Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
10: Best memories of lifelong boxing fan
Page 4 of 11
Date: Early February 1977.
Time: Late morning or early afternoon.
Place: Witschey's Market, New Martinsville, W.Va.
Significance: My first boxing magazine purchase
One of the stores my mom, sister and I frequented on every shopping trip "up the river" was Witschey's supermarket – which, by the way, is still in business. Sometimes I would wait in the car while at other times I would walk the aisles to pass the time. One day I noticed that the store had recently added shelves containing a wide variety of periodicals. Being a word addict I was instantly attracted.
My eyes scanned the rows of magazines, newspapers, puzzle books and other offerings until something brought them to a complete stop – the cover of the April 1977 issue of THE RING. The cover shot depicted Muhammad Ali delivering a left uppercut to George Foreman's face beneath the headline "How Does Ali Compare With His Heroes?" In that very instant there was nothing in the world that I wanted more, for I had no idea that magazines devoted solely to boxing even existed. Not only that, the price was right – $1.00 plus tax.
I grabbed the magazine, briefly flipped through the pages and headed for the cash registers. Once the magazine was safely in the bag, I spent the rest of the trip devouring every single word on every single page. I took it in with me when we ate lunch, read it on the way home and finished it several hours later at home. I couldn't wait for the next issue to come out so I could indulge myself again.
This became a cherished ritual for the next several decades. As I visited more stores that sold magazines, the periodical section would be the first – and often the only place – I would go. Thankfully, I had the money to buy every issue I could get my hands on and in time the collection would grow into "The Vault."
A couple of years ago I went about the task of reorganizing my magazine collection. To my great chagrin, the April 1977 issue of THE RING was missing. I have no idea where it is or even where it could be, but the last time I saw it I noticed that the cover which had instantly attracted me had been torn off.
Perhaps I will seek out a copy in the name of sentiment. Though I will be thrilled for the chance to re-read the first magazine articles I ever laid eyes on, it will never be the same. It's one thing to re-read the debut magazine of one's boxing lifetime, but having the original item in hand is another proposition indeed. Alas, at this point, it is irretrievable.