It’s Boxing Day in May
May 29th, 2011 by slangon

I don’t if anyone has actually noticed, but it’s been a bit quite around here lately. Part of that has to do with a 2 year old who just got his tonsils out. Part of it has to do with being focused on some other projects. Part of it has to do with the nice weather. Most of it though has to do with being very fed up with the Mets the last week or so, both on and off the field.

I don’t even want to get into Fred Wilpons pontificating. I don’t even want to get into the Mets lackluster performances lately except to say that thanks to them playing so terribly I’ve gotten real pissed while watching the games and started channel surfing rather than sit through one more error-ridden, craptastic inning. In doing so, I stumbled on AMC which happened to be playing a bunch of the Rocky movies night after night. One night, I ended up watching most of Rocky III, and the night after caught the final few rounds of Rocky IV. I haven’t seen either one of them in years and was pretty psyched that they were on 1) because at that point I would’ve rather watched paint dry than the Mets game, and 2) I love Rocky.

With that as inspiration, here’s some boxing cards that came from a box in my parents basement. Obviously they were down there from when I was a young’un, but I don’t think they were mine. I have zero recollection of every buying any boxing cards. I assume they must’ve been my brothers originally. They’re mine now, though.

They’re all from a 150 card set called All World Boxing that was released in 1991. It was released by a company called, appropriately enough, All World. It featured a mix of (then) current boxers as well as old-timers. Apparently, that year they also released an Indy car set, 2 Canadian Football League sets (one in French, one in English), and a Troy Aikman promo set.

As you can see, the design is very straight forward. The front is mostly a photo with a thin black outline and a gray border. The info on the front is very scarce. Just the fighters name and the All World logo. Also the name of the set is repeated over the gray border to for a pattern of sorts. Very simple, but I like it.

The back is equally simple. Just a gray box with info in it and a white border separated by another thin black outline. It has the card number inside of a little boxing glove, the fighters name and nickname (if applicable), birthdate and place, career record and short bio. This is all followed by all the legalese. I like to see that Mickey Walker here is a Jersey boy who grew up only a few miles from my house.

The card mentions that Jimmy Ellis was a friend of Ali, and the 2 men finally fought in 1971. The fight actually took place in the Astrodome. The Astros were on the road at the time. Oddly enough, Angelo Dundee was the trainer for both fighters, but since he was Ellis’ trainer and manager, he chose to stay in his corner for the fight.

Boxing nicknames are incredible. I think they might rival baseball nicknames for overall most entertaining. “Slapsie Maxie”? That’s up there with “Marvelous Marv”.

I love looking at pictures of old-timey boxers. I always think that if I ever got into real fisticuffs, it would be humorous to fight like that. Then again, I’m sure I would get my ass kicked.

Billy Conn married the daughter of former Major Leaguer Greenfield Jimmy Smith, with whom he did not get along with. One time a fight broke out between the 2 and Conn broke his hand by punching his father-in-law in the head. As a result, he had to postpone a fight with Joe Louis.

Gene Tunney was the U.S. Expeditionary Forces boxing champion in the early 20’s. During the winter of 1921 he got a job as a lumberjack in northern Ontario, but declined to let anyone know that he was a Champion Boxer. He said he “want(ed) the solitude and the strenuous labors of the woods to help condition himself for the career that appeared before him.”

If you’ll notice, this is the only card of this bunch that shows a boxer from after the 70’s. It’s not so much that I particularly like Cornelius Boza-Edwards. Hell, I don’t really know anything about him. I more chose this card because he totally reminds me of that scene in Rocky III, when Apollo Creed agrees to train Rocky and flies him out to some shady gym in L.A. where he started out. Of course Rocky and Pauley and Adrian stick out like sore thumbs since they’re the only white folks and Pauley makes some inappropriate comments and hilarity ensues. This dude looks exactly like all those fighters in that gym. He’s got the eye of the tiger.

And finally, how could I not show a card of a guy named “Jersey Joe”? He held the record for oldest man to win the World’s Heavyweight title, at age 37 years 168 days, until that damnable George Forman took the title at 45 years old.

One Response to “It’s Boxing Day in May”

  1. Any chance you would part with all your boxing cards? I have a boxing card collection but i don’t have any from this set. I would trade you baseball for them.

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