Re: BOXING: Tragic Stories
1980 USA BOXING TEAM
For all of us that have entered the boxing ring to face battle,
we have all had our hopes, wishes and dreams. For some of the
1980 USA boxing team such as Lemuel Steeples, there was
hope and expections by many from St Louis and other places
that Steeples would be the next Sugar Ray Leonard and a shining
star of the Eighties in professional boxing. But, the hopes and dreams
of the boxers, and expectations of others quickly turned to
sorrow and pain after that tragic plane crash in March of 1980.
For many folks involved in amateur boxing, they had great respect for
Tom (Sarge) Johnson not only for the performance of the 1976
USA Olympic Boxing teams in Montreal, but for his dedication and service
to the sport of boxing. The loss of Sarge in 1980 was a tragedy, but the loss
of the team was a tragedy of tragedies. The assistant coach lost was
Y R Robles of California.
For the Palomino family there was likely much joy with the
performance of Carlos Palomino in the Seventies, but no joy for
family and friends could outshine the pain and loss of Paul Palomino
on that sad March 14 th. day.
The story is the same for all that were lost from San Francisco
to Hartford and New Bedford, from Biloxi and Troy to. Port Townsend.
Some will remember, but it is likely very few current
boxing fans in their twenties or thirties would remember
Kelvin Anderson, Joe Bland, Bernie Callaghan, Elliot Chavez,
Tyrone Clayton, Walter Harris, Byron Lindsey, Andre McCoy,
Paul Palomino, Byron Payton, George Pimentel, John Radison,
Chuck Robinson, Junior Robles, David Rodrigues, Steve Smiegel,
Lemuel Steeples, Jerome Stewart, Dr. Ray Wesson, Lonnie Young
and Tom Johnson.
In the July 1980 issue of Hank Kaplan's World -Wide "Boxing Digest"
there was a small piece on Steeples by Ron Copher titled
"Lemuel Steeples - One of America's Great Amateurs".
THe small piece did mention referee John Radison, but not
other team members.
I'm sure in the various local papers in March of 1980, there
would have been many fine tributes, but that was years ago.
In recognition of those lost members of the team, it would be great
for a few folks to tell a little about those that were lost.
And whatever happened to the one boxer that missed the plane
by the name of Jimmy Clark from Pennsylvania.