This past Saturday I enjoyed a little deja vu. In the 1960s, on many a Friday night, I would watch Gillette’s Cavalcade of Sports, otherwise known as the Friday Night Fights. It was broadcast in black and white from Madison Square Garden in NYC and the ringmaster was the legendary Jimmy Lennon. You could sit in your living room and enjoy the best of the best that the sport of prizefighting could offer.
I watched such legends as Ingemar Johansson, Floyd Patterson, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Emile Griffith, Archie Moore, Sonny Liston, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Robinson, and a young Cashis Clay. I was living in Downey, California and in the nearby community of Bellflower, a young Jerry Quarry was coming onto the scene in 1965. He would go on to become the world heavyweight champion and entering the ring with the biggest names of the day. Frank Stanley and I had the pleasure of seeing Quarry, in his early years, fight at the Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles.
Those days are long gone but maybe, they’re coming back. Last Saturday I scanned onto a Fox sports channel and came across what appeared to be the Saturday Night Fights. I watched two championship 10-round bouts for middleweight and super middleweight. Of course, I didn’t recognize anyone but to my surprise and pleasure, the ringmaster was Jimmy Lennon, Jr. carrying on in his late father’s footsteps. Hopefully, this is regular programming and I can break out a Guinness and enjoy some pugilism on the occasional Saturday evening.
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