Category Archives: Obituaries

R.I.P. “KO-JO” Jack Obermayer

Before the weekend wraps up I’d like to say a final farewell to my old press row buddy Jack Obermayer, who passed away on June 25, 2016 at the age of 72 after a long bout with cancer. I liked KO-JO because he was an old school boxing writer with a passion for traveling to new and obscure places.

Unlike many boxing press who get “in” by kissing up to promoters and fluffing stories to get close to fighters – Jack was a true professional who was valued because he was not afraid to give an honest opinion. JO’s work was so well-regarded, he was honored with two Hall of Fame plaques (from New Jersey and Pennsylvania) over the course of his 50 year career, a rare feat for a writer.

I first met Jack in 2005 while ringside at the Blue Horizon. The old-timer was holding court at the press table between fights, telling us young bucks how Emile Griffith would beat anyone out there today.

Continue reading R.I.P. “KO-JO” Jack Obermayer

R.I.P. Muhammad Ali (1/17/42 – 6/3/16)

On June 3, 2016, former Heavyweight champion of the world Muhammad Ali passed away in a Phoenix-area hospital at the age of 74. This marks the end of a 32 year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Out of respect for the champ, I’d like to watch a good Muhammad Ali fight. Since I’m way too young to have seen “The Greatest” in his prime – I need some old school recommendations.

What are some of the best interviews, fights, TV clips etc to watch from the one many consider the G.O.A.T. of boxing?

Funeral services will take place in Ali’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky and will be open to the public.

Philly Boxing Legend Steve Traitz, Jr. Passes At 79

By Ken Hissner

On Tuesday April 26, 2016 longtime local boxing man Steve Traitz, Jr passed away after a long illness at the age of 79. Many people came into the BVD church in Trooper, PA to pay final respects to the man they loved and depended on. The attendees ranged from members of the Local 30 Roofers Union and friends from the boxing world which included Anthony Boyle, Chuck Diesel, Joe Hand Sr. and Jr.

The boxing end of Traitz story started in a barn on their property on Park Avenue in Trooper as the elder Traitz started training son’s Stevie III and Joey. He himself was a one-time professional boxer before becoming Business Manager of Local 30 Roofers.

Continue reading Philly Boxing Legend Steve Traitz, Jr. Passes At 79

R.I.P. Guru – 6 years ago today

R.I.P. Guru Who passed away six years ago today after a long battle with that bastard known as cancer. In my opinion one of the most underrated artists of our time. The Gangstarr catalog of music is much deeper than even the recognized best of his era. Maybe one day they will release some old material that is never been heard before. I’m sure there’s lots of it like around. What are some your favorite from the one known as Bald head slick and his DJ Primo?

R.I.P. O’Neill Bell

It was announced that former Cruiserweight champion O’Neill Bell died by gunfire in Atlanta on November 25, 2015. The ex-champ was 41 years old at his time of passing.

I’ll never forget the time “Supernova” pulled a come-from-behind 10th round knockout against Jean Marc Mormeck at Madison Square Garden. It was an ice-cold night in January of 2006, I was making my first ever visit to New York City. I was stationed in press at the Mecca of Boxing to witness a true Cruiserweight classic , covering the action for a now-defunct newspaper called Punch News.

With the victory, “Supernova” walked out with the WBA, WBC & IBF titles – becoming the first fighter to unify the titles since Evander Holyfield. This fight would mark his greatest night as a pro and his last big victory in the ring.

O'Neil Bell new unified Cruiserweight Champion

This rumble set the tune for the main event where an Argentinian no-name Carlos Baldomir burst onto the national scene by pulling a huge upset over 15-to-1 favorite Zab Judah to win the undisputed Welterweight crown.

The former world champion was 40-years-old at his time of passing.

R.I.P. Liz Sherman (7/10/80 – 10/27/15)

It is with deep regret that we announce the untimely passing of Elizabeth “Liz” Sherman, whose final day came on the morning of October 27, 2015 in South Carolina. The official cause of death was not specified by family members.

Liz leaves behind many friends and family who all took to social media to share great memories of the woman who bared a tattoo of “Warrior” on her shoulder.

Liz ShermanI had only one opportunity to meet Liz in person. It was a cold winter evening in 2010 at the now closed Club 222 North bar on South Street in Philly. I immediately liked her. Big smile, quick-witted and was willing to talk some boxing! What a gal…

Our meet up was during a press conference for an upcoming KEA boxing show to be held later that week. Liz was set to make her long-awaited Philadelphia debut. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the ferocity of this young featherweight when she stepped inside of the ring. This soft spoken lady didn’t stop throwing punches! It seemed like she had energy for days.

Over the years, we would infrequently keep in touch through social media. I always hoped to catch another one of her fights.

During her time competing as a professional fighter – she was trained by Joey Eye, briefly owned a gym on Passyunk Avenue and was considered like family at the Marion Anderson Boxing gym on south 17th street.

Liz Sherman Joey Eye

The 5′ 5″ firecracker turned pro in 2009, scoring a 1st round knockout win in her debut which took place in Anderson, Indiana.

After that night, Liz went on to compile a 4-3 record which included 2 knock-out victories. Over the course of her four-year career, Liz traveled to Detroit, North Bergen New Jersey, the PA Pocono Mountains and Dover Delaware to compete as one of the last full-time female contestants in the sport she loved.

If my facts are correct – Liz participated in Philadelphia’s last sanctioned female boxing match on February 26, 2010 when she earned a four round unanimous decision victory over Karen Dulin of Mystic, Connecticut.

Due to the lack of boxing shows in the area, Liz never received another opportunity to compete in Philadelphia and I never had a chance to chat with her in person again.

RIP Liz, gone too soon. I’ll miss seeing you in my MapMyFitness feed. Thanks for always “liking” my written work and workouts! My next long run is for you…

Please consider making a donation to help the family with funeral expenses.

liz gym

R.I.P to the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes

It is a sad day when I have to say RIP to the one and only “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes who died today at the age of 69. The son of a Texas plumber went on to be one of the All-Time Wrestling greats, cutting some of the best promos in the history of professional sports while building a resume that reads three time NWA Champion and WWE Hall of Famer. His feuds with Ric Flair & The Four Horseman were epic and his microphone skills were unmatched.

Take a minute to check out the legend at work in this promo titled “Hard Times”