Ray Arcel: A Boxing Biography

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He was a superlative human being in my opinion who boxing was very fortunate to have. What you want is a trainer who takes an interest in the fighter that goes above and beyond his own interest, but who really cares about the person he is charged with to train and prepare to compete in a very dangerous profession.

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Most of us who write about boxing never mention its inherent dangers. It might be because it might be misconstrued as being overly critical. Be that as it may, Arcel, whose heart was as open as his mind, respected the fighters as much as they respected them. Or as journalist W. Not because he was a better trainer than everyone else. He was not. He was not the best technical trainer in the world. He understood boxing. He was a good overall strategist. His main strengths were in conditioning the athlete and his work in the corner.

But Ray Arcel above and beyond anything else, looked out for the health and well-being of his fighter.

Because we generally focus on knockout artists and ring generals, rather than the hobbyists and infantrymen who populate the sport, we tend to gloss over the fact that the vast majority of former fighters are not in good shape. But I knew Ray Arcel personally and he was just a wonderful gentleman, courteous, not egotistical in any way.

Ray Arcel Interview with Dick Cavett (Part 2)

I always admired him, never spoke to him before, and just made a cold call about doing an article for Ring Magazine in the early s. He invited me to his home, gave me all the time I needed, and he could not have been more gracious and helpful.

The Career of Roberto Durán

Being gentlemanly in boxing is an anomaly. That may sound extreme, but boxing, whose roots are a given, is nothing if not extreme.


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Those with manners often use them to veil their treachery. There are of course blessed exceptions, one of whom was Ray Arcel, whose politesse was the stuff of legend. He saved the sport, in my opinion, in the sense that there was so much bad in it and so many awful characters outside the ring, as we know, that to have somebody like this in the sport—he would be a credit to any profession he entered. His character and conscience made him someone you were glad was in the sport.

Ray Arcel, although he was real, was like this fictional character that was there from the beginning, when boxing was just entering its golden age. He came into the sport as a year-old boxer in He came into adulthood when Jack Dempsey won the heavyweight championship from Jess Willard.

He became a trainer about the same time that Dempsey defeated Carpentier. He was a semi-pro boxer early on but felt that his main strength was as a teacher and he participated in almost every major fight, especially if it took place in New York, which most of the major fights did.

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But he also traveled around the country and seemed to be everywhere. His first champion was Frankie Genaro in , and by he was considered one of the best trainers in the world and was in great demand. He lived the entire length of this sport. You could say boxing began and ended with Ray Arcel. When Ray Arcel was attacked in it made news, in part because boxing made news in those days. Training professional fighters and caring for them the way he did takes a lot out of a person. It can be very frustrating and emotionally draining.

Ray Arcel : A Boxing Biography - camaslaweb.tk

He wanted a change. He took a job in private industry and was out of the business for five or six years. And then he saw Ezzard Charles beat Charley Burley twice and was so amazed at the incredible talent of Ezzard Charles that he wanted to be involved in training this super fighter.

But Charles was soon drafted into the army and did not fight again for nearly three years.

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He got a sponsor and he promoted boxing the way you want to see boxing promoted. No favorites. He had no connection to the boxers whatsoever. He had no promotional contracts with them. His whole idea was to develop fighters in competitive matches, bring them back, move them up, and not ruin one fighter at the expense of another.

He developed Carmen Basilio that way. He developed Billy Graham that way. Copyright Disclaimer:This site does not store any files on its server. We only index and link to content provided by other sites. Four Cornered Giant By Scott A Kallick Ray Arcel cast a long shadow over an often very dark sport during his seventy years as a trainer to some of the finest fighters ever to lace up the gloves.

His shadow was one of basic decency, a strategic mastery and an unmitigated concern for his fighters. Arcel's approach was to validate his fighters by being involved in every facet of their hard profession. That meant being part psychologist, part warden, part boxing savant. He did the tasks with a disciplinarian's rectitude.

Ray Arcel: A Boxing Biography

In his book "The Sweet Science," A. Liebling wrote that "Arcel is severe and decisive, like a teacher in a Hebrew school. Consider his handling of Rosenberg, who won the bantamweight crown in When Rosenberg got his title shot, against Cannonball Martin, he was 39 pounds above the pound bantamweight limit and had only three months to make the weight. Arcel dogged the fighter during that period, leaving him no margin for slacking off.

Arcel, a former high school cross-country runner, did roadwork with Rosenberg. He cooked his meals. At night, when the weary fighter went to sleep, Arcel retired in an adjoining bed. When Rosenberg would go to the bathroom to gargle water, Arcel would follow. Rosenberg later promised, "After this fight I'm going to kill Arcel and throw myself in a tub of ice water. But fighters like Rosenberg would amend their dark mutterings once victory was theirs: the tyrant-trainer would become a redeeming figure.


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  7. And years later they would appreciate him for what he inculcated in them beyond the ring. As Soose said at a dinner honoring Arcel: "He not only taught me boxing, he taught me values. Arcel was more than a taskmaster, though. He had a genius for devising the right battle plan for his fighters. For instance, when Alfonso Frazer was to fight an Argentine, Nicolino Loche, for the junior welterweight title in Panama in , Arcel had no idea of what strategy would work because he had never seen Loche fight.

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