AN ORIGINAL GEE: A VISIT TO THE INTERNATIONAL BOXING HALL OF FAME

Our veteran writer Mervyn Gee is an active member of his local ex-boxers association and has visited the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) in Canastota. Here he shares some personal photographs taken with ex-boxers and fistic personalities..

The photograph below with Bert Sugar – boxing historian and former editor of The Ring and Boxing Illustrated – was taken in 2009, four years after Sugar was inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame and three years before he sadly passed away. The photo was taken outside “Grazianos”, a pub in Canastota run by Rocky Graziano’s uncle.

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RINGSIDE BITS AND PIECES: LINARES vs CROLLA II

Our man provides the view from ringside in Manchester, insights from friend and former world title challenger Ensley Bingham and sources (read: a random girl in the beer line) reveal an unlikely guest hiding out in the ladies toilet…

The chants start early on a beautiful Manchester afternoon as a small group of already-inebriated fans sing “Oh, Anthony Crolla!” across busy, bustling Deansgate. Fly posters advertise a screening of next months Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko heavyweight bout at ‘Dive NQ’, encouraging patrons to “book a booth for the ultimate boxing experience.”

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Invitation to a prize fight

The pay-per-view of the day in the early nineteenth century was by attendance only for both young and old, with the poor arriving by foot and the aristocracy by horse and carriage.

Welcome to the world of Victorian bare-knuckle boxing. For the combatants it was a chance to change their social standing, better their lives and make serious money in a time of few opportunities.

The one certainty win or lose would be extreme pain; the ability to outlast the man standing in front of you was the survival of the fittest, to withstand excruciatingly long contests until you could no longer stand or become rendered unconscious.

Jack Slack squares up to Jack Broughton (Getty)

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