From Dempsey to Tyson, a Ringside Seat
Compiled by Steve Fox
An 18-year-old Shirley Povich as a Post copy boy in 1923. (Post File Photo)
One of the earliest Shirley Povich articles found in the deep archives of The Post is on the 1927 heavyweight bout between Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey. Povich covered boxing through its glory years, writing about fighters like Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis, but has had little patience for the people and events that have contributed to the sport's recent decline.
Povich did not let the Mike Tyson ear-biting incident pass without comment, writing that despite the sport's penchant for self-destruction, boxing will survive. After all, he notes, boxing has survived mob control, Sonny Liston, Jake LaMotta and Don King.
- 1927: Tunney vs. Dempsey
Sept. 22, 1927
In Jack Dempsey's comeback attempt against Gene Tunney, Dempsey failed to recapture the heavyweight title, even though he showed glimpses of his old greatness when he knocked Tunney down in the seventh round.
- Graziano, He Knew the Ropes
May 25, 1990
In a tribute to Rocky Graziano, Povich recalls the boxer, who knew how lucky he was to rise to the top, and was fond of saying: "Somebody up there
- Not All Comebacks Are Magical
Feb. 3, 1996
The sports pages have always been filled with comeback stories, but few sports are as dominated by this scenario as boxing. In the end, however, Povich notes that former boxing stars usually end up answering one too many bells.
- Zale Was No Ordinary Boxer
Mar. 3, 1997
To read Povich's accounts of the battles between Rocky Graziano and Tony Zale is to read of an era where the winner was whomever was the last one standing.
- Blood, Sweat and Jeers
Thursday, July 3 1997
When Mike Tyson shocked the sports world by biting off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear during their heavyweight title bout, Povich joined the chorus of sportswriters wondering whether boxing could survive yet another catastrophe.
- Not Enough Rings for This Circus
Sunday, July 13 1997
There was a circus atmosphere following Tyson's "Bite of the Century," culminating with Tyson's apology to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Povich gave little weight to Tyson's words after he went out and bought a Ferrari afterwards.
© Copyright 1997 washingtonpost.com
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