Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Denny Moyer Story

The following was sent to me by Bill O'Neill. It goes hand in hand with everything I have heard and read about Moyer, a tough as nails former boxer. I thought it was hilarious.

By Bill O'Neill

Denny Moyer was a good, tough, very PROFESSIONAL fighter. Nice, stand-up style, good movement, great chin, gutty and intelligent--had everything EXCEPT a punch. He boxed brilliantly early in his career; his first loss was to Don Jordan in a world title fight when he was only about 19, and he kept fighting right on up into his forties. Beat a lot of great fighters, but stayed in the game too long. Was from a fighting family. His father boxed, as I recall; as did Denny's brother Phil, and their sons.

But now, let me tell you a story about Denny Moyer--and I'll try to make it brief. A lifelong friend of mine named Jack Thompson was training Denny, very late in Denny's career, in a gym in Portland (Oregon), that was upstairs over a bar in a seedy section of town. The two of them, along with a young middleweight named Davey Rogers, were leaving the gym one evening when a couple of DRUNKS stopped them on the narrow stairway. "Where's Denny Moyer?" one of the drunks demanded. "I've got two hundred bucks that says he can't last one round with me!"

Jack and Denny looked at each other, and decided to go back upstairs and take the guy up on his offer. In the gym, as Jack was lacing up the drunk's gloves, the guy started cursing at Davey Rogers. Words were exchanged, and the drunk said, "Put the gloves on this punk! I'll bet a hundred dollars that says I can knock HIM out in one round, before I knock out Denny Moyer!"

So they strapped a pair of 14-oz. gloves on Rogers, who Jack tells me could really whack. The kid leveled the drunk with the first punch he threw; knocked him flat. The professionals collected the hundred, and had begun to pack up their stuff again when the drunk's friend yelled out, "Look! He's getting up!" And sure enough, the drunk staggered to his feet and said, "I didn't get my shot a Denny Moyer yet!" He and his friend threw two one-hundred-dollar bills on the ring apron and said, "Come on! A deal is a deal!"

So Jack put the gloves on Moyer, but cautioned him: "Look, don't hit this guy in the head. He has just been knocked out, and another concussion like that could get us in big trouble."

Thereupon, Moyer quickly put the guy down and out with a body punch, causing a spew of vomit that shot six feet in the air. A few minutes later, the three pros helped the drunk down the stairs and back into his favorite bar--and departed the scene, three hundred dollars richer. (Fortunately, they didn't get arrested.)


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