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Old 11-05-20, 06:22 AM
Me duelen las nalgas
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Originally Posted by jack pot View Post
Bob Dylan should keep his music out of boxing. I lost a lot of respect for Dylan after his fawning adulation for the reprehensible Rubin Carter. Yeah, Hurricane was an exciting if limited fighter. But a terrible human being and his bad behavior toward the people who helped free him only underscored the likelihood that he was indeed guilty of the murders he was imprisoned for. I quit listening to a local FM rock radio station because they played that damned song almost every day. And that Denzel Washington movie only repeated the myths about a heroic, persecuted Carter.

Hey, I read the book when I was in high school and fell for Carter's self-mythologizing too. But after years of reviewing independent checks of his assertions, including the faked photo that showed him decorated with military medals and ribbons he never earned, the whole scam fell apart.

Mostly Dylan just strings words together and mumbles. I haven't been able to listen to any of his stuff in decades.

'scuse my rant. Sore topic with me.

While Davey Moore's ending was tragic, that's always been the hazard in boxing. I try to remember that occasionally there are good guys and good outcomes. Here's one that's seldom mentioned.

In 2005 the slick and often hilarious showboating boxer/entertainer Emmanuel Augustus faced an aging Ray Oliveira, who was coming off a stoppage loss to Ricky Hatton. Oliveira had been a tough opponent in his prime but by the time he faced Augustus Ray was just a shadow of himself, looking like he was sparring while Augustus clowned en route to an easy decision win.

In the 8th round something happened to Oliveira -- he winced, grabbed the back of his head and neck and walked away. Augustus just shrugged and went to a neutral corner while ref Steve Smoger checked on Ray, who claimed he was okay to continue and didn't need the doctor. Smoger waved the fighters back together but Augustus didn't like the way Ray looked. Oliveira was wincing and moaning in pain. Emmanuel looked at the referee, hoping he'd step in, but the fight continued. Augustus refused to hit Ray in the head, mostly feinting and going for body shots. Oliveira was obviously in distress but wouldn't quit. Augustus backed against the ropes and covered up, still waiting for the ref to stop the fight, while Ray tossed some feeble punches. Finally Smoger stopped it.

Emmanuel Augustus could easily have done permanent damage to Ray Oliveira, but didn't. He was so skilled -- and at that point Ray was so damaged and incapable -- that Augustus didn't need to do anything but throw a few body shots through the 10th round, if the fight wasn't stopped.

Emmanuel Augustus (last name Burton earlier in his career -- he was a favorite on ESPN) was one of those greatest boxers who never became a champion kinda guys. (Well... he did snag a minor IBA light welter title briefly, and a couple other titles). Floyd Mayweather Jr. called Augustus his toughest opponent -- I think Floyd was being generous because he liked him. Obviously Floyd faced tougher opponents in later bouts. But I think everyone who watched enough of Augustus' bouts realized he had way more potential than he demonstrated, mostly because he was an eclectic eccentric guy who did things his way, even if it meant never quite reaching the top.

Much as I enjoyed Emmanuel Augustus as a boxer, it was his behavior toward Ray Oliveira in that 8th round that made Augustus a true champion in my book.

Augustus had some tough times after his boxing career ended, including being shot in the head in 2014 and surviving. It's never been publicly clarified what injury Oliveira sustained -- some speculated it was just a neck injury, others said a stroke, but I'm not sure Ray ever gave any statement. I think he trains boxers now. I wish them both well.

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