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The Kronk Khronicles

Tales From Kronk

By; John Lepak


The Original “You’re blowin’ It Son” – Emanuel Steward

On September 16, 1981 “Sugar” Ray Leonard was behind on points and being tested mentally more than he ever had to date versus Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns.  In between rounds, where fights can sometimes be won and lost, his trainer Angelo Dundee said what has remained one of the most famous phrases ever heard in a corner between rounds; “You’re blowin’ it son.”  Dundee is credited for helping inspire and motivate Leonard as he went on to defeat “The Motor City Cobra” by TKO.


A very little known fact is that less than one month before Leonard vs. Hearns I, on Aug. 22, 1981 Hearns trainer, Emanuel Steward was working the corner of Kronk middleweight prospect Mickey Goodwin at the Glacier Arena in Traverse City, Michigan.  Goodwin was struggling with a little known opponent named Jimmy “School Boy” Baker and the fight was up for grabs heading into the 10th and final round.  When Goodwin sat down on his stool after the 9th round, Steward said "Look, you're blowin' this damn fight!”…  “You're blowin' it, Mickey!"  Goodwin went out and stopped Baker by TKO in the final round!    


Motivating Moorer

It was trainer Teddy Atlas that pushed heavyweight Michael Moorer in the corner between rounds with tactics that in some ways became more highlight worthy than some of the action in the fights themselves! Years before Atlas became Moorer’s trainer it was Emanuel Steward who did his own version of motivating Moorer!  Early in his career, then light heavyweight, Moorer was regarded as one of the most ferocious punchers in all of boxing.  After hurting Jim MacDonald early on, MacDonald managed to get back in the fight as Moorer stopped applying the pressure.  After a somewhat lackluster second round, some boos came from the hometown crowd at The Palace of Auburn Hills.  A USA Tuesday Night Fights microphone caught Steward telling Moorer between rounds; “People don’t pay to see you come out here and dance around with someone, they pay to see you knock someone out!”  With that being said, Moorer went out and stopped MacDonald in the third round!   


Cold Hard Kronk Cash

In a series of bouts between fighters referred to as “The Fabulous Four; Hearns, Leonard, Duran and Hagler” it has been reported that Kronk’s Thomas Hearns earned $23 million dollars in his four bouts with fellow Fab-Four members.  Results were a TKO loss and a highly disputed 12 round draw against Leonard, a TKO loss to Hagler in a three round war and a devastating knockout win over Duran. 



Duran & Money Man Both KO’d On Same Night

When Thomas Hearns knocked out Roberto Duran, it was the only bout between the Fab-Four that was not promoted by Top Rank.  The Hearns vs. Duran promotional group included Detroit’s Bill Kozerski (long time promoter of the old Kronk Team among other notable Detroit boxers), Shelly Saltman (famous for the Snake River promotion featuring Evil Kenivel’s motorcycle jump) and a LA investor named Steve Taub.  Like many before him and after him, it was Taub’s first and last venture into the world of promoting boxing!  Rumored to have lost a few million dollars that night, Taub described it as “The most expensive six minutes of my life”. 



Most Mysterious Injury in Kronk History

As the story was told to me by someone with direct involvement; Thomas Hearns was preparing to take an “activity fight” when the chance to sign for a marquee match-up for big money presented itself.  No one wanted to jeopardize the chance for a big payday with what amounted to a “club fight” and ironically enough it was discovered Hearns had a wrist injury.  Kronk team Doctor, Fred Lewerenz notified Michigan Commissioner Dr. Stuart Kirschenbaum of the injury.  The Commissioner apparently smelled something funny and ordered a second opinion.  That second opinion conducted by a different Doctor diagnosed that Hearns in fact had a fractured scaphoid; a very odd injury to the wrist that can sometimes be difficult to spot on X-rays, and in some cases, not even show up on an X-ray at all.  I was told the injury healed just in time to proceed with the proposed big fight. 



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