell was this lean, lanky type that looked like a blow to the gut would rip right through to his back. But Everett was a bit over confident and undertrained. For six rounds, Skinny Jimmy picked him apart, scoring a TKO upset victory.

I don't know what possessed us, but once the contest went into the second round, my friend and I were repeatedly screaming, "Go Skinny Jimmy! Go!" I have no explanation why.

Well Skinny Jimmy got that shot against Hayman and picked up the PA welter crown via a ten round decision. Unfortunately, two fights later he was in Detroit facing this young guy with an 8-0 record named Thomas Hearns. It was over for Skinny Jimmy in the first round.

Rothwell was your typical Philly fighter. Good boxing skills, tricky, and a fine counter-puncher. He was a regular at the City of Brotherly Love's major boxing venues, fighting frequently at the Blue Horizon and the Spectrum. He only ventured out of his hometown twice in his nineteen pro bouts, losing both contests. In addtion to the Hearns loss, he was kayoed in the seventh by tough Jo Kimpuani when the two met in France. This was to be Skinny Jimmy's last fight.

Sadly, Jimmy passed away back in 1993.

Still, to this day I have the strong urge to yell, "Go Skinny Jimmy! Go!" just one more time
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:37 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing the personal memories of Jimmy. We all have some personal sports memories like that.

My dad took me to my first baseball game back in '59. Sox vs. Yankees. Earl Torgeson was sent up to pinch hit for the Sox. My dad told me to watch what he did at the plate. He fidgeted around in the batter's box in between pitches to try to upset the Yankee hurler's rhthym. He pretended to get something in his eye, asked for time and stepped out of the box when the pitcher had begun his wind up. My dad taught me more about the subtleties of baseball with that at bat than 95% of the color commentators I've heard over the years. We have a ton of memories like that that invlove a number of athletes in different sports.

I rember Ingo's appearence on the Dinah Shore show prior to his defense vs. Floyd. Toonder and Lightning. He appeared to be the picture of confidence. Made Floyd's recapture of the title seem all the more impresive to me back then.

My all-time favorite hockey player is the very ordinary Al MacNeil. He sparred with HW fighters in the off-season and I was at the Stadium once when I saw John Fergeson skate away from him rather than fight. He became my hero that night. Got one of the leagues most belicose goons to behave himself without doing anything.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:56 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing the personal memories of Jimmy. We all have some personal sports memories like that.

My dad took me to my first baseball game back in '59. Sox vs. Yankees. Earl Torgeson was sent up to pinch hit for the Sox. My dad told me to watch what he did at the plate. He fidgeted around in the batter's box in between pitches to try to upset the Yankee hurler's rhthym. He pretended to get something in his eye, asked for time and stepped out of the box when the pitcher had begun his wind up. My dad taught me more about the subtleties of baseball with that at bat than 95% of the color commentators I've heard over the years. We have a ton of memories like that that invlove a number of athletes in different sports.

I rember Ingo's appearence on the Dinah Shore show prior to his defense vs. Floyd. Toonder and Lightning. He appeared to be the picture of confidence. Made Floyd's recapture of the title seem all the more impresive to me back then.

My all-time favorite hockey player is the very ordinary Al MacNeil. He sparred with HW fighters in the off-season and I was at the Stadium once when I saw John Fergeson skate away from him rather than fight. He became my hero that night. Got one of the leagues most belicose goons to behave himself without doing anything.
I guess you and I are getting to that age! Funny that you mention the Dinah Shore thing. I had also seen it. Ingo did this silly duet with Dinah on this little ditty where each refrain began, "Jo-han-SSON!" Sadly, while I don't remember the rest of the lyrics, the melody continues to haunt me to this day. I find myself humming it whenever I think of Ingo!

A few seasons later the Yanks wisely picked up Torgie, and wow, John Ferguson skating a way from a fight!

Bear, as Sam Spade said in The Maltese Falcon, "It's the stuff that dreams are made of."
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:44 PM   #11
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Yo, Yo, Yo-Han-son
Yo, Yo, Yo-Han-son

you've put the bloody tune in my head now.

I also remember an Ed Sullivan show with Lindon Crow, in his uniform, runing down an aisle from the audience onto the stage. Probalby before one of the Colt Giant tile games in the late 50s.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:46 PM   #12
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I guess you and I are getting to that age! Funny that you mention the Dinah Shore thing. I had also seen it. Ingo did this silly duet with Dinah on this little ditty where each refrain began, "Jo-han-SSON!" Sadly, while I don't remember the rest of the lyrics, the melody continues to haunt me to this day. I find myself humming it whenever I think of Ingo!

A few seasons later the Yanks wisely picked up Torgie, and wow, John Ferguson skating a way from a fight!

Bear, as Sam Spade said in The Maltese Falcon, "It's the stuff that dreams are made of."
I added MacNeill to the TC parade a while back, because I felt he deserved a place in my boxing universe.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:48 AM   #13
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Hardy "Bazooka" Smallwood

Not only does this mid-1950s middleweight have an interesting name, he also possesses a compelling personal story.

A Brooklyn native by way of Indian Woods, North Carolina, Smallwood was a paratrooper in the Korean War and saw considerable action. He was wounded in hand-to-hand combat and took shrapnel to both knees, which shortened his career to only four years. He retired from the ring at age twenty-three in 1957.

He left the service as a decorated hero with a Purple Heart, three bronze stars, the Combat Infantry Badge, and the Korean Service Medal. After he was discharged, Hardy took a job as a bubble-gum maker (hence the nickname, "Bazooka"). Learning of his experience in the Army boxing program, his boss encouraged him to turn pro.

A profile that appeared in the May 1955 issue of The Ring describes the Bazooka as "a hardy ringman, a solid puncher; he keeps moving in-fists working a vicious barrage. He never fails to satisfy the paying customers."

Not really your typical hype in this instance as his record suggests that this was an apt description of Smallwood's abilitiy in the ring. Like most New York fighters of the era, Hardy did his apprenticeship on the undercards in the area venues like Madison Square Garden, St. Nicholas Arena, Sunnyside Gardens, and Brooklyn's Eastern Parkway Arena before graduating to ten rounders.

Along the way, he fought and defeated the typical bottom feeders in the New York metro area. He was outpointed in four by Rory Calhoun, suffered a TKO at the hands of Tony Baldoni, and was forced to bow out due to a cut eye suffered at the hands of Sammy Walker. Powerful Argentine slugger Rafael Merentino caught Smallwood cold one night at St. Nick's and turned his lights out in the second. These latter three fights represent the only time Hardy was halted in his career.

By 1956, Smallwood became an attraction, in large part due to his entertaining style. His biggest win was a unanimous decision over the young, but rugged Gaspar Ortega. Unfortunately, he lost his next five bouts then called it a career in large part due to the knee problems caused by his war injuries.

But his losses were all via decision, and Smallwood's conquerors were far from tomato cans. In succession he lost to Yama Bahama, tough Tex Gonzales, Ortega in their rematch, Euro champ Italo Scortichini, and finally Ralph "Tiger" Jones. No shame here!

As I indicated, the nickname "Bazooka" was based upon the gum he made rather than his fire power in the ring. Hardy could hit hard, but in 18 wins only two of his opponents took the ten count. I don't recall either Richard Nogan or Otis Woodward being included in The Ring's "Iron-Chin Hall of Fame."

While I was doing my research on Hardy, I wondered just how much the shrapnel in the knees effected his ring performance and what kind of career he might have had if he didn't suffer those war wounds. But then, life's just full of "what-ifs"
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:17 PM   #14
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Philly Cheesesteaks-Mike Everett

After doing the work on Skinny Jimmy Rothwell (see above), I started to revisit Philadelphia fighters from the 1970s who pretty much stayed within the friendly confines of the City of Brotherly Love for most of their bouts but didn't fare very well once they left their backyard. Thus, the subgenus in this thread, "Philly Cheesesteaks". I'll be posting more, in an irregular manner, in the future.

Welterweight Mike Everett was a prime example of this type, fighting twenty-two of his bouts in various Philly venues. Six of his ten professional losses were fights outside of Philadelphia.

But Everett's problems were not only caused by "homesickness." He was the younger brother of top lightweight Tyrone Everett, and pretty much operated within the shadow of his older sibling.

Still this was not all bad. As Tyrone's little brother, Mike did have a bit of local gate appeal and was able to land a few main events that most likely would not have come his way.

More importantly, Tyrone, who was viewed as a local hero, provided Mike with a certain degree of protection on the tough streets of Philadelphia as the following illustrates.

"As Everett’s brother Mike, also a boxer, tells the story, one afternoon Mike Everett was sitting on the stoop of his row house when gang bangers from another neighborhood approached and pulled pistols, intent on shooting him. Before they could open fire, one of the assailants recognized him as Tyrone Everett’s brother and called the others off and they passed on."

Broad Street Review: Death and the boxer

Tyrone was murdered in late May 1977, and Mike seems to have taken his death hard. Inside the ring, his career went into tailspin. He fought eight times after Tyrone's death, losing six times before hanging up the gloves in 1979. To account for this, I gave Everett a condition rating of 9--"Head Case".

Everett was sort of a knockoff of Tyrone, but not nearly as good as the original. Like Tyrone, he had good boxing skills, but lacked the older Everett's punch. Outside of catching Joergen Hansen cold to pick up a first round kayo win, the other ten guys who failed to finish against him were local Philly stiffs.

Mike failed to finish seven fights himself, but was counted out only twice. He suffered TKO's at the hands of Johnny Copeland, Sammy Ayala, Sansak Muangsuin, Ronald Whyms (very early in his career), and of course, Skinny Jimmy. It seems that Mike was a bit inclined to fold his tent when he started to take a beating!

In the final analysis, Everett couldn't claim that he didn't have his opportunities. His problem was he couldn't capitalize upon them. In 1977 he had chances at three different titles but didn't take home th prize in any of them.

His loss to Rothwell derailed his projected match with Alfonso Hayman for the PA state title. Mike was part of the U.S. Championship series in the late 70s, but dropped a unanimous ten rounder to Saoul Mamby in the semi-finals. He had a title shot for the WBC light welter belt but was halted in six by Muangsuin. Earlier that year, he was stiffed in one by Miguel Montilla in bout that was not directly tied to a title but would have greatly advanced Everett in the ratings had he pulled out a win.

Along with the rating, I've posted two rather different pictures of Mike. The one with less prominant hair was posted by Rom and reworked by Tosti.
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:40 AM   #15
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Sunshine Stalwarts-Dennis "Alligator Alley" Riggs

Another subgenus I'll be posting here are Florida fighters who enjoyed a successful career in the Sunshine state but also made an occasional foray into national and international venues against name fighters.

It's only fitting that I start with Dennis "Alligator Alley" Riggs who practically owned the Florida and Southern middleweight titles for most of his career.

Taking his nickname from the common reference to Southern Florida's major roadway, Inerstate 75 (aka, Alligator Alley) Riggs started his career in 1962 at the age of seventeen and finally hung up his mitts seventeen years later in 1979.

Riggs began his pro career as a "hot prospect". He enjoyed a highly successful amateur career putting together a 25-0 record winning the state's Golden Gloves three times and earning the AAU middleweight title.

Despite all of this, he just sort of drifted for the first half of his stint as a pro, turning in mediocre performances against mediocre performers. Maybe this was the recult of immaturity, but when he hit his mid-twenties, he began to turn things around.

After winning the state and regional middlweight crowns, he fought Tony Licata to a twelve round draw and defeated Ali wannabe, Marcel Clay, twice. He later went ten rounds with a young Vinnie Curto in a losing effort and was ready to move up.

He was matched against Elisha Obed in late 1973, but was kayoed in four after being decked three times by the future jr. middleweight champ. That pretty much dashed any possible crack at the world title and six months later he travelled to Paris where he was stopped in two by Nassim Max Cohen.

At that point, he pretty much settled back for the remainder of his career picking off the local talent and successfully defending his regional titles. He also branched out by promoting Southern Florida fight cards and running a fairly prosperous sign painting company.

He slowed down by the time he turned thirty, fighting only six times inthe last four years of his career. "Alligator Alley" went out on a high note in his final fight in which he successfully defended his state title with a sixth round kayo of Milton "Black Widow" Owens (soon to be immortalized in this thread).

Riggs is recalled as a slick boxer/puncher who had a decent punch and good ring skills. His record was 43-20-2, but most of those loses were in the early years of his career when he was apparently "finding himself."
Half of those losses were early exits, but he was only counted out three times.
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:53 AM   #16
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Great ratings Proff,
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:35 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by djday45 View Post
Great ratings Proff,
Dean, coming from you, that's the ultimate compliment!
It's your work with the Day Council that's provided me with the ideas and inspiration to do this thread.
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:08 PM   #18
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Sunshine Stalwarts-Marcel Clay

"Imitation," observed Charles Caleb Cotton in 1820, "is the sincerest form of flattery." He could have added that it's also a good way to make a buck off another's fame.

Such was the case with this guy who bore a striking facial resemblance to a young Muhammad Ali. No doubt spurred on by the Mendoza boxing group who managed him, he truncated the Greatest's birth name and called himself "Marcel Clay" throughout his ring career which spanned from 1971 to 1981 fighting mostly as a middleweight.

Using an alias seemed to be no problem for "Marcel". He was also known as Freddie Jones, but his real name was "perhaps" Freddie Johnson who "might" have been born in the Bahamas. Thus he was a somewhat shadowy figure. Surprisingly, he was a police officer for the City of Opa-Locka, Florida. I guess they didn't bother much with background checks in those days.

The Mendoza group really pushed this Clay thing to the max. In one of his earliest fights, Marcel kayoed "Cleveland Williams" in the fourth round. No, this was not the "Big Cat", but rather another shadow of a figure who had a handful of fights in the Bahamas. Little is known of this Cleveland Williams. Perhaps another creation of the Mendoza group?

Marcel had a couple of problems. First, his resemblance to Ali ended with the facial. He was less than a mediocre fighter. Of course his record looks decent. Twenty-two wins (sixteen by kayo!) against ten losses. But Marcel was a boxer/puncher who couldn't do either very well!

His knockout wins were over the likes of Willie Harp, Mike Maret, and Lee Walker. Not exactly household names in boxing lore. It seems that when ever Marcel needed a little boost, the Mendoza group would haul Henry "Slick" Mitichell in from Georgia, and Clay would knock Hapless Henry out in a few rounds. They pulled this one off three times. To sum it up, Marcel was a smallish fish swimming in a tiny pond well-stocked with guppies.

Whenever he faced any real talent, which was infrequent, the results weren't very good. He dropped a decision to Tony Licata, was kayoed by Elisha Obed, and lost twice to "Alligator Alley" Riggs. Even journeyman Gene Wells was too much for Marcel!

His other problem was trying to keep weight off his 6'2" frame. Coming in at 160 regularly appears to have been difficult, but he didn't have the bulk to move up to the light heavyweight diivision. A natural super-middleweight, there really wasn't a division for him when he fought.

Clay did have one brief moment in the sun on July 7, 1977. He squared off against Mike Rossman in a match that was televised nationally. Sadly for Marcel, the clouds rolled in rather quickly, and he was stiffed by Rossman in the first round.

To sum it up, you could sort of look at Clay the same way you look at an Elvis impersonator. For a brief second or two, you actually think it's him.

But as the old Motown song goes, "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing Baby!"

The photo below was originally posted by Romultiltus.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:27 PM   #19
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Philly Cheesesteaks-Alfonso Hayman

Along with the Everett brothers, Hayman was part of the crop of young Philadelphia fighters during the 1970s who not only excited local boxing fans but were also seen as hot prospects nationally. He merited attention from The Ring in the form of a special feature, along with the Everetts, in its November 1973 issue.

A product of South Philly's mean streets, Alfonso followed the path taken by far too many tagged with the "can't miss" label, spending his last years in the ring as a journeyman/punching bag thrown in against a new generation of young talent.

Hayman is best rememberd by boxing fans for a fight he lost. Well past his prime in 1979, Hayman faced Thomas Hearns at the Philadelphia Spectrum. The Hitman was 17-0 with all of his wins coming by way of knockout. Alfonso broke the kayo streak by finishing on his feet and lasting the full ten rounds.

A little detail is in order here. First, Hearns came into the fight with sore hands and injured his powerful right in the sixth round. Second, Hayman was in a total survivial mode and did nothing in the way of mixing it up with Thomas.

Nevertheless, Alfonso took severe beating as described in the following account of the contest in the July 1979 issue of The Ring.

"What kept Hayman on his feet throughout the one-sided mismatch is a mystery. The shopworn Philadelphia journeyman absorbed a terrible beating and finished the fight looking like a man who had been run over by a tank. His left eye was swollen practically shut, his right eye was badly bruised, lumps and bumps dotted his battered features and blood seeped from between his puffy lips.

"...Hayman, 149, fought with unbelievable courage and has to be praised for showing the heart of a giant; however, one has to wonder why his corner allowed him to keep going in such an obviously lost cause."

Well you can't say that Hayman was lacking in the guts department. In assessing the Hitman's victory, the article concluded "...poor old Alfonso is far from the cream of the [welterweight] crop." Yet a few years earlier he was Pennsylvania's welter champ and generally viewed as a factor in his weight class.

Hayman was one of those guys who seemed to lose it virtually overnight. A colorful crowd pleaser, Alfonso had a nice jab, a crisp cross, and slick boxing skills. Starting his career in 1970, he had compiled a record 16-3-3, capping off 1974 with a tenth round kayo win over Johnny Gant.

After that Alfonso hit a brickwall. His loss to Gant in the rematch the following year set off a five fight losing streak. In his last twenty-one fights he fell to 5-15-1.

Much of this had to do with the quality of Alfonso's opponents. During the first half of his career, Hayman fought almost all of his bouts in Philaldephia against local fighters with limited abilities.

Starting in 1975 the level of his opposition was substantially increased. He faced Angel Espada, Pete Ranzany, and Rocky Mattioli in 1976 suffering knockouts in all three matches.

By 1978 as he was approaching thirty, Hayman was pretty much used up and was, as The Ring article above called him, a "shopworn journeyman."

In addition to the Hearns beating, Alfonso was clobbered by Maurice Hope and Clyde Gray. He ended his ring career with a three round TKO loss to Milton McCrory in 1980.

The black & white photo below was posted previously by Jofre.
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Last edited by professordp; 11-28-2009 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:27 PM   #20
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Sunshine Stalwarts-Milton "Black Widow" Owens

Not much venom in this arachnid! Owens ran up a record of 23-0-0 with twelve kayos in his first four years as a pro. All of those matches were held either in Orlando or Tampa Bay against the Sunshine State's somewhat weak middleweigh talent pool.

He either fought a bunch of novices or regular area punching bags. In the latter class, he beat Eddie Davis (career record 15-45-6) three times and Henry "Slick" Mitchell (career record 26-46-1) twice. I guess in those days you had to beat up poor Ol' Slick a few times to make your mark as a Florda middleweight!

Still an unbeaten boxer with twenty-three wins is hard to ignore, and the October 1977 issue of The Ring listed the Black Widow among America's top prospects along with the Spinks brothers and Aaron Pryor. Not bad company.

Owens took his notoriety along with his unbeaten record and hopped a plane to Denmark to face Ayub Kalule in August 1978. There his bubble was burst as the Black Widow was halted in the sixth round.

Following that unpleasant bit of business, he beat a hasty retreat back to the Orlando-Tampa region where he resumed his career against local stiffs.

His comeback was strong enough to earn him a state title shot against local legend Dennis "Alligator Alley" Riggs in May 1979. Riggs just snapped him up kayoing the Black Widow in the sixth heat of their twelve round title match. It was the thirty-four year old Alligator Alley's last professional match. With no more worlds to conquer, he retired to run his rather lucrative sign painting business.

The Black Widow also retired. He returned to the ring more than a year later decisioning Nick Ortiz who had previously kayoed Rocky Mosley, Jr. to win the USBA light middleweight crown.

Now here's where Milton's story gets a little strange. In May 1980 he defeated Colombian Sigfrido Colorado via a unanimous twelve round decision and was awarded the WBC Continental Middleweight title. What's strange is that this was Colorado's first professional fight! Sigfrido fought two more times before retiring with a pro record of 0-3. Such were the ways of the WBC back in those days.

Sixth months later Owens travelled to Brooklyn where he lost his crown on points to Manuel Melon. This led to another hibernation by the Black Widow. He stayed out of the ring for two years but returned in 1983 only to be halted in one round by Don Lee.

After this loss it looked like Milton's boxing days were finally over. But I guess arachnids have several lives. And yes, two years later, the Black Widow was back inside the squared circle.

Apparantly the now thirty-one year old Owens had a new strategy--he'd fight as a heavyweight. The inactivity caused his weight to balloon to 195. Sadly for Milton, that extra thirty pounds was mostly fat.

Rogelio Bolanos stopped him in four on September 13, 1985. A month later Robert Daniels crushed the Black Widow with a fourth round kayo, thus sending him into permanant retirement.

Owens was not particularly aggressive in the ring when facing an opponent who was a bit more than a stiff. There are very few accounts of his matches, but the following comes from an account of his match with Melon printed in the July 1981 issue of The Ring.

"Owens proved to be a purely defensive fighter who waited much too long to make his move. He let the fight slip away by just trying to parry Melon's punches and not mounting a serious attack of his own."

BoxRec makes no reference to Milton's stance, but The Ring's 1977 profile states he was a southpaw, and that's how I rated him. After all, isn't The Ring the Bible of boxing?
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Last edited by professordp; 11-29-2009 at 11:33 PM.
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