Joe Amato  

  Jim Amato


Jim Amato

Amato is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He is a longtime avid fan of the Browns and Indians. Although he enjoys baseball and football his true passion is boxing.
Jim began covering fights in 1992 reporting on the Roberto Duran-Ken Hulsey fight in Cleveland for Boxing Illustrated. He has since contributed articles to Boxing World, Boxing Times, Heavyhitters, Cleveland's East Side Daily newspaper, The Neutral Corner and the IBRO Journal. He has also had articles posted on several on line boxing sites.

Jim is a member of the Boxing Writers Association Of America (BWAA) and is also a member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO), that was founded by Hall Of Famer Ralph Citro. Boxing notables Hank Kaplan and Harold Lederman are among IBRO's members.
Jim is on the Publicity Committee for the American Association For The Improvement Of Boxing (AAIB) that was co-founded by Steve Acunto and the late Rocky Marciano. He is a member of the Ohio State Former Boxers And Associates and the Trumball County Of Ohio Legends Of Leather, President Sal Marino.He is also a past member of the Society For American Baseball Research (SABR).  

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by Jim for everyone

There were over 61,000 boxing fans filling Yankee Stadium on September 21.1955. Thousands of them were brought there by Archie Moore's fabulously successful publicly campaign. Archie was an American original. He had a burning desire for a heavyweight title shot and so became a one man publicity machine for his cause. Moore conducted a campaign for recognition the likes of which had never been seen before. He started yelling that heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano was avoiding him. He wrote hundreds of letters to newspapermen.He made speeches wherever and whenever he could be heard. He wired his congressman. He even took out a newspaper ad in the St. Louis Dispatch asking boxing fans for ideas on how to lure Marciano into the ring ! Archie Moore was the light heavyweight champion of the world and a top heavyweight contender too. However getting a title shot with Marciano was problematic. Rocky Marciano was considering retirement. Enormously popular, unbeaten, and undisputed as champion Rocky was an icon.Rocky knew if he quit on top he would have a position unequaled by other champions. Al Weill proposed an easy last title defense. Rocky knew that one terrible night getting a beating and losing his title in the ring could lose a lot of his post boxing luster. In the end Rock's pride was pricked by Archie's relentless campaign to get a title shot. That and his solid belief in his own ability made him finally say, "take the fight".Moore choose North Adams, Massachusetts for his training headquarters. Rocky chose Grossingers. From his camp Moore provided endless pictures and copy. Archie posed with Indians in the mountains. Reports had a "chief" giving Archie muscle enhancing power that guaranteed Marciano's defeat. Archie started taking flying lessons between training sessions. The boxing commission made him stop fearing a accident. So Archie then took to racing through the hills in his new Thunderbird car. There was a dispute over Archie wanting to wear his fine goatee beard into the ring fight night. Never a dull moment.Rocky Marciano's Manager Al Weill said "Rocky does the fighting, I do the talking." And talk he did nonstop. Charlie Goldman, the trainer would occasionally sneak through with a column just to add to the furor. Rocky provided excitement in his own way. Even with the padded headgear and big padded gloves, he sent sparring partners flying across the ring when he landed his big shots. Knockdowns of sparring partners became frequent in the Marciano camp.As the fight drew nearer Marciano split a seam in heavy bag one day with one thunderous right hand sock. Marciano himself began to talk.Rocky seldom showed anger but Moore had gotten under his skin. Rocky made two statements quoted by Ring Magazine. "Ill be ready for Mr. Moore --more ready than I have ever been for anybody!". " Archie has been talking too much, I have a particular desire to be better than ever against Moore." Archie Moore simply said "I have awaited a very long time for this moment and Ill be crowned the new champion fight night."Two great champions to meet in the ring. The best of ballyhoo . Archie Moore had done it !. He got the biggest fight of his life . Now could he win? Rocky Marciano was the most exciting and best heavyweight to come along in years. He was considered a great heavyweight champion. However fans respected Moore's magnificent ring craft and hitting power and knew he had an honest chance to remove the heavyweight title belt .His fighting skills and his all out publicity campaign had created red hot interest in this fight. A huge crowd numbered at 61,574 fans showed up. These live fans were no doubt experiencing sensations produced by a classic match up between the world's two best heavyweights and the excitement on fight night was almost unbearable. Archie entered the brightly lit ring resplendent in outrageously long boxing trunks.Archie waved to the fans who came up to the ring to tell him he would win.He waved to the fans in the far away bleachers who were calling his name. Archie Moore had endured two decades of roadwork and about 100 fights to get to this moment. Archie was going for the knockout as he knew he may not be able to go 15 rounds with a human steamroller like Marciano but he said he sure thought he could knock Marciano out like he has so many others. Archie of course ended up with the career all time knockout record.Marciano entered the ring to a big cheer and pounded his gloves together ready to fight. At the bell they both came out totally professionally. It was a big, big fight and both understood there was menace in the others gloves and an early mistake could abruptly end their night before even being warmed up. So the first round found both wary.In round two Archie's chance came ! Marciano was none too pleased with the things Moore had said about him pre-fight. He intended a crushing early round KO as retaliation.He landed a crisp left hook that snapped Archie's head back and sent a spray of sweat toward the overhead ring lights Encouraged then, Rocky became over anxious and left his chin open. As he started swinging at Moore. Moore immediately knocked Marciano down with a single smashing right ! The champion was on the canvas in ring center amid a scene of great excitement.Radio and television announcers screamed into microphones. Newspaper reporters jumped up and down. The great crowd was on its feet roaring. Flashbulbs went off all around ringside. Marciano's corner was frantically yelling at him to take a nine count. Was Archie Moore really going to have his triumph ? Rocky landed on one knee his gloves touching the canvas.Dazed Marciano looked up at the referee with an I-cannot-believe-this-is happening-to -me stare. He slowly rose up at three .Referee Harry Kessler seemed slow to wave them together, apparently forgetting there was no mandatory eight count in this fight. Archie tried to edge around the referee to get at Marciano but Kessler pushed him backwards (something Archie never forgave him for). Precious seconds passed . Rocky's head was clearing. Archie came in again. Another right hit Marciano . Rocky's body sagged under the impact.However Rocky kept his chin tucked. He would not make the same mistake the rest of the fight. Moore's follow up shots hurt but do not stun him.The round ended.. At the start of round three Rocky Marciano is on his feet bleeding from the nose and with a bruise under his eye but clear headed and ready to fight.At the bell one of Moore's corner man is pounding the canvas yelling "lets finish it Archie." The next three rounds saw fierce exchanges. Archie was elusive and had Marciano missing a lot then countering with heavy punches. The heavy punches he landed were hard enough to put away many heavyweights but not Marciano.At the time Archie Moore had knocked out 82 men in his long career. He knew when and how to hit for effect. Marciano kept surging forward with continual punches, missing a lot but putting them in hard when he landed. Each fighter landed his share of bombs. Both fighters remained on their feet and an appreciative crowd rose after each round to theirs.

. Marciano's foes learned that even though he did not have great speed or style, he just punched so often that sooner or later he was going to get in a big one. Rocky just kept coming and continually punching so he was dangerous every second. In round six Marciano's right came up like a flash and caught Moore flush on the jaw. Moore hit the canvas hard. He struggled up at 4. The crowd of 61,000 was on its feet screaming with a din . Marciano came in and landed another right hand blast and then threw 47 straight power punches at Moore. It was a onslaught that only a fighter with the incredible endurance of Marciano could throw. Moore fired back but was just overwhelmed and went down again for a count of eight. Moore had a fighters heart and a fighters head he somehow survived the round. Archie Moore was one of the most stubborn fighters around he was not going to quit. He had been down twice and had a swollen eye but come back before. Plus the fact a fighter who had 82 KO wins on his resume had confidence in his chances to land a big punch. One reporter said Archie had a heart that would make the tin man in the Wizard Of Oz proud. In round seven the television announcer is yelling "two great right hands by Moore and now its Marciano thats rocked!". The next round however Marciano started landing to the body.and Moore was tiring fast from the grueling pace. Near the rounds end Marciano unloaded a terrific right that stiffened Moore and left him still laying on the canvas when the bell rang at the rounds end. Moore's handlers leaped n through the ropes and propped him on his corner stool. It seemed all over and they asked if he wanted to quit. Moore replied, "no I too am a champion and I'll go out like a champion ". The ninth was the finish. Marciano pounded Moore into a corner. Two big left hooks and Moore thudded to the canvas at 1:19 of the round. It had been a bruising battle with both champion and challenger on the deck and a possibility that Moore might turn the tables. Both Archie and Rocky received a huge ovation for their effort. It was a thriller. An action-packed war .A fight almost as good as the hype that created it.

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'Facing Ali' provides interesting perspective


I happened to come across the book "Facing Ali" at a neighborhood book store
recently and purchased a copy. The book was written by Stephen Brunt in 2002
and published by The Lyons Press.

The premise of the book is what grabbed my attention. Brunt tracked down and
interviewed 15 of Ali's opponents and shared what it was like to face the
man and the legend in the ring. The result is quite entertaining.

Brunt presents his interviews in chronological order, starting with Ali's
very first professional foe, Tunney Hunsaker of Fayetteville, West Virginia.
The first five chapters are devoted to Ali's early career extending through
his first reign as champion (1960-67). Henry Cooper, George Chuvalo, Brian
London and Karl Mildenburger are subjects along with Hunsaker.

Chapters six to nine are devoted Ali's return from exile (1970-73) and
include interviews with Joe Frazier, Jurgen Blin, Joe Bugner and Ken Norton.

After that, the chronology goes from George Foreman and beyond, concluding
with Larry Holmes.

Brunt used the Ali angle to sell the book and he centered his interviews
around the ring encounters that each of the men had with Ali, but Brunt also
took the time to tell the story of each of the 15 fighters. It makes for
very entertaining reading.

The most disappointing interview, from my perspective, was the one with
Frazier. It was disappointing for Brunt, the author, as well because it was
clear that Joe had still not gotten over the insults that Ali had hurled at
him all those years ago. Bitterness came through in Joe's responses and made
what could have been a truly pleasurable and insightful interview into an
uncomfortable one. I had been very much looking forward to Joe sharing his
thoughts about what it was like to be center stage with Ali in the 1970s in
what may be the greatest heavyweight fight trilogy of all time. There were
some golden nuggets contained in Brunt's interview, to be sure, but one came
away with the feeling that Joe was hurting himself by not letting go. He had
not forgiven his old-time rival nor had he forgotten the hurtful words that
Ali had directected toward him.

For each of the 15 fighters, meeting Ali in the ring meant different things.
All of them, without exception, were greatly impacted by the event (or
events) and the media hype that always accompanied an Ali boxing
extravaganza. Most of those interviewed are remembered more for trading
punches with Ali than for anything else in their lives.

One is struck by the contrast in character and personality between British
challengers Cooper and London, how Mildenburger's surprisingly good showing
against Ali in September of 1966 transformed him into a national hero in
Germany, and how Chuck Wepner's gutsy effort as challenger to Ali inspired
Sylvester Stallone to create "Rocky."

Three of the more interesting of Brunt's interviews, I thought, were with
Wepner, Ron Lyle and Jean-Pierre Coopman. These men all challenged Ali later
in his career when the champ's great skills were declining. None of the
three were considered a great draw at the box office, and Ali used different
tactics to try and build the gate with each of them.

During a pre-fight interview on a TV talk show, Ali asked Wepner during a
commercial break to bait him with a racial slur when they were back on the
air as a way to whip up publicity for the bout. Wepner refused to do it.
(There was never any actual animosity between the two.)

Ali predicted that he would knock out Lyle, the muscular ex-con, in the
final 30 seconds of the eighth round. (Ali tried hard for the prescribed
kayo, but couldn't do it; in fact, until Ali struck with lightning
efficiency in the 11th round, it appeared that Lyle might upset the champ.)

Coopman, who was chosen as challenger because he was considered to be easy
pickins' and an easy payday -- he was both -- and because he would draw fans
in his native Belgium and the rest of Europe, was provided the fearsome
nickname "Lion of Flanders" as a publicity gimmick shortly before the fight.
Coopman actually bought into the hype and thought he had a chance to
dethrone Ali and win the title ... that is, until the fight actually

With the notable exception of Frazier, all of the subjects in the book
talked about Ali's warmth and humanity away from the ring and some of
subsequent visits with the champ in the years since their ring encounters.
While there is nothing particularly surprising or revealing in the
interviews with former champs Foreman and Norton, the interviews make
interesting reading. Both have only good things to say about Ali.

Holmes is the 15th and final chapter in the book. He is also a great
heavyweight champion in his own right, but his entire professional career
was lived under the long shadow of Ali's accomplishments. While Holmes
doesn't come across as being bitter toward Ali, neither does he feel obliged
to supply flowery praise in the pages of Brunt's book. Holmes is honest to a
fault, sometimes brutally so. While Holmes has many fond memories of his
years serving as Ali's sparring partner and says that he personally likes
Ali, Holmes also frankly points out Ali's faults, such as his womanizing and
lack of discipline.

All in all, this is a well-written and entertaining boxing book. While it
sheds no new light on Ali or his image, it does provide fascinating insights
from some of those who faced him man-to-man under the glorious glare of the
world's spotlight between 1960 and 1980.

Mike Dunn is a writer and boxing historian living in Gaylord, Mich.

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Norman " Stoney " Stone has decided for a number of rumored reasons to retire from the corner of former WBA heavyweight kingpin John Ruiz. Stone has been vilified on many occasions throughout his association with Ruiz. Controversial ? You bet... Entertaining ? Well I guess that comes down to the "eye of the beholder '" category but " Stoney " was usually good copy. It all came down to drawing attention to your fighter and as a manager, Norman had the knack.

Let's face it, John Ruiz is a decent fighter and a decent man. What he lacks is charisma. Enter Norman Stone. Like him or dislike him. Agree with him or disagree with him...This guy was a mover and a shaker. In my book without him, John Ruiz would not be where he is today.

John Ruiz turned pro in 1992. On November 27, 1993 I saw John fight live in Cleveland. He won a rather boring six round decision over a journeyman, Carl " Not The Truth " Williams. If you would have told me then that Ruiz would one day beat Evander Holyfield and be a major player in the heavyweight division for nearly a decade...I would have laughed in your face.Hey guess what ? In 1994 he lost a twelve round decision to Danell Nicholson for the vacant IBO heavyweight title. After reeling off seven wins he was then crushed in less then a round by the feared David Tua. Could anyone see Ruiz becoming a champion at this point ?

Ruiz hit the big time in 1998 when he halted former champion Tony " TNT " Tucker. On August 12, 2000 Ruiz was matched with Evander Holyfield for the vacant WBA title. John lost a highly debatable decision. It set up a return match that took place on March 3, 2001. On that night, John Ruiz was crowned " World Champion ". In December he drew with Evander to retain his crown. Without a doubt, three of the most boring fights I've ever witnessed !

Nevertheless as champion Ruiz did not have a bad run. He beat Kirk Johnson on a DQ. This was a fight that most people saw John losing but I thought he was getting the better of Johnson up until the stoppage.

Then came his legit loss to a prime time Roy Jones Jr. Lucky for Ruiz that Jones decided to go back to the light heavyweight division. Next Ruiz " regains " his title with a well deserved points win over Hasim " Rock " Rahman. This mat go down as John's best career win.

In 2004 Ruiz halted Fres Oquendo and edged Andrew Golota. In 2005 his loss on points to James Toney was changed to a " No Contest " because Toney may have violated the steroid use rules. Ruiz was again re-instated as WBA champion. Next came the loss to Valuev. Where does Ruiz go next remains to be seen. He has already expressed his desire for a return engagement.

I'm not quite sure when Norman Stone entered the career of John Ruiz. At least what I think I see is a manager who did what a manager is supposed to do. Make as much money for your fighter as you can with the minimal amount of risk. In my opinion " Stoney " did that. He did not make foolish matches for John against Lennox Lewis or Vitali Klitschko. He did not put him in a unification fight with IBF titleholder Chris Byrd who probably would have boxed Ruiz silly.

I think " Stoney " helped an under rated yet over achieving John Ruiz make a whole lotta of money. Give the man his due. He's earned it !

Jim Amato

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Archie Moore: Light Heavyweight Great
by Jim Amato

He was possibly the greatest light heavyweight of all time, The wily "Old Mongoose" Archie Moore. The man who scored 140 knockouts in a career that spanned from 1936 to 1963 never lost his crown in the ring. Although he unsuccessfully challenged twice for the heavyweight title, he did campaign successfully among the "Big Boys" throughout his tenure as a professional boxer. His record reads lie "Who's Who" of boxing history. In 228 recorded bouts, Archie was only stopped seven times, a testimony to his courage and uncanny defensive ability.

Born on December 13, 1913, ( or 1916 to Archie) Moore boxed for years without due recognition. He fought all over the country. He even traveled to Australia and Argentina in search of fame and fortune. After six years on the circuit, Archie began to make his move toward the big time. In 1942, he knocked out Shorty Hogue in two rounds. Hogue had decisioned Archie no less than three times earlier in his career. He also beat rugged Jack Chase and drew with Ed Booker. In 1943, he won two out of three against Chase. In 1944, Moore lost by a knockout to Booker and also dropped a decision to the great Charley Burley. 1945 was a good year for Archie as he lost only two of fourteen fights. He beat Clevelander Lloyd Marshall twice. He was stopped by another Clevelander, the outstanding Jimmy Bivins. He lost a decision to Holman Williams but kayoed Holman in a rematch.

By this time Archie was formidable enough to warrant a title shot but it would be seven long years before he was granted one. Along the way, Moore would beat Curtis Sheppard twice and Bert Lytell twice. He would beat Bivins four times in rematches. He would defeat Harold Johnson in three put of four contests. He also scored victories over Ted Lowry, Bob Satterfield, Phil Muscato, Alberto Lovell and Jimmy Slade. The only boxer who could handle Archie was Ezzard Charles. Ezz beat Moore three times. The last time by a spectacular eighth round knockout in Cleveland. Finally on December 17, 1952, presumably just after his 39th birthday, Archie met yet another Cleveland legend, Joey Maxim. With Maxim's world light heavyweight title on the line Archie won a persuading decision to become a champion at last.

As world champion the legacy of Archie Moore would flourish. He defeated Maxim twice in title rematches. He beat heavyweight Nino Valdes twice, Bob Baker and Bert Whitehurst. He would successfully defend his crown with knockouts over Harold Johnson and Bobo Olson. On September 21, 1955, Archie would get his first crack at the heavyweight crown when he met Rocky Marciano. In the second round Archie sent Marciano to the canvas. Rocky beat the count and lasted out the round. Slowly the tide turned in Marciano's favor. Rocky proved to be too strong for the gritty Moore who finally succumbed in round nine. He kayoed Yolande Pompey in a title defense and on November 30, 1956, he was matched with Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight championship that Marciano had vacated. Although Archie was given a good chance to win by experts the youthful Patterson was much too fast and stopped Moore in round five.

Archie went back to defending his light heavyweight crown stopping the highly regarded Tony Anthony in seven rounds. Moore continued to meet heavyweights in hope of securing one more shot at that title. Archie defeated Howard King twice, Roger Rischer, Willi Besmanoff and Charley Norkus before putting his title on the line. Moore's 1958 bout with Canada'sYvon Durelle secured Archie's place in fistic history. Repeatedly knocked down in the early rounds and then down again in the fifth, Moore refused to surrender. By the middle rounds Durelle began to tire. Archie came on to stop Durelle in the eleventh round to retain his title in a classic thriller. In their 1959 rematch Yvon was a lot less troublesome as he exited in round three. Moore did not defend his title at all in 1960 much to the dismay of the National Boxing Association who withdrew recognition of Archie as a champion on October 25th. Old foe Harold Johnson beat Jesse Bowdry to claim the vacant NBA title. Still recognized be New York State and the European Boxing Union Archie decisioned Giulio Rinaldi in his final title defense. On February 10, 1692, New York and the EBU stripped Archie of his crown. A feat no mere mortal could accomplish in the ring. Finally the ageless wonder began to slow down. Archie still had enough left in 1962 to draw the future protege Cassius Clay. Clay had won the light heavyweight Gold Medal at the 1960 Olympics and had trained briefly under Archie early in his pro career. The brash upstart overwhelmed the aging warrior as he had predicted in round four. Archie had no more illusions of becoming heavyweight champion.

Upon his retirement, Archie did some acting and he also became very involved in helping the youth of America. He started a program called "Any Boy Can" and used this as a vehicle to reach young people in a positive manner. Archie's book which is aptly titled "Any Boy Can" explains Archie's views on helping youth as well as Archie covering his life and boxing career.

The Great Masahiko " Fighting " Harada Oct 8, '05 10:44 PM ET
by Jim Amato 

He just may be the most popular Japanese fighter of all time. In a career that lasted a little over a decade he squeezed in 63 pro contests. He was the winner of 55 of those. He won world championships in two weight divisions and he came very close to becoming a three weight class titleholder. Please remember this was back in the day when there were only eight weight classes and one champion per division. He is the only man to beat the legendary Eder Jofre and he turned the trick twice. His name was Masahiko but in boxing circles his nickname was " Fighting ". That should tell you something about his aggressive whirlwind style. He was " Fighting " Harada.

Harada started his career in 1960 and in less then three years he reeled off 25 straight wins, ten by knockout. He had established himself as a top ranking flyweight contender. Edmundo Esparza upset Harada by decision in June of 1962 to end his win streak but two fights later on October 10th he was in a Tokyo ring facing world flyweight champion Pone Kingpetch. The champion was unable to keep the swarming Harada off of him and he finally lost his title in the eleventh round. 

Kingpetch lured Harada to his home country of Thailand and on January 12th, 1963 in Bangkok, Pone regained his title by decision.Harada bounced back to win three straight and the he was surprisingly stopped by the talented Mexican Jose Medel in Tokyo.Undaunted Harada went on a six fight win steak that carried him to the end of 1964.

In 1965 Harada entered the bantamweight class and on May 17th he met the unbeaten and highly respected champion Eder Jofre. In a classic between two great boxers, Harada out slugged Jofre to capture his second world title. By the years end he would add a successful defense against Britain's highly touted Alan Rudkin.

Harada and Jofre would hook up again on June 1st, 1966 and the verdict again went to the busier Harada. On January 3rd, 1967 Harada avenged his knockout loss to Medel while retaining his title via the decision route. On July 4th Harada turned back the challenge of tough Bernardo Caraballo and it looked like he would reign for quite some time.

On February 27th, 1968 Australian Lionel Rose came to Tokyo to challenge Harada. In an impressive display of ring generalship the classy Rose outboxed Harada to lift the crown. Harada would come right back in June to decision a fine fighter in Dwight Hawkins. 

On April 2nd, 1969 Harada was upset on points by Alton Colter. Nevertheless he was invited to Sydney, Australia on July 28th to challenge Johnny Famechon for the world featherweight championship. It was a rock-em-sock-em affair that in the end was called a draw by guest referee Willie Pep. After re-checking Pep's scorecard a mistake was found and Famechon was awarded the decision. Many felt that Harada had done more then enough to earn the verdict and the title. There was a high demand for a rematch.

Famechon and Harada would hook up again on January 6th, 1970 in Tokyo. This time there would be no controversial decision. Famechon saw to that. Harada seemed to age overnight. Famechon blasted Harada out in the fourteenth round to end any doubt who the better man was. Harada realized he was no longer the fighting machine he had been and the next day he announced his retirement. The end of the line had come for one of the most exciting fighters of his era. 

Jim Amato

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1968-1977 ; A TIME FOR TOUGH GUYS...

The late 1960's and early and mid 1970's produced some of the finest,
dominant champions ever. While Ali, Frazier and Foreman were taking turns
ruling the heavyweights, other divisions found themselves under the supreme
rule of a certain superior boxer.

At light heavyweight "Bad" Bob Foster was the sheriff in town. When
Vincente Rondon disputed that fact he was gunned down in two rounds.

At middleweight Carlos Monzon truly was the "King". He turned back the
challenges of such fine fighters as Nino Benvenuti, Emile Griffith and
Bennie Briscoe to name a few. After twice defeating the talented Rodrigo
Valdez , Carlos retired with his crown in tact.

Antonio Cervantes attained " legendary" status as he established himself
as one of the greatest 140 pound rulers of all time.

Roberto Duran...Just the mere mention of the name is associated with
greatness. At lightweight his fists, the "Hands Of Stone" created havoc with
any would be challengers. Only the outstanding Esteban DeJesus was able to
compete with Roberto.

Then at bantamweight was the dynamic Rock-A-Bye Ruben Olivares. His happy
go lucky gap tooth smile belied his devastating power. Only a wonderful
little fighting machine named Jesus "Chu Chu" Castillo was able to compete
with a prime Olivares. One has to wonder where DeJesus and Castillo would be
among the fistic Gods if it wasn't for Roberto Duran and Ruben Olivares. I
guess the same could be said for Rodrigo Valdez.

Then there was this smooth boxing but murderous puncher who defected from
his homeland of Cuba. He moved to Mexico and his fistic prowess led to him
being adopted as a national hero. He was a top ranking lightweight and
junior welterweight but when he was unable to secure a title shot in either
of those weight classes, he set his sights on the welterweight division. The
proud and classy welterweight titleholder agreed to put his title on the
line against this feared and avoided fighter. Curtis Cokes would pay dearly
for putting his title up for grabs. After over a dozen painful rounds Curtis
relinquished his title to Jose Napoles. Thus began a reign that would
establish Napoles as one of the greatest fighters ever to lace on the

Jim Amato

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You can read more of Jim's archived news here 

Lionel Rose; A Forgotten Champion...

   As I began to follow this great sport, Japan's " Fighting " Harada was
already becoming a legend. He had won and then lost the World's Flyweight
championship to Pone Kingpetch. He then moved up to bantamweight and
dethroned the seemingly unbeatable Eder Jofre to win that title. To prove it
was no fluke , he again defeated the great Jofre. Harada was the " King ".
   Enter Lionel Rose... When this Australian entered the ring to face Harada
he was a prohibitive underdog. Very few gave him a legitimate chance. Yet
that night Rose put on a boxing clinic. He raked Harada throughout the
match. He followed his fight plan perfectly. He counterpunched Harada silly.
   Rose would wear a shaky crown. Many thought that he was the loser in his
defense against the very capable Jesus " ChuChu " Castiilo. The verdict in
Rose's favor created riots.
   He lost his crown to an all time great, Ruben Olivares. This was a one
sided loss yet in defeat Rose proved his gameness.
   Although he fought his way back to a title fight. He was defeated by
Numata in a challenge for 130 pound title. After that he drifted into boxing
   The Lionel Rose that beat " Fighting 'Harada was a great fighter.  As the
saying goes; " One fight does not make a fighter" . Oh, that is so true...
But in Rose's case is it ?

Jim Amato

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