Page 50 - Boxing's Sailor Don MacKinnon
ISSUE : Issue 72
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1997/6/1
We Roll Back Prlc Prices Like Ours Haven't Been Seen Since Tlie Days Of Old! We're Your #1 Project Centre! Come In With A Idea And Leave With A Plan Whether your planing an outdoor project... ...building a veranda on your home... .or choosing from our great line of wood screen doors, Central has everything you need! hlTTTTJ bm'l Cabin Elizabeth Victorian Scotia FREE FREE ' DELIVERY ESTlMATESl'l CEN DA HOME IMPROVEMENT WAREDOIJSG INTIGONISH 3 Miles East of Antigonish on the TCH SYDNEY 73 Industrial Drive PORT MARGAREE HAWKESBURY VALLEY Business Park Marsh Brook Rd. Paint Street Inverness Co. ' y863-68S2 S62-7000 625-55''5 1M-K3I I took many shots to the head. Many shots to the head. I'd take two or three, to get two or three good ones in. It was just a toss up who was going to win the fight. If my opponent was a boxer, he would keep away from me because he knew I was a good puncher. He'd jab me, jab me, and move. Jab and move. And I was there after him to get a shot at his body. I was a body punch? er and a head puncher. I went upstairs and downstairs. That's what counts. A lot of those kids who are fighting amateur today are head hunters. They go for the head, just to win by decision, but they don't go for the body. When I fought, soon as you'd drop your left hand I'd go for the head. Soon as you'd raise your left hand or your right hand, I'd go for the body. Tear the body right out of them. I was a fighter upstairs and downstairs, up? stairs and downstairs. That is how you got your opponent. We would be driving in the car before a fight. They would say, "You are going to fight a tough guy." I'd say, "Listen, I don't want to hear nothing about it. I'll know when I get in there how tough he is." You could tell after the first or second round how good he was. You might get one shot at this guy here. You could tell out of the blink of his eye, I hurt this guy and I got him. I'll go after him now and knock him out. Or, even though you were a good puncher, you'd throw the shots at a guy but he could take it. I'd say to myself, this guy can take it. I'm in a tough fight. I will give him all the fight he wants. I ate vegetables but never any sweets. I never drank or smoked when I was fighting. I'd only drink a lime rickey and some? thing to suck on like an orange or an apple to keep my mouth wet. I'd get a rubdown in the gym after training. If I wasn't fighting that night, I'd take a walk down the street. I'd be in bed by 10:30, maybe reading a book or a magazine. That wasn't the routine for everyone. Booze and women claimed a lot of fighters. Some of them could have gone much further. When they started making the money, they threw it away like drunken sailors. They never had a clue.... Many of them were on the move all the time at all hours of the night, not training. In their fights they were taking bad beatings, blows to the head. I knew where they were headed. They were walking on 59th Street. I have seen many fighters walking on 59th Street. Punch drunk. Their marbles had gone upstairs. One of them was Gus Mell. His money didn't last any time. He spent it maybe in a week or two weeks, giving it to this one or that one. They had parties in Griffintown, the Irish settlement in Mon? treal. He would treat all the people there with booze. He was kind of wild and got into fights. I used to tell him, " You got million dollar hands, but you got a five cents brain." When he died, he weighed 80 pounds, a featherweight. When the doctor came into his room before he died, he said, "Jump on my heart and start it all over again." He had fought Willie Pep who was one of the greatest featherweights in the world. I was with Pep later in New York. I said, "You fought a guy that I knew very well. I worked out with him in the gym." "What's his name?" he asked. "Gus Pell Mell." He said, "You are right. If it wasn't for the booze, he could have been champion of the world." I've seen this happen to many fighters. While they were being punched all over the place, they would stay throwing every? thing back that they could, just to make another couple hundred dollars. They would be no good for the rest of their lives. If I hadn't kept on with enough training between fights, I would have ended up that way too. The Fighting Sailor: The Autobiography of Sailor Don McKin? non, Pride of Saint John, New Brunswick is available in book? stores everywhere, or directly from New Ireland Press, 217 Aber? deen St., Fredericton, N.B. E3B 1R7 (ISBN 1-896775-06-3) Riverside Cleaners COIN LAUNDROMAT • KINGS ROAD, SYDNEY Quality Drycleaning Complete Sewing Service 50
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