January 19, 2012 |
Freddie Roach was on track to marry his high school sweetheart and become an arborist caring for ornamental trees. "I chose to become a prizefighter instead," Roach said last week while standing in a ring corner of his Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood as a fighter sparred. "I got a plane ticket to Vegas instead, and here we are. " Where he is now is the subject of a new reality series from director Peter Berg ("Friday Night Lights") that will debut Friday on HBO; titled, "On Freddie Roach," it's a six-part series co-produced by HBO boxing commentator Jim Lampley.
April 19, 1989 |
Legendary boxer Sugar Ray Robinson "personified class, style and dignity," heavyweight champ Mike Tyson told more than 2,300 mourners who filled a Los Angeles church today for the five-time middleweight champion's funeral. Memories of Robinson, who died last week at age 67, so moved Tyson that his voice choked and he apologized to the throng filling the West Angeles Church of God in Christ. "I had the privilege of meeting Sugar Ray," Tyson said. "Sugar Ray Robinson personified class, style and dignity."
January 23, 1998 |
The moment Matt Zelen dived into the pool to start the 100-yard butterfly, he knew he had forgotten something. He had not tied his racing suit. When the St. John's junior felt his suit sliding off during an invitational meet, he decided to kick it off and finish the race. Zelen would have won by more than two seconds, except that he was disqualified for violating a uniform code. "It was hilarious, but it's too bad so many people were there," Zelen said.
July 18, 1992 |
During the past 36 years, the Futch touch has been applied to 17 world boxing champions. Eddie Futch, the trainer who will turn 81 next month, firmly believes the list soon will grow to 18. If Riddick Bowe defeats Pierre Coetzer, as expected, in a scheduled 12-round elimination bout tonight at the Grand Ballroom of the Mirage hotel, he will challenge heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield on Nov. 13. "I said two years ago that Bowe could beat Holyfield then," Futch said.
November 12, 1992 |
Eddie Futch, who is well on his way to becoming boxing's George Burns, says he at first resisted overtures to train Riddick Bowe, the super-heavyweight silver medalist at the 1988 Summer Olympics. "I hadn't watched him at the Olympics, but I'd heard all the stories about him," Futch said this week. "I'd heard he was lazy, didn't have much heart or discipline. I was 78 then and I told Rock Newman (Bowe's manager) that I didn't have enough time left to waste it on someone like that."
June 24, 1988 |
There is a widely held view this week that Michael Spinks, in the 12th year of an undefeated career, is finally in over his head. Sure, he was a great light-heavyweight, one of the best. Sure, he was the first light-heavyweight champion to move up and win the heavyweight championship. Sure, he beat Larry Holmes twice. But Mike Tyson, the smart guys say, is an entirely different matter. Michael Spinks, the smart guys say, has no chance.