A Press Democrat Blog

Cohn Zohn

Lowell Cohn's pertinent and impertinent take on sports

50 years later, Sonny Liston took a dive

The great Robert Rubino and I engaged in a writing debate. On the 50th anniversary of Ali-Liston II, was the fight on the level or a fraud? I say it was a fraud. Robert disagrees. Here is a link to my side  of the argument. The full text of my article runs below: It was the phoniest knockout I ever saw, that time Muhammad Ali put down Sonny Liston for the count in some town called Lewiston, Maine, because the… Read More »

I don’t like Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Here is an early link to my Tuesday column about Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. The full text runs below: I don’t like Floyd Mayweather, Jr. I like Manny Pacquiao. I hope Pacquiao beats Mayweather Saturday night. I hope Pacquiao knocks him out. I object to Mayweather on two grounds — moral and athletic. Let’s handle the moral issue first. He is a woman beater. He served time in the slammer for beating up his girlfriend in front of their… Read More »

I fondly remember Ken Norton Sr.

Here is a link to my Thursday column about Ken Norton Sr. The full text runs below: I’ve been thinking about Ken Norton, the heavyweight who broke Muhammad Ali’s jaw. Norton died in 2013. After the Raiders hired Norton’s son, Ken Norton Jr., as defensive coordinator, my mind wandered down the corridor of years to the time I met his dad. Ken Norton was known as “The Black Hercules” for his classic physique, “The Fighting Marine” because he had been… Read More »

Emile Griffith dies

Emile Griffith died. He is famous — notorious — for killing Benny Kid Paret in a fight. But he also is famous for being one hell of a fighter. He was an all-time top-10 welterweight. He was welter and middleweight champ and he was a lovely man. I once spent an afternoon with him. He was childlike and thoroughly likable. My dad took me to see him fight as an amateur in the NY Golden Gloves when I was in… Read More »

Was Marquez’ KO of Pacquiao legit?

Longtime Cohn Zohn  reader Shane Buettner has his doubts about the legitimacy of Juan Manuel Marquez’ sixth-round knockout of Manny Pacquiao. He said I am naive if I believe Marquez is on the level. Naive is one of the nicest things I have been called lately. Shane is also knowledgeable about football, so I take seriously the things he writes to me. He sent along an article which ran before the fight explaining how Marquez increased his strength for this… Read More »

Marquez KOs Pacquiao

I love boxing. No one has to watch the film to learn the truth. On Saturday night, we got a dose of truth. Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Manny Pacquiao with one punch to the kisser. See you later, Manny. Truth can be cruel but it’s honest. Pacquiao is on the decline and never will be what he once was. This happens to almost every great fighter. It will be disgusting if Mayweather Jr. finally works up the nerve to… Read More »

Carmen Basilio died

The great Carmen Basilio died yesterday and I should write a column about him, but hardly anyone remembers Basilio and hardly anyone remembers his era, the 1950s – a great era of boxing, and hardly anyone follows boxing anymore. So, I’m writing only a blog about Basilio and it just breaks my heart. In 1989 I traveled around the country interviewing boxers I used to watch on TV with my father. My father died in 1988 and he and I… Read More »

Pacquiao loses to Bradley — ridiculous

Manny Pacquiao just lost a split decision to Tim Bradley, who won Pacquiao’s welterweight title. Baloney. I watched the fight on pay per view. I’m good at scoring fights. I’ve been doing it since I was 10. And Bradley did not come close to winning. He mostly ran and he never once landed an important punch, and he never hurt Pacquiao. Pacquiao pursued him the whole fight. Pacquiao made the fight. Pacquiao landed more punches. Pacquiao landed the power punches.… Read More »

Bert Sugar, boxing’s voice, RIP

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… Read More »