OT – Thomas “Hitman” Hearns & Boxing on Youtube
Sometimes, I forget how much I loved Boxing as a kid. I’d splay out on the floor playing Title Bout (from the makers of Statis-Pro Baseball, Basketball, Football, etc…) getting acquainted with hundreds of top fighters from the pages of history by playing tournament after tournament.
My Dad would take interest every time I asked if if he remembered a Tony Galento or Tony Zale, going back into his own memories to share some great tales of boxing lore. I still remember watching ESPN’s Friday Night Fights with him on a regular basis, and ticking him off by siding with the judges in Michael Spinks’ disputed decision over Larry Holmes.
In the years before he died, we started attending big fights on closed circuit TV around Baltimore, taking in Hagler-Hearns and other mid-1980’s classics surrounded by cigar smoking fantatics hollering madly at the screen. You had to be there…but it was great.
I haven’t had cable TV in years, so I rarely get to see a good match anymore other than the Spanish language stations late at night when my wife’s otherwise occupied. The glorious sport known as the “sweet science” was once a regular feature on Saturday afternoon’s Wide World of Sports, but now they barely even show any Olympic boxing action anymore. Unbelievable and sad.
Laugh if you want, but I just recently discovered the amazing amount of historical boxing footage available for free on youtube. Most of the fights I remember from the 1980’s, plus archival footage from before I was born. If you love boxing at all, check it out!
Above you can find a couple video tributes to my main man Tommy Hearns (I wrote to him at Deroit’s famed Kronk Gym –now sadly closed, but that’s another story– in the 1980’s and he sent me an autograph) that are pretty well put together: