Originally Posted by Doc McCoy
I have to say both you guys, Cobra33 & Duodenum, have made this an immensely interesting thread.
It's always great to expand on one's knowledge of so-called "second tier" fighters like Saoul Mamby, Howard Davis Jr.
Sumbu Kalambay definitely figures in this group - and while he never springs to my mind when contemplating great fighters or being in great fights when I find myself watching him I tend to study him more closely because there's a degree of subtlety to his skills that only comes through a constant honing of one's craft. He did a nice job on Mike McCallum in their first outing and how many boxers can say that of their career. Very slick operator was Sumbu.
How long have you been following the game Duodenum? Your comments are always insightful and full of interesting and relevant details that we don't normally come across on these boards.
Thanks for the compliments.
My paternal grandfather was a Golden Gloves boxer in the 1920's (well before my father was born, and my grandfather died about ten years before I came along, so I only know of him). While in his mid 30's my father was acquainted with a WW II Navy boxing champion who became a prominent newspaperman, and they became best friends, a relationship which ended with this former boxer's death in 2002. (Even when he was in his mid 50's, he could still pack a wallop. My father rigged up a stuffed burlap bag in the garage, and when this friend paid us a visit, he demonstrated his jab on that bag. A lighweight in his competitive days, he told us to multiply the power of his jab times four, and we'd know how hard his jab was during his Navy service. Several times, he did a simple falling step towards the bag, then this self-described cutie would explode out with a blurred corkscrew jab that rattled the entire garage we were in. Then we took turns trying to hold onto the bag as he shot his jabs out into it. The vibrations of the bag when he made impact pried our arms loose, no matter how hard we tried holding onto it, and we'd all go sprawling backwards to the floor, even my father, who stands six feet tall, and weighed over 220 pounds at the time. Quite an experience to remember.)
I came of age just as Ali was reviving boxing in the 1970's, and by virtue of my parents both being educators, and my father's best friend being a former amateur champion and newspaperman, I read a great deal about boxing. Another of my early interests was the history of photography, including motion picture history, and the evolution of movie making is closely intertwined with that of the Queensbury Rules era in boxing.
Like many others, I was then swept along by the confluence of Ali's second career, the cultural impact of Stallone's Rocky, and the unexpected success of the 1976 U.S. Olympic boxing squad. Being obsessive-compulsive, I followed boxing with a passionate interest, one easily fueled by the ubiquitous preponderance of free routine television coverage.
Perhaps not surprisingly I also messed around with boxing recreationally, as I suppose most everybody on this forum has. (There's just no substitute for the experience of putting on a pair of gloves and going at it, or learning to skip rope with the mouth clamped shut, so the jaw doesn't get broken if hit.)
As it turned out, I was merely a fair weather fan, one whose interest largely subsided after the first match between Larry Holmes and Mike Spinks, and then almost completely snuffed out by the abolition of the 15 round limit which separated the championship caliber boxers from the also-rans.
Despite my having lost interest in boxing over 20 years ago, I obviously retained what I'd already learned, a base of knowledge cultivated by comparisons of literary coverage of famous bouts with footage of those same events.
Today, internet services like youtube and myspace make many of these events readily accessible to a large population, but there is still a great deal that doesn't exist on-line, and some of that is what I've been sharing on this board.
My father was an elementary school principal for a few decades, and the husband of one of his teachers took up boxing when he was in his late 30's, and was very successful at it. (He was a cross country runner and also coached track at the school where he taught.) This teacher/boxer was a subscriber to Malcolm "Flash" Gordon's newsletter, and after he was finished reading them, he gave them to my father to pass along to me. That's what really exposed me to the seamy underbelly of contemporary boxing. ("Flash" had great respect for this teacher/boxer subscriber of his, and always installed him as a 3-1 favorite, after he stayed on his feet and went the distance with a world class opponent. That decision loss was that teacher/boxer's only career defeat, as he ended his competitive boxing days with a nice winning streak.)
I think I may have inadvertently fooled some people on this board into believing I'm better informed about boxing than I actually am. My true level of knowledge on the sport is most definitely limited, but I try to avoid discussing what I'm not sufficiently informed about (which is a great deal).
Sometimes, I have a tendency to conceptualize "outside the box," and express a perspective from an eccentric point of view, and maybe that's caught the attention of some folks. (I don't particularly like to draw attention to myself at this particular stage of my life, so the anonymity guaranteed by a nom de plume like Duo liberates me somewhat to espress myself more freely and outspokenly than I would choose to risk doing otherwise.
Because I've noticed the posts on ESB Classic to generally indicate intelligent, articulate, and well-informed thoughtful opinions and comments, I finally decided for the very first time to actually register and join an internet forum, and while abandoning my former stealthy lurking on-line, exchanging contributions and feedback has proved a rewarding experience. (I'm still stunned at reading earlier posts of mine here, and saying to myself, "Did I
type that?" It's a little bit like being asked for an autograph when not used to it.)