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Showing posts from January, 2011

Warm wishes for a wonderful new year!

Emile Griffith, Boxing Champion

I remember the former world boxing champion Emile Griffith as a gregarious and gentle man, quick to greet fan, former foe and friend with a handshake and a version of the male hug—a pat on the back—yet shy and guarded about his personal life. He carried the burden of killing a man in the boxing ring, an incident that seems incongruous to a man whose informal bearing and musical lilt from the Virgin Islands didn’t quite transport him to the legends of his tough championship fights.

Sometimes his eyes looked pained, his brow furrowed into lines like snakes as if he were asking, “Why?”
Griffith trained fighters at the old Times Square Gym on 42nd Street, where the small gym on the second floor smelled of perspiration, desperation and hard work of champions and contenders who were counseled, trained and molded in a grimy ring with loose ropes, worn floorboards, and trainers shouting out commands against the din of fighters hitting the speed bag, managers cutting deals, and a small crowd of…