Keeping It Right

Keeping It Right is for thought provoking conversationist. It's for those who love to talk about today's issues, yesterday's history and tomorrow's future.

Location: Moreno Valley, CA

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Twenty-five years is a long time to carry burden..

Ray Borges

Bob Arum wouldn't take the word of his longtime matchmaker, Bruce Trampler, when the subject of Duk Koo Kim and Ray Mancini first came up.

It's not that he didn't trust him; it's just that the pain was still too deep, even 25 years later, to take a chance.

Some scars never fade. The death of Kim was like that, a sad moment that happened in the past but which never disappeared. Twenty-five years is a long time to carry a memory, especially a leaden one, but the man who promoted Kim's last fight still needed to hear from Mancini himself before he'd release the film of that fight for use in a documentary on the former lightweight champion that will air Tuesday night.

After all, who wanted to relive that again?

If you were at ringside that hot afternoon behind Caesars Palace, the sun beating down and Mancini beating up a brave Korean fighter who had wrongly been named the No. 1 contender in the world for the lightweight title Mancini held, did you need to see the replay? When sadness like that has washed up against you, you don't need a video to remind you how it felt.
Arum, who had denied the film's release for all those years, told Trampler that if Mancini wanted to ask for the film's release, he needed to hear it from Mancini himself.

"I told Ray after that fight I would never, ever release the film and I intended to follow that," Arum said last week. "Then Ray asked me to … I did, but I don't think it's something I really relish seeing again."

What happened on the sunny afternoon of Nov. 13, 1982, would change the lives of both fighters and the future of boxing. By the time it was over, Kim lay in a coma from which he would never awaken, dying five days later at the Desert Springs Hospital in Las Vegas.

Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini was never Boom Boom again. Maybe one small boom but seldom boom boom and never, ever Boom Boom. Never the same package of aggressiveness he'd been.

Those days were over.

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