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Malamud Is Among Inductees Into the World Hall of Fame

May 20, 2000|STEVE SPRINGER

He is best remembered for his long-running column, Notes on a Scorecard.

But Allan Malamud, who died in 1996, had a special love for boxing, and Friday, that love was returned.

The World Boxing Hall of Fame announced that Malamud, a Los Angeles sportswriter for 33 years, first at the Herald Examiner and then at The Times, is one of the 12 who will be inducted this year.

Also to be admitted at a banquet Oct. 21 at the Westin Bonaventure are fighters Wilfredo Gomez, Barry McGuigan, Ken Buchanan, Tommy Burns, Ralph Dupas, Pete Sanstol, Lou Bogash and Eddie Booker, along with trainer Emanuel Steward, referee Richard Steele and promoter Russell Peltz.

Gomez, who came from Puerto Rico, held the World Boxing Council junior-featherweight title from 1977 to 1982. . . . McGuigan held the WBA featherweight crown in 1985-86. An Irishman, he became as known for his efforts as a peacekeeper during the political strife in his homeland as he did for his skills in the ring. . . . Buchanan, a Scotsman, had a 69-fight career, winding up 61-8 with 27 knockouts. He won his first 33 bouts over a five-year span and was WBA lightweight champion in 1970-71. . . . Burns held the heavyweight championship from 1906-1908. The shortest heavyweight title holder at 5-foot-7, Burns successfully defended his title 11 times before losing it to Jack Johnson. . . . Steward came to prominence as Tommy Hearns' trainer, but has since gone on to work the corners of some of today's best fighters, from Lennox Lewis to Oscar De La Hoya.

FORUM BOXING RETURNS WITHOUT THE FORUM

In its 17 years of existence, Forum Boxing was sometimes the lone bastion in the struggle to keep big-time boxing viable in the Los Angeles area.

The Olympic Auditorium would go dark, stage a revival, then go dark again. Promoter Roy Englebrecht has kept the sport alive in Orange County. Dan Goossen did the same for a while in the San Fernando Valley.

But it was Jerry Buss who kept the lights on in Inglewood.

In all, Forum Boxing staged 303 fight shows from 1982 to 1999, including 69 world championship fights and slightly more than 1,800 fights in all.

But last year, with Buss' Lakers moving to Staples Center and the Forum being sold, Buss stopped pouring money into his losing boxing enterprise and left it in limbo.

Tonight, Forum Boxing battered and bruised, without a permanent home or a certain future, climbs back into the ring.

Under the direction of John Jackson, who ran the program for Buss, Forum Boxing is staging tonight's show at Caesars Tahoe, headlined by the battle for the North American Boxing Organization featherweight championship between Juan Manuel Marquez and Roque Cassiani, to be shown on Channel 9.

It is television that will determine whether Forum Boxing survives. The organization is committed to four-six shows on KCAL this year. Jackson would like to put on 12-15 shows a year, whenever and wherever he can find a channel to show them.

"Jerry Buss dedicated himself for 17 years to keeping boxing alive, even though he lost money doing it," Jackson said. "I wouldn't want to think where boxing would be in this community had he not done so.

"Now we want to keep boxing going because there are so many great fans in this area."

Of course if all those great fans had shown their gratitude and loyalty to Buss by attending his shows, Forum Boxing would not now be a nomadic organization, homeless and, unless television keeps subsidizing it, hopeless in terms of a long-lasting future.

CENTERFOLD STAGE

The Friday night fights have come a long way from the days of the smoke-filled arenas.

They held a card Friday night at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills on a tennis court with Hugh Hefner ringside. But out of all the flash and glitter came a serious challenge for light-heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr.

In the main event, Vassiliy Jirov (25-0, 23 knockouts), the IBF cruiserweight champion, scored a second-round TKO over Esteban Pizarro (21-3-1) in a non-title bout.

Ivaylo Gotzev, Jirov's manager, issued a public challenge to Jones.

"Roy Jones keeps giving excuses why he can't find someone to fight," Gotzev said. "Here is somebody. We will let him pick the weight, whether it's 185 or whatever he wants. I hope this happens for those viewers who want to see Roy Jones fight, because no one has seen him fight. He might as well be shadowboxing for the people he fights."

In preliminary fights, Eric "Butterbean" Esch (55-1-2, 42 knockouts) scored a second-round TKO over Bill Johnson (6-3-1). Butterbean weighed in at 346 pounds, 135 more than Johnson.

In a women's bout, Mia St. John improved to 17-0 with a unanimous decision over Fran Alcantor (2-3).

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