Panama Lewis not giving up the ghost

Panama Lewis, the infamous trainer who remains banned from boxing, is still searching for his second chance. (Photo by Chris Salata / The Post, via

The infamous trainer who is accused of removing the padding from Luis Resto's gloves and soaking his wraps in plaster prior to Resto's 1983 bout with Billy Collins is not yet giving up on someday coming back to boxing. Panama Lewis still maintains his innocence, and still wants a second chance.

An HBO documentary entitled Assault in the Ring, premiering at 10 p.m. Saturday, points a finger primarily at Lewis. Twenty-six years have passed since that notorious bout, and while boxing appears to have given up hope of knowing exactly what happened in that crowded pre-fight locker room, Lewis insists he'll someday be carrying — rather than throwing — his towel into a ring.

"I did my time, and America is famous for a second chance," Lewis says. "They give all these guys that kill people a second chance. I didn't kill nobody. You know it's 26 years, man? Think about it. This is the only thing I know how to do."

The article quotes the likes of Angelo Dundee as saying that Collins was overmatched, which is completely irrelevant. Resto's gloves were doctored. Resto himself says his wraps were soaked. Panama Lewis says that Artie Curley, who died shortly after the Collins-Resto bout, wrapped Resto's gloves, not him.

Some have softened their stance over the years:

Boxing still wants him out even though some of his critics have changed their opinions.

"It wasn't Panama Lewis who drove the car," says Michael Marley of, referring to Collins' fatal crash. Marley favors a restricted training license for Lewis.

"I won't say I'm sympathetic with him, but I empathize with him," Marley says. "When does the punishment end for Panama Lewis? When he dies?"

Some have not:

Veteran boxing author Bert Randolph Sugar disagrees. Sugar, who calls Lewis "a pretty good trainer, not a great one," says "what he did is worse than what Pete Rose did and he should stay out."

I'm more in line with Mr. Sugar, myself.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bad Left Hook

You must be a member of Bad Left Hook to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bad Left Hook. You should read them.

Join Bad Left Hook

You must be a member of Bad Left Hook to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bad Left Hook. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.