I hope you will enjoy the tales shared with you in my new book - Mat Tales: True Stories from the Bizarre & Brutal world of Pro Boxing. Foreword by former WBA Heavyweight Champion - Mike Weaver.
It is in the final editing process, and should be available very soon.
|Foreword written by: Mike Weaver (WBA Heavyweight Champion)|
Boxing is by far my favorite sport. I have been enjoying “the fights” since I was a young boy growing up in South Gate, California. I would like to share with you the story of how I became so involved in this awesome sport.
Even before that historic fight, I watched “Boxing from the Olympic” On Los Angeles’ Channel 13 with my Dad many times. I honestly can’t tell you who all of the fighters were that we watched. I do remember a few of those names from the Los Angeles boxing scene at the time. “Lanky” Al Stankie, Ray “Windmill” White, Arturo “Tury the fury” Pineda are three that come to mind. Lesser known, but I didn’t know enough about the game to foresee greatness, or a journeyman career for any of them. I just liked their nicknames. And if Dad liked ‘em, I liked ‘em.
|The place that started a lifelong passion for boxing!|
|Ed & Dan - Lifelong friends with a love of boxing!|
I quietly carried my love of the game with me through adolescence and into adulthood.
|Dan Cushner, James Buddy McGirt, and Dan in 2002|
|Toby Smith tuned in!|
|A funny little article from the Albuquerque sports page.|
|Dan with a 17 year old amateur - Danny Romero Jr.|
Danny’s father also provided me with a whole library of great amateur fights for the show. Johnny Tapia was returning to the ring wars, and he was always there for me to do an interview, or show some of his old amateur fights any time I asked him. He never said “no” to anything I requested. Rudy Lovato, Sean McClain, Daniel Perez, and so many other exciting local boxers. I can’t name them all, but the local fighters were always featured on the show.
|Dan does a post fight interview with pro boxer Jayla Ortiz & her manger Dan Cushner in 2006|
Being a featured writer for PBU/Flash was very prestigious in those days, and it opened a lot of doors for me in the world of professional boxing. Remember, these were the days before the internet. There were no websites, no cell devices, no tweeting, no YouTube or Facebook. Paper, Radio and TV were the kings of media. Ring and KO Magazines may have had more subscribers, but for those in the boxing industry, PBU/Flash was #1.
The promoter had seen me do broadcasts of boxing events on public access channel 27, so he hoped I would do it. I had only a matter of hours to try to fit into one of my Dad’s suits, and head over to the State Fairgrounds for the broadcast. I was excited, and a little apprehensive. Real TV? With no time to prepare myself? But there was no way I was going to say “no” to a chance like this. Boxing was calling on me, I had to give it a shot. I was matched up with New Mexico’s “Mr. Boxing” – the late Stan Gallup and after a quick combing of the hair, and cliff notes version of what I was to do, we were called up into the ring, handed a bout sheet, and a microphone. They started a countdown, and we began the broadcast. I can’t help but laugh at myself every time I see the tape of that night, in a borrowed suit about 2 sizes too big for me, and talking off of the top of my head. The boxing action was exciting that night, and that made up for the thrown together at the last minute broadcast team. I guess I didn’t do that bad, I was kept on as Henry Tafoya’s color commentator for many more shows after that!
|Henry Tafoya & Dan doing an intro at the State Fairgrounds|
|Doing a broadcast in Las Vegas, NM|
|A wonderful night with my Son - Daniel at Albuquerque Toughman fights.|
Video of Memorial 10-Count for Daniel & Congressman Steve Schiff
Something like that means a lot to a grieving father who loves the sport like I do. The boxing community really came together to support me during that time. Andy Rivera had won the state golden gloves in the heavyweight division, and I was honored when he had the medal engraved and gave it to our family in honor of Daniel. What a tribute!
|Andy Rivera had his NM Golden Gloves Championship Medal engraved and given to my family in honor of our late Son - Daniel. A great honor!|
|2002 with World Champion Johnny Tapia|
|Clip from an interview used in the HBO Documentary: TAPIA|
In November of 2013, I created a blog called “The Boxing Guru’s Hall of Fame”. It features the lesser known warriors of boxing who are not household names, but are no less awesome warriors of the great sport of boxing. You are invited to check it out: www.guruofboxing.blogspot.com - You just might see some names you recognize there!