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Lou DiBella remembers Johnny Bos

New York City-based promoter Lou DiBella has also weighed in on the life of Johnny Bos.

This hit me hard. He was an everyday part of my life for so long, much less in FLA., but I still knew he was there and there were occasional late night bullshit sessions. He’s why I know the sport better than other promoters; he was a teacher. And he prepared me for the bullshit and corruption. I loved his conspiracy theories and grew to believe he was more spot on than nuts…though he was nuts in a good way.

He said he was dying for over a decade and he did so many bizarre self diagnoses and medicating, but I figured he’d outlive most of us.

Bos, the Bosman, the Legend, the Legendary Johnny Bos, the Wizard of Bos… by any name, an all time great who should have been honored by the BWAA, who should probably be in the HOF, who should still be in his filthy little apartment in NYC! Most important, he was a kind, gentle and compassionate soul. To quote the Grateful Dead, ” May the fore winds blow him safely home.” Hard to get out of bed right now.

There needs to be a proper send off in NY, a Bosfest II at Jimmy’s Corner, sharing the stories, the laughs, the boxing folklore. He deserves that. He’ll be there.

I’ve literally shed tears the last 24 hours, but not only for Bos, but for a time past, a business that is fast losing its character and its characters. This is a sport, and more a business, that is in an ongoing process of losing its soul, it’s collegiality, its goodness.

Futch, Gavin, Dundee, Neiman, Sugar, Kimball, Nick Charles, Frazier, Lorraine Chargin, Manny Steward, nearly all print journalism…gone. I used to attend all the boxing cards I could, even if I wasn’t involved. I wasn’t Jack Obermayer, but I once loved this world. It’s just not the same anymore.

There aren’t the dinners before and after fights with everyone involved, there’s less respect for the game, for the match ups, for the future. There’s more hate and disloyalty and negative energy. Less fun and celebration and sense of community exists than when I started.

I’m 53 next week and I’ve now spent half my life in this sport. It’s more than economics that caused a Flash Gordan and a Mike Trainor to disappear, that led a Bos to move back to Clearwater.

I will always love this game, but it’s not what it was and the climate keeps getting meaner. It’s tiring… It takes a toll.

What has this business become? Where have you gone Johnny Bos?




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