Former boxing great Emile Griffith dies at 75

first_imgEmile Griffith, the elegant world champion whose career was overshadowed by the fatal beating he gave Bennie Paret in a 1962 title bout that darkened all of boxing, died Tuesday. He was 75.He died at an extended care facility in Hempstead, N.Y, the International Boxing Hall of Fame said.Griffith struggled with pugilistic dementia and required full-time care late in life. He was the first boxer from the U.S. Virgin Islands to become world champion and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990. And fight he could.Known for his overwhelming speed and slick style — certainly not his punching power — Griffith was a prodigy from the moment he stepped in Hall of Fame trainer Gil Clancy’s gym in Queens. Griffith had been working in a hat factory when, as the story goes, he took off his shirt on a hot day and the factory owner realized how strong he was.Under the eye of Clancy, Griffith blossomed into a New York Golden Gloves champion and eventually turned professional. He easily defeated the likes of Florentino Fernandez and Luis Rodriguez during an era when it was common to fight every couple of weeks, quickly earning a welterweight title shot against Paret in 1961.Griffith won the championship with a 13th-round knockout at the Garden before losing the belt to Paret in a rematch five months later.After winning back the title during his controversial third fight with Paret — many believe Paret never should have been allowed in the ring after a brutal loss to Gene Fullmer three months earlier — Griffith would eventually move up to middleweight. He knocked down Dick Tiger for the first time in his career and claimed the title with a narrow but unanimous decision.Griffith would go on to lose twice during a thrilling trilogy with Nino Benvenuti, his lone victory coming at Shea Stadium in 1967, and lost two bouts against the great middleweight Carlos Monzon. Griffith would finally retire in 1977 after losing his last three fights, his record standing at 85-24-2 with 23 knockouts.Griffith would go on to train several champions, including Wilfred Benitez and Juan Laporte, among the most popular boxers in Puerto Rican history.His humor and generosity buoyed those close to him as his health deteriorated in later years. He would still make the pilgrimage to Canastota, N.Y., for the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, regaling fans young and old with tales, even though the details often became hazy, the result of the many blows he sustained during his career.There was no immediate word on survivors or funeral arrangements. In this March 24, 1962 file photo, welterweight champion Benny “The Kid” Paret, in white trunks, smiles as he reads the weight of challenger and former champion Emile Griffith during the weigh-in for their title fight in New York. In center is James A. Farley, Jr., a member of the New York State Athletic Commission.  (AP Photo/John Lindsay, File)“Emile was a gifted athlete and truly a great boxer,” Hall of Fame director Ed Brophy said. “Outside the ring he was as great a gentleman as he was a fighter. He always had time for boxing fans when visiting the hall on an annual basis and was one of the most popular boxers to return year after year.”Griffith often attended fights in New York, especially at Madison Square Garden, where he headlined 23 times. He was also a frequent visitor to the many boxing clubs around New York City. He would slowly rise from his seat, often with assistance, and smile while waving when he was acknowledged.The outpouring of love that he received late in life stood in stark contrast to the way he was received after March 24, 1962, when he fought Bennie “The Kid” Paret before a national TV audience at the Garden. Griffith knocked out his bitter rival in the 12th round to regain the welterweight title. Paret went into a coma and died from his injuries 10 days later.Sports Illustrated reported in 2005 that Griffith may have been fueled by an anti-gay slur directed at him by Paret during the weigh-in. Over the years, Griffith described himself at various times as straight, gay and bisexual.“People spit at me in the street. We stayed in a hotel. Every time there was a knock on the door, I would run into the next room. I was so scared,” Griffith told The Associated Press in 1993, recalling the days after Paret’s death.The shocking outcome left a cloud over the sport for many years. NBC stopped airing boxing broadcasts, and then-New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller created a commission to investigate the bout and the sport. The referee that night, Ruby Goldstein, never worked another fight.The fight became the basis for the 2005 documentary “Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story.” One of the final scenes shows Griffith embracing Paret’s son.“I was never the same fighter after that. After that fight, I did enough to win. I would use my jab all the time. I never wanted to hurt the other guy,” Griffith said. “I would have quit, but I didn’t know how to do anything else but fight.”In this Jan. 3, 1968 file photo, boxer Emile Griffith is flanked by boxers Joe Frazier, left, and Buster Mathis in New York. (AP Photo/File)center_img This undated image provided by NBC Universal shows former welterweight boxing champion Emile Griffith striking a pose to promote the documentary film “Ring of Fire:The Emile Griffith Story.”  (AP Photo/NBC Universal, Robert Maxwell, File)last_img read more

ECHO EDDIE STAKES QUOTES

first_imgBOB BAFFERT, GIMME DA LUTE, WINNER: “First time I ran him, I completely had forgotten that he was a Cal-bred . . . Somebody forgot to give me that memo, so here we are. We have different options with him. He’ll determine where we run next. He was working great. We’re looking for bigger and better things.” NOTES: The winning owners/breeders are Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman. MIKE PEGRAM, PART OWNER/BREEDER, GIMME DA LUTE, WINNER: “Winning inCalifornia is always great, especially having a Cal-bred here. We bred Casino Gold in Kentucky and brought her to California specifically to be foaled here so we could run this colt as a Cal-bred. It’s always good when plans work like you hope, and the way he won today, I can’t wait for him to run again. But you never want to get ahead of yourself in this sport.” -30- JOCKEY QUOTESMARTIN GARCIA, GIMME DA LUTE, WINNER: “It was easy today. He’s been learning. The last two times he ran he was a baby. He’s still a baby but he’s more mature now and I was just cruising with him. When I asked him to go he just took off.”TRAINER QUOTESlast_img read more

Manage that load: Draymond Green will sit Friday vs. Jazz, Paschall doubtful

first_imgWarriors’ forward Draymond Green will sit out Friday’s game against the Jazz in Utah, with the team citing rest. Rookie forward Eric Paschall is listed as doubtful as he heals from lingering hip soreness.Green, who has missed nine games this season with various injuries to his back, finger and heel, played 39 minutes in the Warriors’ overtime loss to the Knicks on Wednesday. The Warriors plan to strategically rest Green this season as they monitor his workload. In 17 games this season, Green …last_img read more

De Villiers, Steyn head Cricket SA award nominees

first_img9 May 2014AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn head the list of nominees for the 2013 Cricket South Africa (CSA) professional awards to be announced at a banquet in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 4 June.The Proteas ODI captain and the world’s leading test match bowler are two of the five nominees for the main award: the South African Cricketer of the Year. The other nominees are Test and ODI batsmen Hashim Amla and JP Duminy, and ODI wicketkeeper/batsman Quinton de Kock.Leading nomineesDe Villiers has also been nominated for the Castle Lager Test Cricketer of the Year Award and the Castle Lager One-Day International Cricketer of the Year.Steyn has been nominated for Test Cricketer of the Year, the Blue Label Telecoms T20 International Cricketer of the Year and the KFC So Good Award, and remarkably has all three nominations for the RAM Delivery of the Year.None of De Villiers, Duminy and De Kock has previously being named South African Cricketer of the Year, so there could well be a first-time winner of CSA’s most prestigious award.De Kock and Duminy also have two nominations each as the former has been nominated for the Castle Lager One-Day International Cricketer of the Year and the latter for the Blue Label Telecoms T20 International Cricketer of the Year.The awards cover the period from 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014. The period covers two ICC events – the Champions Trophy and the World Twenty20 – as well as the Proteas’ tours to Sri Lanka, where they won the T20 series, and to the UAE against Pakistan, where they won both limited overs series, as well as the home series against Pakistan, India and Australia.‘Riveting’“The individual performances have once again been riveting and are too many to mention,” CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat said in a statement.“This naturally puts extra demands on our eminent panel of judges, who have the tough job of deciding the final winner in each of the various international categories.“I am tempted, though, to mention the century scored by Jacques Kallis in his final test match and the double-century scored by Graeme Smith against Pakistan. And then, of course, Dale Steyn’s bowling contributions in just about every 5est match and also the three successive ODI centuries by the young Quinton de Kock are also worthy of being mentioned.”Convenor commentsColin Bryden, the convener of the judging panel, commented: “Although it was not as outstanding a year for South African cricket as the period covered for the 2013 awards, South Africa remained high among the leading nations in international cricket. There were numerous individual performances, both at international level and in domestic cricket.“While the main focus has traditionally been on men’s cricket, the panel was impressed by the improvement shown by the South African women’s team.”The other members of the judging panel were former Proteas’ and current television analysts HD Ackerman and Victor Mpitsang, internationally renowned statistician Andrew Samson, and senior cricket journalist Stuart Hess.All five nominees will be strong contenders for the Cricketer of the Year award.An exceptional yearEven by his own high standards, it was an exceptional year for De Villiers, who at one stage was ranked the world’s best batsman in both test matches and one-day internationals. He was South Africa’s leading run-scorer in both forms of the game and although he did not achieve the same consistency in Twenty20 internationals his dazzling innings of 69 not out off 28 balls against England was mainly responsible for earning South Africa a place in the World T20 semi-finals.Steyn produced mesmerising spells for South Africa in all forms of international cricket. He was once again his country’s leading bowler in tests but, despite his limited overs workload being managed to enable him to remain fit and fresh, he was highly effective when he played. He took 23 wickets at an average of 8.82 despite playing in only seven one-day internationals and was the go-to man during the World T20 in Bangladesh.Dramatic impactNot since De Villiers burst onto the scene has a young player made such a dramatic impact at international level as De Kock. Having made his debut for South Africa at the age of 19 during the 2012/13 season, he established himself in both the one-day and T20 international teams in the dual roles of opening batsman and wicketkeeper. He made his test debut as a late replacement in the second test against Australia and showed in his second innings of 34 that he was not out of his depth.Amla had another solid year. He was second behind De Villiers in the test averages with 429 runs at an average of 42.90 and contributed 621 runs at 38.81 in one-day internationals. Despite concerns that he might not be best suited to the requirements of Twenty20 internationals, he scored 185 runs in the World T20 as an opening batsman, with an average of 37.00 and a strike rate of 131.20.Duminy was South Africa’s leading T20 run-scorer and was third behind De Villiers and De Kock in ODIs. He made a century, which contributed to South Africa’s win in the second test against Australia. His off-spin bowling was also a valuable second string. Only Steyn and Vernon Philander took more than his 15 wickets in tests.Fans’ voteCricket fans will also have voting powers for two of the Awards on the evening: the Fans Cricketer of the season and the RAM Delivery of the season. Both awards require fans to vote for their favourite player as well as the best delivery of the season.Details of the awards can be found on www.cricket.co.za or on CSA’s official Facebook, Twitter and MXIT pages.The awards will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre and will be televised live on SuperSport 2 from 20:00.As part of the annual CSA celebrations, there will also be an awards function on the morning of 4 June to honour the achievements made in amateur cricket during the 2013/2014 season.NOMINEESINTERNATIONALSA Cricketer of the Year Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Dale SteynCastle Lager Test Cricketer of the Year AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Dale SteynCastle Lager ODI Cricketer of the Year Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Ryan McLarenBlue Label Telecoms T20 International Cricketer of the Year JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Dale SteynKFC So Good Award Jacques Kallis, David Miller, Dale SteynMomentum Women’s Cricketer of the Year Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne KappDOMESTICSunfoil Series Cricketer of the Season Justin Ontong, Dane Piedt, Stiaan van Zyl (all Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras)Momentum One-Day Cup Cricketer of the Season Craig Alexander (Sunfoil Dolphins), Justin Kemp (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Heino Kuhn (The Unlimited Titans)Ram Slammer of the Season Kyle Abbott (Sunfoil Dolphins), Beuran Hendricks (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), David Miller (Sunfoil Dolphins)CSA Coach of the Year Paul Adams (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Lance Klusener (Sunfoil Dolphins), Rob Walter (The Unlimited Titans)CSA Umpire of the Year Johan Cloete, Shaun George, Adrian HoldstockCSA Groundsman of the Year Rupert Bailey (Boland Park), Wilson Ngobese (Sahara Stadium Kingsmead), Nico Pretorius (Chevrolet Park)last_img read more