WAIL! BACK ISSUES . . . THE CBZ JOURNAL July 2001
Table of Contents


WAIL! Sampler
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  • The Dwight Hawkins Story
  • Hazlitt's The Fight
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    Let the Editors know what you thought of this isue. Send an E-mail to the CBZ.
  • Rinsing Off the Mouthpiece
    By GorDoom


    Well it be that time of the year again & WAIL! is going to take a short vacation. We will take August off & be back after Labor Day. The rest of the CBZ will continue as usual, fight & news reports, etc. The Boxing Encyclopedia section will continue to be updated on a weekly basis.

    We leave you this month with a massive issue which we hope will keep you reading for some time to come. Our stalwart staff of writers have really put the pedal to the metal for this issue. The CBZ prides itself on the fact that it doesn't have a monolithic point of view when it comes to the squared circle - & this issue proves it. For instance, we have two articles that deal with Roy Jones each with completely different view points.

    We are also pleased to announce that two terrific new writers have joined us. Ted Kluck is a free lancer whose reporting appears regularly in ESPN The Magazine. He contributes two excellent interviews; one with former heavyweight titlist, always colorful, Pinklon Thomas & another that tries to reveal the enigma that is Chris Byrd.

    Also joining us is a writer on a mission, a Nigerian correspondent, based in London named, Adeyinka Makinde. I call him Ade, it's a lot simpler ... Ade is writing a book about one of the greatest middleweights ever, Dick Tiger.

    It is unfortunate that a great fighter & man like Tiger, has been overlooked by modern fight fans. In the Ol' Spit Bucket's estimation, with no apologies to the great, Azumah Nelson & Boza Edwards, Tiger was simply the greatest fighter ever to emerge from Africa. Serious boxing aficionado's know that Tiger was one of the best middleweights in history, He ranks right up there with the greats like, Ketchel, Greb, Robinson, LaMotta, Fullmer, Monzon & Hagler.

    He was a magnificent fighter. Two time middleweight & a light heavyweight champion. Not bad for a 5'8 fighter who really was never more than a smallish middleweight.

    The best way to introduce Ade to our readership is for me to reprint a letter of introduction he sent me:

    Hi Bucket:

    I mentioned a few things about myself and also referred you to my website: http://hometown.aol.com/adeyinkamakinde/page6.html

    However if I may recapitulate, I am a 34 year old lawyer who has had a great interest in boxing for most of my life. My father attended the same secondary school with Hogan "Kid" Bassey (Bassey was world featherweight champion 1957-59 ed.), in Lagos and was an amateur flyweight champion of Lagos state. It was difficult as a child not to be aware of the Muhammad Ali phenomena and I remember all the TV adverts, I heard stories of Dick Tiger as a child in Nigeria and of how he had 'fought' for the Biafran side in our civil war. But I knew very little. Hogan Bassey was familiar because he was alive and coached Nigeria's amateur boxer's.

    I started reading seriously about boxing in my late teens and I was so impressed with the way American fight magazines remembered Tiger as a legend. I started collecting books and still do on figures like Ali, Johnson, Louis and I'm aware of boxing's era's, heroes etc and I just felt that Tiger deserved a book to himself. It would be utterly scandalous for a man who lived so extraordinary and exemplary a life to not be remembered with the full biographical treatment.

    Here is a man whose life and career interconnect with intriguing aspects of boxing, social and political history. A migrant fighter to England along with many West African fighters (analogous maybe to the Cuban influx in America), fought in the television era of America, his name inextricably bound to the illustrious setting of Madison Square Garden (Is any fighter of his era so linked to the Garden with the notable exception of Emile Griffith?), his conscientious involvement with Biafra after serving as a loyal ambassador of sorts for Nigeria, his indefatigable work ethic largely the influence of his ethnic background (the Igbo's are likened to the Jews and Chinese immigrants in the Far East), his determination to overcome so many, many setbacks in his career and the dignity he showed as a champion. The poignancy of his early death.

    The book will contain insightful revelations on the cause(s) of his cancer, the troubling legacy he has among his countrymen because of his vehement stance during the civil war), the not too wholly accurate perception that he died in abject penury and the mans common decency.'

    The book does critically assesses his fighting abilities, asks whether he was a dupe to the Biafran cause etc. etc. ...

    I got the idea of writing the book in 1986 when I saw an amazing picture of Dick Tiger dressed in Biafran Army combat fatigues seated next to a Tiger rug with G & S gloves hanging in a corner. I thought 'Wow! This guy was more than a fighter.'

    It was only a pipe dream, until I realized that I did not have to be a trained journalist or budding novelist to write a book. Heck I can do it! I jotted outlines and plans of his life from my boxing book and magazine collection and in 1996 started researching contemporary newspaper articles and reports from North American, British and Nigerian journals.

    What I have found about Tiger and the responses I get from people only bolstered my confidence in bringing to fruition the complete story of a man whom I believe should be remembered.

    So many people who knew him are dead: Jersey Jones, Jimmy August, Chickie Ferrara to name but a few but I hope that other sources and perspectives will not fail to conjure a correct and befitting portrait of the man.

    It has been very exciting conversing with figures like Joey Giardello, Bob Foster, Terry Downes, Gene Fullmer and Gil Clancy. I discovered people like Victor Zimet who was good for a fascinating anecdote, a son and nephew of his two Liverpool managers. Tommy Kenville's anecdotes absolutely cracked me up (had me in stitches) and Larry Merchant's recounting of the time Tiger called on him to bear witness that the Nigerian government would grant him safe passage to Nigeria after Biafra was defeated had me riveted. It would be great to have these people and others like Tiger's sons in a documentary on Tiger complete with footage of his early Garden fights (TV era), the later fights and his involvement in the Nigerian civil war.

    I would also like to thank Ron Lipton, a friend and sparring partner of Tiger (as well as a spar to great middleweights of the era like Carter, Giardello and Jose Gonzales) for his articulate and incisive insights into Tiger the man and fighter.

    Thanks,
    Ade


    Well if this explanation doesn't intrigue you to find out more about Dick Tiger (Btw: Has anybody ever heard a better sport's moniker than Dick Tiger???), then you are not a hard core boxing fan ...

    S'anyways dear readers, we leave you this summer with a bountiful issue of fistiana to enjoy. But before I go, I want to turn people who may be interested on to two remarkable Internet newsletters that deal not with boxing but pop culture.

    David Gross & Bob Sarles are both show biz veterans who have developed different & hugely interesting Internet newswires.

    Bob's labor of love is to scour the internet for newsworthy items that he e-mails on a daily basis. The best way to describe what he does is that it is a daily pop culture compendium that covers everything from, film, TV, music, theatre & other items of cultural interest.

    Bob acknowledges that all the news items are not for everybody, that's why god invented the delete button ... But seriously the flow of pop culture news from Sarles is fascinating.

    David Gross, aka The Punmaster, is a decades old pal of The Bucket's. What he does is different. Several times a week he sends out The Punmaster's MusicWire. If you are into music his free service is indispensable. Tour updates, record reviews, commentary & a delightful section called "This Day In Music History", that is simply amazing.

    Recently The Bucket has started writing a semi-regular music column for him. House Of Boxing's, suave, debonair, rail thin & brutally handsome, Tom Gerbasi & The CBZ's master of sardonic wit, Dscribe DC are also joining in & are going to start writing for the MusicWire. Of course, these won't be boxing items ...

    At any rate I invite our CBZ readers to sign up for these free services. I guarantee you will enjoy them immensely.

    To sign up for The Punmaster's MusicWire go to punmaster.com & easily sign up to Punmaster's MusicWire from the home page. Or send an email to: musicwire@punmaster.com with the word "Subscribe" in the subject and include a first/last name.

    To sign up for the Bob Sarles Wire, drop an email to the following address: bsarlesWire@aol.com.

    So that's it ... Enjoy the new issue & have a safe & happy summer ...

    peace & profits,

    GorDoom
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