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Is Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury the Most Colorful Since Ali?

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By Ken Hissner: Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury has been a breath of fresh air and humor in and out of the ring since Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali, in this writer’s opinion!

I’m not comparing them skill-wise since Ali was possibly the best heavyweight of all time, along with Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis. Fury is the best heavyweight today, in my opinion.

Ali has had so many ISAM’S like “don’t ask for a handout but a hand up!” I have referred that to many of his race when they think they are owed something telling them Ali said it.

Having met Ali on four occasions; the first time was in 1973 in center city Philadelphia after his loss to Ken Norton in their first fight. In a crowd, someone said to him, “next time you fight Norton, be a man, not a boy!” Ali replied, “did you call me Roy?”

Two weeks later, I invited myself into his Cherry Hill, New Jersey house, let in by his second of four wives Belinda (Boyd). I knew I had to get the first comment in, or I wouldn’t get one when I said, “why didn’t you give Doug Jones a rematch?” He fired back a line, I forget, and told me to join him in the area he came from. Norton’s advisor and matchmaker at Madison Square Garden, Bobby Goodman, joined us shortly later being friends with Ali.

When I see Fury coming into the ring for a fight sitting on a chair being carried in as on his throne in his ring entrance, I have to laugh! Then after a fight, the singing country reminds me of not only Ali but former heavyweight Randall “Tex” Cobb out of Texas, who trained at one time in Philadelphia, where I met him when trainer George Benton worked with him. Cobb was kicking the heavy bag at “Smokin” Joe Frazier’s North Broad Street Gym being a former kickboxer.

Cobb was in New Jersey in an event talking about when Renaldo Snipes fought Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes in Pittsburgh at the Civic Arena in November of 1991, and he beat Bernardo Mercado, which was a year before he lost to Holmes. He said how he was last to arrive at the press conference and looked at the all heavyweight boxers on the card at a table. He said, “look at this, some of the baddest nigxxx’s in the world at one table!” They all laughed, but Snipes jumped up and said, “I resent that, and when I’m done with Holmes, your next!” Cobb replied, “if we have to wait until you beat Holmes, we’ll never fight since you aren’t beating him, but we can get it on right now!” Snipes sat down without saying a word.

After the Mercado fight, Cobb stopped Jeff Shelburg at Resorts International in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in April of 1982. During the fight in a clinch on the television, I heard Cobb say, “we’ll have to get some beers after this one!”

Cobb was more than a club fighter, having stopped Earnie “The Black Destroyer” Shavers at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan, in August of 1980. In his next fight, he lost a split decision to Ken Norton at Hernis Fair Arena, San Antonio, in November of 1980.

Next, he lost a majority decision to Michael “Dynamite” Dokes at Caesars Palace’s Sports Pavilion, Las Vegas, Nevada, in March of 1981. Cobb was probably best known for losing to Holmes at the Astrodome, Houston, Texas, in November of 1982, losing all 15 rounds on two judge’s scorecards and winning one round on the other.

He took such a brutal beating Howard Cosell retired from commentating, to many being glad he did. Cobb said, “I had him, but I ran out of time,” and added, “Larry told me no way he would give me a rematch; his hands couldn’t take the abuse.”

Here are some comments from Ali:

“If you even dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize!”

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong!”

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark!”

That’s all, folks!

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