I watched the DVD of the classic boxing matches that I transferred from among the 16 MM stock footage that my friend had inherited. These fights were absolutely amazing! The quality of the transfer was first rate, and the video and sound ar exceptional.
The DVD starts out with a pair of Mickey Walker fights from the early 1930's. This was during the period of the great Irish fighters on the East Coast, and both of his bouts are against other Irish fighters. One of them was named Lochran and the other was named Sharkey. I believe they were both champions prior to fighting Walker. These fights are black and white, and they have narration that was added in post-production. One of the cool features was the footage of Walker's training regimne for the fight, which included him dancing the "Charleston" while working the heavy bag.
The next fight was excerpts of Jack Johnson (the first Black heavyweight champion) vs. Jess Willard, who was some journeyman Good Ol' Boy from Texas. The fight was fought in Havana, Cuba in 1915, and was a scheduled 45 ROUND FIGHT!! Johnson, was a fugitive from justice at the time, and he had to defend his belt off of American soil. He allegedly was told before the fight by a couple sherrifs, that they were planning to extradite him to America, where he would be imprisoned, if he didn't throw the 24th round. After watching the fight, I can say with certainty, Johnson DID THROW THE FIGHT. He litterally didn't throw a fight for the final few rounds. This match was also narrated in post-production, and skips several of the 24 rounds, which is fine by me, since Johnson wasn't really trying to defend his belt anyhow.
After some Golden gloves footage, the next fight I had transferred was
Joe Louis-Max Shmelling 2. This was the rematch which would have been roughly 1940. This was one of those America/Nazi battles of superiority, and Louis carried the weight of a nation and his race on his shoulders. Louis stepped up in this rematch, and he BEAT THE SNOT out of Schmellling. 4 knockdowns in the first round, before the German's corner threw in the towel. They also showed the knockout in slow motion. I could litterally stare in the Brown Bomber's eyes as he stalked Schmelling for the kill. SO FREAKING COOL!! The next fight was Max Baer versus "Two-Ton" Tony Galento. Baer was the former heavyweught champion by this point, and Galento was an up and comer, with a personality that would make him a millionaire today. Galento didn't even look like a fighter. He cheated with head butts, backhands, head butts and constant clenching. The history behind this fight is that Galento had his pre-fight meal at his bar, where he washed down a huge bowl of spaghetti washed down by a HALF CASE OF BEER! While drunk, his brother smashed him in the face with a beer mug, opening a 1 1/2 inchgash in his mouth that required stitches. After watching the fight, I can say with certainty, he WAS TRASHED. Baer pummelled him, and Galento couldn't answer the bell for the 8th round. One of the cool things about this fight is that the ring mic was really loud, so I could hear all the verbal jabbing between the boxers and the referee.The post-match interview was conducted by BUD COSTELLO (form Abbott and Costello) The best part of the interview is watching a clearly flustered Costello try to maintain his cool as he loses control of the interview.
The next fight was Joe Louis versus some journeyman named Bob Pirabu. This was a schedule 20 rounder. Lois abused this dancer, knocking him down three times in the first round. Louis scored 6 knockdowns, but this fight was kind of boring, aside from the historical factor.
The next fight was former Featherweight champ against a journeyman named Lulu Perez. This 1952 match became relevent after a 1982 sports illustrated article suggested that Pep through the fight, which he lost in the first round under New York's three knockdown in one round rule. After watching the fight, I don't believe Pep threw the fight. He took an early shot to the head, and he never seemed to regain his bearings. After the 2nd knockdown, Pep was essentially out on his feet, and the third knockdown practically spinned his head 360 degrees.
The final fight was a middleweight battle between Champion Sugar Ray Robinson and Former Champion Rocky Graziano. I love the old italian boxers from the 40's and 50's and Graziano was one of those champions. The fight was great with lots of terrific exchanges, but after three rounds, Sugar Ray wore him out (He was a machine!) The knockout punch sent Grazziano's mouthpiece flying! AWESOME!
This DVD is absolutely amazing, and I look forward to checking out all of the other footage before transferring them to DVD. I defintiely have a lot to work with.
I am also going to make copies of this DVD and I will make them available for purchase, because these fights need to be seen.
These champions of old, would definitely be champions today, and Tony Galento is one f the most interesting fighters I have ever seen.
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