Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

The Wizard of Bos: Boxing Lost a Colorful Figure

By Mitch Abramson

Johnny Bos, the gifted, colorful boxing matchmaker who developed the early careers of Mike Tyson and Gerry Cooney but had fallen on hard times as he feuded with the New York State Athletic Commission in recent years, died in his home in Clearwater, Fla., on Saturday. Bos, 61, was found by his brother Jeffrey and Jeffrey’s fiancé Suzanne McBee around 10:30 p.m., she told the Daily News on Sunday. Bos had been suffering from congestive heart failure.

A towering figure with bleach-blond hair and faux fur coats, Bos, whose birth name was “Bosdal,” was a popular, colorful matchmaker who was responsible for finding opponents for many of the area’s top young fighters.

A product of Brooklyn, Bos had the unique ability to ferret out the right opponent for a fighter he was developing, allowing his boxer to learn and gain experience while also winning. But Bos, trustful to a fault, didn’t believe in signing his boxers to contracts and relied on handshake agreements instead. As a result, many of the fighters he helped nurture soon left him after winning a title, according to the Manhattan-based promoter Lou DiBella, who worked with Bos for years. Bos was inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009.

“It’s the passing of an era,” DiBella said of Bos’ death. “He was a Damon Runyonesque character. Johnny Bos touched a lot of guys. You can go through a laundry list of fighters who have ties to Johnny Bos, a lot of whom also forgot about him and left him in the rearview mirror once they made it.

“But Johnny was a legend. He was like one of the giant characters of the sport. He loved the fighters and he loved boxing and for a time, he was the biggest character and ambassador of the sport in New York.”

It was Bos who suggested to DiBella that he sign a little-known fighter from Brooklyn with modest punching power named Paulie Malignaggi in 2001. DiBella did and watched as Bos helped make Malignaggi into a top contender and later a world champion. Bos did the same with former middleweight champion Yuri Foreman, also of Brooklyn. But Bos counted his work with Long Island heavyweight Jameel (Big Time) McCline as his proudest moment since McCline took up boxing at 25 and had no amateur experience. Yet, working with DiBella, Bos turned the 6-6 McCline into one of the top heavyweight attractions of the last decade.

Bos’ career stalled, however, after Joey Gamache, a fighter he once managed, initiated a lawsuit against the New York State Athletic Commission in 2006 for negligence of its handling of a weigh-in involving Gamache and Arturo Gatti when they fought in 2000.

“The commission hurt Joey and destroyed me physically and mentally,” Bos said after testifying on behalf of Gamache in 2009 in one of many times he bad-mouthed the commission. Struggling financially, Bos moved to Florida in 2008, leaving his Manhattan studio apartment and all but disappearing from the business. The court ruled the state had been negligent in its handling of the weigh-in but that the negligence hadn’t determined the outcome of the fight. Gamache, who sued for $5.5 million, didn’t get a dime, depriving Bos of the large sum he hoped to win. That was one of the few failures he had in boxing.

“His world was boxing,” said McBee. “He loved it. That was his genius.”

Bos is survived by his brother Jeffrey and a niece and nephew, McBee said.

Article courtesy of The New York Daily News. Mitch Abramson covers boxing for the New York Daily News and BoxingScene.com.

Tags:
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by IIG on 05-14-2013

This guy was certainly a character. If you heard him speak for 10 minutes, he most likely would have left a strong impression on you. RIP Mr. Bos, you'll be missed.

Comment by nycsmooth on 05-14-2013

Johny was a man I called my friend, a real straight shooter who was a fantastic matchmaker going back 2 Sunnyside. He was from sunset Park ,Brooklyn, I another area in that borough...he was never the same after NYSAC manipulated…

Comment by A-Wolf on 05-13-2013

Matchmakers are the individuals in boxing who amaze me the most. I'm most familiar with Bruce Trampler of Top Rank. Bruce has impressed me on many occasions. Wish I knew more about Bos. He sounded like a great character. RIP.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
Top Headlines LIVE Results From Las Vegas: Sal Lopez Dominates Taylor Mike Lee vs. Chris Traietti LIVE Results From Chicago Mike Towell Dies From Injuries in Knockout Loss To Dale Evans Joseph Parker's Promoter: Andy Ruiz on Board With The Fight Mauricio Herrera vs. Pablo Cesar Cano on November 18 WBO, WBA Keeping Close Eye on Tyson Fury Cocaine Scandal AIBA Developing Anti-Betting Program For Boxers Photos: Humberto Soto, Daniel Ruiz Prepared For Mexican War Klitschko's Manager: Fury is Most Unworthy Champion in History! Ed Brown, Alejandro Hernandez Ready For Respective Bouts Manny Pacquiao: No Reason To Apologize For Past Drug Use Kovalev, Bellew Backing Cleverly To Overcome Braehmer Nehomar Cermeno's Win Opens The Door For Scott Quigg Clash Peralta Leaves Cab at Home, Heads To Miami With New Coach Photos: Joseph Parker, Alexander Dimitrenko - Ready For War Petrov Talks Linares-Crolla, Promises Fireworks With Perez Tyson Fury Tests Positive For Cocaine! Titles in Jeopardy! Braehmer, Cleverly Make Weight For Long Awaited Clash Mundine Wants To Boycott National Anthem, Eyes Politics Stephen A. Smith on Why Mayweather-Pacquiao 2 is Possible Golovkin's Coach: Ward Fight Impossible - He Couldn't Make 168! Telemundo Weights: Hernandez 122, Dominguez 121 Parker Sees Benefits of Fighting in UK Prior To Joshua Showdown Mike Lee: We've Built Up To This, I'm Ready For It, I'm Excited Bradley: There Are Levels; Vargas Will Find Out Against Pacquiao Billy Joe Saunders vs. Artur Akavov Set For October 22 Adrien Broner vs. Ricky Burns Nearly Finalized For December Roach is Concerned: Pacquiao Looks Tired, Sluggish in Sparring WBC Warns Boxers About Dangers of Consuming Energy Drinks Orlando Cruz: I Won't Rest Until I'm First Gay World Champion! Sanchez: If GGG Breaks Hopkins' Record, Mayweather May Come Chocolatito Drops 112 WBC Belt, Hernandez-Nawaphon Ordered Orlando Salido vs. Takashi Miura Finalized, Dec. 17 on HBO Photos: Mike Lee, Chris Traietti - Ready For Chicago Showdown Jorge Linares Update on Hand Injury, Crolla Rematch Clause Petrov vs. Perez WBA Title Eliminator - Photos, Weights Juanma Lopez vs. Wilfredo Vazquez Pushed Back To Oct. 29 Erick De Leon vs. Aldimar Santos, Oct. 28 on UniMas Eddie Hearn Shakes His Head at Lee Selby's Inactivity Adam Lopez vs. Carlos Valcarcel on November 12 in Philadelphia
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement