By Phil Berger
Punch traces: Berger on Boxing through Phil Berger. Foreword by way of Bert Sugar. Profiles of Riddick Bowe, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, and plenty of extra, through the previous boxing correspondent for the recent York instances. illustrated/index ISBN: 0-941423-95-6
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I take punches. " That hell-bent attitudehe wore no seatbelt when he broke his neckis typical of the twenty-nine-year-old Pazienza and infuses his objective to fight again. There are no guarantees that he will. Although Pazienza's promoter, Dan Duva, said he had received a letter from Cotter last week saying that the prognosis was good for a return to the ring this year, final clearance is due around July. Pazienza, who has maintained faith in his full recovery since November, regards this as mere medical caution that is bound to fade.
But as fighters do, he came up with a rationale to explain the losses. Making the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds, he was convinced, depleted him, inhibiting his talent. So Pazienza fixed on an unorthodox move. Rather than step up one weight class, to the welterweight division (147-pound limit) he would fight at 154 poundsa junior middleweighteven though it required a fourteen pound jump. Typically, a fighter making that great a leap in weight loses quickness and power. But Pazienza was not typical.
But as bad as it was for Gonzales, things would prove to be worse for Stankie. Even during Gonzales' early success, Al Stankie was a hyper character, moving on foot or by car as though there was an emergency straight ahead. " With Gonzales he showed the soothsayer's alluring manner, conjuring up a future of glory and just desserts in that raspy voice of his that favored the melodramatic intonation. Page 28 Stankie filled Gonzales with his conviction and reinforced it with pet sayings like, "Patience attains all you strive for: and this more elaborate one: "Yesterday is a cancelled check.