Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Visit With Bill O'Neill

Bill O'Neill and I in his backyard
Bill and I in his backyard

This past Saturday Jeri and I drove to Riverside and spent the day with Bill O'Neill and his wife Shirley. They have a beautiful home sitting on an acre filled with every type of citrus fruit you can imagine, tons of fruit. We picked enough to fill box. Bill and his wife were gracious hosts and the salt of the earth. Old school good people, the kind of people that are getting harder to find as times goes on. Bill is recovering from a hip replacement surgery, plus he took a bad fall and suffered a concussion and hurt back. Still, he gave us a tour of the property.

On the Patio
On the patio

Bill O'Neill has a room next to his garage that doubles as his own personal boxing museum, filled with photos, memorabilia and fight tapes. The man has a true passion for boxing. Bill is former fighter himself, fighting as a amateur boxer in his younger days. he was also a sportswriter back in the day writing a boxing column for the Daily News, as well as other newspapers and boxing magazines, over the years. Bill has tons of memories and stories, there has to be a few books in him just waiting to come out.

The Jerry Quarry Wall
The Jerry Quarry Wall

Bill O'Neill in his Personal Boxing Museum/Gym
Giving me the tour

We drove down to Indian Willie's gym, which is a few miles from his home. Chris Arreola was supposed to be there to spar. He didn't show up. I did have a chance to meet a young heavyweight from Reading, Pennsylvania, Travis Kauffman. Seems like a good kid, 25 years old, 21-1. also had a chance to see Jose (Josesito) Lopez and Johnathan Arrellano. Had a chance to speak a bit with Henry Ramirez. It was good being around a bunch of young boxers. All and all, it was a nice day plus the weather was good. Our thanks to the O'Neill for their gracious hospitality.

"Indian Willie's Gym"
Johnathan Arrellano and Bill O'Neill at Indian Willie's Gym

"Indian Willie's Gym"
Johnathan Arrellano

"Indian Willie's Gym"
Jose "Josesito" Lopez

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Heavyweight Travis Kauffman

For a look at all the photos from Saturday go Here

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