Bob Arum said Julio Cesar Chavez could fight Brian Vera next, and eventually, Andre Ward.
10: Best memories of lifelong boxing fan
Page 3 of 11
Date: Dozens of Saturdays during my teen years.
Time: Late morning to early afternoon.
Place: New Martinsville Public Library.
Significance: How I Learned about Boxing History.
Every Saturday for a number of years I went shopping with my mother and sister. We either executed our rounds "down the river" in Parkersburg, W.Va., nearby Vienna or Marietta, Ohio or "up the river" in New Martinsville, W.Va. When in New Martinsville we always followed the same routine and usually in the same order. As I proceeded through puberty I grew bored with the process, so I asked my mom if she could drop me off at the library while they shopped and pick me up when they were ready to eat.
By then I had developed an appreciation for the written word and I spent many hours perusing the library's contents. One day I walked through the reference section – just to pass the time – and on one of the shelves I spotted a copy of THE RING'S 1972 Boxing Encyclopedia and Record Book. Upon seeing the word "boxing" on the jacket, my eyes lit up in recognition and in a split second I snatched it off the shelf.
Over the next few hours I marveled at the wealth of information that was set before me – records, profiles, statistics, fight recaps, little-known facts, and so on. I dearly wanted to take it home with me but the librarian told me that checking out books from the reference section was prohibited. Disappointed, I contented myself with my twice-a-month visits.
Over the next several months I threw myself into the record books' contents, and for a while I toyed with the idea of writing out the records longhand in a notebook just so I could have them for myself. I quickly realized the folly of doing such a thing, but the act of writing out the names served to burn them in my brain.
Several years later my mother returned from yet another shopping excursion, informing me that the library had conducted a book sale and that she bought something for me – the very 1972 Ring Record book with which I had spent so many afternoons. I was overwhelmed by a mixture of glee and nostalgia. Even though the contents no longer have their freshness or immediacy, it's a possession I absolutely treasure. As I write this, it is sitting on a book shelf just 10 feet away and I couldn't be happier about having a link to my distant past within such easy reach.