They called it “The Reckoning,” but most expected a wrecking.
What a packed house of 3,000 got, last night at Route 66, west of Albuquerque, was the hometown champ’s repossession of the mythical pound-for-pound crown of women’s boxing . . . |more|
“Albuquerque, I’m still your hometown champion . . . .”
Those were the words Johnny Tapia never failed to yell into the camera, in between the rounds of his countless TV fights.
That and “I love you, Grandma, Grampa.”
Those two sentences said more about the man than his 162 amateur bouts (150-12), two National Golden Gloves titles, 66 pro fights (59-5-2, 30 KOs), 473 rounds, innumerable minor belts and no less than five bonafide world championships during a career dating back to 1981 . . . |more|
With no fights to cover until Mayweather-Ortiz week, I’m knee-deep in writing – presently lost somewhere around the border around 1915-1919. My Jan. 1 deadline approaches for “The History of Boxing in New Mexico, Volume I,” due out next year by McFarland Press.
Photo above: A ticket stub from the scrapbook of New Mexico’s first world title challenger, Benny Chavez, who was in attendance for the Sept. 19, 1915 showdown between Albuquerque’s Benny Cordova and Texas legend Bobby Waugh – it was the third time the two fought. Altogether, Cordova and Waugh battled seven times and 107 rounds – from Mexico to Texas to New Mexico. Both, Benny Cordova and Benny Chavez, feature prominently in the book.
Always nice to be back in the Duke City, even if it means choking on smoke from the east Arizona wildfires. Where else can you attend a weigh-in, only to hear one of the fighters will not be making the fight because she was arrested that morning for a parole violation? Where Holly Holm, despite ten years of publicity, is still called “Holms?” Or where the highlight of a weigh-in may not be a staredown or a shoving match, but the display of tattoos or a new ‘do. Spotted above: the new ‘do of Golden Boy prospect Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado.
Writer/photographer Chris Cozzone has inked a two-volume book deal with McFarland Press on the history of boxing in New Mexico. In between covering the big fights and local fight scenes in both New Mexico and Las Vegas, Cozzone has spent the last six years in heavy research. He inherited the project in 2005 from the late Jim Boggio, who will share the byline. Boggio began his research in the ’80s, logging in over 400 fight cards throughout N.M. history. Cozzone has brought brought that number to 2,300.
Volume I of the two-book set will cover 1868 to World War II and Volume II, from the ’40s to modern era. Featured fighters in the book include Johnny Tapia, Danny Romero, Bob Foster, Benny Chavez, Eddie Mack, Benny Cordova, Abie Chavez, Larry Cisneros, Art Aragon, Emilio Martinez, Julio Chiaramonte (pictured) and dozens more. Hall-of-Fame matchmaker Bruce Trampler will write the foreword. Cozzone expects Volume I’s completion later this year and to hit the sands in 2012. Stay tuned.
The first time & location will be 1 p.m., at the Albuquerque Public Library, Lomas & Tramway Branch, Eastridge St. (the library sits on the SW corner of Tramway and Lomas, but has an Eastridge address.)
The second time & location will correspond with Saturday night’s “Rising Stars Battle at the Bosque” fight card at the Santa Ana Star Casino in Bernalillo. Prior to first bell, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., a table will be set up near the entrance to the arena.
Along with a book signing, a lecture, historic film, photos and archives will be made available by editor Colleen Aycock and Chris Cozzone, who has a New Mexico-related essay in the book. Cozzone will also talk about his upcoming book, “The History of Boxing in New Mexico,” which will be printed by McFarland Press, publisher of “The First Black Boxing Champions” and Aycock’s last book, “Joe Gans: A Biography of the First African American World Boxing Champion.”
The book is also available at Amazon: Click here
A book signing is planned for the newly-released “The First Black Boxing Champions – Essays on Fighters of the 1800s to the 1920s,” on Saturday, April 2, in Albuquerque. Along with a book signing, a lecture, historic film, photos and archives will be made available by editor Colleen Aycock and Chris Cozzone, who has a New Mexico-related essay in the book.
Location: Albuquerque Public Library, Lomas & Tramway Branch, Eastridge St. (the library sits on the SW corner of Tramway and Lomas, but has an Eastridge address.)
Date & time: April 2, 1:00 p.m.
The book is also available at Amazon: Click here
Alright, so it isn’t boxing and it isn’t MMA and it sure ain’t the usual stuff I photograph, from junkies to gangbangers to weddings . . . At a recent shoot for a historic hotel in Albuquerque, looks like Jesus decided to make an appearance in one of my shots. I was hoping to get an accidental shot of one of the ghosts the hotel is famous for. Instead I get the infamous holy ghost invading my digital realm. Call it what you will. And no, I won’t start tweeting or posting endless Bible quotes from here on out . . .
Austin “No Doubt” Trout has proclaimed a new era for New Mexico: “The Age of ‘Doubt.’”
Last week, Trout was a big fish in a small pond – at the top of the heap of local hopefuls. But after Feb. 5, after defeating Rigoberto “Espanol” Alvarez for the WBA’s version of the regular 154-pound title (not to be confused with their “super” brand), Trout has become one of boxing’s big fish with big names in his sights . . . |more|
Newly-crowned WBA 154-pound champ Austin Trout is making Chris Cozzone’s life harder. Cozzone, hard at work on a book on the history of boxing in New Mexico, will now have to elongate the massive project for Trout recently became the fourth New Mexican (male) to win a world title – the first three being Bobby Foster, Johnny Tapia and Danny Romero. Stay tuned for more information on the project.
For someone who will be fighting rust, a hostile hometown, uncooperative promoters, a lunatic sanctioning body, elevation and nearly a year-and-a-half of delays, Feb. 5 in Guadalajara, Mexico, Austin “No Doubt” Trout shows remarkable composure going into his first world title fight.
His opponent, WBA Light Middleweight Champion Rigoberto “Espanol” Alvarez, brother to acclaimed prodigy Saul “El Canelo,” just may be the least of his concerns, and when he finally steps into the ring to hear the first round bell, it may be with a sigh of relief . . . |more|
Sock-her mom: Former world champ Jaime Clampitt did not expect to fight again after giving birth to her daughter last year. Weight gain during pregnancy, the desire to train, let alone fight, were all concerns . . . |more|
Holm: ‘Not about the belts’: Lance Armstrong may say it’s not about the bike, but, for seven-time (ten, if you can stomach more alphabet soup) world champion Holy Holm, it’s not about the belt . . . |more|