Sunday, July 19, 2009

Alexis Arguello and Sugar Ray Robinson

By Rick Farris

Great photo of two all-time greats!

Those of us who were training at the Main Street Gym in the late 60's and early 70's, would see the great Robinson almost daily,
The "real" Sugar Ray continued to train long after his career ended in 1965.
To keep his weight down, he'd wear a plastic suit like the one you see in the photo.
Ray didn't just skip rope and hit bags, he'd jump into the ring and spar with the best of the day.

I remember him doing his magic when banging it out with #1 welter, Ernie "Indian Red" Lopez one afternoon.
Of course, Ernie was a rough customer and put the pressure on, however, the slick Sugar Ray would slip, roll, pick-off and counter.
Ernie would keep pressing on, you could see him working hard, but Sugar was just cool and in control. He'd done this before.

If I could just step back into the Main Street Gym on any given saturday morning between the mid-60's-to-70's.
If that were possible, I'd see more world class action and talent throwing leather in those two rings than I will ever see again.
Randy, Frank and the rest of you who've been there know what I am saying is true.

I can visualize Rip Roseboro and Duke Holloway sitting on the bleachers, Howie behind his desk barking at someone on the phone, Memo Soto pushing a shopping cart full of equipment out from his dressing room, Gil Cadilli helping a boxer tie his gloves, Tony Marino stepping out from his room in the back holding a headgear he'd just made for a fighter, I see a smiling manager Luis Celeya (who Johnny Flores nicknamed "The King of the Mexicans), Bill Slayton putting vaseline on the face of Ken Norton, Ralph Gambina holding court in the corner, I can see Felipe Torres bouncing around the ring, working lightly with an amateur in the ring as he warmed up . . .
Just too many memories.

-Rick Farris

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