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Bert Sugar on Four Letter Word Cigars at Gleason’s Gym

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.
Mark Connor
© Copyright 2010, Mark Connor

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