Grave robbing has a long history in religion and science. As monasteries and churches were repositories of relics, religious institutions competed to take possession of bones, teeth, or skulls. Members of the clergy supported grave robbers – long before the word came into circulation – if a body, or parts thereof, were worthy of reverence. [Read more…] about Museums, Grave Robbing & The Dissection of Boxing ‘Giant’ Charles Freeman
As a result of bigoted attacks by his political enemies being carried forward by later writers like Herbert Asbury in Gangs of New York (1928), he’s been falsely accused of being in criminal league with Tammany Hall, for leading “the dead rabbits gang,” and for being involved in the killing of the nativist William “Bill the Butcher” Poole. [Read more…] about John Morrissey: Toward Setting The Record Straight
French pugilist Georges Carpentier was traveling with the Seils-Floto Circus from Albany to Montreal in May 1920 when the train stopped briefly at Plattsburgh.
(In an interesting side note, Carpentier was traveling in the same private rail car that President Woodrow Wilson used a few months previous on his trans-continental campaign to gain support for the League of Nations.) [Read more…] about French Pugilist Georges Carpentier’s Visit To NY
Britain and the US share a passion for boxing. Over time, it has been both mass entertainment and highbrow delight for writers from Byron to Norman Mailer, or artists from Cruikshanks to Bellows. In 1949, Kirk Douglas made his name as Midge Kelly in Champion. The greatest sporting event of the nineteenth century was a bout between a London bricklayer and a New York blacksmith. Both were of Irish descent. They became sporting super stars. [Read more…] about Bout of the Century: Heenan and Sayers
In a stellar career which lasted thirteen years (1948-1961), Canastota boxing champion Carmen Basilio established himself as a multiple world title holder in two different weight classes, and he competed against some of the greatest fighters ever to step inside of a boxing ring: Kid Gavilan, Tony De Marco and Sugar Ray Robinson to name just a few.
Basilio endured truly humble beginnings (his family were poor onion farmers who lived in upstate New York) and long work hours to establish himself as a top-notch athlete. [Read more…] about Boxer Carmen Basilio: Thunder from the North
This week on “The Historians” podcast, hear stories of seven American heavyweight champions from John L Sullivan to Mike Tyson with Paul Beston, author of The Boxing Kings: When American Heavyweights Ruled the Ring.
Also covered in the book are the careers of Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali.
You can listen to the podcast here. [Read more…] about America’s Heavyweight Boxing Kings
This week on The Historians Podcast, Bob Cudmore and Dave Greene discuss heavyweight champion boxer Gene Tunney who trained for his 1920s fights in Speculator in the Adirondacks. They also discuss memories of Amsterdam, NY, provided by city native Fred Wojcicki.
Hundreds of fighters, champions and also-rans alike, have come to the verdant Sullivan County countryside over the years to train for upcoming fights, providing the Catskills with a permanent link to the sport. And that link transcends the fact that heavyweight contender Ed “Gunboat” Smith grew up in Obernberg, heavyweight champ Jimmy Braddock owned a home in North Branch, and featherweight champ Abe Attell, generally regarded as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in history, is buried in Beaverkill. [Read more…] about Boxing History And The Catskills