Category Archives: Strictly Boxing Articles

The Fraternity of Forgotten Fighters

by Frank Duarte ~ September 11th, 2018

By

Frank Duarte 

As he walks through the corridors of the arena where he once fought, passing the rooms and snack bars where hundreds of people are coming and going in all directions he goes unnoticed. A he walks down the aisle, passing row after row of seats filled with fight fan in celebration, eating pop-corn and drinking beer, he goes unrecognized. And as he sits in his seat, with a slight smile and a tear  he reminisces of a time when it wasn’t so.

In his day, he fought to standing ovations as the chant of his name echoed throughout the arena. If you wanted his autograph, you had to wait in line because others wanted it too, and on any given day, there might be a write up on him in the news paper because at that time he was a local hero.

and pinango

But that was a long time ago, today his life of glory has made an abrupt turn down the lonely road of reality.  No more cheers from admiring fight fans, no more requests for his autograph, and no more headlines in the sports pages of today’s news-papers.

Tonight he’ll be parking cars for some sleazy night club owner;  just outside of the downtown Los Angeles area.  And two months ago he was working as an unarmed security guard in one of Los Angeles’s most notorious gang infested neighborhoods;  just to earn minimum wages.

At places where men tend to gather: bars, sports clubs and gyms, nobodies heard of him, at best, he’ll get a polite, “your name sound familiar”

Regrets? he has many. Regrets for not doing the things that he should have, and regrets for doing the things that he shouldn’t have; like excepting that first beer that led to many.

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He dwells in a life of shoulda, coulda, and with a little more discipline, and a little more guidance would’ve  made it to that group of fighters whose names will live on forever. Instead, he belongs to a fraternity of forgotten fighter whose only  signs of accomplishments are flat noses and scar tissue where eye-brows once grew. (THIS IS THE FRATERNITY TO WHICH I            BELONG)

I was watering my lawn when Rick Ferris phoned me, Rick was a pretty good Bantamweight back in the Late sixties – early seventies. Today he’s an astute historian on boxing and a lover of the sport, and I believe thats what motivated him to start the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame.

Even though I hadn’t heard from Rick in a few years, I recognized his voice Immediately.  My adrenaline started pumping because I knew that at any moment I would be taking a trip down memory lane.  When Rick and I get to talking boxing, there’s no stopping us.  We must have talked for at least 45 minutes about the good old days of the Olympic Auditorium, The Main Street Gym in Downtown Los Angeles,  and on the south side of L.A, the Hoover Street Gym.

Towards the end of our conversation, Rick told me that the reason he was calling me was because he would be inducting me into the W.C.B.H.F.  on October, 15, 2017. He asked me if I would appear at the Garland Hotel in Studio City to accept my induction, to which, of course, without hesitation, I said yes.

On the morning of the event, I must have spent the first 45 minutes staring at my clothes hanging in my closet. Casual or formal, which way should I go. I decided to compromise and go in between with a semi-formal look.

I chose a pair a pair of light grey slacks thats been hanging in my closet for the past twenty years waiting to be worn.  I only have one sports jacket, so that made it a lot easier for me to choose which one to wear. It’s a light beige wool with a bluish grey tweed running throughout, all brought together with a light blue shirt and a beige tie with feint blue stripes. Oh yea! I mustn’t forget to mention my dark brown European leather shoes, made in Paris California.

I looked in the mirror and gave myself a thumbs up. I gave Agnus the address to the venue, and then I was on my was. By the way, Agnus is my GPS.

My wife, Lourdes and my two kids, Katrina and Frankie, were also attending, but they were going in a separate car.

While I driving to the event, the entire time, I couldn’t thinking, “what if nobody knows me” I was worried that my kids will be disappointed when they realize that their Father wasn’t as popular as he said he was.

As I entered the driveway of the Garland, I began to scan the parking lot in hopes that I would see some of my old boxing friends, and if I did, then I could be confident that i’ll get at least a few cheers upon my induction.

I parked my car and reached for my coat that was laying across the back seat of my car. who got out of my car;from a short distance away, I thought I heard somebody say, “thats Frankie Duarte. I froze, and my ears perked up. I tried to figure out how I should respond, or maybe I shouldn’t respond at all, but how could I not?

I slowly turned my head in the direction from where I heard the voice come from, and I saw a man and a woman approaching me at a fast pace. The man was smiling from ear to ear. He din’t even as k me if I was Frankie Duarte, he just introduced himself to me, and then his wife.

H told me of how much he enjoyed watching me fight. He handed me a pen and the program for that days events, and then asked me for my autograph. He thanked me, and I thanked him back, I was flabbergasted. Before we departed, I asked him where the event was taking place, he pointed across the parking lot, and told me to go through the double doors, then up the stairs. “You were a warrior Frankie” he yelled, I gave him a smile and a wave of my hand; I continued on toward the building.

I went through the double doors, up the stairs and across the hall and out on to the terrace.  Right away I recognized former world champion; Carlos Palomino, Danny “Little Red” Lopez, Albert Davila and Paul Banke. More fighters continued to come.

While talking to my boxing colleagues,  I occasionally stopped to sign an autograph or take a picture with a boxing fan, I was over joyed.

The event was about to start, so we all started making our way to the venue. Inside, I noticed some notables sitting near the podium. Actor Ryan O’Neal was there to accept the Tom Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award. Actor, Paul Le Matt, was there in support of his long time friend, Albert Davila. Although Paul’s played in a lot of movies, he’s best remembered for his portrayal of John Milner in the classic movie American Graffiti. The late Dick Enberg was also being inducted for his outstanding work as a boxing commentator. Dick is also a  big part of the Olympic Auditorium history, as he commented alongside of Micky Davis when they first started airing the fights on channel 5 in 1965.

Rick Ferris, at the podium, had kind words he told of my history as a fighter. He called me up to  the podium; and congratulated me as he handed me my plaque. I approached the microphone, and thanked the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame for accepting me as being worthy of the honer of being inducted into their establishment.

The highlight of the day, for me, was knowing that my kids witnessed, first hand, me in my celebrity status. Until then, they had only heard me brag about it -again and again.

I left the event with a new outlook on my life as a fighter; and spent the rest of the day re-hashing every thing that happened that day.

The next morning, I woke up extra early, and went straight to my desk, turned on my computer, and I began typing a letter the Fraternity of Forgotten Fighters. It was my letter of resignation.

The Fraternity Of Forgotten Fighters

by Frank Duarte ~ August 27th, 2018
  •                                           
  • The Fraternity Of Forgotten Fighters

By                                      

Frank Duarte

 

As he walks through the corridors of the arena where he once fought, passing the restrooms and snack bars where hundreds of people are coming and going in all directions, he goes unnoticed. As he walks down the aisle, passing row after row of seats filled with fight fans in celebration, eating pop-corn and drinking beer, he goes unrecognized. And as he sits in his seat, with a slight smile – and a tear – he reminisces of a time when it wasn’t so.

In his day, he fought to standing ovations as the chant of his name echoed throughout the arena. If you wanted his autograph you had to wait in line because others wanted it too, and on any given day, there might be a write up on him in the news-paper because at that time he was a local hero.

But that was a long time ago, today, his life of glory has made an abrupt turn down the lonely road of reality. No more cheers from admiring fight fans, no more requests for his autograph and no more headlines in the sports pages of todays news-papers.                                                                                                              

Tonight he’ll be parking cars for a sleazy night club owner in the downtown area of Los Angeles, and two month before that, he was working as an unarmed security guard in one of Los Angeles’ most notorious  gang infested neighborhoods; just to earn minimum wages.   At places where men tend to gather, bars, sports clubs and gyms, nobodies heard of him, at best, he’ll get a polite, “Your name sounds familiar.”Regrets? He has many. Regrets for not doing the things that he should have, and regrets for doing the things that he shouldn’t have, such as accepting that first beer that led to many.  He dwells in a life of shoulda, coulda, and with a little more discipline, and perhaps, a little more guidance, woulda made it to that group of elite fighters who’s names will live on forever. Instead, he belongs to a fraternity of forgotten fighters who’s only signs of accomplishments are flat noses and scar tissue where eye-brows once grew. Its a fraternity where most fighters are designated to; soon after their last hurrah, and this! is the fraternity to which I belong.  

       and pinango

I was watering my lawn when Rick Farris phoned me, Rick was a pretty good Bantamweight back in the late 60’s to mid 70’s. Today, he’s an astute historian on boxing and a lover of the sport, and I believe that’s what motivated him to start the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame. 

Even though I hadn’t heard from Rick in a few years, I recognized his voice immediately. My adrenaline started pumping because I knew that at any moment I would be taking a trip down memory lane. When Rick and I get to talking boxing, there’s no stopping us. We must have talked for, at least, 45 minutes about the good old days of the Olympic Auditorium, the Main Street Gym in downtown Los Angeles, and on the south side, the Hoover St Gym. The Main Street Gym, and the Hoover St Gym, besides being known for (most of the time) having backed up toilets, had some of the best fighters of all time train there. And the stories we shared about those old school trainers are priceless. Jackie Mccoy, Canon Ball Green and Jake Shugrue. These guys were so cool; they trained you in their street clothes, you know the look, shiny leather shoes, slacks with a sharp crease; and a button up shirt. They would lace up your boxing gloves with a lit cigarette dangling from their lips, and the great part about is that nobody complained Towards the end of our conversation, Rick told me the reason he was calling me was because he would be inducting me into the W.C.B.H.F on October, 15, 2017, at the Garland Hotel in Studio City. He asked me if I would appear to receive the induction, to which, of course, without hesitation, I said yes.

On the morning of the function, I must have spent the first 45 minutes staring at the clothes hanging in my closet. Casual or formal, which way should I go. I decided to compromise and go in between with a semi-formal look. I chose a pair of light grey slacks thats been hanging in my closet for the past twenty years waiting to be worn. I only have one sports jacket, so that made it a lot easier for me to choose which one to wear. It’s a light beige wool with a bluish grey tweed running throughout, all brought together with a light blue shirt and a beige tie with feint blue stripes. Oh yea, I mustn’t forget to mention my dark brown European leather shoes, made in Paris California. I looked in the mirror, and gave myself a thumps up. I gave Agnus the address to the venue, and then I was on my way. By the way, Agnus is my GPS.  My wife, Lourdes and my two kids,  Katrina and Frankie, were also attending, but they were going in a separate car.

While I was driving to the event, the entire time, I couldn’t stop thinking, “What if nobody knows me?” I kept thinking of how disappointed that my kids will be when they realize that their Father wasn’t as popular as he said he was.

 As I entered the driveway of the Garland, I began to scan the parking lot in hopes that I would see some of my old boxing friends, and if I did, then I could be confident that i’ll get at least a few cheers upon my induction. I parked my car and reached for my coat that was laying across the back seat of my car. When I got out of my car; from a short distance away, I thought I heard somebody say “ Thats Frankie Duarte”. I froze and my ears perked up. I tried to figure out how I should respond, or maybe I shouldn’t respond at all, but how could I not? 

I slowly turned my head in the direction from where I heard the voice come from, and I saw a man and a woman approaching me at a fast pace, the man was smiling from ear to ear. The man didn’t even ask me If I was Frankie Duarte, he just introduced himself to me, and then his wife. He told me of how much he enjoyed watching me fight, and continued with “you were a real warrior.” He handed me a pen and the program for that days events, and then asked me for my autograph. He thanked me, and I thanked him back, I was flabbergasted. Before we departed, I asked him where the event was taking place. He pointed across the parking lot, and told to go through the double doors, then up the stairs. I began walking across the parking lot, and by the time I got to the double doors, I had been asked for my autograph two more times, one woman asked me if she could take a picture with me, and a picture was taken.

When I got up the stairs, I walked across the corridor then through the double doors that opened onto the terrace. There had to be at least a couple hundred people out there. 

Right away, I recognized former world champions Carlos Palomino, Danny ‘Little Red” Lopes, Albert Davila and Paul Banke; they were standing together talking and laughing. more fighters continued to come.

I spent much of the time talking to my old boxing colleagues, but most of the time, I was  signing autographs and taking pictures, I was overjoyed. 

The event was about to start, so we all started making our way to the venue. when I got inside, I saw some notables sitting near the podium. there was movie actors Ryan O’Neal who was accepting the The Tom Kelly Lifetime Achievement award, and actor, Paul Le Mat. Paul was there in support of his long time friend Albert Davila, Albert was also being inducted. Although, Paul’s, played in a lot of movies, he’s best know for his portrayal of John Milner in the classic movie American Graffiti. 

The late Dick Enberg was also being inducted for his outstanding work as a boxing commentator. Dick is also a big part of The Olympic Auditorium history, as he commented alongside Micky Davis when they first started airing the fights in 1965.

Rick Farris, at the podium, had kind words as he told of my history as a fighter. He called me up to the podium, and congratulated me as he handed me my plaque. I approached the microphone, and I said a few words before thanking the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame for accepting me as being worthy of the honer of being inducted into their establishment.

The highlight of the day, for me, was knowing that my kids witnessed, first hand, me in my celebrity status. Until then, they had only heard me brag about it, again and again.

I left the event with a new outlook on my life as a fighter, and spent the rest of the evening re-hashing everything that happened that day.. The next morning I woke up extra early, and I went straight to my desk. I turned on my computer and began typing a letter to the Fraternity of Forgotten Fighters. It was my letter of resignation.

Introductory Boxing Lesson for $75!

by StrictlyBoxing.com ~ February 24th, 2014

Inroductory Boxing LessohWith this introductory lesson, you will learn a basic boxing stance and guard.  In addition,  I will take you through all the basic boxing moves you will learn if you decide to buy a ten pack. This will include footwork, your basic punches,  defensive moves such as blocking, slipping, ducking and weaving. Upon completing this introductory lesson, you will realize how fun and easy it can be to learn how to box by taking lessons from a highly experienced former boxing champion Frankie Duarte.  I urge you to take advantage of this excellent opportunity as soon as possible!

Introductory Boxing Lesson for Just $75

Call 310-567-6794

Boxing Lessons in Hollywood, Culver City, West Los Angeles, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Westchester

Boxing Lessons in Hollywood – Fortune Gym

by StrictlyBoxing.com ~ February 7th, 2014

Strictly Boxing - Boxing Lessons in HollywoodBoxing Lessons in Hollywood now at Fortune Gym.  If you are just looking for a way to get into great shape, consider this, many experts say that boxing is one of the most physically challenging sports out there, so if you’re going to do this, why not do it right?   You’ll get a much better workout and you’ll have a lot more fun doing it!

WHAT TO EXPECT

Ultimately, your going to learn how to box and train the way a real old school pro did back in the days when fighters prepared for fifteen round championship fights, but first, you must learn boxing basics

Your First Ten Lessons 

In your first ten lessons, you will learn basic footwork, punches and defensive  moves, such as blocking, slipping, weaving and ducking. I won’t just show you how to do it, I will break each move down to its rawest form. By the end of your first ten lessons, you will have developed a feel, a sense and an understanding of why they refer to boxing as the sweet science.

Your Second Ten Lessons 

In your second ten lessons, a group of lessons I refer to as “from the dressing room” is where you will learn what some of your favorite fighters do as they enter the gym floor.

Whether you want to be a professional boxer some day or maybe you’re a big fan of boxing who wants to know what it’s like to box and train like a professional fighter I will give you the authentic methods to achieve your goals.

Strictly Boxing – boxing lessons in Hollywood

Fortune Gym Hollywood
7574 W, Sunset Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA  90046

Boxing Lessons in Hollywood – easy access from Santa Monica, Westwood, Los Angeles, Culver City, Mar Vista.  Private or group xoxing Lessons in Hollywood are available.

Boxing Lessons – Don’t Procrastinate Any Longer!!

by StrictlyBoxing.com ~ February 3rd, 2014

Whether you want to be a professional boxer some day or maybe you’re a big fan of boxing who wants to know what it’s like to box and train like a professional fighter I will give you the authentic methods to achieve your goals.

Come with the DESIRE TO LEARN….

I don’t do aerobic boxing fitness classes, boot camps, or any of the other programs a lot of gyms offer — I SPECIALIZE IN TEACHING BOXING.

You’ll benefit from learning boxing techniques from a professional boxer whose career spanned over 16 years! Whether you’re interested in training for your boxing career or just want to get in the best shape of your life my boxing lessons will help you achieve your goals. The instruction focuses on teaching you the fundamentals and necessary technique while giving you an amazing workout.

You will definitely see results!!

You will be motivated and be pushed to your limits, but, this challenge is what will give you the results you want.

Don’t procrastinate any longer!
Give me a call at 310 567-6794 to set up a consultation and get started.

Lessons provided at Fortune Gym in Hollywood. Easy access from Culver City, Los Angeles, Westwood, Brentwood, Westchester, Mar Vista and Santa Monica.

Boxing Lessons in Hollywood

by StrictlyBoxing.com ~ February 1st, 2014

Don’t procrastinate any longer! 
Give me a call at 310 567-6794 to set up a consultation and get started.

Lessons provided at Fortune Gym in Hollywood. Boxing lessons in Hollywood, Culver City, Los Angeles, Westwood, Brentwood, Westchester, Mar Vista and Santa Monica.

Frank Duarte Boxing Record

by admin ~ November 12th, 2013

Frank Duarte Boxing Record

Boxing Record Click Here

Golden State Boxers’ Association at the Fights

by StrictlyBoxing.com ~ October 25th, 2013

By Michele Chong

It was a knockout night for a spirited group of former champions, prizefighters and boxing aficionados at Saturday’s Goossen Tutor Promotions “Boxing Before Dark” fight night held at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. Here’s my exclusive report on the Golden State Boxers’ Association (GSBA) gathering at the HBO card featuring heavyweights Chris Arreola vs. Bermane Stiverne in a WBC elimination bout.

The local GSBA crew were the special guests of promoter Dan Goossen, who has known many in the group for years. The veteran promoter had attended the recent GSBA awards banquet where his former champions Gabe Ruelas and Rafael Ruelas received recognition for their ring accomplishments. It was at this luncheon that Goossen invited the Golden State group to come out to the April 27 fights. New GSBA President Bill Dempsey Young and his wife LInda Young both told me what a gracious and generous offer this was by Dan and that they were very honored by this invite.

The Youngs have long been involved in boxing; Bill’s father is famed referee Dick “Tiger” Young and Bill and Linda’s on RC Young is an amateur fighter.
And it was a KO crowd as the GSBA members congregated outside the venue before heading in to catch the action.
“It was a great day!” everyone on the GSBA team said. The organization meets every Tuesday in Hollywood but this past weekend was a very special time for all as they actually got to watch live boxing together as a group.

It was also a reunion of sorts as I watched many of the members reconnect. In between the matches, the fighters were officially introduced to the audience at the Citizens Business Bank Arena. They also displayed the Golden State Boxers’ Association banner as each name was announced. Bill Young just became the new president of the GSBA when longtime president Larry Montalvo recently stepped down from the post. Both men have a mutual love and respect of the fight game and vow to continue having GSBA get-togethers, events and gatherings where they celebrate the sport. Bill and his wife Linda were joined by many boxers, family and friends at Saturday’s bash. The San Fernando Valley couple said they were thrilled to have such a great turnout of approximately 150 invited guests, courtesy of Dan Goossen and Goossen Tutor Promotions.

Linda gave me an update of the veteran fighters and special VIP guests that were in attendance. “We had so many boxers there including Gabriel Ruelas, Rafael Ruelas, Armando Muniz, Oscar Muniz, Albert Sandoval, Ruben Castillo, Mike Weaver, Art Frias, Frank Duarte, Bobby Chacon, Danny Valdez,” Linda says, “also Rodolfo Gonzalez, Paul Gonzales, Roy De La Fuentes, Paul Banke, Zack Padilla, John Montes, Herman Montes, Alex Ramos, Andy Price, Abe Gomez and Robert Ortiz.” Famed jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., football player Efrain Herrera, WBC Supervisor Joe Noriega, Trudie Latka, Carol Steindler and Marv Enquist also joined the boxers. I also saw former fighters Ronnie “The Dragon” Essett and Tony Bellard at the fights, and World Boxing Council (WBC) President Jose Sulaiman and WBC Supervisor Rudy Tellez were also represented at the Goossen Tutor card where the fans witnessed stunning knockouts in the co-feature bouts as well as a 12-round battle between Bermane Stiverne and Riverside’s Chris Arreola. After the matches, uncrowned welterweight champ Mando Muniz said he really enjoyed seeing everyone and thanked Bill and Linda Young and the Goossen family. Former WBC Bantamweight Champion Paul Banke also told me what an exciting day it was for everyone. “I got to see everyone and catch up with the other fighters, thanks to Dan Goossen” a smiling Banke said. “This was so cool of him to do this for everybody; it really brought everyone together!”

Frank Duarte speaks about his great Fighting Career

by StrictlyBoxing.com ~ October 25th, 2013

Frank Duarte speaks about his great fighting career as it started in Los Angeles Valley fights. Duarte tells fight fans how fights like these at the Sportsmen’s Lodge help make him and many others the become great and well known fighters.

Only If You Really Want To Learn How To Box

by StrictlyBoxing.com ~ September 1st, 2013

Strictlyboxing.com

Whether you want to be a professional boxer some day, or maybe you’re a big fan of boxing that wants to know what it’s like to box and train like a professional fighter I will give you the authentic methods to achieve your goals and to learn how to box.

I don’t do aerobic boxing fitness classes, boot camps, or any of the other programs a lot of gyms offer — I SPECIALIZE IN TEACHING BOXING.

Strictly Boxing Lessons in Hollywood

Over the course of my professional career, I had 56 fights, I fought the tens, the twelves and the fifteen rounders, but better than that,  I fought in an era when boxing was still in it’s golden years.  During the late 60′s till the end of the 80′s produced some of the best fighters of all time.  All those dingy gyms like the ones you see in the movies were where you could see the champions and world contenders,  all sharing the floor at the same time.  Those gyms were full of old school trainers, teaching their tricks, their moves, using their analogies and words of wisdom to build and mold their fighters.  Man!! those guys were great!!

I learned a lot from those old trainers and through my own experience as a boxer, I see boxing, “the sweet science” as it’s known, is starting to sour a bit.  Today there’s a lot of trainers, but not enough teachers.  That has motivated me to pass on some of what I’ve learned over the years to YOU.

StrictlyBoxing.com Boxing Lessons in Hollywood

Boxing Lessons in Hollywood, Culver City, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Beverly Hills and surrounding area.

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