Hall-of-Fame promoter J Russell Peltz told me what it was like to promote fighters such as former WBA bantamweight champion Jeff Chandler of South Philadelphia, and the attitude he had towards the sport. I hope that I end up coming across fighters like him. Chandler, a Hall-of-Famer himself, not only would fight anybody, but also wanted to fight the best. He finished his career with a record of 33-2-2 (18K0s) and nobody ever had to question his talent; he was one of the best.
Hearing about Chandler and about the days when boxing was still a major sport makes me jealous. That’s someone a promoter or a television network needs; a fighter willing to risk everything because he has the talent and heart of a true warrior. Chandler had those attributes.
With that attitude or without it, a fighter will be criticized. There are many talented fighters out there but it takes more than talent to become a major attraction. It is difficult for a fighter to build a fan base, and without a fan base promoters and television networks sometimes lose interest. Win or lose, a good performance and a decent following can get a fighter to the next level.
Maybe it all goes back to fighters no longer being just fighters. Some of them also want to manage themselves. Maybe it has to do with the fact that so many fighters were mis-managed so that the idea of a manager comes with the stigma that managers are nothing more than paper pushers. Either way, many fighters seem to have lost faith in their team members and it has begun to take away from the fighter doing his job.
Perhaps this is why some many fighters change managers, trainers and promoters. What happened to guys like Marvelous Marvin Hagler who stayed with the Petronelli Brothers from first fight to last?
Coming Up Locally
Last year in Philadelphia there were seven fight cards, but we already have four scheduled in the first three months of 2012. Hopefully this is a sign of an active year. If a fighter has the option to fight more often, the chances of him taking risks increases due to the opportunities to get right back into the ring.
The Jan. 21 card at the Asylum Arena is shaping up to be the best that Philadelphia has seen in a long time. The main event between Philadelphia’s favorite heavyweight Fast Eddie Chambers (36-2, 18 K0s) and Belarus native Sergei Liakhovich (25-4, 16 K0s) already is stirring interest.
Chambers has fought in Philadelphia throughout his career at the Legendary Blue Horizon, but this is his first time back since 2008. Seems like a pretty nice homecoming since his fight will be the headliner on the Main Events card televised on NBC sports network (currently Versus).
The co-feature is another meaningful fight between Philadelphia junior middleweight King Gabriel Rosado (18-5, 10 K0s) and Mexico’s Jesus Soto Karass (24-6-3, 16 K0s).
This will be a huge test for Rosado and the pressure is on him to perform. I have faith in him; he is one of the few fighters left with that Jeff Chandler attitude.
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Brittany Rogers contributes the BAM on Boxing column to PSC. You can also check her out, as well as everything else you need to know on Philly boxing, at PeltzBoxing.com. Follow Brittany on Twitter @bamonboxing and Peltz Boxing @PeltzBoxing.