Re: Moments when you knew you were in the presence of greatness.
Before HBO and PPV took over boxing the 1970s was a great era for watching up and comers. In San Diego broadcast TV carried lots of boxing featuring Hispanics from L.A., Tijuana and elsewhere. So it was apparent early on that Alfonso Zamora, Carlos Zarate, Danny "Little Red" Lopez and others would be recognized as greats (altho' Zamora may have been a bit of a disappointment compared with the others). Same with Wilfredo Gomez, Salvador Sanchez, etc.
The first time I watched an unbelievably skinny kid named Erik Morales, a few fights before winning his first title. I only had to watch a couple of rounds to realize he was gonna be a great champ.
When I saw Bruce Curry as a teenager fighting in the open division at the Golden Gloves in Fort Worth. Slick guy with a style reminiscent of a small Joe Louis, quick shuffling and rapid fire jabs followed by whistling combinations. He was one of the best amateur light welterweights in an era of great amateur light welterweights, including Ronnie Shields and Sugar Ray Leonard. Bruce's pro career turned out to be fraught with frustrations, especially when he was ripped off for two decisions after whipping Wilfred Benitez. But he finally won the light welter title.
One amateur I didn't give enough credit to was Tommy Hearns. He looked gangly, awkward, didn't use his height and reach as effectively as possible and seemed to have no power.
Well... can't always be right.