Thursday, 10 September 2015

Boxing News: Emile Griffith

The boxer and his boyfriend sat together on a train hurtling along the New York subway. Emile Griffith had pulled a hat down over his eyes. He was not in the mood to make eye contact with anyone just before the Saturday morning weigh-in for his world title fight that night, 24 April 1962, at Madison Square Garden. It would be the third time he’d face his bitter rival Benny “Kid” Paret – in a career which would eventually see him become one of the finest welterweight champions in history.

Griffith went on to fight 337 world championship rounds – 69 more than Muhammad Ali. But his place in the pantheon would be darkened forever by his tragic trilogy against Paret. He had lost his world title to Paret seven months previously. The Cuban had upset Griffith at the weigh-in to that bout by taunting him as a maric√≥n [“faggot”.] In boxing’s macho world there could be no greater insult – especially when it was an open secret that Griffith was “different”. It was not just that he spoke of his pleasure in designing pretty bonnets for ladies or could discuss the latest pillbox hat worn by Jackie Kennedy outside the White House...

Extract from an extract from A Man's Man: The Double Life Of Emile Griffith by Donald McRae on Guardian online.

Now read on.

Funny, Fagburn has always assumed all boxers were gayers...

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