August 27, 2016 |
Usher as Sugar Ray Leonard? Has Hollywood gone mad? It seems impossible to imagine the R&B singer with his smooth rhymes and silky falsetto portraying a brawler - a world-class one at that. Usher will surprise and shock many a fan as Leonard in a supporting role in the Roberto Durán biopic Hands of Stone , in theaters Friday. Spanning nearly five decades, the film features Édgar Ramírez as Durán and Robert De Niro as trainer Ray Arcel, who helped bring Durán to international prominence.
June 10, 2016 |
When the bell marked the ended of the round, Vernon J. Linder yanked off his boxing gloves, wiped sweat from his neck, and wedged a hearing aid back into his ear. Linder, 86, sat down on a folding chair in the Washington Avenue gym and wondered whether his sparring partner, a hulking, 29-year-old mixed martial arts instructor, had been taking it easy on him out there for the last couple of minutes. "If I go to a gym and they've never seen me work out, they don't want to spar with me, because they're afraid they're going to hurt me," Linder said.
June 6, 2016 |
It was the October 1980 title fight between Easton's Larry Holmes and Muhammad Ali and the two old friends and competitors were battling not just with their fists, but also their wits. "When I fought him I said, 'You know I love you, man,' " Holmes recalled of the fight that Holmes easily won. "He said, 'If that is so, why are you whuppin' me?' " Holmes was one of only five boxers to ever defeat Ali. Years later, Ali would say that he would not have fought Holmes if he had known he would lose and suffer brain damage.
April 29, 2016 |
STEPHEN J. Traitz Jr., 79, a colorful labor leader who was the central figure in the Roofers union scandal of the 1980s, died Tuesday at his farm in Trooper, Montgomery County. The barrel-chested former boxer, who attended daily Mass and did not drink liquor, was known for being polite and soft-spoken, but he was caught on FBI tapes being profane and offensive, and, a federal jury concluded, guilty of bribing Philadelphia judges with cash-filled envelopes. Richard L. Scheff, who prosecuted the case, recalled sitting five feet from Mr. Traitz during his trial, and the defendant "treated me with complete respect.
March 18, 2016 |
(The reference to Eugene "Cyclone" Hart has been clarified in the antepenultimate paragraph.) IT IS BOXING'S version of the designer label, and every fighter who has ever passed through Pennsylvania's largest city, long- or short-term, wears it with pride. That was true in the past and, to hear some tell it, the song remains the same today. If a fighter is born in Philadelphia and moves away, he forever remains a Philadelphia fighter. If a fighter is born somewhere else and moves to Philly to ply his trade, he immediately becomes a Philadelphia fighter.
February 22, 2016 |
South Philadelphians are engaged in a complex moral debate: Should a historical marker be placed outside the Snyder Avenue rowhome where Angelo Bruno, the mob boss, lived and died? Meanwhile, not too far west of there, one of those familiar blue-and-gold plaques stands at the corner of 17th and Ritner, a lonely sentinel for a nearly forgotten South Philly native and his diminished sport. Boxing writers called Tommy Loughran, who grew up at 1634 Ritner St., the "Philly Phantom.
November 4, 2015
HE LIED. We suspected as much, but now Philly boxer Yusaf Mack is outright admitting that he lied about being drugged into doing gay sex for a XXX-rated porn flick. "I was ashamed," the former champ told me yesterday. "I'm sorry for lying. I've always been curious. " By now, you've probably heard about Mack and the infamous "Holiday Hump'n" sex tape circulating that shows him engaging in a steamy threesome with two other hunky men. It's been the talk. Not just in Philly but nationwide.
October 28, 2015
WEST PHILLY'S Yusaf Mack is known for his boxing. But it's his sexual prowess that has people buzzing. He appears in a new porn video that's caused a bit of a local scandal. And it's not just any porn video but a particularly graphic one that shows him engaging in a threesome with two other men. Mack, a father of 10 who is engaged to marry a woman, adamantly maintains that he's strictly heterosexual and that the whole thing is all a big mistake. "My whole life, I've been what they call a whoremonger.
September 14, 2015 |
ONE OF MANNY Folly's earliest recollections of Kip Street in North Philly, where he grew up, is peering out of his house with the weathered, brown door at a teenager he knew who had just been shot lying in the middle of the street. Seconds later, a car ran over the kid. At the end of the street is a church, and on the steps of that church sit the drug dealers during the day - just as they did back then. Returning recently to Kip Street, Folly's eyes narrow like a hovering hawk as he glares down the small stretch of pocked asphalt devoid of hope - where, in a good year, only two or three homicides occur.