Cutman Was Boxing's "Good Guy"
I am writing this article because I visited the International Boxing Hall of Fame recently and when I came away I realized there was something missing.
My connection to the sport of boxing.
You see, I had a special connection to the sport. One of my best friend's father was a giant in the game.
If I told you his name you may not recognize it, and that would have suited him just fine. He was never one for the spotlight. He let the game of boxing and the fighters take that. But there may not have been a spotlight had it not been for Al's dedication and craft.
There was no one - I mean no one - that was more well-liked and more respected than cornerman/cutman Al Gavin. He was boxing's premiere gentleman, a saint to the four-round fighter and a saviour to many champions.
He gave more fighters opportunities than any living being can account for. According
to his son Al Jr, it is estimated that he climbed through the ropes in over 3,000 professional fights and nearly 7,000 amateur bouts.
Martin Snow of the Trinity Boxing Club said "I was fortunate in that I started, and ended, my fighting career in two of the best clubs ever‚ Gleason's and the Gramercy Gym.
I saw firsthand the dedication that Bruce Silverglade and my old trainers Bob Jackson and the late, great Al Gavin put into their clubs.
They worked long, thankless hours so that fighters and their trainers would have a place to box. Without guys like them, there would be no boxing."
In his 57 year career in boxing, Al worked the corner in 110 world title fights.
As part-owner of the Gramercy Gym in NYC and later as a staple at Gleason's, his clientele ranged from club fighters and golden glovers to celebrities and world champions, such as Lennox Lewis and Oscar de la Hoya.
His best work may have come during the grueling Arturo Gatti-Mickey Ward trilogy, continually patching Ward up round after round, keeping him fightworthy.
In 1999, Al and his long-time gym partner Bob Jackson received the prestigious James J. Walker Award for "Long and Meritorious Service to Boxing."
Al passed away on July 8th, 2004.
He has yet to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY.
For more information on Al Gavin visit http://thecutman.blogspot.com/