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
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?
8CN’s David Hopper caught up with Baltimore-based boxing promoter Jake “The Snake” Smith. The 49-year-old Maryland and DC Boxing Hall of Fame member has owned and operated Baltimore Boxing Club and promoted fights for more than 20 years. DH: Please give the readers who aren’t familiar with you a brief introduction. JS: My boxing name is Jake “The Snake” Smith. I started boxing when I was 12. I had a 39-4 amateur record and an 11-6-2 professional record. I was Maryland light heavyweight champion and super middleweight champion. This was is in the ‘90s, late ‘80s. I’ve promoted over 200 some fights in the pros and amateurs. I’ve owned a boxing gym, Baltimore Boxing, for 23 years. DH: Talk some about the card you’re promoting on Friday, March 27. I heard that it was nearly sold out. Are there still tickets available? JS: We’re pretty sold out. I’ll still be trying to sell some at the door as long as the fire marshal doesn’t come up. [Laughs]. I expect about 1,200. DH: Does Baltimore have a thriving amateur boxing scene? JS: I’ve been doing shows for over 20 something years now. Just after I finished fighting pro I took my clientele with me. It just keeps getting better. In the last six months to a year, boxing has been going crazy. My kids have been real busy. DH: Do you feel like you will benefit from the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and boxing returning to network TV in that that should create more interest in the sport? JS: I’m thinking it’s opening up a lot of doors. MMA has helped boxing a lot too. It’s opened up a lot more eyes to contact sports like boxing and wrestling. Now that they’re seeing how exciting boxing is, all the fans from MMA are starting to lean more toward boxing. DH: That’s an interesting point because many say that MMA has been pulling fans away from boxing. But you feel like it’s had the opposite effect? JS: Oh yes, indeed, it did at first, without question. I just can’t stand the way MMA people bang boxing and say how it’s bad and dying and all this stuff. But it did bring more attention to the sport of boxing. A lot more eyes are coming on to boxing because of the standup game. With MMA and boxing you wanna see somebody get knocked out. MMA you get on the ground and roll around and whatever they’re doing, I not into it. DH: What are some of the things you enjoy most about promoting amateurs? JS: When you’re doing the pro stuff, when money gets involved, it really makes things a little shady. Not really shady, but a little greed gets involved. In amateurs they’re competing for a trophy and they’re not lying down in the ring so they can get paid or throwing the fight. These guys are fighting because they want to win and they want to do something with their life. It’s more relaxing. DH: Are you able to predict which amateurs will turn out to be good pros? Of course, some amateurs have more of a pro style, and some standout amateurs end up not having much success in the pro ranks. JS: Yeah I feel as though I have a pretty good eye for that. I’ve been doing this since I was 12 years old and it’s an everyday thing for me. DH: What are some characteristics of the amateurs who turn out to be good pros? JS: You definitely have to be able to take a punch. You got to have speed. The obvious is basically what it is. You have to have all those things. You have to be a bit of a character too if you want the public to really like you. DH: What’s your prediction for Mayweather-Pacquiao? JS: I’m probably gonna change my mind 10 times before the fight but right now I’m going with Mayweather. I would love to see Pacquiao but I think Mayweather will pull it off. I hope it’s an exciting fight because I know everyone’s expectations are real high on this. I don’t think it will be a good fight, I think they’ll be feeling each other out too much. Either way I think it’s gonna help boxing no matter what. If it’s a great one, boy, I’ll have to open up a few more gyms I think.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (48-1-1, 32 KOs) returns to action on April 18 whan he faces Andzrej Fonfara (26-3-0, 15 KOs) at the StubHub center in Carson, CA. The former middleweight champion Chavez Jr. will debut on Showtime, and end a thirtteen month layoff due to a dispute between his advisor, Al Haymon, and his former promoter, Top Rank. Chavez Jr., of Sinaloa, Mexico, and Fonfara, a Polish native now living in Chicago, will compete over twelve rounds at a catchweight of 172 pounds. Fonfara usually fights in the 175 pound light heavyweight division but does not feel the three additional pounds he must lose is an issue. "When I fought [Adonis] Stevenson, I was 173 [pounds]," Andrzej explained. Fonfara challenged and lost to Stevenson for the WBC light heavyweight title last June. Rather than focusing on the catchweight, Fonfara and his trainer, Sam Colonna, emphasized that their team chose this match with Julio over several other names. "Julio Cesar Chavez is the fight we wanted." Colonna stressed. "His style is perfect for us. This fight will take us to the top. It will be an action fight ... Julio Cesar Chavez is going to be right in front of us." By contrast, father Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. felt otherwise. "I didn't want the fight," he explained. "Andrzej Fonfara is very strong. But my son wanted this fight because it will build his credibility." Chavez Jr. feels Fonfara will be an obliging dance partner under the bright lights of the open-air ring that seems to bring out the war in fighters: Marquez-Vazquez I, Bradley-Provodnikov, and Matthyse-Molina, to name a few. "I've shown people I can fight. I [will] put on a good show for the people," Julio promised. "Andrzej Fonfara is a good fighter. He has a good chin." Chavez Jr. does not plan to move up to light heavyweight, however. "After this fight I want to go to 168 ... I feel good. I am ready to win another world title!" Team Chavez moved camp from Los Angeles, CA to Lake Tahoe, NV last week. Trainer Joe Goossen is pleased with Chavez's progress. "Julio is very serious. He's willing to work very hard for this fight ... I can't tell you happy I am to work with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.," Goossen exuded. Chavez Jr. is equally upbeat about their partnership. "I've known Joe Goossen for a long time. He's a great trainer and a great motivator and he's a hard worker like me so I think we will be successful." Chavez Jr. vs. Fonfara will be broadcast on Showtime at 10 PM ET/ 7 PM PT on April 18, 2015.
One of the more anticipated announcements that fans awaited during this week's press conference that formally announced the Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao super fight was the multi-city press tour or the 24-7 schedule.No such announcements were made at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles where over 700 media credentials were issued for reporters from various parts of the globe.The rationale of a multi-city tour and a 24-7 production is to drum up interest for the fight in the hopes of maximizing pay-per-view buys. In this case, however, none of the promotional tools are required.This duel has been anticipated for years and the lure is the contrasting fighting styles of the parties involved as well as their clashing personalities.At stake for the 38-year old Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) is his unbeaten record and the his place in boxing history as an undefeated champion following the footsteps of the great Rocky Marciano, who was 49-0 with 43 knockouts as heavyweight champion of the world.For Pacquiao,36, an eight-division champ with a 57-5 slate with 38 knockouts, Pretty Boy is another mountain to climb as he cements his place among boxing's immortals.Tickets for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight range from a low of $1500 to a high of $7500.