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Thread: Terence Crawford Uplifts Omaha's Modest Boxing Legacy.

  1. #1
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    Terence Crawford Uplifts Omaha's Modest Boxing Legacy.

    Top Rank has announced that Terence Crawford will defend his lightweight belt against Raymundo Beltran on Nov. 29. The fight will be staged in Omaha, Crawford's hometown, where he scored his most impressive triumph, a TKO9 over Yuriorkis Gamboa in his last outing.

    A Fight of the Year candidate, the sizzling match was witnessed by a pro-Crawford crowd of nearly 11,000. The turnout harked to the days before TV when hometown heroes made the turnstiles hum in small- and medium-sized cities.

    The turnout was more remarkable considering that Crawford hadn't built up a following there except by word-of-mouth. This was his first bout in the city where he was born and raised.

    Bob Arum, the bout's promoter, estimated that 90 percent of the attendees were "virgins" who hadn't previously seen a live prizefight. They got their money's worth and Crawford's Nov. 29 engagement, although against a less dangerous foe, will likely be an advance sellout.

    Crawford was believed to be the first boxer from Nebraska to win a world title. Then someone dug up Perry "Kid" Graves, who won a version of the welterweight title in 1914. This wasn't a good find. Although he hailed from Omaha, Kid Graves had most of his fights in Brooklyn and, champion or not, he was basically a club fighter. Toward the end of his career he had several fights in Omaha, but by then he was no longer a headliner.

    The most notable fighter born in Omaha was Max Baer. But Baer spent his formative years on a ranch in California and was always considered a California product.

    Two Omaha-based fighters achieved national recognition during the 1920s. Morrie Schlaifer, a rugged welterweight, defeated the likes of Jack Britton, Pete Latzo, and Panama Joe Gans. Ed "Bearcat" Wright, a heavyweight, couldn't quite get over the hump, but that said less about his talent than his pigmentation.

    As the late, great sportswriter Jim Murray noted, when Bearcat Wright was matched against a top white contender, he normally had two choices: he could lose or he could starve. He lost to barnstorming Primo Carnera (KO 4) in a big outdoor fight at Omaha in 1930, a match that was almost assuredly prearranged.

    Bearcat's son Ed Wright Jr., who adopted papa's nickname, had a brief boxing career, winning all eight of his pro fights, before making his mark as a grunt-and-groan wrestler.

    As for the best boxer from Nebraska, the nod goes to Ace Hudkins, the Nebraska Wildcat. Raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, Hudkins had 13 fights in Omaha rings during his salad days. He went on to defeat such notables as Bert Colima, Lew Tendler, and previously undefeated Ruby Goldstein, but would be best remembered for his spirited clashes with middleweight champion Mickey Walker.

    The first Walker-Hudkins fight, at Chicago's Comiskey Park in 1928, played out before 20,000-plus in a torrential rainstorm. The second, at LA's Wrigley Field in 1929, set a California record for gate receipts that stood for 18 years. Walker nipped Hudkins in both bouts and "nipped" is the operative word.

    Western Nebraska, where the cornfields give way to ranches, produced Luther McCarty and the Hernandez brothers.

    McCarty, from sparsely populated Hitchcock County, was considered the best of the "white hope" heavyweights, arguably the only good one in the bunch. His death at age 21 in 1913 -- he collapsed and died after absorbing a light punch to the heart in the opening round of a bout in Calgary -- stands as one of boxing's most mystifying moments.

    The Hernandez bothers from Sidney, Nebraska, were leading middleweight contenders during the 1960s. Art Hernandez boxed Sugar Ray Robinson to a draw in 1964 in Robinson's lone appearance in Omaha. Younger brother Ferdinand "Ferd" Hernandez outpointed the legendary Robinson in Las Vegas the following year. It goes without saying that Robinson was past his prime, but the Hernandez brothers were tough customers.

    Will Terence Crawford prove to be the best of all the boxers from the Cornhusker State? Perhaps not, but based on early returns he'll be remembered as the most popular.

  2. #2
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    Re: Terence Crawford Uplifts Omaha's Modest Boxing Legacy.

    Good news that Top Rank is investing into Omaha. Beltran is tough ,should be a good fight and a packed house. Crawford has the chance to become top star.

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    Re: Terence Crawford Uplifts Omaha's Modest Boxing Legacy.

    Terence Crawford is pretty sharp and definitely can go down in history as the best from the Cornhusker State.
    Quote Originally Posted by ArneK. View Post
    Top Rank has announced that Terence Crawford will defend his lightweight belt against Raymundo Beltran on Nov. 29. The fight will be staged in Omaha, Crawford's hometown, where he scored his most impressive triumph, a TKO9 over Yuriorkis Gamboa in his last outing....

    McCarty, from sparsely populated Hitchcock County, was considered the best of the "white hope" heavyweights, arguably the only good one in the bunch. His death at age 21 in 1913 -- he collapsed and died after absorbing a light punch to the heart in the opening round of a bout in Calgary -- stands as one of boxing's most mystifying moments.
    On another subject, TSS Reader/Poster Spit Bucket started an awesome Thread about damages of body punching. As ev'ybodee and dey momma probably know, I gave my two cents.

    With McCarty falling dead from "a light" body shot over a century ago, and umpteen pugs falling dead since in similar ways -- four in the P-Islands and two in on the mainland USA this year, that I'm aware of -- why do our sport not give the same amount of copy and studies to from torso-related deaths versus the stereotypical head ones?

    Holla to me, somebody! Holla!
    Last edited by Radam G; 08-01-2014 at 03:04 AM.

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