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Chitwood & Hobbs

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Her Boxing Name is T-Rex

I love kickstarter. Sure, the Nifty MiniDrives are cool but where else could I back a documentary of Claressa “T-Rex” Shields.

T-Rex isn’t her real name. Her real name is Claressa. Friends and family just call her Ressa. She’s from Flint, Michigan, and next year she’ll be a senior in high school. The first day we met, it was her 17th birthday. She had a water balloon fight and a big, yellow cake. She carries her money around in a plastic bottle. She wears her hair in braids (sometimes). She takes the bus to school. She likes Twitter. She likes boys. She writes in her journal. Pretty everyday for a teenager. But this is hardly an everyday story. Six years ago her dad took her to a local boxing gym. She said she wanted to box. He said, “Hell no. Boxing is a man’s sport.” She ignored him. Next month, women will box in the Olympics for the first time ever. Claressa will be the youngest among them. And that’s just where her story begins.

I cannot wait to watch her in the Olympics.


The Reverend and The Greatest

Jesse Jackson on Muhammad Ali’s impact:

"There was always a sense that athletes, when they won, they did so gracefully. Their sense of victory and prowess was always to be subdued. Gentlemen preferred it that way. Ali broke the mold — ‘Yes, I will beat you. And in three rounds.’"

Don on Don

"If you didn’t have Don King, you’d have to invent him."
— Don King 


Three Tortured Souls

In the mid-eighties Dwight Gooden, Mike Tyson and Darryl Strawberry were three of the biggest stars in New York. Flying high and on top of the world. Perhaps drugs and alcohol were the only things that could get them higher.

This photo saddens me. So young. So much promise. What’s shocking is that Tyson might now be the most grounded of the three.

Living In America

"You might have to walk the fine line,
you might take the hard line
But everybody’s working overtime
Living in America”
— James Brown, Living in America (1986)

The fight was supposed to decide once and for all who was the legitimate heaveyweight champion of the world. It took place on June 27, 1988 in Atlantic City and still remains one of the most profitable bouts of all time.

Both boxers came into the fight as undefeated professionals. However, it was Tyson who was the hungry young fighter whom dominated recent televised boxing. Some people say that Spinks came into the match terrified and unprepared. It really didn’t matter how Spinks prepared. Tyson came in edgy and intimidating. He needed exactly 91 seconds of the first round to knock out Spinks with a right uppercut.

That would be the last match Michael Spinks would ever fight, he retired the following month.

"So Mean I Make Medicine Sick"

They don’t do it like this any more. A classic press conference from Muhammad Ali. Can you imagine what it would be like if Ali had something like Twitter in his day? Ochocinco who?

Muhammad Ali Tribute

Gorilla Productions showcase the skill inside and outside of the ring in a tribute to the poet, the prophet, the resurrector, and the savior of the boxing world, Muhammad Ali.

A stunning video of The Greatest. Watch it on your lunch break. And don’t watch it here — go over and watch it on Devour.

Yesterday was the 44 year anniversary of the Muhammad Ali vs. Zora Folley fight. This mostly forgotten championship bout took place in Madison Square Garden and was one of Ali’s first fights to be broadcast in color. You can see it in HD on YouTube. The most significant aspect of this match was that it turned out to be the last fight before Ali refused to serve in Vietnam. Muhammad Ali wouldn’t fight again for another three years.

Like most of Ali’s fights, it’s not a very competitive match but it’s still entertaining to watch. If you can’t get into it try and skip ahead to about 5:20. At this point in the match they are in round four and the following sequence of events makes it hard to believe this is real footage. It looks almost choreographed, especially the way Ali raises his arms like he’s a gymnast landing a perfect ten. It’s like something scripted for a movie.

March 6, 1964 — Elijah Muhammad renames Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali.

Saul: A man has the right to change his name to vatever he vants to change it to. And if a man vants to be called Muhammad Ali, godammit this is a free country, you should respect his vishes, and call the man Muhammad Ali!

Morris: His mamma call him Clay, imma call him Clay.

Saul: Then you’re a putz. All of you are putzes. They should change the sign outside from My-T-Sharp to ‘ze Three Putzes.

— Coming to America (1988)

Sports Illustrated has put together a gallery of Mike Tyson and pigeons. In all fairness the gallery could also be titled “Mike Tyson’s Awesome Collection of Sweaters”. There’s no denying what a fascinating man Mike Tyson is.

Is there any question what the best sports movie of 2010 was? Actually, were there any other sports movies released in 2010 besides Secretariat? The Fighter really was a fantastic movie, particularly (as you’ve all heard before) Christian Bale’s character/performance. Yesterday, The Fighter was nominated for multiple Academy Awards including Best Picture, Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Directing, Writing (Original Screenplay), and Film Editing.

If you’ve seen The Fighter the video Micky vs. Marky: The Same Fight Twice, which compares the actual fight with the theatrical version, is a must see.

(h/t Carlos Martinez)

(Source: Sports Illustrated)

A Chitwood & Hobbs Field Report