By David L. Hudson Jr.
Former professional heavyweight boxer Floyd “Jumbo” Cummings — best known for holding “Smokin” Joe Frazier to a 10-round draw in 1981 — lost his latest legal bout recently when a federal judge rejected his $50-million lawsuit against ESPN Classic. In June 2008, Cummings filed a lawsuit in a state court in Randolph County, Illinois, alleging that ESPN Classic — the arm of sports giant ESPN that airs past sporting events — violated his rights by re-broadcasting Cummings’ December 1981 fight against Frazier, the former heavyweight champion. Cummings contended that ESPN Classic violated his rights under the Illinois Right of Publicity Act by using his name for commercial purposes without permission. For its part, ESPN denied ever showing a replay of the 1981 bout. (More)