Sports Stars

Sports Stars:

Brian Lara – West Indies Legend

Brianlara 1 Scaled

On 2 May 1969, a newborn child’s cries rang out in Santa Cruz, Trinidad and Tobago. Not an unusual event in itself but if the parents of the child, christened Brian Lara, could see what was in the future for their son their pride at his birth would have been doubled. He grew up to be one of the most celebrated cricketers of all time, topping the Test batting rankings a number of times and seizing and holding several records, …

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Rocky Marciano – The Brockton Blockbuster

Rocky Marciano

A product of the Army and amateur ranks, Rocky Marciano was born on September 1, 1923. He takes his place alongside Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis as one of the great heavyweights. Rocky Marciano was born and raised in Brockton, Massachusetts, to parents who were immigrants from Italy: when he was about eighteen months old, Rocky Marciano got pneumonia, from which he almost died. When Rocky Marciano grew up he worked as a chute man on delivery trucks for the …

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History of the Great Joe Louis | The Brown Bomber

Joe Louis

The era of the Brown Bomber, Joe Louis was one of the greatest and most colorful boxers to grace the sport. Only Jack Dempsey since the gloves era got underway compared to him in popularity and ability. This Alabama born boxer who first saw the light of day on May 13th, 1914 and whose father, “Mun” Barrow, was a cotton picker, was a pugilistic symphony with a tempo geared to bring him across the ring with all the grace of …

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Jack Dempsey | The Manassa Mauler | Bio, Record, Fun & Facts

Jack Dempsey

In every sport star, there emerges one person who stands out so prominently that he is referred to as “The Idol.” Such as a man was Jack Dempsey in boxing. While in there tossing punches, he was one of the most spectacular heavyweights since John L Sullivan. Jack Dempsey was one of the toughest heavyweights in the world. He was born William Harrison Dempsey, in Manassa, Colorado, on 24th June 1895. He grew up in Colorado, West Virginia, and Utah, …

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Joe Frazier – Smokin’ Joe

Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier was born in Laurel Bay, South Carolina, on January 12, 1944. “Smoking Joe” Frazier never set out to set the boxing world alight. He began going to the gym to get himself into shape. However, one thing led to another, and he began competing. He was the youngest of thirteen children. He started his boxing career at age nine when he rigged up a homemade punching bag of moss and leaves. Twelve years later, after having married at …

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The Great Black Hope – The Story of Jack Johnson

Jjohnson

Jack Johnson the first African-American World Heavyweight Boxing Champion whose win provoked a race riot. Way before Cassius Clay (later to be Muhammad Ali) was even a twinkle in his father’s eye, an African American became the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, the first African American to do so. The year was 1908 and Jack Johnson (born John Arthur Johnson) held the title for seven years. Many people have never heard of Jack Johnson, but his story is one which needs …

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Jimmy Wilde – The Tylorstown Terror

Jimmy Wilde

Jimmy Wilder – The Tylorstown Terror There are good boxing records, great boxing records and a few, absolutely other-worldly boxing records. Jimmy Wilde, the Welsh boxer who plied his trade in the first part of the 20th century, falls into this last category. (A caution to the reader. Record-keeping wasn’t the science during Jimmy’s active years, as it is today. I have consulted half a dozen different sources researching this article and it seems fair to say that there is …

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Floyd Patterson – The Gentleman of Boxing

Floyd Patterson

Born in Wasco, North Carolina, on January 4th, 1935, Floyd Patterson (55-8, 40 KO’s) was a light heavyweight-cruiserweight who competed with the Heavyweight division winning the Championship of the World on two occasions. The former Olympic middleweight king who won his crown at the Helsinki Games in 1952 became the youngest professional ever to gain the top rung of the ladder. He is a fast-moving, clever heavyweight with a snappy punch, though his blows lack the steam of those Louis, …

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Mike Tyson – The Life and Times of Iron Mike

Ironmike

Mike Tyson was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1966. He became would of most formidable fighter of his era, blowing away his opponents at will, blasting his way to the top of the heavyweight rankings. Some might say, in his prime no boxer in the world could compete with Iron Mike. In early life, Mike Tyson’s biological father Percell Tyson was not around for much of his childhood. The man in Tyson’s life as a youngster was Jimmy Kirkpatrick. …

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The Case For Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano

You wouldn’t think, not even for a second, that you would have to defend a world champion boxer who retired with an unblemished record of 49-0 (43 KO’s), but if it’s Rocky Marciano we’re talking about then yep, he needs to be defended. It’s ridiculous but true. Marciano seems to have as many naysayers as he does fans. “He was too small”, “He never fought anybody in their prime”, “He’d get killed today”; etc. These, and many other like comments, …

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The Greatest Fly Half Of Modern Rugby

Greatest Fly Half

World Rugby recently unanimously voted for the Men’s 15’s Player of the Decade, yet there seems to be a North vs South debate as to who is the greatest fly half the rugby world has seen during their professional era. Most Northerners favour England’s Rugby World Cup-winning hero, Jonny Wilkinson, whereas the majority of Southerners, will favour All Black-giant, Dan Carter. Who is your pick for the greatest fly half ever? Rugby World Cup 2023 Draw: England’s Hero – Jonny …

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Richie McCaw: World Rugby Union Player Of The Decade

Richie Mccaw

In what has been the least exciting year of rugby for most of us during this 2020 season, Richie McCaw has created some positivity by being elected World Rugby Union’s Player Of The Decade. Upon reflection of the decade, many pundits believed the triumph of the All Blacks between 2011 and 2015 where New Zealand became the first nation to win consecutive Rugby World Cups was something of an iconic nature. The rugby world unanimously agreed that Captain Courageous, Richie …

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Lloyd “Ragamuffin Man” Honeyghan: In the Fight of His Life

Lloyd Honeyghan

The other day, I heard that former British boxer, Lloyd Honeyghan, was having some very serious medical issues and is in tough shape. This prompted me to think about his stellar career and I thought a retrospective on this once undisputed welterweight champion of the world was in order. Born in Jamaica, Lloyd Honeyghan joined his parents in England when he was but a boy of 9. He began boxing a couple of years later and proved throughout his rather …

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Evander Holyfield – The Real Deal

Evander Holyfield

Boxers have always had nicknames; sometimes chosen by themselves, sometimes bestowed upon them by the public or some other third party. The point of a nickname has either been to in some way highlight the intimidation factor of the boxer, or to help with the marketing of the fighter through the “catchiness” of the name. There’ve been some doozies, too. Jake “The Raging Bull” LaMotta, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Seales, or Leonard, “Iron” Mike Tyson, or my personal favourite, the fictional, …

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James Bonecrusher Smith

James Bonecrusher Smith

The “Bonecrusher”: James Odell Smith One of my favourite sports memories has always been the unbridled joy on display from James “Bonecrusher” Smith after he knocked out then-champion Tim Witherspoon in the first round of their Dec. 12, 1986 WBA world title fight. The date was already etched in my memory because it was also my now, ex-wife’s birthday; so fight night was a big day in the Auger-Villanueva household. Smith walked around the ring after the fight, hands raised, …

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Jersey Joe Walcott?

Arnold Cream

Who in The World Is Arnold Cream aka Jersey Joe Walcott? Arnold Raymond Cream aka Jersey Joe Walcott Say that name in a room full of casual boxing fans and it probably wouldn’t cause so much as a ripple. But mention that same name in a group of vested fans and pundits alike, and you’ll hear at least a half dozen voices yell out appreciatively, “Jersey Joe Walcott” while the rest of the heads nod up and down with quiet admiration; …

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Is this Bruce Lee Statue the Best Sports-related Monument

Bruce Lee Statue Hong Kong

The Great Bruce Lee Back in ancient times, Greeks, Romans and Egyptians would leave behind monuments to their gods and leaders (the roles were often combined).  Sportsmen would sometimes be depicted on mosaics, frescoes or pottery but when it came to statuary there is virtually no extant examples of named sportspeople.  In modern times, things have changed – we still put up statues to exemplary leaders but sportsmen and women have been elevated to the point when often, due to …

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Jonah Lomu – All-Blacks Legend

Jonah Lomu

Jonah Lomu, (MNZM) was a New Zealand rugby union player. He had sixty-three caps as an All Black after debuting in 1994. He is generally regarded as the first true global superstar of rugby union, one of the sport’s most intimidating players on the field, he has had a huge impact on the game. He was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame on 9 October 2007. Jonah Lomu – The Life of an All Blacks Legend: Trivia about …

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Virender Sehwag – A Batsman Who Made Batting Look So Easy

Viru 1

A Look At Virender Sehwag – India’s Finest Virender Sehwag or the ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ as he’s fondly called was able to immediately bring joy when we walked out to bat. I clearly remember Virender Sehwag made his Test debut at Bloemfontein and here was a youngster facing up against Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Matthew Hayward and Jacques Kallis on a pace friendly pitch and instead of getting buckled down and crumbling under pressure, Virender Sehwag played a late cut …

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Nigel Benn vs Gerald McClellan: A Beautiful War and it’s Tragic Ending

Nigel Benn Vs Gerald Mcclellan

BOXING AT ITS MOST BRUTAL. Nigel Benn vs Gerald McClellan was a professional boxing match contested on 25 February 1995 for the WBC super-middleweight championship. Benn was victorious when Gerald McClellan was counted out in the 10th round while dropped on one knee. Shortly after the match ended, Gerald McClellan collapsed and fell into a coma for two weeks and has never recovered he is now under the 24-hour care of his sister Lisa. Within 35 seconds of the first …

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