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Some Appreciation for Frankie Randall

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Some Appreciation for Frankie Randall Empty Some Appreciation for Frankie Randall

Post by 88Chris05 on Mon Jun 08, 2020 5:57 pm

Recently came across this terribly sad article which details how Frankie 'The Surgeon' Randall is living in his retirement. Unfortunately, the years haven't been kind to him and he is suffering from both Pugilistic Dementia and Parkinson's disease. Despite being only 58, Frankie is now confined to a specialist home and requires round-the-clock care.

https://www.ringtv.com/596579-frankie-randall-a-terrific-professional-that-loved-his-job-too-much/

I think Randall was a tremendous fighter who is curiously underrated these days. Didn't receive a world title shot until the age of 32 (partly his own fault, but partly bad luck as well), but he made it count when he did, overcoming odds of 15-1 (just as he'd overcome drug abuse and a prison term) to famously inflict a first official defeat on the great Julio Cesar Chavez, who'd racked up an eye-watering 89-0-1 ledger to that point, in January 1994.

Nothing lucky about the verdict, either, and an absolute disgrace that it was only a split decision, which would have disgustingly gone in Chavez's favour had he not had two points deducted for low blows. Randall outclassed the great Chavez throughout the fight and should have been out of sight purely in terms of rounds won, never mind those two deductions from Chavez and the 10-8 round that Randall got when he also became the first man ever to floor Chavez in the 11th round. Fair to say the powers that be were very intent on Chavez keeping his WBC Light-Welterweight title that night, as they'd seemingly been intent that he avoided defeat a couple of times before that - only this time, Randall wiped the floor with him by such a huge margin that not even that could save Julio.

Let's be honest - Randall clearly beat Chavez in their first rematch four months later, too. This time the shorter length of the contest, and the old WBC rule of a fighter being deducted a point in the case of an accidental headbutt which cuts their opponent, was enough to get Chavez out of jail and see him regain his title unfairly.

Can't knock the way Randall bounced back from that disappointment, though, as he won a very entertaining series against the Argentine Juan Martin Coggi 2-1 to win, lose and then regain the WBA version of the title. Watched the first Randall-Coggi fight again a few months back and it was a fine, fine contest, with both men hitting the deck (three times in Coggi's case) before Randall ran out a clear and deserving winner.

His fight in London against the fearsome-punching Edwin Rosario, all the way back in 1985, is an unheralded classic of the British ring, a high-class contest in which Randall dropped a decision which could have gone either way. Randall appeared on the verge of a title shot a couple of times in the late eighties, before he was jailed for drug offences, but he sure made those back-end years of his prime count.

Randall was a quality all-rounder: great inside, good hand speed, could put stunning combinations together, could punch a bit, maintain a high pace and wasn't at all bad defensively, either. Not necessarily mind-blowing in any one area, but a very skilled and intelligent craftsman who could hang with just about any 140 pound champion in history. Also a bit of a throwback fighter who employed a kind of guile and cunning to his boxing which you don't always see that often these days.

Deserves more recognition, for me. Often seen as a guy who simply got a slightly faded Chavez at the right time, but he was much more than that. Very saddened to see his decline in subsequent years - like many others, he just couldn't let it go once his skills had deserted him - but I'm always happy to remind anyone what a terrific and accomplished fighter he was. And by all accounts - including that of the captain back when he used to post here, and who met Randall in person a few times - a good bloke and fine company, too.

Wishing Randall and his loved ones all the best.
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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Mon Jun 08, 2020 6:18 pm

How very sad.....Terrific boxer that sadly went on too long losing heaven knows how many of his final fights......

The contentious Chavez 2 ended his all too short 'Money' years.....Unfortunately like Marlon Starling he was an ugly duckling that didn't have much in the way of 'Drawing power'...

Could have got the decision against Rosario (Though he beat a finished one later) but mainly known as the guy that unlocked the great Chavez...

But for me his excellent performance over Juan Coggi the awkward southpaw spoiler saw Randall at his finest....Superb..

Heard Terry Norris suffers from the same thing....Though he has a tight family and considerably more money going for him..

When People moan about the NHS....Remember People like Randall and the abhorrent Medicare system in America..

Frankie deserves better........but he won't be forgotten.  Top fighters in the 80s were Top fighters period... thumbsup

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Post by 88Chris05 on Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:39 pm

Not a bad comparison with Starling, Truss. Both of them were quality stylists, but with no real USP or 'special effects' as they say, and sometimes struggled to get the verdicts they could have had, or maybe even deserved, in big fights which harm how people view them. Reggie Johnson is another good example of that. Badly underrated guy who could have been viewed so differently had he had some good luck with judges, instead of the almost constant bad luck he had with them.

Yeah, I've seen some interviews with Norris these past few years and he's clearly showing the toll boxing took on him. Not sure what he's officially been diagnosed with (or not) or if he's bound to go the same way as Randall. Hopefully not, as he's showing enough scars as it is. As you allude to, though, luckily Norris has kept a good chunk of his money and the boxing fitness gyms he and his wife set up have apparently done fairly well. We can but hope for the best.

Ah, Norris. Now there was an incredibly talented but also very temperamental and mercurial fighter. On his day there was nobody better, if it wasn't his day there were few worse. One thing's for sure, in his peak championship years you'd better hope you could knock him out or overpower him, because he was almost impossible to outbox, even though he was off his rocker. Blazing speed, glorious combinations, light on his feet, reflexes, all the old bag of tricks (sometimes illegal, mind you) and had a decent punch and nasty streak to him, too.

How would Mayweather have coped against him at 154?
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Post by Mr Bounce on Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:50 pm

Very sad to hear about Frankie Randall. I remember reading about it in the corner shop before buying the magazine (always liked to have a look to see what fights I hadn't seen) and thinking "Wow! He must have been some fighter to beat Chavez".

As an aside, I love reading your lengthy posts Chris - it's like looking through a window at what's gone before. Really interesting analytical writing style and very knowledgeable. Thank you OK

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Post by 88Chris05 on Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:02 pm

Thanks Mr Bounce, appreciate that and glad you enjoyed it.

Shame that the boxing board has died these past three or four years. I remember when it used to be buzzing, great articles, loads of banter and interesting posters all over the place, split between current fights / fighters and classical ones. From its inception in 2011 up to around 2014 it was always a good laugh, and an education. The quality dropped a shade in the following couple of years, and then it's been a bit of a slow death.

Just had a look, and more than half of the articles ever penned in the board's history (starting in February 2011) were posted before the end of 2012! Shows how big the slowdown ended up becoming.

I was basically AWOL in comparison to my former levels of activity in 2016 and 2017, and then when I returned there were virtually none of the old guard left, good old Truss being a pleasant exception. So even I've only been properly dipping in once every few months. As someone who used to help out with the v2 boxing podcast I used to feel invested in the board somewhat and would love it to have a second coming....But at the end of the day, times change, people move on to other stuff and good things fizzle out. Doesn't help that the sport hasn't been covering itself in glory these past few years and has caused a lot of even hardcore fans to become disillusioned.
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Post by superflyweight on Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:33 pm

88Chris05 wrote:Thanks Mr Bounce, appreciate that and glad you enjoyed it.

Shame that the boxing board has died these past three or four years. I remember when it used to be buzzing, great articles, loads of banter and interesting posters all over the place, split between current fights / fighters and classical ones. From its inception in 2011 up to around 2014 it was always a good laugh, and an education. The quality dropped a shade in the following couple of years, and then it's been a bit of a slow death.

Just had a look, and more than half of the articles ever penned in the board's history (starting in February 2011) were posted before the end of 2012! Shows how big the slowdown ended up becoming.

I was basically AWOL in comparison to my former levels of activity in 2016 and 2017, and then when I returned there were virtually none of the old guard left, good old Truss being a pleasant exception. So even I've only been properly dipping in once every few months. As someone who used to help out with the v2 boxing podcast I used to feel invested in the board somewhat and would love it to have a second coming....But at the end of the day, times change, people move on to other stuff and good things fizzle out. Doesn't help that the sport hasn't been covering itself in glory these past few years and has caused a lot of even hardcore fans to become disillusioned.

That nails it for me. Have been disillusioned for the past few years - coincided roughly with the death of Friday Night Fights on Sky Sports and the rise of Matchroom's relationship with Sky (and the egregious use of the PPV model).

Nice article on Randall, Chris.

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Post by 88Chris05 on Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:38 pm

Right on cue, one such great of the boxing board pops in! Thanks Superfly, hope you're well pal.

Very astute pointing out the PPV sham. Once Hearn got away with putting Bellew-Cleverly II on PPV, he knew he could get away with almost anything.
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Post by superflyweight on Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:10 pm

I'm good, thanks Chris. Hope all is well with you.

Windy's sad passing was the beginning of the end of this place, accelerated by the obsession with Floyd and Manny articles and then almost finished off when guys like you, Jeff and Truss started to post less frequently. The lack of decent chat on here combined with the lack of decent non PPV fights to look forward to was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.

Might treat myself to a couple of books about some of the Old Timers to see if I can get the interest going again (like a very peculiar and niche form of Viagra).

I'm told that Jeff has achieved almost celebrity like status on Twitter and engages in plenty of boxing chat, but I tend to avoid social media like the plague (or Covid-19).

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Post by 88Chris05 on Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:32 pm

Is that right? Was wondering how Jeff was filling the void these days. Let's face it, there was never any chance of him going without boxing chat altogether. Might see if I can track his Twitter down and have a look.

Glad life is treating you well enough, anyway. Be sure to share your thoughts (on another boxing forum if needs be!) if the Viagra works and relights the flame. Any boxing chat would be better for having you involved.
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