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kimballIt is my sad duty to report that the literary lion of the fightwriting fraternity, George Kimball, has died.

We've all heard the typical phrases when folks succumb to cancer, how they battled valiantly. Truly, George went into his scrap with cancer a massive underdog, but he fought like Arturo Gatti, and managed to eke out far more time than all thought that he could. He was 67.

I've prepared in my head portions of this piece for a long time, but bless him, George postponed this effort for as long as he could.

He was an influence on me, for his uncompromising ways, for his refusal to overlook misdeeds within the sport, for his boundless energy and lack of cynicism towards his craft and his mission.

I was his “editor” here, but let me be clear on this. I merely proof-read what he sent me, checked the copy for typos, maybe changed a name spelling here or there. I never changed anything to “improve” it, I knew darn well the quality of his work, and my own limitations. George's stuff actually could be labeled, without hyperbole, “prose.” It was good, and sometimes great.

The man covered four round club fights with the same attention to detail he afforded Hagler-Hearns, and every time he sent me a club show writeup which included minutiae on two never-gonne-bees, I shook my head, and tipped my cap to him.

He will be sorely missed, and will not be replaced. He was of a time, and one of a kind.

Whenever I see anyone smoking a filterless smoke, I will think of George. And if and when I'm in a similar situation, and comprehend that the finish line is nearing, I can only hope to be as prolific as George. He saved his best for the championship rounds, churning out book after book in the last few years.

Rest in peace, Mr Kimball, and if you got an expose on some sordid aspect of the afterlife, fire it to me, I'll put it up.

Please do yourself a favor, and immerse yourself in the TSS Kimball archives here http://bit.ly/nZG1ld

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