Archie Moore tributes flow in upon passing of The Mongoose at 84

                       ARCHIE MOORE, LEGENDARY CHAMPION 

(The Associated Press, Wed., December 10, 1998)

By Bernie Wilson

SAN DIEGO  -- Archie Moore, the light heavyweight champion who set the record
for knockouts during his 27-year career and the only boxer to fight Marciano
and Ali, died Wednesday. He was 84.
Durable in the ring, charismatic and somewhat mysterious outside it, Moore
left a remarkable legacy.

He won the light-heavyweight title at age 39 and had a record 141 knockouts.
He knocked down undefeated heavyweight Rocky Marciano before losing, and was
nearly 50 and just months from retirement when he lost to Muhammad Ali.

Known for his ready smile and his knee-length boxing trunks, Moore also had a
soft spot for youth, having spent 22 months in a reformatory after being
caught stealing three times. He spent his retirement cautioning young boys to
stay away from drugs and set up a mentoring program to help disadvantaged
youth.

President Eisenhower once invited Moore to the White House to join a group
fighting juvenile delinquency.

Eisenhower aides quoted the president as saying Moore should be a congressman.
"Are you a Republican or a Democrat?" Eisenhower said.

"Neither," Moore said with a laugh. "I'm a diplomat."
Moore was clearly one of a kind.

"There wasn't anything about him that wasn't unusual or fun," longtime boxing
publicist Bill Caplan said. "Everything was mysterious. He created his own
mystique. He never needed a publicist to make himself colorful."

Even his modest San Diego home had a unique touch -- a swimming pool shaped
like a boxing glove.

"My dad lived a good life and we're not sad," his son, Billy, said. "We know
he's gone home to be with the Lord and we rejoice in that."

Moore had heart surgery a few years ago and his health had deteriorated in the
past two weeks, Billy Moore said. Moore was taken to a San Diego hospice last
week and several of his eight children kept vigil at his bedside.

Moore's survivors also include his wife, Joan. Details of the funeral were not
yet available, Billy Moore said late Wednesday.
Moore's 27-year career began well before World War II and lasted into the
television age.

"Archie, to me, was the forerunner of fighters who were appreciated outside
the ring as well as in the ring," said Angelo Dundee, the longtime trainer who
worked with many champions, including Ali. "He was slick, he was smart, he was
his own PR man. The media loved him because he gave them something, plus he
could fight like hell.

"He fought everybody. He did a lot for boxing."

The news stunned Canada's Yvon Durelle, who knocked down Moore four times in a
famous 1958 fight at the Montreal Forum, only to be knocked out in the 11th
round as the bloodied Moore defended his title.

"It's breaking me up," Durelle, his voice stammering, told the Moncton Times-
Transcript from his home in the northeastern New Brunswick fishing community
of Baie-Ste-Anne.

"He was a nice guy, a hell of a guy. Too bad, too bad," said Durelle, 69.
"Land sakes alive I wish I could (go to his funeral)."
Moore used to carry a 16mm film of the Durelle fight with him, Caplan said,
and used it as part of his inspirational speeches. "He'd show it and say, no
matter how out you are, you can always get up and come back and emerge
victorious."

Moore retired at 49 in 1963 after a career considered one of the most amazing
examples of longevity in sports.

He held the light heavyweight title for 11 years, knocking out 141 opponents
in 228 bouts, according to the Boxing Record Book. Other sources list his
knockout total at 145, while others say it was 129. He ended his career with
194 victories, 26 losses and eight draws.

There were even discrepancies about his age, with his mother saying he was
born on Dec. 13, 1913, and the fighter claiming it was on Dec. 13, 1916. That
just added to his mystique, as did the secret diet he said he picked up from
Australian aborigines.

Even his style was a bit of a mystery, Caplan said. Moore was a great
defensive fighter, and was known as "The Mongoose." He had a sharp memory, and
even in recent years he loved to illustrate his style by shadow boxing.

"In my view, he was the greatest light heavyweight in the history of boxing
and one of the greatest boxers in any division," said former light-heavyweight
champ Jose Torres, who never fought Moore.
"What he accomplished after he was 30 years of age was unbelievable. He became
greater and greater the older he got."

Born Archibald Lee Wright in Benoit, Miss., he began his career in 1936 and
won the light heavyweight title in 1952 with a victory over Joey Maxim. He
successfully defended it nine times, but along the way lost to heavyweight
champions Marciano, Floyd Patterson and Ali. He was the only boxer who fought
both Marciano and Ali.
Moore fought Marciano on Sept. 21, 1955, losing on a ninth-round knockout.
Nevertheless, it did nothing to diminish his image as one of the most
courageous boxers ever.

Fighting an undefeated heavyweight king 10 years his junior, Moore floored
Marciano in the second round. Marciano eventually wore Moore down, to the
point where the referee wanted to stop the fight after eight rounds.

"Oh, no," an exhausted Moore protested. "I want to be counted out. I'm a
champion, too."

In 1961, the National Boxing Association stripped him of his title because of
politics. Moore lost to Ali in four rounds on Nov. 15, 1962. His last fight
came four months later, and he was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1966.

Moore trained some fighters after he retired from the ring, including George
Foreman for the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" against Ali in Zaire in 1974.


                        BOXING ICON ARCHIE MOORE DEAD AT 84 

(The Associated Press, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 1998)

By Michelle Williams

SAN DIEGO - Archie Moore, 84, the light-heavyweight champion who set the
record for knockouts during his 27-year career and the only boxer to fight
Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali, died Wednesday.

Moore had heart surgery a few years ago andhis health had deteriorated in the
past two weeks, his son, Billy, said. Moore was taken to a San Diego hospice
last week and several of his eight children had kept vigil at his bedside.

"My dad lived a good life and we're not sad," Billy Moore said. "We know he's
gone home to be with the Lord and we rejoice in that."

Moore retired at 49 in 1963 after a career considered one of the most amazing
examples of longevity in sports.

He held the light-heavyweight title for 11 years, knocking out 141 opponents
in 228 bouts, according to the Boxing Record Book. He ended his career with
194 victories, 26 losses and eight draws.
"In my view, he was the greatest light-heavyweight in the history of boxing
and one of the greatest boxers in any division," said former light-heavyweight
champ Jose Torres, who never fought Moore.

"What he accomplished after he was 30 years of age was unbelievable. He became
greater and greater the older he got."
Moore traveled the world as an ambassador for the sport and spent much of his
retirement telling young boys to stay away from drugs. President Eisenhower
once sought his expertise on the issue.

Moore, who lived in California most of his life and had a swimming pool shaped
like a boxing glove, set up a mentoring program in San Diego to help
disadvantaged kids.

"Archie was a great champion, not just in the ring," said Gov. Pete Wilson,
who knew Moore for many years. "He was the ultimate role model - a great
fighter, great teacher and a great friend."
Moore was born Archibald Lee Wright in Benoit, Miss., on Dec. 13, 1913. He won
his first professional fight 23 years later, with a decision over Murray Allen
in Quincy, Ill.

He won the light-heavyweight title in 1952 at 39 with a victory over Joey
Maxim. He successfully defended it nine times, but along the way lost to
heavyweight champions Marciano, Floyd Patterson and Ali.

"Archie, to me, was the forerunner of fighters who were appreciated outside
the ring as well as in the ring," said Angelo Dundee, the longtime trainer who
worked with many champions, including Ali. "He was slick, he was smart, he was
his own PR man. The media loved him because he gave them something, plus he
could fight like hell.

"He fought everybody. He did a lot for boxing."

Moore trained some fighters after he retired from the ring, including George
Foreman for the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" against Ali in Zaire in 1974.

Moore had some of his greatest battles in the ring with Harold Johnson, who
held a portion of the crown. They fought five times from 1949 to 1954 with
Moore the winner all but once.

They met only once with the title at stake. Moore won that bout in New York on
Aug. 11, 1954, retaining his crown with a 14th-round knockout. He also
defended the title against Bobo Olson, Yolande Pompey, Tony Anthony, Guilio
Rinaldi and twice against Maxim and Yvon Durelle.

In 1961, the National Boxing Association stripped him of his title because of
politics.

Fighting in an era where fixed bouts were not uncommon, Moore said he never
took a dive. In a 1989 interview with Sports Illustrated, Moore recalled
valuable advice he received from an aunt.

"'Archie, take your rest, mind your trainer and bring no disgrace to your
family, like throwing fights,"' he quoted her as saying.
Moore fought Marciano on Sept. 21, 1955, losing on a ninth-round knockout.
Nevertheless, it did nothing to diminish his image as one of the most
courageous boxers ever.

Fighting an undefeated heavyweight king 10 years his junior, Moore - also
known as the Mongoose - floored Marciano in the second round. Marciano
eventually wore Moore down, to the point where the referee wanted to stop the
fight after eight rounds. "Oh, no," an exhausted Moore protested. "I want to 
be counted out. I'm a champion, too."

Moore was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1966, three years after his
final bout, a three-round knockout of Mike DiBiase.
The champion had a soft spot for youth, having spent 22 months in a
reformatory. Eisenhower invited Moore to the White House to join a group
fighting juvenile delinquency.

Eisenhower aides quoted the president as saying Moore should be a congressman.
"Are you a Republican or a Democrat?" he said.

"Neither," Moore said with a laugh. "I'm a diplomat."

Moore's survivors include his wife, Joan, and his eight children.


                       ARCHIE MOORE, MASTER OF THE RING 

(New York Times, Thursday, Dec. 10, 1998)

By Gerald Eskenazi

Archie Moore, the fighter whose legendary career spanned almost three decades
and who won the light-heavyweight championship when he was well into his 30s,
died Wednesday at a hospice in San Diego. His age, always the subject of
speculation, which he helped fuel, was 84.

Moore had entered the San Diego Hospice about a week ago, said a family
spokesman, John Stump.

Archie Moore invented himself in many ways, from his age, to the dieting
secrets he claimed to have learned from an Australian aborigine in his world
travels, to his various careers. But what was undeniable was his remarkable
career as a fighter, one that lasted from the mid-1930s to 1963 and took him
around the world. He held the light-heavyweight title nine years, longer than
any other fighter.

When Moore did not like the way he was treated by the boxing community, he
would campaign to right the wrongs he perceived. Thus, when a sanctioning body
threatened to take away his title because he refused to defend it, he appealed
to the United Nations.

And when he felt that the heavyweight champion, Rocky Marciano, was ducking
him, Moore spent $50,000 on a letter-writing and advertising campaign --
including a "wanted" poster of the champion -- to embarrass Marciano into a
title defense. When Moore finally got his chance in 1955, Marciano knocked him
out.
For much of his career, Moore fought an average of almost once a month, with
more than 200 bouts, most for small paydays. He had a record of 194-26-8, and
his 141 knockouts are believed to be the most by a professional.

With all that, he did not become a nationally known (and then worldwide)
figure until he was well into his 30s.

"There's a saying," he once said, "that good things come to those who wait --
providing you have the ability to wait long enough."

His professional career, by some accounts, began in 1935 with a second-round
knockout of one Piano Mover Jones. Other accounts have his career beginning in
1936 with a knockout of the Poco Kid. In any event, he fought as a
middleweight in his early years.

But a perforated ulcer in 1940, he claimed later, caused his weight to drop
from 160 pounds to 100. That was also the year of his Australian travels and
the secret diet that he contended allowed him to balloon in weight and then,
miraculously, shed the pounds.
The key, he liked to say, was chewing meat and extracting the juices but not
the fiber. He spit that out. He claimed that he saw the aborigine eating beef
jerky that way.

"Have you ever seen a fat Australian?" Moore asked rhetorically.
There was another component to his diet. In the morning he drank sauerkraut
juice flavored with lemon juice. But these "secrets" came out only once he had
written an autobiography. Before then he would eat behind a screen at his
training camp when reporters were present.

Mystery always surrounded him. He claimed to have been born on Dec. 13, 1916,
in Collinsville, Ill., but his mother, and at least one boxing record book,
fixed his birthdate as Dec. 13, 1913, in Benoit, Miss., a date his family
confirms.

"I guess my mother should know, since she was there," he conceded. "But I have
given it a lot of thought and have decided that I must have been 3 when I was
born."

It was known that he was born Archie Lee Wright, and that his parents
separated after he was born. He was brought up in St. Louis by an uncle and
aunt, and he took their surname.

By 1952, fighting as a light-heavyweight, he was still searching for a title
bout. He had beaten the former heavyweight champion, Ezzard Charles, and had
defeated the highly regarded Harold Johnson.

But Joey Maxim, the light-heavyweight king, declined to face Moore. So Moore
began a letter-writing campaign. He started to correspond with well-known
journalists like Red Smith, demanding to meet Maxim, a cautious, cagey
fighter.

Finally, Maxim agreed -- but only if Moore guaranteed Maxim a $100,000 cut of
the purse. Moore's manager, Doc Kearns (who had been Jack Dempsey's manager as
well), cut the deal.

Moore was 39 years old (or 36, by his account) when he finally met Maxim on
Dec. 17, 1952. Moore won the title in a 15-round unanimous decision and then
enhanced his legend with his gift of gab and, perhaps, fanciful recollections.

He did not make any money on the fight, however. After the purse was divided,
Moore came out with $800.

"Well, at least we'll be able to get some credit at a bank now," he told his
manager.

His whimsical nature contrasted with his persona in the ring. True, weighing
175 pounds he had a belly. But he had little tricks that eventually found
their way into the repertory of Muhammad Ali and are found in many of today's
fighters -- an ability to hit with one hand while his other dangled at his
side, and then backpedal. That lashing style, along with his ring savvy,
earned him the nickname The Mongoose.

Although Moore defended his title four times in the next two and a half years,
it was Marciano he angled for. The pressure by Moore's sportswriter friends
finally forced Marciano, who was considered indestructible, to meet Moore. If
Moore's mother was right, her son was almost 42 years old, 10 years older than
the undefeated champion.

Moore achieved one of his finer moments by knocking down Marciano in the
second round of their bout on Sept. 21, 1955. But Marciano got up and surged
back. At the end of the eighth round, the referee went over to Moore's corner
and told him he wanted to stop the bout.

"The only way to go out in a championship fight is on your back," protested
the old challenger. In the ninth round, Marciano flattened him.

The next year, Moore again fought for the heavyweight title, which was vacated
when Marciano quit after stopping him. This time, Moore met 21-year-old Floyd
Patterson. Moore was bloated at 196 pounds and was knocked out in the fifth
round.

Moore still fought as the light-heavyweight ruler. In 1958 he survived four
knockdowns and knocked out a brawling Canadian fisherman, Yvon Durelle, in the
11th round.

He remained champion until Feb. 10, 1962, when sanctioning bodies withdrew
recognition because of his failure to defend the title. His last fight was a
three-round knockout of Mike DiBiase on March 15, 1963, nine months before
what the record book says was his 50th birthday.

With his celebrity status, Moore spoke out on important issues. After his last
title defense at Madison Square Garden, in 1961, he took the ring microphone
and announced he was donating part of his purse to the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People, the Freedom Riders and the B'nai
B'rith.

He also played the role of Jim in the 1960 film version of "The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn." He studied books on slavery and attempted to avoid
stereotyping in playing the part.

"I didn't have time to read when I was a kid," he said, "so I didn't know
anything about Huck Finn and those cats. I read the book before playing the
part. Now that I've found books, I'm really living."

At the height of his fame in the mid-1950s, he married Joan Hardy, a sister-
in-law of the actor Sidney Poitier. She was his fifth wife. Moore is survived
by his wife, Joan Hardy Moore, of San Diego; three daughters, Rena and JMarie
of San Diego and Elizabeth Stump of City Heights, Calif.; and four sons,
Archie Jr., Billy, Anthony and D'Angelo of San Diego, and two grandchildren.

His entourage at various times included Ali and Redd Foxx. After his final
bout, he moved in and out of boxing as a trainer and adviser. He was assistant
coach of the Nigerian boxing team at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. He worked
most recently with George Foreman when the former champion began a comeback in
the early 1990s.

"He taught me his secrets of escapology and breathology," Foreman said.