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Thread: June 14. This Date in Boxing History: A Washed-Up Fighter Recaptures his Mojo.

  1. #1
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    June 14. This Date in Boxing History: A Washed-Up Fighter Recaptures his Mojo.

    On June 14, 1934, Max Baer restored the heavyweight title to the United States, battering Primo Carnera into submission before 52,268 at the Madison Square Garden Bowl. This was big news, but the seeds of a bigger story were sown on the undercard.

    As a neophyte, Jimmy Braddock showed great promise. He knocked out 16 of his first 24 opponents, 10 in the opening round.

    Braddock went on to fight for the light heavyweight title, opposing crafty veteran Tommy Loughran. But by then his knockout power had tapered off, diminished by brittle hands. Braddock was outclassed by Loughran and his career went into a tailspin. He won only 11 of his next 34 fights.

    Braddock hit rock bottom on September 25, 1933. His bout with Abe Feldman was so tame that the referee waived it off in the sixth round. Braddock left the ring with broken ribs, a severely fractured right hand, and a dim future.

    This was the height of the Great Depression. Like many Americans, Braddock had trouble making ends meet. He had a second job as a dockworker, but the work wasn't steady. With three young children at home, he was compelled to swallow his pride and go on the dole.

    Three days before the Baer-Carnera showdown, matchmaker Jimmy Johnston still had a hole to fill. He needed a sacrificial lamb for John "Corn" Griffin, one of Primo Carnera's sparring partners. It was a 6-round go and the pay was $250. Inactive for six months, Braddock seized the opportunity.

    The Jimmy Braddock story has become so familiar that we won't go into details. Suffice it to say that he came off the deck to KO Corn Griffin, outpointed John Henry Lewis, avenging a prior defeat, outpointed the highly touted Art Lasky, and then capped his string of upsets by outpointing Max Baer. With all due respect to Buster Douglas, there never was a more implausible heavyweight champion.

    Braddock was knocked out by Joe Louis in his first title defense, a predictable outcome. He had only one more fight after that and then slid into obscurity, only to be resurrected by a dead horse.

    In 2001, Random House published Laura Hillenbrand's "Seabisicuit." The true story of an ungainly, undersized, oft-injured racehorse that overcame a spotty start (9 wins in his first 47 races) to achieve greatness, uplifting the spirits of a Depression-ravaged nation, the book was a phenomenon, selling over 6 million copies.

    It was inevitable that the search for a sequel would serpentine to Braddock. In 2005, three books about him hit the shelves, arriving concurrently with the movie "Cinderella Man." (In fairness, at least one of the books was incubating before the dead horse made a big splash.)

    About that indelible nickname: Credited to Damon Runyon, it wasn't applied to Braddock until he secured the match with Max Baer and didn't take hold until after he had won the title. By then, Braddock was 74 bouts into a 76-bout career.

    Offhand, we can't think of another boxer who acquired his nom-de-guerre when he was so close to the end of the trail.

  2. #2
    deepwater
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    Re: June 14. This Date in Boxing History: A Washed-Up Fighter Recaptures his Mojo.

    always nice to read about the history of the greatest sport there is. Boxing and horse racing used to be the two biggest events.

  3. #3
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    Re: June 14. This Date in Boxing History: A Washed-Up Fighter Recaptures his Mojo.

    ArneK, you are a archmaster weaver of the science of whup @ss! Dude, your words turn straight-up into paintings, photos, films, DvDs and whatever else can spit out talkie sightings.

    Wow! Nice! Nice! READING your sweet science scribble is like intensively eyeballing the real thing on Youtube, a flat screen or the Big Screen. Holla!

  4. #4
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    Re: June 14. This Date in Boxing History: A Washed-Up Fighter Recaptures his Mojo.

    I agree with deepwater. I think I agree with Radam. I'm actually not fluent in Radam, but I can understand it better than I speak it. Making me borderline multilingual.

    Quick story about Arne K. Some time ago a friend asked me if I read Arne's book about the history of boxing. I said I hadn't, but get it to me and I'll highlight the mistakes and get it back to you. I said this because when it comes to boxing, I've read so many books with glaring errors, (I'm talking beyond grammatical) I'm stunned they found their way into print. Of course I get the book and it's ridiculously outstanding, to the point where I can say I've never read a better book on the history of the sport. So I asked to meet the author and I can report that his insight into the sport is impressive...very impressive.

  5. #5
    deepwater
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    Re: June 14. This Date in Boxing History: A Washed-Up Fighter Recaptures his Mojo.

    Quote Originally Posted by dino da vinci View Post
    I agree with deepwater. I think I agree with Radam. I'm actually not fluent in Radam, but I can understand it better than I speak it. Making me borderline multilingual.

    Quick story about Arne K. Some time ago a friend asked me if I read Arne's book about the history of boxing. I said I hadn't, but get it to me and I'll highlight the mistakes and get it back to you. I said this because when it comes to boxing, I've read so many books with glaring errors, (I'm talking beyond grammatical) I'm stunned they found their way into print. Of course I get the book and it's ridiculously outstanding, to the point where I can say I've never read a better book on the history of the sport. So I asked to meet the author and I can report that his insight into the sport is impressive...very impressive.
    I gotta get that book

  6. #6
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    Re: June 14. This Date in Boxing History: A Washed-Up Fighter Recaptures his Mojo.

    Hehehehe! Now that I'm through laughing my arse off for the last few days. Good ONE, Dino da vinci! Hahaha! [BIG giggles!] C'mon, "borderline multilingual" dude! Now you are indeed fluent in "Radam!"

    Holla at da old-school gyms. Everybodee and dey momma in those hot, sweatly, sweet science funky places get down with boxing slanguage, speechology and jive. Hehehe! Holla!

  7. #7
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    Re: June 14. This Date in Boxing History: A Washed-Up Fighter Recaptures his Mojo.

    I cosign with the rest of the TSS brethren ..... Excellent read. Good timing since most folks think Juanma too is washed up. We fans, we people in this sport never ever learn. We know the ends and out of this game yet we occasionally go thru bouts of stupidity, ignorantness, blindness, and good ol' stubbornness .

    Today in this soon to be boxing history .... A fighter by the name of Juan Manuel Lopez will recapture his mojo.

  8. #8
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    Re: June 14. This Date in Boxing History: A Washed-Up Fighter Recaptures his Mojo.

    JuanMa is by no means washed up. For Mikey G, he doesn't have any mojo. MG is going to knock him loco. Holla!

  9. #9
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    Re: June 14. This Date in Boxing History: A Washed-Up Fighter Recaptures his Mojo.

    We shall see real soon, my friend . Reaching for the remote now.

  10. #10
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    Re: June 14. This Date in Boxing History: A Washed-Up Fighter Recaptures his Mojo.

    Good prediction, Radam, but Robert Garcia is a cheat so that prevents his baby bro from getting full props for this win,


    Make no mistake, though, Garcia can fight. Let's see how he carries that up the latter once he can no longer cheat his way into a match up.

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