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Morning briefing

June 20, 2008|Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

Don't say she hit like a girl

Boxing aficionado Johnny Ortiz, former part-owner of the Main Street Gym and the host of a boxing radio show for 12 years, will be among the inductees into the California Boxing Hall of Fame at a luncheon Saturday at the Sportsman's Lodge in Studio City.

Ortiz, who has written a yet-to-be-published book about his life, has one boxing memory that sticks out.

Ortiz was cheering on his friend Jerry Quarry as he beat up on Brian London at the Olympic Auditorium on March 9, 1967, when suddenly the woman behind him conked him on the head with her purse.

It was London's wife.

"I said at the time that London may have won the fight had his wife been in the ring with him," Ortiz recalled.

Trivia time

Another inductee at Saturday's boxing luncheon will be Berry Gordy, founder of the Motown record label. What is Gordy's connection to boxing?

Good philosophy

Luke Russert, son of NBC newsman Tim Russert, who died June 13, got a chance Thursday to talk with Marv Levy, former coach of the Buffalo Bills and the team's general manager the last three seasons. The conversation took place during the taping of "60/20," an XM satellite radio show that will air on Channel 144 today at 9 a.m.

Said Russert: "The first question my father would ask if he was here would be, 'Are we going to break the drought and make the playoffs this year?' "

Said Levy: "I know the answer he'd like to have, but I'm going to quote Casey Stengel, who said, 'I never make predictions, especially about the future.' "

Common bond

Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen of the NBA champion Boston Celtics appeared on David Letterman's show Wednesday night.

When Letterman asked them about Bill Russell, Allen called him "the cornerstone of the franchise" and said, "He's one funny guy. He's going to tell you a story and whether it's funny or not he's going to laugh and make you laugh."

Said Letterman: "Kind of like me."

A fun ride

Allen, on why he and Garnett took time out from celebrating in Boston to go on Letterman's show: "In the '80s, whenever you won a championship you'd say, 'We're going to Disneyland.' [Now] you say, 'We're going to Letterman.' "

Dave liked that one.

Pedal to metal

When Letterman asked what happened to the Celtics in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, when they gave up a big lead at home and barely hung on to beat the Lakers, Garnett said, "You get a lead and tend to relax. They made a run. That's why in Game 6 we kept the foot on the gas."


Paul Pierce went out because of what appeared to be a severe knee injury in Game 1 but returned. Allen was poked in the eye in Game 6 but returned.

Headline at "Hand check leaves Paul Pierce on life support."

Oh, please

"Back on Top," declared the banner headline in Wednesday's Boston Globe.

Wrote columnist Dan Shaughnessy: "It felt like a restoration of the natural order of the basketball universe."

Let's not get carried away.

Trivia answer

Gordy dropped out of school in the 11th grade to become a boxer. He had 15 pro fights, including three at the Olympic Auditorium.

And finally

Reuters reported that police arrested 23 people in Boston as the celebration after Game 6 briefly turned violent, with some fans smashing windows and assaulting police.

See what we missed!


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