Author Archives: Springs Toledo

The Greatest Fighter Alive

The Greatest Fighter Alive

The Greatest Fighter Alive - Forty-four years after swiping Ken Buchanan’s world lightweight championship and thirty-six years after shoving Sugar Ray Leonard off a gringo pedestal to take the world welterweight championship, Roberto Durán is back in the limelight. “Hands of Stone” is somethi...

Canelo, Triple G, and What Boxing Lost

Canelo, Triple G, and What Boxing Lost

Some bum or bums broke into the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s Canastota headquarters and stole six championship belts. They did it during the early morning hours of November 5, when the two middleweight kings who first lifted those belts were safely dead. The widow of Carmen Basilio told ...

BIG BAD BOB

BIG BAD BOB

BIG BAD BOB - Back when America got up early to get ahead and men were men, “going west” put hair on your chest. The unforgiving sun, the desolate expanse, the chance to mix it up with others who painted their faces where you rolled up your sleeves — going west in the nineteenth century was ak...

Tyson Fury knows what the alphabet gangs do not: They don’t decide who the real champ is.

Tyson Fury knows what the alphabet gangs do not: They don’t decide who the real champ is...

"Introducing John L. Sullivan" [without acronyms] by George Bellows (1923) The Heavyweight King Tyson Fury knows what the alphabet gangs do not: They don’t decide who the real champ is. Showtime’s Brian Custer recently referred to Deontay Wilder as the “world heavyweight champion” and ...

The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board: The Leather Anniversary

The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board: The Leather Anniversary

Sunday, October 11 marked the third anniversary of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. Traditionally speaking, it’s the leather anniversary. We’d prefer to ignore the modern gift idea devised by librarians at the Chicago Public Library, namely glass. We neither live in such a house nor have...

The British in Boston

The British in Boston

Friday afternoon, at the weigh-in. “I love the Boston accent,” said a tourist behind me. We were standing on the sun-splashed cobblestones at Faneuil Hall as Mayor Marty Walsh officially welcomed big-time boxing back to the land of “Rocky Mahciano, Tony DeMahco, and Mahvelous Mahvin Haglah.”...

“Jack Demsey’s”

“Jack Demsey’s”

New York. Late Friday afternoon I was walking along West 33rd Street thinking about how Bryant Jennings should fight Wlad Klitschko when I did a double-take. One of those dime-a-dozen joints in Midtown Manhattan has a name that still packs the proverbial wallop. “Jack Demsey’s” it said. —I...

Springs Toledo’s “The Ringside Belle,” Part 3

Springs Toledo’s “The Ringside Belle,” Part 3

Jungle Fever  In 1927, William “Gorilla” Jones, 20, was invited to fight in Akron, Ohio by promoter Suey Welch. Jones accepted the offer, toyed with his more experienced opponent, collected his purse, and then went and blew every dime in a dice game. He approached Welch, hat in hand, and asked...

Springs Toledo’s “The Ringside Belle,” Part 2

Springs Toledo’s “The Ringside Belle,” Part 2

“Is That a Pistol in Your Pocket?”  Rubbing shoulders and who knows what else with Mae West at ringside was a rogues gallery of gangsters; many of whom branched out from Brooklyn like she did or left on the lam. There was Mickey Cohen in Los Angeles, Al Capone in Chicago, and Owney Madden. She...

Springs Toledo’s “The Ringside Belle,” Part 1

Springs Toledo’s “The Ringside Belle,” Part 1

Mae West Weakens Legs  Mae West burst onto the Hollywood screen like it was hers the whole time. She was fashionably late— Night After Night (1932) was half-over when she appeared outside a speakeasy surrounded by leering men. Audiences heard her before they saw her; they heard Brooklyn, with a ...