On December 10, 1810, in a muddy field around 25 miles from London, a fight took place that was so dramatic, controversial, and ferocious that it continues to haunt the imagination of boxing more than 200 years later.
A long-form article
in Grantland tells the story of freed American slave and boxer Tom Molineaux in England of the early 19th century.
How Mike Tyson used the music
to intimidate Michael Spinks before knocking him out in ninety-one seconds. [more inside]
It's now been a day since we saw defending World Cup and Euro champions Spain lose to Chile, 2-0, a day since they were mathematically eliminated from the knockout stages, and a day since we witnessed the grisly end of an era. It was a profound moment in soccer and in soccer's history, and still, all I can think about is boxing.
"Assault In The Ring
" (originally called "Cornered: A Life in the Ring") is a film about a boxing match
that took place between undefeated prospect Billy Collins Jr and Luis Resto
. What began as a match turned into a life altering moment for both participants - Collins' career dreams
ended and Resto and his trainer Panama Lewis landed in prison for their illegal actions.
The subsequent investigation and trial have led many to declare this bout the darkest
day in boxing history
. But the film-maker doesn't stop there. He tracked down the surviving principals and arranged meetings among some of them
, trying to see if the documentary can be an occasion for reconciliation or justice
. Watch the film in its entirety on Youtube here
One of the oldest sayings in boxing, the first warning every aspiring fighter hears long before they've ever entered a ring, is that the most dangerous punch, the one to fear most, is the one you never see coming. While the cliché is certainly true at the start of a career, it rarely holds up toward the end. This is because almost none of the great fighters in history ever stopped after that punch — and the history of the sport suggests that few can ever escape it. Manny Pacquiao, despite earning a reported $174 million since 2009 from boxing and endorsements deals, is no different. Why? Because, of course, boxing's not so well kept dirty secret is that, financially, most fighters can never stop. Requiem for a Welterweight
My Life as a Young Thug
(Mike Tyson, for New York
Mike Tyson - Beyond the Glory SLYT Documentary.
Beyond the Glory is a documentary series that takes a look at the lives of athletes. Mike Tyson on the Wiki.
Tommy "The Duke" Morrison
, grand nephew of John Wayne, former WBO heavyweight champion, co-star of Rocky V
, and, later, supporter of the HIV Denial movement
, has passed away at 44. [more inside]
"I would advise you when You do fight Not to act like Tygers and Bears as these Virginians do - Biting one anothers Lips and Noses off, and gowging one another - that is, thrusting out one anothers Eyes, and kicking one another on the Cods, to the Great damage of many a Poor Woman." Thus, Charles Woodmason, an itinerant Anglican minister born of English gentry stock, described the brutal form of combat he found in the Virginia backcountry shortly before the American Revolution. Although historians are more likely to study people thinking, governing, worshiping, or working, how men fight -- who participates, who observes, which rules are followed, what is at stake, what tactics are allowed - reveals much about past cultures and societies."Gouge and Bite, Pull Hair and Scratch" The Social Significance of Fighting in the Southern Backcountry [more inside]
Boxer Héctor "Macho" Camacho
, four days after being shot in the face while sitting in a parked car. Popular for his flamboyant and reckless style
both in the ring and out, Camacho racked up an astounding career record of 79-6-3. In a famous 1997 bout, he knocked out Sugar Ray Leonard
, scotching Leonard's final attempt at a comeback.
World Boxing Organization featherweight title winner and former Olympic boxer Orlando Cruz
has come out as boxing's first openly gay athlete
The London Olympics has been billed as a notable step forward in gender equality
. It is the first Olympics with female representation from all countries despite the many and several barriers
to female sport participation
that still exist in some countries (including developed ones
These Olympics have female boxers
, female athletes from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Brunei
and male medal bearers
But despite Jacques Rogge's declaration in his opening ceremony speech, some are more equal than others. Australia and Japan are reviewing their athletes' travel arrangements
after women were given second class tickets and there is a small, but growing campaign to see male synchronised swimming form part of the program
(one of two sports, the other being rhythmic gymnastics
, with no male competition). [more inside]
There's been a lot of talk about the snarls and snafus preceding this year's games. But even as the training is winding down and the athletes are pouring into the Village, there's still plenty of interesting stuff going at this year's Olympics.
Like, have you heard about the Olympian without a country
? (He's not the first independent athlete to compete
Or that almost all the US swim team gets themselves ritually tattooed with the Olympic rings
Or that a California girl is one of Saudi Arabia's two female competitors
Or that Caster Semenya (previously 1
) will be South Africa's flag bearer
Or that Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi may be the first Olympic athlete to have to worry that a kick from her unborn child may put her out of the medal running
The Christian Science Monitor has been highlighting athletes who's struggled to get to the games
, including Behdad Salimi
, who'll have to prove he's the strongest man in the world to bear Iran's lone medal hopes, Hiroshi Hoketsu
, who's competing in his third Olympics this go round --- second since he retired from his desk job, and Gladys Tejeda
, who grew up in a family of subsistence farmers in an Andean village so remote she hadn't even heard of the Olympics until her family got a TV --- in 2007. London will be her third marathon.
Of course, there's another class of competitors whose fight to get to the games was a little more literal: This is the first year for women's boxing.... [more inside]
On Saturday night in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao
, widely acknowledged as one of the top two pound-for-pound fighters
in professional boxing, was defeated by Timothy Bradley
in a controversial split-decision
. HBO's long-time unofficial ringside scorer, Harold Lederman, called the outcome "a crime." [more inside]
Weak men pay this boxing coach to tell them they are terrible.
Eric Kelly was a 2 time New York Golden Gloves Champion, 4 time National Champion, 2000 Olympic alternate, and 3 time Milwaukee Golden Gloves before an eye injury prevented him from competing. Today, he's a trainer at Church Street Boxing Gym
in New York, coaching Wall Street bankers how to box.
Dewey Bozella landed a hard right cross on his opponent's jaw at the final bell, and the 52-year-old boxer raised his arms in victory. After 26 years behind bars for a murder he didn't commit, Bozella triumphantly realized a dream deferred in his first and only professional fight. [more inside]
Claressa Shields, a 16 year old boxer preparing for the Olympic trials, records a radio diary
. It's about 16 minutes long.
A documentary by Ariel Nasr
, "The Boxing Girls of Kabul" (National Film Board of Canada trailer
), profiles a group of young Afghan women training to compete in women's boxing
in the 2012 Olympics (which will feature boxing for the first time as a women's event). Radio Netherlands interviews
18 year old Shabnam Rahimi
, and the Toronto Star has a photo album
on the athletes. If all that inspires you, petition President Hamid Karzai's government to support the team, via this petition page
. (Nasr is also known for his documentary, "Good Morning Kandahar
Day at Night
was an interview series on the public television station of the City University of New York that aired from 1973-4. CUNY TV is in the process of digitizing and uploading the 130 episodes that were produced, with 46 done so far. The episodes are just under half an hour in length. Among the people interviewed by host James Day are author Ray Bradbury
, actress Myrna Loy
, medical researcher Jonas Salk
, singer Cab Calloway
, writer Christopher Isherwood
, nuclear scientist Edward Teller
, comedian Victor Borge
, tennis player Billie Jean King
, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky
, composer Aaron Copland
, actor Vincent Price
and boxer Muhammad Ali
The Comedian's Comedian's Comedian:
Garry Shandling on boxing, basketball, buddhism and being.
On November 13, 1982, in an outdoor arena next to Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini beat Duk Koo Kim to retain his World Boxing Association lightweight championship title. It was a thrilling match
, but its aftermath quickly turned into a nightmare
, as Kim fell into a coma, and, a few days later, died. The bout's effects have rippled outward ever since. [more inside]
Last month How Did This Get Made (previously
) held a live panel discussion of Superman III
, a movie that started as a bizarre pitch involving everyone from Brainiac to Supergirl and Mr. Mxyzptlk
, and ended up as a Richard Pryor vehicle. However for some truly crazy stories you may want to skip ahead to part II, where they are joined by Jack O'Halloran
- Non from Superman I and II, boxer and son of the head of Murder, Inc. - who talks at length about his life, the movies, and choking Christopher Reeve.
On 10 December 1821 the radical essayist
and journalist William Hazlitt
set out on a journey from London to Hungerford where, the next day, he witnessed a bare-knuckle boxing
match between Bill Neate
, a butcher from Bristol, and Tom 'The Gas-man' Hickman
. Hazlitt's account of the event – 'The Fight'
– was published in 1822
, and is regarded as a pioneering work of sports journalism
and an insightful study of popular culture
'Few Americans today can name more than one or two current boxers
, but boxing once stood at the center of American life. It has become a ghost sport, long discredited but still hovering in the nation’s consciousness, refusing to go away and be silent entirely. But there was a time when things were very different. Boxing's history winds a thread through the broader history of the nation.
Bill Gallo, longtime NY Daily News Sports Cartoonist, is dead at age 88.
If you grew up in the NYC area anytime from the the 50s until this April, you've probably seen one of Gallo's cartoons in the Daily News. Although he covered all sports and their fans, blue collar sports like boxing and baseball were his real love. Gallo was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame
in Canastota, NY as part of the Class of 2001 and some of his work hangs in the Baseball Hall of Fame
in Cooperstown, NY. [more inside]
It was Enery's Ammer
wot put a young Cassius Clay on the floor
(3.02) in 1963. Sir Henry Cooper, British Boxing legend has died
The splitting glove controvery was a a mischievous manipulation of the truth (scroll down previous link
He is still the only boxer to have won three Londsdale belts
Cooper and Muhammed Ali remained friends
throughout his life.
In later years he came to despise what he saw as tawdry dealings and gave up commentating on BBC radio dedicating his life to golf and charity.
Virginia Woolf and Arturo Gatti
have never met. If they had met, likelihood would have made their meeting brief and prosaic. This Triple Canopy piece unites their motivation, if only briefly, and makes for one hell of an interesting article. [more inside]
Greatest calls in sports
is a selection of 32 great calls in broadcast sports, chosen by Joe Posnanski, obviously US-centric but featuring some good choices. Want some elation this Friday? [more inside]
"When the eminent French poet Jean Cocteau
died last October at the age of 74, his obituaries noted that he had followed an astounding number of part-time careers as well—novelist, playwright, choreographer, film director, critic and artist. But Cocteau's journalistic biographers overlooked the most bizarre of his avocations: he was once the successful manager of a world champion prizefighter.
" - Sports Illustrated, March 2, 1964 [more inside]
"I used to say that Ali was the best I'd ever seen," says Arum, an industry legend who co-promoted the Ali-Frazier "Thrilla in Manila" in 1975. "I had never said that about another man. I don't use those words cheaply. But here it is: Manny Pacquiao
is the best I have ever seen, including Ali.
At 104, fit & spry Joe Rollino
was the last classic strongman
-- the sport of strength athletics
, which evolved into modern bodybuilding. Standing 5'10" and weighing a mere 145 pounds
, he was a fixture on Coney Island
, known for feats of strength like 450 pound teeth lifts, or bending quarters with his fingers. Rollino also boxed in the 1920's as "Kid Dundee"
, and returned from World War II decorated with the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Joe Rollino never drank, never smoked, was a lifetime vegetarian and a confirmed bachelor. He died today
after being struck by a minivan.
, a hybrid sport which combines boxing with chess in alternating rounds, is growing in popularity.
Inspired by fictional depictions of the sport in French comic book artist Enki Bilal's graphic novel, Froid Équateur
, Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh brought the concept to life in 2001
. Governed by the World Chess Boxing Organisation
, whose motto is "Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board
", matches consist of up to eleven alternating rounds of boxing and chess with a one minute break between rounds. A photographic account of the sport. Further reading. Further viewing
In the 1860's, Abe Grady emigrated to Kentucky from Ennis, Ireland, and married a freed slave. Yesterday, one of their great-grandchildren paid a visit to Ennis. Muhammad Ali
met his cousins, and was named an honorary freeman of Ennis. [more inside]
"For a long time it has been a kind of martial arts Loch Ness monster: an American fighting form with supposedly sinister origins that many have heard of but few have seen or experienced. No one, it seemed, had any concrete proof that it existed, or at least none they were willing to share.
Until (2:36) recently."
Longer (5:19) ver here [more inside]
Female Single Combat Club
[nsfw]. An extensive site about women fighters around the world and in history. In English and Russian. Previously
Two slimes. One circle. Infinite addiction. Welcome to the world of Slimeball
. [more inside]
Sick and tired of sitting at home, eating a pint of ice cream, watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians
and wondering why you can't have the success
that Kim Kardashian has had
? Have you always wondered if you could take her in a fight? Do you need to prove that your butt
can take her butt
? Well, now you can
. [more inside]
Canadian writer Craig Davidson
is pretty intense (read mad) when it comes to research and promoting his work, entering into an officially sanctioned boxing match
to promote The Fighter
. But even he thinks he went a bit too far when he went on a full 'steroid cycle
is a form of boxing associated with the Hausa
people of the Saharan regions of West Africa. It is essentially a striking art
. The primary weapon is the strong-side fist
. Known as the spear, it is wrapped in a piece of cloth covered by tightly knotted cord. The lead hand, called the shield, is held with the open palm facing toward the opponent. The lead hand can be used to grab or hold as required. Officials generally discourage the use of magical protection on the grounds of fairness.
Forgive Some Sinner
. "With age 70 bearing down hard upon him, Dad had by then written for better than 40 years, during which he had become celebrated, later disgraced, and I would like to think ultimately redeemed... Good as some of his old stories are, it always seemed to me that his own was better than any of them; I only wish he had written it himself."
Mark Kram Jr. examines his late father's complicated legacy.
If you like boxing (or "Rocky") you might enjoy this youtube video
of the Arturo Gatti - Mickey Ward fights recut to resemble Rocky II. [more inside]