Just before the September 28 Golden Boy Promotions press conference with Oscar De La Hoya at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York, I got the chance to speak with the premier boxing journalist of today, Bert Sugar. We had a great exchange.
I reminded Bert that we’d first met in May 2005 outside the press conference after Robin “Winky” Wright defeated Felix Trinidad at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. I was there to watch my old teammate, Will Grigsby, regain the IBF Junior Flyweight Championship with a decision over Victor Burgos of Tijuana, Mexico on the undercard. I had introduced myself to Sugar and explained who I am, to which he’d replied that he couldn’t get me into that press conference. I explained then that I wasn’t asking him to, but that as both a boxer and a writer I just wanted to meet him and express my admiration for his work. He was respectful and encouraging then, and it was a privilege and a pleasure to reintroduce myself to him in New York. And we also shared a friendly laugh during a light round of verbal sparring.
“I always wanted to find out what brand you smoked,” I said as he turned back from gifting a Partagas cigar, the second-to-last from a box he kept in his attaché, to De La Hoya.
“My favorite brand is spelled F-R-E-E,” he smiled.
“That’s my favorite four letter word starting with ‘F’,” I replied.
“I can think of a few more,” he shot back as the attentive segment of the press corps burst into laughter.
© Copyright 2010, Mark Connor