February 24, 1991 |
When Natie Brown clenches his 81-year-old fists and snakes a hook through the air, the car wash where he works becomes his boxing ring. "You don't throw a left hook," Brown said. "A lot of people, that's a mistake they make. They think you throw a left hook." Instead, he shows how he once drove his square, huge fists into the bodies of future champions Joe Louis and Max Baer. He emphasizes his whole weight, not just his arm, was behind the punch.
June 3, 2005 |
Cinderella Man James J. Braddock, Max Baer, and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History Jeremy Schaap Houghton Mifflin: 288 pp., $24 * On June 13 it will have been 70 years since James J. Braddock surprised everyone when he defeated Max Baer and won the richest prize in sports, boxing's heavyweight championship. Braddock, who entered the ring as a 10-to-1 underdog, immediately became known as boxing's "Cinderella Man." He remains so today, 31 years after his death.
June 22, 1999 |
Joe Louis Barrow Jr., in conducting interviews for a biography about his father, Joe Louis, talked to a Jew who'd been in a German concentration camp during World War II. "We knew Germany couldn't win, because we knew Joe Louis had beaten Max Schmeling," the man told Barrow. "It gave us hope." Such were the kinds of forces that were brought to bear in a Yankee Stadium boxing ring 61 years ago. It was Louis-Schmeling II, and it had everything: * Revenge.
November 29, 1999 |
Sixty years ago today, a highly promoted matchup of two NFL superstars, Ernie Nevers and Red Grange, turned into "The Ernie Nevers Show." There is no shortage of great days by running backs in NFL history, but no one has topped what Nevers achieved when his Chicago Cardinals met Grange's Chicago Bears at Comiskey Park. He scored 40 points, not only still the NFL one-game record but the oldest NFL one-game record on the books. Nevers scored 20 points in each half.
June 13, 1999 |
It wasn't a great fight and neither participant could be called a great fighter. But the fact that it was James J. Braddock who won the world's heavyweight championship on this date remains one of the most inspiring stories of 20th century American sports. One year before the fight, Braddock was a down-and-out soldier of the Great Depression, a stevedore, unable to find work, heavily in debt, trudging the streets of Jersey City, N.J. He was 29, seeking out small menial labor jobs.