Remembering Eddie Perkins By Antonio Santiago, Doghouse Boxing (July 30, 2012) Doghouse Boxing - Tweet
By Antonio Santiago, Doghouse Boxing. - A few weeks ago, more specifically during the Danny Garcia - Amir Khan
slugfest, it came to my attention that the fight was being dedicated to
the memories of, among others, Eddie Perkins. Sad to say but in today’s
age of the internet, Sportscenter and the 24 hour news ticker, that is
the only place where I have heard of the death of this member of the
International Boxing Hall of Fame. Now, when Archie Moore died……well,
Perkins hasn’t even been mentioned by ESPN’s Friday Night Fights
telecasters, and I know because I watch that show religiously.
who died on May 10th, at age 75, suffered from dementia and diabetes.
He had accomplished in boxing many times over what others have done. His
record in professional boxing reads at 74-20-1, with 21 knockout wins,
but behind those numbers is the fact that Perkins fought everyone in his
era, everywhere around the world. Perkins was a world traveler, and he
fought (in order of fights having taken place) in Mexico, Venezuela,
Italy, France, the Philippines, Japan, Jamaica, Canada, Colombia,
Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Ecuador, England, South Africa, Argentina,
Brazil, Denmark, Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Australia and
Germany. He also fought in his adopted home-state of Illinois as well as
in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Ohio, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania,
Florida, California, Indiana, New Mexico, Louisiana, Nevada, Hawaii,
Arizona and Colorado during his career. One wonder is why he was never
able to fight at New York, because he would have probably filled even
the Madison Square Garden to capacity. And Delta Airlines must be
thankful that they did not have their frequent flier program when
Perkins was active, because the way he flew to so many places, he’d
flown for free with them many, many, many times. It should be also
noted that in some places like Illinois, Arizona, Mexico, Austria and
Venezuela, to name but a few, Perkins fought so many times that he could
have been considered the home fighter.
And the quality of
opponents in Perkins’ record is just as amazing. Managed by all time
great and former world Featherweight champion Johnny Coulon, Perkins
faced 16-1-1 Norman Johnson in his first bout, on December 27th, 1956 in
Milwaukee. Fighting a guy with only one loss in 18 bouts in your
debut!! Gee!! Yet Perkins showed promise already, going the 6 round
distance with Johnson. Five fights later, Perkins faced 12-0 Solomon
Boyson, also losing by decision in six.
Perkins learned on the
job and as his opponent’s quality improved, so did his showings. After
losing to 10-0 Cecil Shorts by ten round decision, he cut Shorts short
by a second round knockout in their rematch. Next, he outpointed Frankie
Ryff, knocked out Baby Vazquez, lost to Lahouari Godith by split
decision, outpointed Paul Armstead and Hilario Morales, and then he lost
to Alfredo Urbina, considered one of the greatest Mexican fighters to
never win a world title, by a knockout in seven, in what marked his
debut at the country of Juarez, Cantinflas, Chespirito, Veronica Castro
and “JC Superstar” Chavez. Perkins proceeded by beating Larry Boardman.
He next crushed 11-1 Chico Rollins in six rounds, beat Paolo Rossi,
knocked out Joey Lopes in seven, and defeated Gene Gresham, who was
27-1-1, before losing to pesky LC Morgan by decision.
Perkins ventured to Caracas, Venezuela, where he upset local favorite
Carlos “Morocho” Hernandez, 20-0-3 at the time, by ten round unanimous
decision., Hernandez would later become Venezuela’s first world champion
and he and Perkins were not done yet. But after a win over Mauro
Vazquez in Mexico, Perkins traveled to Italy to receive his first world
title try, a crack at the world Junior Welterweight title the great
Duilio Loi had taken from the also great Carlos Ortiz. The first but
between Perkins and Loi is remembered for being, in fact, so boring,
that the referee stepped aside once and did pantomime imitating a
matador killing a bull, to the public’s amusement. That aside, the 15
round draw the fight ended up being must have tasted a bit like victory
to Perkins since the fight was held at Loi’s home turf. Except that
Perkins still had no belt for that “moral triumph”. Two more wins
included one over Mel Middleton, and then Loi and Perkins rematched,
once again in Italy. This time, Perkins was a bit more aggressive and he
became world champion by beating Loi by a 15 round unanimous decision.
Loi, ohne of the most underrated fighters in boxing history, had a
record of 114-3-8 and so he received a rematch with the new champion,
and Perkins lost to Loi in their third and final installment by a close
decision in 15 rounds. It should be noted that each of the Perkins-Loi
fights took place at Loi’s hometown of Milan. Loi retired as the all
time great he was, and Perkins faced that tough little man who fought
everybody himself, Angel “Robinson” Garcia, beating him by decision at
Paris, and then he fought Roberto Cruz, the hard hitting Filipino who
had won the world Junior Welterweight title from Harold Gomes, the man
who conquered the championship left vacant by Loi. On June 15th, 1963,
Perkins became a world champion for the second time by defeating Cruz by
unanimous decision in 15 rounds at Manila, Philippines.
retained the title against fighters of the quality of Joey Limas,
Yoshinori Takayashi and Bunny Grant, who was attempting to become
Jamaica’s first world boxing champion, before losing it to Hernandez,
who in turn used his title try to become Venezuela’s first, in a
rematch of their ten round bout of 1961. He knocked Limas out in ten and
outpointed Takayashi and Grant before being defeated by Hernandez on
points. Perkins then faced Jose “Mantequilla” Napoles, losing by
decision in ten at Chihuahua, Mexico. He beat Kenny Lane, lost to Lennox
Beckles, outpointed Adolph Pruitt and lost to the great defensive
fighter, fellow IBHOF member Nicolino Locche in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
wins followed against Pruitt and Angel Garcia, before he twice faced
Joao Henrique. The Brazilian top level fighter, drawing in ten and
losing a close decision to him. Lion Furuyama, Clyde Gray and future
world champion Pedro Adique then joined the growing list of notables
beaten by this flying bug of a fighter. Having lost a rematch to Bunny
Grant, Perkins went to Austria, where he put 27-2-1 prospect Johann
Orsolics in his place by knocking him out in four, before traveling to
my nation of Puerto Rico and outpointing the smooth future world
Welterweight champion Angel “Cholo” Espada over ten rounds at San Juan.
if that was not enough, towards the end of his career, Perkins had the
double achievement of twice defeating the ferocious and younger Armando
“Mando” Muniz by decision in California. Muniz was a Latin and Los
Angeles favorite who gave Carlos Palomino and Jose Napoles hell in four
abortive world title tries. Perkins then lost to Rocky Mattioli, before
retiring with three more losses.
As incredible as it might
sound, with all those great names put together, in his career, Perkins
was only stopped once in 95 bouts!!!
A champion like him, deserves to be always remembered! Here’s to you, old champ and may you rest in peace!!
I would like to dedicate this article to the 12 people who lost their
lives in the Aurora, Colorado, theater massacre. Jonathan Blunk, 26,
Alexander Boik, 18, Jesse Childress, 29, Gordon Cowden, 51, Jessica
Ghawi, 24, John Larimer, 27, Matt McQueen, 27, Micayla Medek, 22,
Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6, Alex Sullivan, 27, Alexander C. Teves, 24
and Rebecca Wingo, 32, all also deserved to be remembered forever. May
you all also rest in pace and remember that we will never forget you).
Please send all Questions and comments to Antonio at TJ69662094@aol.com. Visit the IMPROVED Doghouse Boxing Forums (Login with your Facebook or Twitter account - Now Mobile, Ipad, Blackberry, Android & YouTube Friendly) DogPound