Via Ken Hissner: Since visiting most of Philly’s gyms when I left the Army in 1967, I’ve started going to the gyms of “Smokin” Joe Frazier and legendary PAL 23, both north of Philly.
Duke Dugent runs the 23rd PAL on Columbia Avenue, where some of the best boxers trained there, such as “Smokin” Joe Frazier, “Gypsy” Joe Harris, “Bad” Bennie Briscoe, Willie “The Worm” “Monroe, Mario Saurennan.
I remember trying through Dugent to try to get Harris’ license, 24-1 (9), back after it was discovered he was blind in one eye. In March 1967, he scored his biggest win in a non-title match against WBA/WBC champion Welter Curtis Cokes in New York.
At Frazier’s gym on North Broad St., I met Eddie Futch, who was working with both Frazier and Monroe. We talked about boxer Hedgemon Lewis, 53-7-2 (26 years old), whom I will do an article about later on how he set the stage for “Sugar” Ray Leonard with his boxing style. his brother.
Lewis is managed by a group called January Fighters Inc., which includes Dale Jackson, comedian Bill Cosby, singer Robert Goulet and actors Ryan O’Neal and Chris Connely. Futch has trained more than 50 boxers, including 21 world champions, including Frazier, Michael Spinks, Bob Foster, Mike McCallum, Larry Holmes, Alexis Arguello, Don Jordan, Lewis, Maurice Blocker and Marlon Starling.
Philly’s Wesley Mouzon is another who has trained Buster Drayton, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Tony Thornton and Anthony Boyle. A detached retina ended Mouzon’s boxing career 26-3-1 (10), later becoming a coach.
I met Jesse Reid when he went to Philly with a boxer with Jesse Burnett in 1979 to fight Jerry “The Bull” Martin. Reid has coached nearly 20 boxers, including champion brothers Gaby and Orlando Canizales. In addition, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Paul Spadafora, Gaby and Orlando Canizales, Roger Mayweather, Johnny Tapia, Reggie Johnson, Calvin Grove, Frank Tate and Lamon Brewster. I did an article trying to get him and referee Steve “double SS” Smoger into IBHOF, which eventually joined, but Reid waited.
I met Manny Steward at the July 1985 ESPN tournament in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where his boxer Joe Johnson lost to Ramon Santana, and a boxer I started with Bruce “Sugar” Williams hit. beat tourney’s favorite tennis player, Glenn Smith. I’ll take Steward back to AC to work with Williams in the final round to make the corner without having to train him to lose in eleventh extra time. Stewart will bring Williams back to Detroit to finish his career. I’ll also have Steward, and legendary amateur trainer Joe Clough, who trained at the Tacoma Boys Club Davey Armstrong, Johnny Bumphus, Rocky Lockridge, “Sugar” Ray Seales and Leo Randolph for opinions. their opinion on an article I compared between 1976 and the 1984 Olympic Teams.
At that time Clough was in Thailand working with boxers. 8-3 for 76 teams is the final result.
Meet one of the most exciting coaches and people in boxing, legendary trainer Cus D’Amato in Scranton, PA, in 1980, where his boxer Kevin Rooney fought, led. I visited Catskill, New York, where they live in September. where I met amateur boxer Mike Tyson.
We watched the movies his future manager Jim Jacobs had to offer in his “Best Movies of the Century”. Tyson loves to watch heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey, shirtless and stocking-free as he walks into the ring.
The Hilton family from Montreal, Canada, was there with their father Davey, who always wanted D’Amato to train him. He brought along his sons’ boxers Davey, Matthew and Alex. I sat with D’Amato from 9pm to 3am to hear his stories about the people he has coached, such as world champions Jose Torres, Floyd Patterson and worked with Tyson.
In addition, living there lived future coach Teddy Atlas.
The crowd had lightweight champion Willie Pastrano and only allowed Torres to fight him for the title if D’Amato wasn’t in the corner with Cus. He has a number system painted on the heavy bag, and sits near the corner; he would call numbers for the coach to fill in to relate to Torres, who would win the title that night.
D’Amato talked about how after Patterson’s loss, when interviewed, he was asked how his fight was, and he pointed to Cus standing in the back, saying, “Cus probably knows why i lose. ” Cus asked, “do you have your special shoe (one foot shorter than the other)?” Patterson replied, “No, Cus!” Cus said, “that’s why you turned your back on you.” Cus is a “genius!” I once wrote an article about him, “Mind over Matter!”
The last coach I want to talk about may not be a legend but will be when his son Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 29-0 (27), wins the welder title.
Those are Derek “Bozy” Ennis, Sr who previously coached his son Derek “Pooh,” 24-5-1 (13), USBA Super Welter champion, and son Farah, 22-2 (12), who is NABF Super Average Champion. He also, among others, coaches “The New” Ray Robinson, 25-3-2 (13), WBO NABO Welter champion. “Bozy” used to have his own gym called “Bozy’s Dungeon”.
Last but not least, it’s Steve Traitz, Sr., whose gym in Eagleville, PA, is called the Montgomery Boy Club near where I live and visits it often. His amateur team features 1981 National Golden Gloves champion “Big” Joe Thomas, 23-2-1 (19), son Stevie, 21-1 (19), and Joey, 2-0 (2 ), their career ended with a strange accident with a nose injury. All three, along with Louie Rivera and Drew Polly, are PA GG champions. Traitz also has former heavyweight champion Pinklon Thomas working with Thomas. He also coached light heavyweight champion Matthew Saad Muhammad at the end of his career.