Re: For anyone who has actually been in the ring share a personal true story!!
In the waning days of Willie Pep’s career, he took the bouts for walkin’ around money.
All he had left was a twinkle in his eye and a wisecrack. Most boxers looked bigger in trunks; he looked smaller.
He was trainin’ at the 5th Street Gym in Miami. Heavyweight Cleveland “Big Cat” Williams was there as well. But, though faded, Pep was the star with gym rats, which grated on Williams, who was always sullen, while Willie kibitzed and clowned.
Williams was the closest thing to Superman -- a walkin’ anatomy chart…at his peak, before he got shot in the stomach.. His left-hook cannonades on the heavy bag shook the gym.
Fifth Street was compact -- always jammed, so Pep and Williams had to do floor exercises almost side by side. Pep’s fans constantly stoked his ego:
" Willie, you could kill that big bum! He'd never touch you."
"You'd make him look like a jerk, Willie.”
It went on like that for weeks.
No way Williams didn't hear it.... He was nine feet tall – proud, a knockout puncher, and bristling.
While Pep joked, Williams seethed. You could’ve cut the tension with a knife.
One day when Pep’s faithful were eggin’ him on:
"You could kick his ass, Willie"
"You'd make him look like fool, Willie!"
Pep turned to ‘em: "All I can tell you is: I'd hate to have him hang his HAMMER on me!"
Williams exploded with laughter.