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 »
A Press Democrat Blog
Lowell Cohn's pertinent and impertinent take on sports
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Angelo Dundee died on Wednesday. He was a great boxing trainer and he was a great boxing character when boxing still had great characters — and still had character. I knew Angelo well and liked him. He used to send me Christmas cards and he would talk to me about boxing past and present and he helped make Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali who they were. He embodied the last great era of boxing. I wrote my Friday column… Read More »
I wrote my Wednesday column about Joe Frazier, Rest in Peace. I did not write about him as a boxer, although he was an all-time great heavyweight. I wrote about him as a man and I compared him to his counterpart, Muhammad Ali, an even greater heavyweight, but in my ratings, a lesser man. I wrote the column with great emotion. I respect Ali but not for the shabby way he treated Frazier. To read my column please click here.
Joe Frazier died Monday of liver cancer. God, he was a great fighter. I had lunch with him once and found him funny, charming, smart, a pure delight. I will write a column about him this week — I’m hoping Tuesday for Wednesday. I’m working the schedule out with the PD. Rest in Peace, Smokin’ Joe.