Third Man in the Ring: 33 of Boxing's Best Referees and Their Stories

Third Man in the Ring: 33 of Boxing's Best Referees and Their Stories

by Michael Fitzgerald, Patrick J. Morley


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Officiating a professional boxing match can be a thankless job. When a match goes well, no one focuses on the referee. But when a controversy arises, everyone remembers the man who made the call. Third Man in the Ring explores the lives of thirty-three officials as they discuss what goes on inside the ropes and recount the disputes and clashes that have occurred when they worked at home and abroad. The referees share stories from the high-profile fights they worked, with such superstars as Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Larry Holmes, and Julio César Chávez. Readers will hear from Rudy Battle, the first ref to officiate a title fight in an Eastern bloc country, and Mills Lane, the third man during the infamous Mike Tyson/Evander Holyfield ear-biting match. Several officials reveal memorable moments such as arbitrating contests in nations experiencing civil unrest. One referee admits fearing for his life after disqualifying a hometown hero in front of a packed stadium, while another recalls his experience officiating in communist North Korea. Referees describe from experience the differences between officiating a boxing contest in a traditional ring versus the increasingly popular mixed martial arts events held in an octagon. Readers will also hear stories from refs who have “gone Hollywood,” consulting on film sets alongside such legends as Sylvester Stallone. An old boxing adage states, “The best referees are the ones no one knows are there.” Third Man in the Ring sheds much-needed light on these hardworking officials and their stories.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612342245
Publisher: Potomac Books
Publication date: 02/28/2013
Pages: 244
Sales rank: 380,751
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

MIKE FITZGERALD has authored five previous boxing books, including former heavyweight champion Ken Norton’s Going the Distance (2000) and boxing’s knockout leader Archie Moore’s biography, The Ageless Warrior (2004). Fitzgerald has been a licensed professional boxing judge since 1992 and has officiated title bouts in several states and abroad, including Australia, South Africa, and North Korea. He lives in Janesville, Wisconsin, with his wife, Deb; his son, Ross; and his daughter, Allie.

Table of Contents

Foreword David Hudson vii

Foreword Harold Lederman xi

Foreword Tim Lueckenhoff xiii

Acknowledgments xv

1 Phil Austin 1

2 Rudy Battle 7

3 Kenny Bayless 13

4 Robert Byrd 17

5 Frank Cappuccino 23

6 Eddie Cotton 29

7 Vic Drakulich 35

8 Benjy Esteve5 39

9 Howard John Foster 47

10 Frank Garza 53

11 Wayne Kelly 59

12 Mills Lane 67

13 Sparkle Lee 73

14 John McCarthy 79

15 Bruce McTavish 85

16 Denny Nelson 95

17 Mark Nelson 103

18 Randy Neumann 109

19 John O'brien 117

20 Luis Pabon 123

21 Carlos Padilla 127

22 Pete Podgorski 133

23 Roberto Ramirez 139

24 Rafael Ramos 145

25 Jack Reiss 151

26 Celestino Ruiz 159

27 Pat Russell 165

28 Gerald Scott 169

29 Steve Smoger 177

30 Richard Steele 185

31 Mickey Vann 191

32 Tony Weeks 199

33 Sam Williams 205

About The Authors 211

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Third Man in the Ring: 33 of Boxing's Best Referees and Their Stories 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book, an in depth analysis of some of boxing's top referees, both active and (some) retired. Being from Detroit, a city with a great tradition, it was enjoyable to read about two referees I have seen many times Frank Garza and Sam Williams. I have had a chance to chat with both about boxing. After reading this book, you get a little glimpse into their life and what makes them love the sport of boxing. I have found many boxers and referees to be pretty solid guys outside of the ring, easy to approach. This book is like a good conversation on boxing with some solid boxing people