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Showing posts from October, 2015

Asthmatic Weakling Writes Book on Prizefighting in Portland

It is true, an asthmatic weakling, who used to regularly give up his lunch money as tribute to bullies, has written a book on prizefighting. Not only this, History Press has just published it! Oregon Prizefighters: Forgotten Bare-knuckles Champions of Portland and Astoria, will hit the shelves on Monday.

What was it that made someone like me, born without the “sports gene,” to become interested in the bare-knuckles prizefighting of yesteryear? It was the people: brash, na├»ve youths, wracked by passions, ruined by limelight. Then there is the model Portlander, Dave Campbell, for many years “Our Dave,” beloved chief of the Portland fire department. He was self-educated, intelligent, measured, and fearless, and gave up a sure championship career as a boxer to fight Portland’s fires. Add to the mix the original all-time champion, Jack “Nonpareil” Dempsey (died 1895), and “Mysterious” Billy Smith—both legends in the world of boxing history—and you soon begin to wonder why these fellows are…