The 1924 games in Paris would go down as one of the most controversial in history due mainly to officiating. This was the firs time that the judging was being decided by a multi-national set of judges from mainly from Europe, North America, and South Africa. The rounds consisted of two three minute rounds and a third round of four minutes. The bouts were judges by a referee and two ringside judges. During the event, demonstrations, threats of walkouts, and near riots occurred. The boxing was viewed by over 19,000 spectators between July 15 through July 20.
Fidel LaBarba: Born September 29, 1905; Bronx, New York. Death: October 2, 1981; Los Angeles, California. 1924 AAU Champion. Won Gold Medal over James McKenzie of Great Britain. Earned a professional record of 73-15-6 (16 KO). Lost an attempt for the Pacific Coast Flyweight title to Jimmy McLarmin on January 23, 1925. Won the NBA World Flyweight Championship on August 28, 1925 by defeating 1920 Olympian Frankie Genaro by points. Defend the title a couple of time before relinquishing the title to attend Stanford. Would return to the ring in 1928 as a bantamweight and eventually made the move to featherweight. Lost several attempts at minor titles at feather and also a shot at the NYAC World title against Kid Chocolate. While training for the fight with Chocolate, LaBarba suffered a detached retina but fought anyway. After unsuccessful surgeries to repair the damage, he had to have the eye remove ending his career. Earning a degree in Journalism, LaBarba worked as a sports writer, in media relations, screenwriter, and as a technical advisor in Hollywood for boxing movies. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996.
Raymond ‘Ray’ John Free: Born: January 12, 1903; St. Paul, Minnesota. Death: June 2, 1983; Collier County, Florida. Won his Bronze Medal on a bluff. He was soundly beaten in the semi-finals suffering injuries, but he also knew that he bronze medal opponent, Renaldo Castellenghi was also suffering from injuries from his previous bout, so Free went to the ring trying to look as fit as could be. Castellenghi fell for the ruse and withdrew giving Free the victory by walkover. Lost his only professional fight to teammate Fidel LaBarba.
Joseph Ashur Lazarus: Born: December 18, 1903; Bayonne, New Jersey. Death: June 21, 1943; Manhattan, New York. Lost in the second round to Sweden’s Oscar Arden. Became an insurance broker after the Olympics. Killed in an altercation with two British sailors. After mediating a brawl between his client and the sailors, all parties had shaken hands when one of the sailors shoved Lazarus through a window severing an artery causing him to bleed to death.
Salvatore ‘Al’ Peter Tripoli: Born: December 5, 1904; New York, New York. Death: March 7, 1990; Yonkers, New York. Started boxing at 16 years of age under the name of Jackie Williams because he did not have his mother’s approval. Won the AAU title qualifying him for the Olympics so he had to confess his activities to his mother in order to compete at the games under his real name. Won the Silver Medal after defeating Sweden’s Oscar Arden and losing to South African Willie Smith in the finals. Had a professional record of 34-17-14 (5 KO).
Joseph ‘Joe’ Salas: Born: December 23, 1903; Los Angeles, California. Death: June 11, 1987; Carlsbad, California. Won the Silver Medal losing to teammate and friend Jackie Fields. Fields defeated Salas in one more amateur fight and again in both fighters professional debuts. Professional record: 27-6-4 (5 KO).
John (Jacob) ‘Jackie’ Fields: Born: February 9, 1908; Chicago, Illinois. Death: June 3, 1987; Los Angeles, California. Won Gold Medal defeating Joe Salas. Part owner of the Tropicana Hotel at the time of his death. Birth name was Jacob Finkelstein. Amateur record of 51-3. Is the youngest person to ever win an Olympic Gold Medal in boxing at 16 years 4 months. Professional record: 74-9-2 (31 KO). Won the NBA World Welterweight Title against Young Jack Thompson on March 25, 1929 by 10 round decision. Made one defense of the title before losing it to Young Corbett III on February 22, 1930 by 10 round decision. Lost rematch with Young Jack Thompson on Ma7 9, 1930 by 15 round decision for the NBA title. Regained the NBA title defeating Lou Boullard on January 28, 1932 by 10 round decision. Lost the title to Young Corbett III again on February 22, 1931 by 10 round decision. After the contest the referee that rendered the decision admitted that he made a mistake and that he should have called the fight for Fields. He made this confession in the locker room to Fields manager who immediately knocked the referee out. Inducted into United Savings-Helms Boxing Hall of Fame in 1972, the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1977, the International Jewish Hall of Fame in 1979, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994. Served many years as the vice chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Coached the US Boxing team in the 1965 Maccabiah Games.
Benjamin ‘Ben’ Rothwell Jr.: Born: September 14, 1902; West Point, Virginia. Death: December 1979; Short Hills, New Jersey. Lost to Alfredo Copello of Argentina in the quarter-finals. Professional record: 6-0 (5 KO).
Frederick ‘Fred’ Boylstein: Born: March 16, 1903; Ford City, Pennsylvania. Death: February 28, 1972; Kittanning, Pennsylvania. Won the Bronze Medal losing to Alfred Copello of Argentina in the semi-finals. After boxing became a police officer making it to the rank of Captain. Also served as a boxing coach at local boxing gym. Professional record: 37-4-2 (19 KO). 1924 AAU champion.
Hugh Robert Haggerty: Born: January 1, 1905; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Death: August 5, 1941; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Lost in the quarter-finals to Douglas Lewis of Canada. Professional record: 3-5.
Alfons ‘Al’ Mello Travers: Born: January 30, 1906; Lowell, Massachusetts. Death: October 31, 1993; Tewksburry, Massachusetts. Lost in the quarter-finals to Hector Mendez of Argentina. 1924 AAU Champion. Professional record of 43-10 (23 KO). Never won major professional title but won and lost numerous minor titles. After boxing, Mello served in WWII in the Army and was reported to have been killed in action in the November 1946 issue of Ring Magazine while participating in the Italian Campaign. Mello actually lived until 1993 opening and operating “Al Mello’s Restaurant” in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Benjamin ‘Ben’ Frankiln Funk: Born: June 2, 1902; Bloomington, Illinois. Death: November 1969; Bloomington, Illinois. 1924 AAU Champion. Lost in the second round to eventual Bronze Medal winner Joseph Brecken of Belgium.
James Adolphe Lefkowitch: Born: July 23, 1902; Newport News, Virginia. Death: April 15, 1987; LaJolla, California. Lost in the second round to Canadian Leslie Black. Attended the University of Virginia.
George Edmond Mulholland: Born: May 10, 1904; Indianapolis, Indiana. Death: April 1971; Indianapolis, Indiana. Lost in the quarter-finals to eventual Silver Medalist Thyge Petersen of Denmark. Professional record: 1-7-3.
Thomas Joseph ‘Tom’ Kirby: Born: Born December 21, 1904; Roxbury, Massachusetts. Death: November 9, 1968; Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Lost in the quarter-finals to eventual Silver Medalist Sverre Sorsdal of Norway. 1923 Junior National Heavyweight Champion, 1924 AAU Light Heavyweight champ, 1924 New England Amateur Heavyweight champ. Professional record: 29-23-4 (11 KO).
Edward Patrick Francis ‘Eddie’ Egan: Born: April 26, 1898; Denver, Colorado. Death: June 14, 1967; Rye, New York (heart attack). Only person to win a gold medal in the summer and winter Olympic games in different events. Defeated Sverre Sorsdal of Norway for gold in 1920. After the Olympics, returned Yale University to study law. Left Yale in 1922 to become a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. Won the British ABA Heavyweight Championship in 1923. Competed in the Olympic games at heavyweight in 1924 losing in the opening round. Earned a BA from Oxford in 1928. Admitted to the US Bar in 1932. Won second Gold Medal in 1932 as a member of the US Bobsleigh team at the winter games. Practiced law until 1932, joining the US Army Air Corps for World War II. This was his second military career as he was an Artillery Lieutenant in France during World War I. Reached rank of Lt. Colonel during WWII. Won numerous amateur titles. Appointed as the Chairman of President Dwight Eisenhower’s People to People Sports Committee. Director of the sports program for the World’s Fair in New York in 1964. Member of the Olympic Sports Hall Of Fame, 1983. Inducted into Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1966. Featured on US Postal Stamps in 1990.
Elery Guy ’Ed’ Greathouse: Born: October 26, 1899; Roane County, West Virginia. Death: 1954; Detroit, Michigan. Lost in second round to Bronze Medalist Alfredo Porzio of Argentina. Professional record of 0-3.
1924 American Olympic Boxing Team
Fidel LaBarba 149 points
Jackie Fields 96 points
Eddie Eagan 85 points
Fred Boylstein 75 points
Tom Kirby 60 points
Joe Salas 56 points
Al Tripoli 52 points
Al Mello 51 points
Ray Fee 14 points
Ben Rothwell 11 points
Ben Funk 10 points
Joseph Lazarus and Adolphe Lefkowitch 0 points
Hugh Haggerty -2 points
Ed Greathouse -3 points
It is one of the pressing questions regarding the Premier Boxing Champions fights this past weekend. Why hasn’t Danny Garcia looked good since he beat Lucas Matthysse? Many, including myself, thought Matthysse held the firepower not only to out punch Garcia, but to even knock him out. Before their respective fight, Garcia had fought Zab Judah in April 2013 and for the first time looked vulnerable post his big knockouts of Amir Khan and Erik Morales. Garcia governed the early latter, but Judah was able to bully Garcia in the later rounds and open a few wounds. After the final bell, Garcia was declared as the winner. Lucas Matthysse on the other hand, obliterated Lamont Peterson in three, only a few weeks later. Garcia, who was present at the fight was shown in the crowd, looking rather dead-eyed and fueling speculations that he feared a matchup with Matthysse and a fight between the two was unlikely to happen. But Danny proved us all wrong, he fought Matthysse that September and won convincingly and even knocked down the hard-hitting Argentine. However, since then, Danny has looked a tad mediocre in two of his last three fights. Considering how these fights have went, it should be agreed upon that ‘Swift’ has gotten maybe a little too ‘hook happy’ in there, as his left hook was the formula for the biggest wins of his career. He does very little else, but stand flat-footed, use little head movement, wait to throw one of his signature ‘no-look hooks’ and hope to get lucky. He fought Mauricio Herrera in a coming out party to an all Puerto-Rican crowd but wasn’t able to deal with the awkward and crafty style of ‘El Maestro’ for a greater part of the fight. Garcia spent most of his rounds sporadically landing or swinging at air versus Herrera, who even with little power, was successful in leaving Garcia bloodied in the end. Surprisingly, Danny Garcia was awarded the victory. The Rod Salka fight that followed isn’t noteworthy enough to talk about, because it shouldn’t of even happened in the first place. A total mismatch that many have found hard to even give any credit for. Moving on, here we are and the Lamont Peterson fight has just happened. Peterson made the same mistake as Zab Judah, of not being active enough in the early rounds, but stayed mobile and disallowed Garcia the ability to ever really land any decent punches on him. He also further exposed the flaws of his opponent, one being his inability to cut off the ring against anyone who won’t just stand in the pocket and allow him to tee off. Needless to say, the late rounds came and suddenly Peterson was turning the heat on and bossing Garcia around the ring, once again leaving his face a bruised mess. But someway, somehow, despite the obviousness that he simply chased and was ineffective for a huge percentage of the fight, Garcia’s hand was raised in the end. Its possible that Garcia has gotten very reliant on his devastating hooks to pull him through, but it has become apparent that his recent victories leave many questions unanswered as well. And considering he doesn’t seem to be a fan of giving rematches, I doubt we’ll ever get any of those answers. Danny has won too many of his recent fights, by the skin of his teeth for him, his fans, or anyone else really, to be confident that that ‘0’ on his record will stay for much longer. A move up to welterweight may not be the solution either, bearing in mind that the opponents only get bigger, stronger and considering how Danny has struggled to beat relatively ‘B’ fighters a class lower, there’s a question mark attached to a shift up in weight. But hey, Garcia has defied the odds before, who says he can’t again? All that can be said is that if things don’t change, ‘Swift’ will meet his maker in the ring at some point very soon.
On May 2nd, 2015, yes you heard it right, May 2nd, the same night as the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao mega fight; Rite Hook Promotions and The Hard Rock Casino Biloxi are bringing boxing back to the Gulf Coast with Biloxi "Sweet Science 3” live boxing and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao live streaming on a 35ft screen. Together we have an event that is unlike most live boxing events. Rite Hook Promotions in conjunction Phil Juliano, his experience in the casino industry along with his vision to bring boxing back to Biloxi made this event possible. Combined with Robyn Smith, Director of Entertainment at the Hard Rock Biloxi, this event will solidify the Hard Rock as a new player in live boxing on the national level. We will kick-off this Spring 2015 series with a hard-hitting main event featuring Tampa's undefeated Radivoje "Hot Rod" Kalajdzic, 17(11)-0-0 currently ranked in the Top 40 in the world. He is a Serbian, undefeated prospect that should start to step into the "prime time" boxing scene very soon. Rite Hook has hosted fighters such as Willie "El Mongoose" Monroe who will fight GGG as the main event May 16th. Hot Rod is on a similar path to becoming a world champion. He is a slick athletic fighter with KO power and is always enjoyable to watch. In our co-main event Mike "Concrete" Bissett, a Biloxi native who fights out of Tampa, will be in action. He is a durable cruiserweight that is not scared to fight anyone. Even with a record of 8(6)-7(4)-0 which may be deceiving due to the level of competition he has face in his professional career. He will be matched against fellow boxer-puncher James "King James" Johnson of Louisiana. Johnson is a veteran fighter with 73 fights under his belt. There are 4 welterweight prospects that will complete this card. Manny Woods Jr. (12)4-3(0)-0 also a resident of Tampa is ready to step back in the ring in preparation to advance in rankings in one of the most talent filled divisions in the sport. Bobby Bryant 15(9)-0-0 from Memphis is scheduled to make his return to the ring after a 3 year layoff. Eric "Babyface" Johnson 9(4)-0-0 from the Roy Jones Jr. camp is ready to display his Roy-like skills which always seem to be a problem for his opponents. Local professional Tom "Hitman" Howard 8(4)-2(0)-0 will also be in the action. Hard-hitting heavyweight and dual sport professional prospect Tony Johnson Jr. 1(1)-0-0 will be in the ring and ready to make his opponents night a short one. Johnson is fighting live on Spike TV April 10th against Alexander Volkov who is currently ranked as high as #3 in some professional MMA rankings. He will be back in the boxing ring May 2nd as he wants to fast track the boxing rankings also. He has showed promise in training camps working with world champions in sparring. With his confidence at an all time high, Johnson will be a force to reckon with in the world of boxing for years to come. So remember the name Tony Johnson Jr. Cameron Springer 5(2)-0-1 from Atlanta will be ready to put it all on the line. He is a hungry young fighter with an excellent amateur pedigree. This fight is brought to you by Rite Hook Promotions in conjunction with Kevin Dever of Reved Entertainment, New York and Ivan Echevarria, director of marketing and owner of Pier6 Promotions, Tampa. Tickets to the live fights including the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao stream, priced at $35, $50, $65, $90 and $125, are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com, the Hard Rock Box Office, or by calling (228)-217-5555. For more information, visit www.ritehookpromotions.com, www.hardrockbiloxi.com, or follow us on Twitter at @Ritehookpromo.
Hello ladies and gentleman, Smooth Cat is back!!!! Today I want to touch on a legend in the sport of boxing, Roy Jones Jr. He has accomplished almost every goal he wanted to achieve in his career, but still has one goal he hasn't accomplished yet. That's winning a legitimate Cruiserweight championship. As we all know he isn't exactly the same fighter he once was, when he amazed the boxing world with athleticism that was rivaled by no one. But those days seem so long ago. Actually it has been an extremely long time since we have seen Roy at his very best, but with that being said, his mission will continue this weekend against Paul Vasquez. This will be the second time he's fought in 22 days. We all ask, why Roy why? He's already a first ballot Hall of Famer, he was voted fighter of the decade for 1990's, and has won championships in multiple weights classes. So after reading a recent interview of his, Roy is quoted saying "I don't want to get to heaven and have God say you could have won a world title at 46." He's motivated to put his name in the record book with another accomplishment that will further add to his already great accomplishments. Honestly, Roy doesn't need the Cruiserweight title to validate anything, but when you're a fighter and you're motivated to do something, that fire inside of you can be your worst enemy in some cases. In this situation, the fire in Roy might I say, is very inspirational, but in all honesty this recent run of wins Roy is on, has him actually believing he's reversed the effects of father time, who is an opponent who's undefeated against all fighters who have stuck around too long. I wish the great Roy Jones Jr. the best of luck, as a huge fan of his, but he needs someone to truly let him know that enough is enough already. He is an excellent commentator for HBO, where he does great work of covering fights, and giving the broadcast team the point of view of a fighter. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm sure that I can't be the only one, who doesn't want to see this legend stretched out on the canvas unconscious! With that being said, I know he isn't going to stop until he gets the fight with Marco Huck, the current "Man" of the Cruiserweight division. If that fight gets made, maybe, just maybe, Roy Jones can turn back the hands of the clock one more time and put on a vintage performance, resulting in him possibly pulling off the upset against Marco Huck! Regardless of what happens, as a true fan of boxing, I just can't help but worry why is Roy Jones Jr. hanging on too long?