FanPost

Bob Foster, Ozymandias, And Why Anyone Should Be Remembered


Last Saturday, while waiting for the Mayweather-Maidana and full knowing that I would not stay awake to see it, I for some reason thought of Bob Foster.


Foster was the light heavyweight champion from the late 1960s through the early 1970s, while serving as the Sheriff of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was one of my favorite boxers. But, memory being the deception that it is, I had thought of him as being a fighter with a crushing left hook, and not much else. So, I decided to watch two of his fights, against Mike Quarry and Joe Frazier. I found that I had misremembered both.


Mike Quarry was the younger brother of Jerry, and he fought as a LHW. He never held a title, as I recall, and died, like Jerry, of brain damage induced by a life of fighting. But, in his time, he was a fairly exciting boxer, and had some slickness and skill. So, people would watch him. He fought from 1969 to 1982, and had a pretty good run according to the record, until he tried for the light heavyweight championship in 1972, and ran into Foster.


Foster was a mean and murderous, long and lanky fighter. As much as I was and am a fan of Tommy Hearns, I think that Foster was a better version of him. Foster had a very good run, winning something like 56 fights and losing 8. But here’s the thing, and the deception of memory: I imagined, or at least though I recalled, Foster relying on that left hook. In fact, he won 56 of his 86 wins by KO, but had a lot more in his arsenal.


Here’s the fight with Quarry, who really was, in some ways, like a Broner-style hotshot. A good fighter, but he seemed to model himself after Ali, just as Broner believes he’s the Second Coming of Mayweather. I remember a boatload of boxers back then who thought that the whole key to boxing was to dance around on your toes, and keep your hands down at waist-level. But Foster was a Hit-Man before Hearns ever got that name:


Since I can’t seem to post vids, I’ll give you the two parts of the Foster-Quarry fight:


Part 1:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH0XsGz1IT8


Part 2:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQgA41C3Bob Foster, Ozymandias, And Legacies In Boxing And In Everything Else


Last Saturday, while waiting for the Mayweather-Maidana and full knowing that I would not stay awake to see it, I for some reason thought of Bob Foster.


Foster was the light heavyweight champion from the late 1960s through the early 1970s, while serving as the Sherriff of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was one of my favorite boxers. But, memory being the deception that it is, I had thought of him as being a fighter with a crushing left hook, and not much else. So, I decided to watch two of his fights, against Mike Quarry and Joe Frazier. I found that I had misremembered both.


Mike Quarry was the younger brother of Jerry, and he fought as a LHW. He never held a title, as I recall, and died, like Jerry, of brain damage induced by a life of fighting. But, in his time, he was a fairly exciting boxer, and had some slickness and skill. So, people would watch him. He fought from 1969 to 1982, and had a pretty good run according to the record, until he tried for the light heavyweight championship in 1972, and ran into Foster.


Foster was a mean and murderous, long and lanky fighter. As much as I was and am a fan of Tommy Hearns, I think that Foster was a better version of him. Foster had a very good run, winning something like 56 fights and losing 8. But here’s the thing, and the deception of memory: I imagined, or at least though I recalled, Foster relying on that left hook. In fact, he won 56 of his 86 wins by KO, but had a lot more in his arsenal.


Here’s the fight with Quarry, who really was, in some ways, like a Broner-style hotshot. A good fighter, but he seemed to model himself after Ali, just as Broner believes he’s the Second Coming of Mayweather. But Foster was a Hit-Man before Hearns ever got that name:


Since I can’t seem to post vids, I’ll give you the two parts of the Foster-Quarry fight:


Part 1:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH0XsGz1IT8


Part 2:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQgA41C3fCs



Foster had a left like very few else I’ve seen, and you can see this in particular in the second half of this fight. But, he had a lot more, and you can see this here. Quarry wasn’t bad, but I think he looked pretty thin, and was heading for a pretty clear defeat. I thought thatr then, and I still think that now.


And then, Foster fought Frazier, and it was a disaster. This was a tremendous mismatch.


Here is the Frazier fight, with a regrettable Howard Cosell commentary:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZtRpq1t0xg

Foster hit Frazier repeatedly with that left, and didn’t even faze him. Frazier simply destroyed him. It was a horrible mismatch.


Now, Ozymandias?


By coincidence, on that same Saturday, while musing on these things, I got a call from my wife. Not that anyone would care, but we are not doing well. But we had a talk about Shelley’s poem "Ozymandias."


My wife is Chinese, from their Mainland. Her English skills are a bit too complicated to explain, but she does fairly well. Her work habits are more than I can endure, since she works several jobs, and owns her own company.


Yet, in spite of this, she participates in yoga, meditation, and poetry clubs every week. This is why things are not going well. I want, as a retiree, to read books, sit on my porch, and regard every day as another Sunday.


Every week, participants are assigned, or maybe choose, some poems to discuss. I’m not sure how it works. But my wife and I have had some great discussions about poetry. Marvell, Donne, Elliot, and so on. This week, she got Shelley’s Ozymandias as an assignment.


Honestly, I don’t like Shelley, or his ilk, and avoid reading any of them at whatever cost.


But, this is a great poem. And my wife studied two versions, one by Shelley, and one by Horace Smith.


Here are the two versions, by Shelley and Smith:



Shelley's Ozymandias


I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.[4]

Smith's Ozymandias


In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,

Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws

The only shadow that the Desert knows:—

"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,

"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows

"The wonders of my hand."— The City's gone,—

Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose

The site of this forgotten Babylon.


We wonder,—and some Hunter may express

Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness

Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,

He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess

What powerful but unrecorded race

Once dwelt in that annihilated place.[9]



I’m not terribly interested in Smith’s version, because it just really isn’t very good. It doesn’t have the immediacy of Shelley’s account of a strange story encountered seemingly at random. Shelley recounts his strange encounter with this traveler from an antique land, but doesn’t tell you how you should view it.


So, what does "Ozymandias" have to do with boxing?


Every champion has said


"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair."

<strong><font color="red">FanPosts are user-created content written by community members of Bad Left Hook, and are generally not the work of our editors. <em>Please do not source FanPosts as the work of Bad Left Hook</em>.</font></strong>

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