Friday, March 24, 2023  |


Lou Duva: A fiery life in print

Lou Duva book
The man was born in 1922, making him 94 years old. The things he’s seen and done, the times and brands of turbulence he’s lived through, truly make fight game character Lou Duva an irreplaceable part of boxing.
The New Jersey-based man, who ate, slept and breathed boxing to a degree one doesn’t see to the same extent in this age, tells all to writer Tim Smith in a book called “A Fighting Life: My Seven Decades in Boxing,” which is available through better book sellers everywhere.
Duva has been gaining strength in an assisted living facility in Jersey and Smith reports his speech is strong. The project came together when ace raconteur Bert Sugar got tabbed to collect the Duva history but then fell ill. Smith, the former New York Times and New York Daily News writer, now employed by Haymon Boxing, signed on and sat down with the oft-combustible Duva. Then he hit “record” and let the stories of the upbringing, Lou’s time tracking bail jumpers, gaining prominence with Rocky Marciano and Joey Giardello, building Main Events into a powerhouse, with Mark Breland, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor and Company, flow. “He’s had a life full of ups and downs,” Smith told me of the 1998 International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee. “He’s a character the likes of which you are not going to see again.”
He lost his wife and a son to cancer but persevered, said Smith of the man many of us picture as the rotund and, at times, volcanically fiery presence in the corner of so many ’80s and ’90s standouts. “I think you put Lou Duva on the modern-day Mount Rushmore of trainers, with Gil Clancy, Angelo Dundee, Emanuel Steward, Georgie Benton.”
Smith elicited the highs and lows, including the dissolution of Main Events as the entity which flourished under son Dan’s stewardship as a strong player tussling with the Don Kings and Bob Arums. “This book encompasses warts and all. We hope it’s the definitive account of his life and career,” Smith said.
The definitive account of Woodsy’s life and career would be titled, “Strolling Through the Michael Woods: Seeing the Forest for the Goatees.”

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August 2016 cover

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