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.
It has not been recorded when the first professional fighter came to the county to train, but there is lots of information from which to make an educated guess. While it isn’t clear whether or not he ever actually trained in the county, Robert Prometheus Fitzsimmons, the undersized British fighter who wrested the heavyweight crown from Gentlemen Jim Corbett in 1897, is known to have frequented many of the Silver Age resorts in the region, primarily those favored by New York City’s policemen and firemen. That probably meant Brophy’s Mountain House in Hurleyville, which was so closely associated with New York’s Finest and New York’s Bravest prior to its demise in a fire in 1910 that is was often referred to as Brophy’s Mad House, due to the unrestrained antics of the off-duty officers. [Read more…] about Boxing History And The Catskills