So I am sitting at the computer, doing some work on a Sunday, because in journalism/media/reporting, the news cycle is pretty much 24-7. The beasts, the websites and social media accounts, they always need feeding.
Maybe I feed them too much, I plead guilty. But, regardless….I did chores, I scrubbed the hell out of the bathroom, swept and mopped, while the wife went to a networking brunch with a pal, the youngest went with Auntie to a museum and the older one went up the block to hang with her adopted lil sis.
It’s me and the dog and the cats, and the mama cat we’re fostering, with her four kittens. It’s quiet.
I get a DM, it’s one of the guys who fought on the card Murphy’s Boxing had in Melrose, Mass. on Friday, which streamed on Facebook Fightnight Live.
Joe Farina messages me: “Can’t mention South Boston fighters during the broadcast and not mention Danny Long.”
Noted…I plumbed the depths of my brain, trying to recall Danny Long. Was he active in the 80s, I asked.
Indeed he was; it comes back to me. I know the name not from having seen him in action but from fight posters in the old Somerville Boxing Club. The South Boston fixture Long fought Mark Mainero, from East Boston, twice. In February and then again in April of 1983.
Long won via SD10 in the first one, UD10 in the sequel. Those were two of six straight wins before he battled Robbie Sims in ’84, losing via SD12 in Brockton, Mass. It was Long’s final pro fight. He’s been in the Boston PD for a long spell now, I believe. On that card, 2-1 Mike Ohan fought and beat Steve Jefferson, debuting, at middleweight.
In Melrose, Mike Ohan Jr. went to 9-0 with a MD6 win over Shakha Moore. Shoulda been UD, but judges gonna judge through cloudy lenses, so what else is knew. And Joe Farina, for the record, scored a TKO3 win over Carlos Galindo at Memorial Hall.
Back to Danny Long…”The Robbie Sims fight was a screwjob, they (gave him the win) because he’s Marvin Haglers’ brother at (the fight card was held) in Brockton,” Farina said. Indeed, Hagler called Brockton home and the bouts occurred at Massasoit Community College in Brockton. Billy Connelly, Ray Delicio and Don O’Neill turned in cards that favored Robbie. I looked to see what my eyes would tell me, but no luck. Nothing on YouTube. Farina says he doesn’t know of any footage floating about. He said he saw the fight on aVHS tape.
That got me thinking….
In this era, we tend to think that everything is on YouTube. Everything isn’t. Companies and organizations and people with massive tape libraries do not often want to spend the time and money to digitize the content. And so you have fights like Sims vs. Long that a few people might like to see. More than a few…
Now, no, not the numbers YouTube likes. Not the numbers that make it worth it for ESPN to send their boxes of tapes to a digitizing firm…Or, for that matter, HBO to do the same. But there are so many VHS tapes, and for that matter, so many reels of film, which SHOULD be available more widely to watch. Am I wrong?
So here’s what I’m proposing. Let’s get this project started. Let’s get cooking on getting some of these old tapes transferred to DVD, rendered into digital form, so we can load them onto a dedicated YouTube page/channel. Then, let’s give the fights some context, set the table with back stories and such. In other words, let’s give these fights, and these fighters some of the benefits of the technology that we enjoy today. No reason these memories, these exploits residing in minds and memories, shouldn’t be distributed freely. You in?