JD’s Life As A Prison Educator – Boxing & Prison: Myth or Reality? (Free of Charge)

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JD Morgan re-visits his passion for the Fight Game by comparing Boxing legends who have served time in custody and Hollywood portrayals of fighters in prisons and penitentiaries to the reality of what he witnessed in UK gaols when meeting with and chatting to former amateur, Olympic and professional boxers. The contrast is startling and somewhat surprising – given past cinematic representations of well-honed, fighting fit inmates, ready to bite down on their gumshield and take on all-comers. In contrast, JD offers the reader a rare window onto an exclusive world to which very few lovers of the Noble Art had access during the days when prison gyms still had punch bags. (3,200 words)

Description

“I could’a had class. I could’a been a contender. I could’a been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it.” This famous speech from a former boxer, prizefighter and hoodlum, Terry Malloy (played by Marlon Brando) – who sacrificed his chance for a shot at the title and ‘took a dive for the money’ – is when he opens up, emotionally, to his mob-connected brother, Charley (Rod Steiger) in Elia Kazan’s Oscar-winning film On The Waterfront (1954). But this was Hollywood, and the exploitation of boxers and ambitious, naïve and ‘innocent’ championship contenders has always been easy to link to the illegal betting syndicates and organised crime which has stalked this particular sport. In fact, famous champions, who have served time in custody, reads like a Who’s Who of World Boxing and reaches back as far as the first Black Heavyweight Champion, Jack Johnson (one year under the Mann Act), Jake The Raging Bull La Motta (six months on a chain gang), Charles Sonny Liston (five years), Muhammad Ali (a five-year sentence pending Appeal, plus $10,000 fine), Rubin Hurricane Carter (almost twenty years) and, more recently, Iron Mike Tyson (three years), Bernard Hopkins (over four years), Floyd Money Mayweather (two months) and Anthony ‘AJ’ Joshua (two weeks on ‘Remand’).

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