October 4, 2012 |
THE FIFTH ANNUAL Briscoe Awards will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Veterans Boxers Association Ring One building at 2733 East Street in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia. Danny "Swift" Garcia will be honored as the Philly fighter of the year. Garcia, of Juniata Park, is the WBC/WBA light welterweight champion. He has a record of 24-0, with 15 knockouts. Garcia will defend his titles on Oct. 20 in a rematch with Mexico's Erik Morales at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. On March 24 in Houston, Garcia won the WBA 140-pound title on a 12-round, unanimous decision over Morales.
January 27, 2011
AT THE RECENT memorial for Bennie Briscoe, I wondered back to 1960-61 when I met Bennie at the 23rd PAL gym as a 17-year-old, introduced by Duke Dugent, a retired cop who ran the gym. Bennie was already an accomplished amateur well on his way to a promising pro career. Duke had me work out for a few weeks, then asked Bennie to spar with me, but to go easy on me. We boxed several times before I had my first amateur fight. Though Bennie "went easy," I was always a mess after - lip cut, nose caked with blood, face swollen, welts all over my upper body.
December 30, 2010
TO HEAR SOME people tell it, former middleweight contender "Bad" Bennie Briscoe, who was 67 when he died Tuesday, had the misfortune of coming along too soon. Then again, maybe he didn't. It just might be that the much younger, much richer and much more widely exposed fighters, those select few pay-per-view attractions that the public is familiar with today, came along too late. "Bennie's best work was done between the two eras of television, the end of the 'Friday Night Fights' in 1964 and the start of ESPN, HBO and the cable revolution of the 1980s," said J Russell Peltz, who was Briscoe's promoter from 1969 to '82, the last 13 years of a remarkable 21-year professional career that isn't nearly as celebrated now as it should be. "He never got the kind of purses and attention that fighters like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather get today.
December 29, 2010 |
BENNIE BRISCOE, considered by many to be the quintessential Philadelphia fighter, died yesterday at age 67. A middleweight who fought for the world championship three times in the 1970s, Briscoe was said to have been the best fighter never to have won a world championship title. "He was the biggest draw in the last golden days of Philadelphia boxing," said J Russell Peltz, who promoted 45 of Briscoe's fights in the 1970s when Briscoe's manager was Arnold Weiss, Peltz' brother-in-law.
July 31, 2010 |
It had been over a week since boxer Jesse Hart returned from the 2010 USA Boxing National Championships, and the Philadelphian was still bristling over his loss in the middleweight final. On July 17 in Colorado Springs, Colo., Hart was edged, 9-8, in a tiebreaker after the fight ended in a 4-4 tie. The bout was decided on punches connected and Jesse disagreed with the tally. And while Luis Arias of Milwaukee took home the No. 1 ranking, Hart had to settle for No. 2. "That was hard to swallow," he said.
July 23, 2010
CHARLEY SCOTT lived in Strawberry Mansion. Sugar Hart lived in Strawberry Mansion, five blocks from Scott. They both trained at Champs Gym, their lockers separated by a snarl; the cramped, musty room cold with disdain. They could have remained on parallel tracks. The welterweight champion was a very vulnerable Don Jordan. But that wouldn't work in Philadelphia, that would not suit two proud fighters from the same 'hood, from the same gym. So they fought each other on Oct. 19, 1959, at Convention Hall.
May 14, 2010 |
A great fight town isn't just about its fighters or the knowledgeable, enthusiastic audiences that show up to watch them. It is about promoters, referees, cutmen, ring announcers, judges and, maybe even as much as the fighters they tend to, trainers. Oh, sure, Philadelphia still produces a higher quotient of skilled fighters than most cities, but one by one the legendary local trainers who honed the skills of those fighters and their predecessors are disappearing from the scene. The "Philadelphia trainer," as generic a term as the never-quit, left-hooking Philly fighter epitomized by Joe Frazier, is falling victim, as we all eventually must, to advanced age, infirmity and death.
July 19, 2007 |
LAS VEGAS - In recalling what was at stake before the Oct. 1, 1975, rubber match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, in what is now renowned as the "Thrilla in Manila," author Thomas Hauser tried to put the matter in perspective. "They were fighting for so much more than the heavyweight championship of the world. They were fighting for the heavyweight championship of each other," said Hauser, whose 1991 book, "Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times," might be the definitive biography of Ali. One of these days, longtime middleweight champ Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y. But although most ring historians tend to assess Hopkins' career in relation to such other premier middleweights as Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Carlos Monzon and Sugar Ray Robinson, B-Hop is, first and foremost, a Philly guy, proud of this city's rich tradition and his place in it. At the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame induction dinner on May 20, veteran Philadelphia promoter J Russell Peltz ignited something of a minicontroversy.
March 30, 2003 |
Having a gala middleweight fight card at the old Spectrum - this one labeled "Liberty and Justice For All" by promoter Don King - recalled the glory days of Philadelphia boxing, when there were gala middleweight fight cards at the Spectrum, when Rocky punched meat, and champs danced around wearing American-flag top hats and shorts. The small crowd in attendance last night cheered a public-address announcer's mention of the Armed Forces Radio Network. King stood by the red, white and blue ropes at ringside waving the stars and stripes.
December 27, 1993 |
"Don't ask me about my career," says Francis X. "Pat" Duffy, who winces and laughs just thinking about his boxing career. "I had a few pro bouts (at 118 pounds) and found out it wasn't for me. " Sounds like the man took some lumps and quit the ring, but nothing could be further from the truth. "My entire life has been wrapped around boxing. I think boxing day and night. If I go to church, I'm thinking boxing," says Duffy, who looks like a cross between Edward G. Robinson and a leprechaun.