09-27-2007, 10:55 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Robbie Lawler bandwagon
Found a pretty cool article on my grandfather
The guy's hair was fringing grey; he hadn't had a pro fight in six years, but he was calmly lacing on his boxing shoes in the hot, sweaty dressing room. He was Vincent E. Witt, a lieutenant in the United States Army.
The rugged youth he was to fight in a few minutes sat on a bench a few feet away, slapping his gloves together, eyeing him with a slight smile; he was one of the nation's top welterweight challengers of he day.
It was only to be a Red Cross exhibition, but the veteran Witt knew his opponent was remembering an angry shove he'd given him a few months ago in one of the gyms. Now he'd been talked into the ring with him, and the kid was waiting. Outweighed at least 15 pounds he realized the two-minute rounds they had agreed to would be plenty.
Witt climbed up under the bright lights. He'd had 28 professional fights before the war and won them all; he still knew his was around. But the fresh kid was in his prime, and only after dropping to the canvas in the first round did he begin to gain respect for the graying veteran. Their controlled but spirited flurries kept the audience roused until the final bell when both boxers dropped wearily through the ropes. Officially it was no decision.
This was right after World War II. Assigned recently to Wurzburg Military Post now- Captain Vincent E. Witt proudly retains souvenir photos of that bout on his glass-topped desk. With is also are (Can't read the word) of some of the top fighters he coached at Fort Dix, N.J. From 1946-1950, and in one of the pictures Gen Omar Bradley is shown presenting him an award after an outstanding season. Witt's squads, in fact, were 1st Army champs during all five years at Dix.
The best was Tommy Collins, a tough Boston Battler, who only last month, though he was stopped later in the bout, dropped feather king Sandy Addler to the canvas for the first time in the champ's career.
Only three years ago Witt himself put on gloves against this same Collins. A mobbed ringside cheered the coach's pupil that afternoon as the boy followed his every opening, though it was only intended to be an exhibition match. But Witt, landing overhand rights to the shoulder in every exchange, began taking a slow toll. At the end of 3 grueling rounds the kid suddenly turned, walked out of the ring. out of the gym, and strolled down the street to the infirmary; there they found he had a dislocated shoulder.
Witt began his amateur career as a bantamweight in Baltimore fight clubs, losing only two of over 50 bouts; after touring ro he moved up the scale to the lightweight and welterweight divisions. He still remembers his first purse of thirty-five dollars, though it was only a prelude to the feature bouts he later had in New York's St. Nick's Arena and the Boston Garden. Undefeated as a ro from 1937-1939, he was moving up the ladder fast under the moniker of Irish Eddie Dunne, when an injury interrupted his campaign.
Witt's nose was splattered across his face during a slugging match which, actually he won very easily; but it sidelined him for three months. His new nose was then re broken in his comeback attempt; and though he won by a knockout, it was his last pro fight.
After recovering late in '39 Witt joined the army on the advice of his former manager; shipped to Panama, he fought frequently there until 1943. Later during the war he served through Western Europe earning a battlefield commission in the Ruhr in 1945.
After his noteworthy reign as 1st Army boxing coach the next five years, Witt returned to Germany a winter ao to Berlin. There the lure of the ring soon had him developing such EUCOM standouts as Carlo Fusco and Nick Georgiade of the powerful Berlin Post Team.
When not burning up the roads to the EUCOM finals in Furth this week, Witt was looking Keenly forward to next year's boxing season. The sport is in his blood; and already he has singled out Wurzburg's Wray Chambers as a comer, predicting that he could be the best in EUCOM with a little training. But as to whether or not he wanted to be the man to give him that training, he would make no comment
Thought it was pretty cool and thought you guys might think so too
Fighters to watch
Chris 'The Chronic' Conolley
Marcus 'The Bruiser' Brimage
Adrian 'Guard Yo Grill' Miles
Last edited by ID06 : 09-29-2007 at 05:13 PM.