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Old 03-31-2012, 09:22 AM   #1
Senor Pepe'
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Default Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

Willie Classen,

A New York Middleweight,,,,,,,the original 'Macho Man'

By the spring of 1978, Willie had built up a fine record of 15-2-2 (8 KO's),
and was regarded as a fighter-on-the-rise by Ring Magazine.

A New York City based fighter, Willie Classen was a 1970 New York
Golden Gloves Champion. After turning professional, 'Macho' as he liked
to be called was a popular middleweight who had a strong Puerto Rican
fan base in New York.

In early 1978, he was a local star on the rise, fighting primarily at the Felt Forum and
Main Arena at Madison Square Garden. In August 1978, Willie fought in the
New York '1978 Fight of the Year', when he and future World Middleweight Champion
Vito Antuofermo battled it out over 10 grueling back and forth rounds.
When the decision was announced in favor of Antuofermo, Madison Square Garden
erupted with disfavor. The fans boo'ed the decision, and paraded the 'Macho Man'
up and down the aisles. A mini-riot developed, as the Puerto Rican fans voiced
their displeasure.

Willie 'Macho' Classen was a New York Champion that night, despite the loss.

Willie finished out 1978 with two more fights (one win and one loss).
Hoping for a new turn in 1979, it would not be found. The 'Macho Man' was stopped in a
brutal war with hard-punching John LoCicero in New York City. And later, was shipped
over to the United Kingdom to succomb in 2 non-combative rounds with World-Rated
Tony Sibson.

Once a 'star-on-the-rise' only 16-months earlier, Willie Classen had now become an
opponent that another 'star-on-the-rise' could use to build up his record.

In November, his manager signed Willie to fight up and coming hard-hitting
Middleweight-prospect Wilford Scypion. Though Willie had been brutally stopped
in his two previous bouts, his manager agreed to allow Willie to walk into
the ring with a fighter with tremendous punching power.

Add to the fact, that under normal circumstances, Willie Classen should
have been under suspension for his knock-out losses. What happened
was criminal.

A tragedy that should have never been allowed, as the failure of
an inexperienced manager who was just looking for quick cash,
an incompetent New York State Boxing Commision, and a boxing
matchmaker who had no regard for the well being of a sacrificial lamb.

On November 28, 1978 Willie 'Macho' Classen died of head injuries
he suffered from the battering he took from Wilford Scypion five days
earlier.

Last edited by Senor Pepe'; 03-31-2012 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

November 23, 1979 Madison Square Garden

Willie Classen vs. Wilford Scypion

Round 10
Moments into Round 10, Wilford Scypion lands two brutal over-hand rights that land
flush on Willie Classens unprotected head. Willie falls back into the ropes and then
collapses onto his back. Moments later, 'MACHO' as he liked to be called slips into
unconciousness.


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Last edited by Senor Pepe'; 03-31-2012 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

finally not a 1960-1980 HW thread , although it does lay within d time frame . I like your threads d vast majority of d time and read them all of d time , but y not enrich it with some info on other times and weights ?
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

Double Frank,,

It is just the introduction page,,,,,,,,,,more will follow,,,,,,,

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Old 03-31-2012, 11:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

Would love 2 have some info on Sanderline Williams , Tony Thornton , all of them forgotten fighters .
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

Can somebody explain how Classen got blasted out by Tony Sibson like a few weeks before his fatal match?
What was Gil Clancy thinking???
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

Slakka,

It actually goes back further than that.

Willie Classen was knocked out by John LoCicero back in April 1979.
That bout was a brutal war, as Willie took an enormous amount of head
blows in that bout. He was stopped in the 8th round.

The punishment that he received was so bad, that the New York State Athletic
Commision put him on indefinite suspension. And in September his license had expired.
To get re-instated, Willie Classen would have to undergo a neurological exam.

Enter Mickey Duff. On October 6th, The matchmaker was seeking a
fill-in opponent for Tony Sibson for a fight in England on October 8th.
Willie Classen's manager, Marco Minuto, accepted the fight on 2-days notice.
The British Boxing Board approved Classen as an opponent, without even
checking to see if he had a New York State Boxing license.

Needless to say, Willie performed poorly, and was stopped in the 2nd round,
after being dropped to the canvas 3 times. Questions of Classen's health
surrounded that fight, as seemingly mediocre punches dropped him.
Classen later complained of headaches and double-vision.

The result of that bout was never reported (as some say) to the New York
State Athletic Commision, who would have suspended Classen for fighting
abroad without a valid boxing license.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

Just a horrible scenario all the way around. Classen shouldn't have been in the ring to begin with; and given the fact that he had absorbed a nasty beating throughout the fight, there's no way that he should have been allowed to continue as long as he did.

If I recall correctly, the whole affair was sordid enough that reporter Gerry Morgenstern never covered boxing again.

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to remember that Classen was a pretty reasonable fighter for a while, Pepe. He deserves that much, at the very least.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

A person responsible told me vs Sibson

"Dont worry he took a dive"

How multi million $$$$$ lawsuits didn't come about baffles me to this day.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

You know, upon entering that bout over in England, there were observations about
Willie 'Macho' Classen's condition.

He had not been in the gym, and drug rumors were swirling around.

After he got back from England, Classen applied for a new license with the
boxing commission. When asked about the fight with Tony Sibson, Classen and
his manager falsified there document, stating that the bout was stopped due
to cuts.

But stories circulated, that Classen was knocked out and that he did not try to
defend himself.

Once Willie got his new license from the New York Boxing Commision, he and his
manager Marco Minuto were contacted by Madison Square Garden Matchmaker,
Gil Clancy. Clancy was looking for a 'semi-name opponent' to put in against
Wilford Scypion, a 'head-hunter' middleweight with 12 wins and all by knock-out.

Scypion was managed by Mike Jones, and Jones wanted a safe opponent who
could test Wilford but one who would not present a tough battle. Enter Marco Minuto,
Classen's manager, an inexperienced person in the fight business, who was looking to
get his fighter another pay-day on short notice.

While Gil Clancy said yes to Classen, Jack Brami an assistant Matchmaker for
Madison Square Garden said an emphatic 'no'. Brami had heard stories about
Classen's drug use and general condition, and in no way wanted Classen in the
ring with anybody, let alone the power-punching Scypion.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:55 PM   #11
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

There were some "bad dudes" fighting back then as top ten contenders.

Scypion, James Kitchens, Frank the Animal Fletcher, etc.

Plus your had the top level guys Hagler, Sibbo, Hearns, etc.

RIP Willie Classen.
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

Willie Classen on the attack versus Wilford Scypion.

November 23, 1979 at Madison Square Garden

Round 5 (Willie wearing his 'MACHO' boxing trunks)

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Old 04-01-2012, 10:27 AM   #13
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

Willie Classen,

In early November,

While the Madison Square Garden matchmakers, Gil Clancy and Assistant Jack Brami
differ on offering Wiilie Classen the bout against Wilford Scypion, Classen's
manager Marco Minuto is pushing for the match.

Gil Clancy, against Jack Brami's recommendation, offers Minuto a measly $1000 for the
10-Round bout. Minuto holds out for more money. His claim, despite 2 bad
knock-out losses in a row, is that Willie Classen is a name fighter, and desrves
a larger fight purse.

Later, Jack Brami gets involved, and asks Minuto, 'just how much do you think a
figher with 2 straight knock-out losses is worth'. Minuto still holds out for more
money, asking for $2500 for a 'co-main event bout' in Madison Square Garden is not
asking for much he states.

Last edited by Senor Pepe'; 04-01-2012 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:40 AM   #14
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.....................................

Last edited by ecto55; 10-26-2012 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:57 AM   #15
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Default Re: Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'

ecto 55,,,,,,,

Thanks.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Your compliment is very much appreciated.
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