Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Another Round

My friend, who worked for the Bomze family at 'Racing Star Weekly' and 'Winning Points' in the early 70s used to have lunch with Bert Sugar at least three times a week.

Bert was trying to peddle 'Boxing Illustrated' to the Bomzes and had taken up residence in their 8th Avenue office space.

The father, Henry Bomze was not interested in anything Bert was selling with regard to boxing, but Bert did have a basketball magazine they were interested in.

My friend, who likes boxing, but more so college basketball, remembers talking to Bert endlessly about college basketball, of which Bert did know a lot. More than half the boxing events Bert ever claimed to be at he wasn't. He never even mentioned boxing during all those lunches.

Bruce Weber, in today's NYT obituary on Mr. Sugar, gently alludes to Bert's persona of amiable bullshit. Occasionally I'd see Bert in Manhattan, more gassed up than a Getty truck making a delivery. Only a few months ago I was walking through Grand Central Terminal and heading out the Vanderbilt Avenue exit by Michael Jordan's steak house. Even before I was going up the stairs I could see Bert at the bar, smoking his cigar "dry", wearing his hat, and kinetically regaling what looked like a graying middle-aged out-of-town couple something about boxing. Sports for sure.

I shook my head and wondered who bought the last round.


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