THE INCREDIBLE CYBERBOXINGZONE (http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/) BOOKMARK THE ABOVE URL!!!! (ED. NOTE -- Not since the halcyon years of Ring magazine, circa 1922-1941, has there been any one place where a boxing fan could go to read all that's worthwhile about the past, present and future of the game. We've said it before and we'll say it again: The Cyber Boxing Zone is a superb web site. The March issue of the Cyber Boxing Journal brings more good news, too. Pete Ehrmann, eminent boxing writer and historian introduces himself to CBJ readers -- "Pete Ehrmann wanted to be a priest & the first American Pope until the day his father introduced him to former heavyweight champion James J. Braddock. Then he wanted to be heavyweight champion himself until he had his first Golden Gloves bout in 1967. Then he incurred so much brain damage that he decided to become a boxing writer, which he has been ever since. He wrote his first column for "The Ring" magazine at age 14 & is still a regular contributor of articles to newspapers around the country. Cyberspace is as big a mystery to him as the ratings of the alphabet groups..." To tickle your fancy, a couple of nice historical pieces from the Cyber Boxing Journal follow.) 'I CAN LICK ANY MAN IN THE HOUSE' By Tracy Callis John L. Sullivan was one of America's first sports idols. He was a flag-waving patriot who reflected the spirit of a vibrant, young nation. Confident, strong, aggressive, and outspoken, Sullivan was a natural showman. Shirtless, adorned in knee-breeches and stockings, wearing fighting boots (shoes with spikes), the great John L. fought using either bare-knuckles, skin-tight gloves, or padded gloves. He battled under both -- the London Prize Ring Rules and the Marquis of Queensberry Rules. McCallum (1974 p. 3) calls him "the true link between the bare-knuckle and glove eras." At the call of "time," Sullivan with black mustache, high cheekbones and sunken cheeks charged out -- glaring, scowling, snorting, and swinging -- trying to land the "Boston Special", his powerful right hand punch. He was surprisingly fast for a 195-pounder. He used a straight up stance, employed feints, and threw the "One-Two." In addition, he threw powerful left and right swings. John could also take a good punch. In his prime, he quickly disposed of power hitters and, because of his endurance, was able to catch and defeat his greatest problem as a fighter -- the "hit-and-run" tactician. But, over the years, his drinking and riotous living habits did him in. He even drank and smoked cigars during training. His knockout ability has been challenged in recent years but he most certainly belongs in a special class of power punchers like "Sailor" Tom Sharkey of the 1890s, Rocky Marciano of the 1950s, and Mike Tyson of today. He fought in a day when a man received credit for a knockout only if he scored a knockout. There were no technical knockouts. If a fight was stopped by a referee because of an injury such as a broken arm or by the police to prevent a brutal beating -- there was no knockout. If an opponent quit fighting or ran from the ring -- there was no knockout. The verdict was a "win." There are many such bouts on Sullivan's record which would be called knockouts by today's rules but were simply recorded as wins in his day -- Joe Goss, Johnny "Cocky" Woods, Dan Dwyer, Steve Taylor, John Flood, Tug Collins, Charlie Mitchell, John Laflin, Alf Greenfield, Paddy Ryan (1885), and Frank Herald. There were many "No Decision" bouts on his record and, doubtless, if the details of these matches were known, he would have many more knockouts. Durant (1976 p. 24) writes that Sullivan is estimated to have knocked out some 200 men during his career while fighting all types of men -- lumberjacks, blacksmiths, local strong boys, and professional fighters. Further, during the early years, records were often in error (for various reasons). Even topnotch fighters were apt to let many victories over minor opponents slip away unrecorded. There is no question that John L. could hit. Langley (1973 pp. 27-29) writes "As a knockout specialist John's record remains unbeaten. No other fighter in history has left such a trail of broken and aching jaws behind him." Tim Scannell, 200-pound competitor, was lifted up and out of the ring by a Sullivan punch. Charlie Mitchell and John Donaldson were also knocked out of the ring. He knocked many men "cold" and battered numerous others into helpless submission. John Flood, Paddy Ryan, Jake Kilrain, John Laflin, and Frank Herald were among those who had to be carried from the ring. He broke jaws and bashed in faces with abandon. Johnny "Cocky" Woods, Kilrain, Scannell, Laflin, and Ryan were numbered among those who carried distorted features in the years following their pounding by the "Great John L." Paddy Ryan said "When Sullivan hit me, I thought a telegraph pole had been shoved against me endways" (see Durant and Bettman 1952 p. 79; Durant 1976 p. 22). Professor Mike Donovan commented on Sullivan's style "It wasn't boxing. It was like being hit by a runaway horse." The Professor called John L. the strongest man he ever fought and add, "He used his right as a blacksmith would use a sledge hammer ." (see Durant and Rice 1946 and McCallum 1974 p. 10). Charlie Harvey, old time manager, described Sullivan as a "rushing, tearing-in, two-fisted fighter with a power punch" and called him ". big, fast, and courageous" (see Fleischer 1972 p. 207). Diamond (1954 p. 10) writes about Sullivan -- "He was quick on his feet -- as quick as any modern heavyweight. And what a punch he had! A knockout in each hand! He was not a scientific boxer but a slugger, depending mainly on a vicious right swing to the jaw." Durant and Rice (1946) state "He was superbly fast with his hands and he moved always forward, growling as he advanced." Grombach (1977 p. 43) describes Sullivan in this way "According to the writers of his time, he was a great burly, slugging fighter with bull-like tactics, mighty fists, and little science. He was good-natured, generous, conceited, blustering, and extremely popular." Durant and Bettman (1952 p. 79) state that ".he was more than merely strong. He was amazingly fast for a big man and had a knock-em-dead punch in either hand. Ring science was not for John L. He never bothered much with defense. He brushed aside blows and kept moving forward, always punching. His was a hurricane attack." McCallum (1974 pp 10-11) describes him "He was far from being muscle-bound. He was a 'natural' puncher. His punches were perfectly timed, seldom wild, and fast. In the ring, he was extraordinarily fast. His hands were large. His shoulders enormous, his chest was remarkably deep .." Lardner (1972 p. 43) writes that Sullivan was a bully, a boozer, and a braggart and later adds that he looked like a conqueror with his florid face, black brow, black hair, mustache, and aggressive fighter's jaw. Burrill (1974 p. 181) says he was "notorious for drinking and tavern brawls." Tom Langley (1973 p. 31) says that "Sullivan implicitly believed in his invincibility and wasted no time in passing on this information to the world." Billy Roche, famous referee, rated Sullivan as the greatest of all heavyweights and said that John L. had the best "One-Two" punch that he (Roche) ever saw (see McCallum 1974 p. 4). Gilbert Odd, boxing historian, once wrote that John L. in most of his early years only had to hit a man one time. If he did not knock the man out of the fight, he knocked the fight out of the man. Jim Jeffries called Sullivan the greatest fighter in ring history (see Fullerton 1929 p. VIII). Cooper (1978 p. 103) calls ". John L., the Champion of Champions to everybody who saw him fight .." Grombach (1977 p. 46) writes: ".if the strength, speed, hitting power, fighting instinct, and ring ferocity of Sullivan had been developed in the school of modern boxing, and were he around today, he would be a dangerous challenger to any champion." References-- Burrill, B. 1974. Who's Who In Boxing: New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House Cooper, H. 1978. The Great Heavyweights. Secaucus, New Jersey: Chartwell Books, Inc. Diamond, W. 1954. Kings of the Ring. London: The World's Work (1913) Ltd. Durant, J. and Bettman, O. 1952. Pictorial History of American Sports. Cranbury, New Jersey: A.S. Barnes and Co. Durant, J. and Rice, E. 1946. Come Out Fighting. Cincinnati: Zebra Picture Books. Durant, J. 1976. The Heavyweight Champions. New York: Hastings House Pub. Fleischer, N. 1972. Jack Dempsey. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House. Fullerton, H. 1929. Two-Fisted Jeff. Chicago: Consolidated Book Publishers, Inc. Grombach, J. 1977. The Saga of Sock.London : Thomas Yoseloff Ltd.; Cranbury, New Jersey: A.S. Barnes and Company, Inc. Langley, T. 1973. The Life of John L. Sullivan. Leicester, England: Vance Harvey Publishing. Lardner, R. 1972. The Legendary Champions. New York: American Heritage Press. McCallum, J. 1974. The World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. Radnor, Pa.: Chilton Book Company.
LEW JENKINS REMEMBERED By Matt Tegen "People who knew Greb say he was a junior compared to me."--Jenkins describing his lifestyle "You're nuts, I wasn't knocked out! Uh, where am I?"--Jenkins after getting kayoed by Henry Armstrong Lew Jenkins ranks with Benny Lynch, Mike Tyson, and Tony Ayala Jr. as one of the most self-destructive fighters who ever lived. Unlike Lynch and Tyson, Jenkins though never achieved any sort of lasting greatness. Blessed with arguably the best right hand in the history of the Lightweight division, Jenkins literally either knocked your ass out, or lost. For a short span of about 18 months in 1940 and 1941 Jenkins was one of the most dangerous fighters in the business, but for the rest of his career he was a 50-50 proposition to win. Jenkins rarely ever trained for a fight his entire career. Jenkins usual running regiment was to wake up at nine, run for a half mile, smoke a cigarette, and then walk a little bit more. Jenkins also lived the nocturnal lifestyle getting drunk and sleeping with every willing woman in New York that he could find. To top that off Lew loved anything that would go fast, he was probably in as many car wrecks and motorcycle accidents as Angel Manfredy, unfortunately for Lew it would take him a lot longer to straighten out his life than it took Manfredy. Lew Jenkins was born on December 4, 1916 in Milburn or Sweetwater, Texas. Whatever the case may be Jenkins was born dirt poor. Jenkins like everyone else in his family worked in the fields picking cotton from sunrise to sunset. Tired of working for less than a dollar a day, Jenkins left the cotton fields and rode the rails for awhile, while doing this he found the carnivals and took up fighting. In those days in Texas the carnivals featured boxers and wrestlers. Jenkins found out quickly that along with the good pay, that he could fight, and he began touring around the state with the carnival. After doing this for awhile Jenkins joined the army where he continued to box. With the Army paying very little Jenkins turned pro in around 1936 in Texas, he had six recorded bouts in 1936 and 1937 though he probably had many more than that, as many of his bouts were unrecorded like many Southern fighters of the day. By 1938 Jenkins was now taking furloughs from the Army on a regular basis fighting no less than 26 times with a mediocre record of 17-7-2, with a pair of losses coming to contenders Wesley Ramey and Lew Feldman. Jenkins continued his mediocre run for the early part of 1938 failing to beat contender Willie Joyce in three tries and getting stopped by Pete Lello. After getting stopped by Lello though Jenkins began a sudden and dramatic change. All of a sudden Jenkins began to win fights he used to lose, and finished the year with eleven straight wins (7 by kayo) most notable of which were kayoes over former Featherweight title claimant Mike Belloise and another kayo of Billy Marquart. The 23 year old Jenkins had now emerged from club fighter status to become a top contender. He began 1940 with back-to-back first round knockouts over Future Jr. Welterweight champ Tippy Larkin and Chino Alvarez. Jenkins had now positioned himself for a title shot with Lightweight champ Lou Ambers. The fight with Ambers was held on May 10, 1940 at Madison Square Garden, Ambers entered the bout a sound 4-to-1 favorite over the young Jenkins. Ambers had recently defeated the great Henry Armstrong and it was figured that he had enough skills to outclass his hard-hitting challenger. Jenkins got into the best shape of his career, which wasn't saying much and put on the best performance of his career. A minute into the fight Jenkins blasted Ambers with his patented overhand right and dropped Ambers to the canvas. Ambers was as tough as they come though, and he got up and began to outwork Jenkins till the end of the second when Jenkins floored him with a left hook. Jenkins sensed that his man was doomed, and he tore into Ambers in the third dropping him two more times before referee Billy Cavanaugh called a halt to the slaughter at 1:29 of the third round. Coming off his big performance against Ambers, he was offered a chance to fight Welterweight champion Henry Armstrong who was the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing at the time, in a non-title bout. Jenkins was considered having a reasonable chance of beating Armstrong based mostly on him having crushed Lou Ambers who had taken a 15 round decision from Armstrong the prior year. Jenkins hardly trained at all for the fight instead spending his energy on his usual diet of beer, women, and cigarettes. The fight came off on July 17, 1940 at the Polo Grounds. Jenkins came out blasting away at a cautious Armstrong in the first round. Jenkins continued fighting like a champ until midway through the second when Armstrong blasted Jenkins with a left to the body. To say Lew didn't recover from that punch would be an understatement, the truth is he fell apart. Seconds later Jenkins fell to the canvas, without a punch landing on him. Jenkins would go down six more times (2 were embarrassing slips caused by body punches). Finally after going down three times in the sixth Jenkins handlers tried to drag him to his stool, after he missed the first time he finally found the stool. But referee Arthur Donovan came over and stopped the fight anyway before the start of the seventh round, as he saw Jenkins groaning in obvious pain from the beating Armstrong had inflicted. Next up for Jenkins was a non-title fight with a young Lightweight from Philadelphia named Bob Montgomery. Montgomery introduced himself to Jenkins early on when he caught Jenkins with a right hand that sent him down for a nine count. Montgomery then tried to do what Henry Armstrong had succeeded in doing against Jenkins by going to the body. Fortunately for Lew, Montgomery was a bit raw and went after him wildly. This allowed Jenkins to land his patented right over and over again and do just enough to win a narrow 10 round decision. After defending his Lightweight crown against Pete Lello, Lew was ready for his 4th Future Hall of Famer of the Year: Fritzie Zivic. Jenkins tore into Zivic in the first three rounds trying to knockout the hard-headed Croat. Jenkins in the process wore himself out and was forced to clinch. That was a big mistake as Zivic one of the dozen or so dirtiest fighters who ever lived went to work over Lew lacing his eyes enough to open two big cuts over both eyes, to top things off he split Lew's nose down the middle with a left hook. Jenkins rallied in the tenth though to salvage a split draw. Lew's next bout was a rematch against Lou Ambers. Jenkins came out blazing again, sending Ambers staggering towards the ropes with a right hand. Ambers righted himself though and took control of the fight. It looked like Ambers was going to win until Lew landed his right again sending Ambers down. Lew finished up the next round to score a 7th round TKO. After defeating Cleo McNeil in September 1941, Jenkins hard-living lifestyle finally caught up with him. Riding on his motorcycle a drunk Jenkins was going 90 miles per hour when he had an accident that sent him flying 60 feet in the air. When he landed he had three broken vertebrae in his neck. Jenkins would never be the same fighter again. Instead of taking time off to heal, Jenkins was back in the ring less than month after the accident taking on woeful Welterweight champ Freddie Cochrane. Cochrane took the decision. Three months later Jenkins defended his title for the last time against NBA Lightweight champ Sammy Angott. Angott and Jenkins put on one of the most boring fights of all time. Jenkins at this point had nothing left, while Angott fittingly nicknamed "The Clutch" fought cautiously trying to avoid Jenkins big right that would never show up. Angott won every round of the fight, Jenkins had a chance to win a round in the ninth after Angott caught him him with a low blow, but Lew was at such a low point now that he fittingly answered with a low blow giving the round back to Angott. Most of the crowd was either gone or booing by the time Angott was given the unanimous decision and the Undisputed Lightweight Title. After losing to Angott, Jenkins forgot how to win. He lost 11 out of 12 completing the worst collapse ever by a champion outside of Bud Smith. Jenkins career was now absolutely dead and he enlisted in the Coast Guard and was shipped off to Europe. Jenkins would fight during D-Day at Normandy. After serving his country Jenkins tried going to bricklaying school in Philadelphia that quickly failed, and Jenkins was quickly back in the ring in 1946. Jenkins return proved to only be slightly more successful than his efforts before leaving. He was kayoed in 4 by Jimmy Doyle in his first fight back. He fought on till 1950 winning some and losing some including a pair of losses in his last two fights to Carmen Basilio and Beau Jack. Jenkins was now at rock-bottom, he had no money, was divorced, and still was out partying all the time. Lew then decided that he'd reenlist in the army. Lew was then sent over to Korea to fight in the war. While fighting over there Lew's outfit was ambushed by the Koreans, there Lew found himself as a hero when he saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers who were being ambushed. Upon return to the states Jenkins was awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry. After nearly facing death in Korea, Jenkins had finally realized that he had been living wrong for all these years, he got remarried and patched things up with his estranged son. After the war Jenkins made the Army a career, retiring in 1963 as a First Sergeant. After retiring from the Army Lew drove a delivery truck in the Bay Area for several years. Lew Jenkins died on October 30, 1981, he had lived one hell of a life.
ALL-TIME BOXING TOURNAMENTS (ED. NOTE -- One more note about the Cyber Boxing Journals, some three dozen of which are archived at the CBZ web site: Thomas Gerbasi, with the aid of a computer program, conducted all-time tournaments in the eight weight divisions between April 1998 and January 1999. We won't give away the winners, but you can tell from looking at the semifinalists -- and, especially, who didn't get that far -- how these accounts are liable to stimulate a few arguments. Imagine, for instance, Jack Johnson being so poorly seeded that he had to meet Muhammad Ali in the quarterfinals! And you'll be sick when you see what happened to Terry McGovern in the featherweight tourney. At least Gerbasi had the good sense to put the fly, bantam and feather tournaments all in one issue; as discerning readers know, the editorial board of BAWLI is firm in its belief that there should only be SIX weight classifications, beginning with the 126-pounders -- after all, who REALLY wants to see 108-pound men flail away at one another? They're supposed to be riding race horses, or be trying to make wrestling fans forget Sky Low Low. Gerbasi's preface is next, followed by the eight sets of semifinalists. Get thee to the Cyber Boxing Zone site to read about ALL the tournament matchups.) Throughout boxing's storied history, fight fans have compared fighters from different eras with the express purpose of trying to determine who was the mythical greatest of all-time. While we can never know who was the greatest in each division, modern technology has provided us with the means to settle these differences on our home computers. Using Title Fight Pro Boxing for Windows, which is sold by Comp-U-Sports (http://www.boxmag.com), and which was developed by Jim Trunzo, I've set up tournaments in each of the major divisions to determine an All-Time champion. Hopefully these fights will spark not only your imagination, but some spirited debates on who the best really were. Flyweights -- Jimmy Wilde, Phinchit Sithbang, Pascual Perez, Michael Carbajal; Bantamweights -- Panama Joe Brown, Ruben Olivares, Eder Jofre, Carlos Zarate; Featherweights -- Wilfredo Gomez, Eusebio Pedroza, Willie Pep, Sandy Saddler; Lightweights -- Roberto Duran, Joe Gans, Benny Leonard, Henry Armstrong; Welterweights -- Jose Napoles, Sugar Ray Leonard, Sugar Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong; Middleweights -- Harry Greb, Sugar Ray Robinson, Roy Jones Jr., Carlos Monzon; Lightheavyweights -- Tommy Loughran, Jack Dillon, Harry Greb, Georges Carpentier; Heavyweights -- George Foreman, Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis.