I’m late posting my Tuesday column — my apologies. I wrote about Bert Randolph Sugar who died of a heart attack on Sunday at age 74. He was the last great character of boxing, a sport which used to be full of characters. He was a storyteller and a boxing historian. He wrote about 80 books many of them on boxing and he was a great guy. With his death, the sport of boxing, already in its death throes, dies a little bit more. To read my column on Bert, please click here.

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  1. Frank in Minnesota

    I was most fortunate enough to see ‘Uncle’ Bert (yes, he was like an uncle the way he carried himself and spoke) in person once, and have heard him many times on the radio…will miss his prescence…great writing Lowell, i am glad you took the time to mention him, thanks!!!!

    March 27th, 2012 9:03 am

  2. Brodie2Washington

    Lowell, it’s a delight to read sports reporters still are clued into people like Burt Sugar and Jack Fiske.

    (Not being a boxing expert, I still won alot of bets going along with things Jack Fiske wrote in the Chronicle.)

    I saw “Facing Ali” upon your recommendation. A must see for boxing fans, and non fans too.

    Times have changed. Boxing went to cable. I don’t even know the name of the heavyweight champ.

    March 27th, 2012 9:51 am

  3. Tiburon Dave

    Boxing is as dead as my Great Aunt Florence…been dead since Bert was my age…but he soldiered on…

    What do you suppose killed it?

    Our National obsession with “SAFE” brutality?

    What do you think?

    March 27th, 2012 10:43 am

  4. KauaiRobert

    What is it with the name ‘Sugar’ and the sport of boxing?
    A lot of Sugars in boxing.
    You don’t really see Sugar’s in other sports.
    Just an observation…

    March 27th, 2012 11:52 am

  5. krambo

    You do yourself an injustice. Boxing still has a voice, yours. I am not a boxing fan, the only time I am interested is when I read your insights and observations. Great writing friend.

    March 27th, 2012 1:09 pm



    I heard over the weekend that Burt Sugar had passed away.
    I told my wife that you would probably write an article about him.
    This morning, there it was. It was great. I started reading
    Boxing Illustrated back in 1967 and then Ring Magazine
    when he became involved with it.
    You write very well, you should pickup “the torch”
    Lou Traverso

    March 27th, 2012 1:59 pm

  7. NeverWrong

    Lowell, Boxing still has you as its voice. It’s sad the sport itself no longer gives a good prize fighting writer many opportunities to honor it, but as long as there’s some life to it, you are a proven scribe for it. It’s great to read your column, giving so much deserved respect to Mr. Sugar, and to our own, truly great, Jack Fiske. Bert Sugar did his level best to preserve the sport by shepherding The Ring Magazine. Jack Fiske gave the sport its most authentic, completely in-character voice. Your own columns of yore put you in their company, and I hope there are times to come when a couple of worthies get in the ring and you’ll be at ringside to record and comment about their fight.

    March 27th, 2012 2:11 pm

  8. CohnZohn

    Tiburon Dave, Boxing did a lot to ruin itself — all those sanctioning bodies, a million weight divisions and champions, and MMA hurts boxing too.

    March 27th, 2012 3:33 pm

  9. chris

    and Mike Tyson in the 1990′s help ruin the sport with his cartoonish behavior in the ring, during press conferences and weigh ins.

    March 28th, 2012 2:09 pm

  10. Peter Babcock

    Thank you for the heartfelt eulogy for the great Bert Sugar. His writing on all things boxing will surely be missed. His death, sadly, brought up memories of the late Jack Fiske, my favorite boxing writer. We have lost two greats. If boxing has lost it’s voice, i nominate you, Lowell, to step into that role!

    March 28th, 2012 2:12 pm

  11. Neal


    I can see two possible stories coming up with the Giants. Do you think Cain has not been signed because of the horrific Barry Zito signing? They don’t want to get burned twice and might be gun shy or is this just posturing and negotiating. Also if Zito pitches poorly any chance they will dump the salary and kick him to the curb? I know you did a story about it last year, that you would dump it but hey it is not our money.

    March 28th, 2012 3:06 pm

  12. CohnZohn

    They don’t look at Cain as another Zito. But Zito’s salary puts pressure on all other salaries.

    March 28th, 2012 3:15 pm

  13. Peter

    Today at the conclusion of a contest we have immediate video analysis, statistics and a discussion by retired-an-hour-ago experts who, if this latest event appears to be a big deal, might try to measure it against history.  Instant perspective!  Until tomorrow. 

    For day to day action I enjoy these highlights and read current news by really good young writers who type faster than you can talk.  I’m informed in the now.  Cool.

    But for big events, both expected or those suddenly determined in the moment, I prefer reading an account the next day by an old scribe who has been around.  An interested observer and real story teller.  Someone who takes enough time to present the setting, tell about the participants and review what took place between the lines/ropes….and by virtue of having walked the sporting earth for 30-plus years tap into instincts to describe the intangibles. 

    That’s why I like Bert Sugar.


    March 29th, 2012 6:29 pm

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