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Mancini vs. Kim: Re-visiting a classic and tragic war

Before he left South Korea to challenge Ray Mancini for the world lightweight title, Duk-Koo Kim promised his pregnant fiance that one of them would die in the fight. He punctuated that prediction with two additional symbols of his intent — a coffin he kept next to the ring during training camp, and a lampshade he brought with him to Las Vegas embossed with an ominous message written in Korean.

What happened in the ring at Caesars Palace 37 years ago changed the lives of both fighters, Kim’s mother, and referee Richard Green.

The story of the infamous and tragic Kim-Mancini fight is one of multiple stories told by Dr. Jonathan Gelber in a sensational new sports book, entitled “Tiger Woods’ Back and Tommy John’s Elbow: Injuries and Tragedies that Transformed Careers, Sports, and Society.”

Dr. Gelber, a sports medicine doctor and orthopedic surgeon, joins us this week for an in-depth preview of his book, which also delves into Lyle Alzado’s belief that steroid use caused his malignant brain tumor, the deaths of college basketball superstars Len Bias and Hank Gathers, the fatal crashes of auto racing legends Ayrton Senna and Dale Earnhardt Sr., the NFL’s obsession with protecting its star quarterbacks, how Tiger Woods’ “perfect” swing destroyed his spine and diminished his career, the elbow surgery that saved Tommy John and countless baseball players who followed, and much more.

This is the interview with our featured guest. To listen to The Ringside Boxing Show in its entirety, visit this link: https://thegruelingtruth.com/?s=ringside+boxing+show

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Dennis Taylor (host), Travis Hartman, Rizwaan Zahid and John J. Raspanti (expert analysts), and Christopher James Shelton (boxing historian).

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  Ray Mancini  confesses to feeling unworthy of his June induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, an honor he achieved despite fighting only 5 1/2 years as a pro, during which he won the WBA lightweight championship.

But Mancini also managed to capture the attention of an entire nation of boxing fans while hoisting a very depressed Midwestern city on his shoulders in the process.

The legend known as "Boom Boom" joined us Sunday to reminisce about his remarkable life and career that took him from Youngstown, Ohio to the pinnacle of the sports world in the early 1980s.

Our expansive conversation with Mancini is preceded by the expert analysis of Rizwan Zahid and John J. Raspanti, who break down Timothy Bradley's spectacular domination of Brandon Rios, Vasyl Lomachenko's latest HBO boxing clinic, and the possible Freddie Roach-Julio Cesar Chavex Jr. reunion.

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Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini was arguably the most-popular boxer of his era -- an underdog who was the son of an underdog from Youngstown, Ohio, a city on the ropes. This is a replay of an interview we did with the former world champ and World Boxing Hall of Famer -- a classic and revealing conversation about his life and career.

This is the second half of our March 23, 2014 show.

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 Ray Mancini emerged from Youngstown, Ohio -- a steel town reeling from plant closures at the time -- to become a blue-collar symbol of hope. He fought Alexis Arguello to a dead heat for 12 rounds, then lost by TKO in 14, in his first world title fight at age 20. He won the lightweight crown a year later, and held it for two years. His love for his dad -- an ex-fighter who lost his chance on a WWII battlefield -- became one of the most-compelling backstories of the era.

 Our time with "Boom Boom' was way too short on the June 2, 2013 edition of The Ringside Boxing Show, but the conversation was sensational. Enjoy.

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