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Howard Davis Jr.
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Boxer
    (February 14, 1956-December 30, 2015)
    Born in Glen Cove, New York
    American boxer
    Retired with a professional record of 36-6-1
    Winner of the 1976 Olympic Gold Medal in the 132 pound weight division and the Val Barker Trophy for best all-around fighter.
    He was a vegetarian.
    He didn't take a very good punch or throw one either scoring only 14 knockouts in his professional career.
    He was judged the best of the fighter of the 1976 Olympic Games but of the five Americans to win Olympic Gold Medals in those games -- himself, Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, Sugar Ray Leonard and Leo Randolph -- he was the only one to never win a title as a pro.
    In his first try at a world title, he was out boxed by the aging defending champion Jim Watt who he should have easily outclassed.
    He took off six years (1988-94) from his career after getting knocked out in the first round of his third attempt to win a title, with his comeback predictably ending in a knockout loss.
    He was occasionally a hot dog in the ring, including reading the newspaper between rounds.
    He was born on St. Valentine's Day.
    He was the oldest of ten children.
    He had one of the greatest amateur records in boxing history: 125 wins, 5 losses.
    He was the first fighter to win the New York Golden Gloves four times in a row.
    To win his spot on the American Olympic boxing team, he beat three future world champions: Hilmer Kenty,Thomas Hearns and Aaron Pryor.
    He won his Olympic Gold Medal only a week after his mother died.
    After retiring from fighting, he trained other boxers and MMA fighters including Chuck Liddell.
    There was never a hint of scandal in his entire personal life.
    He was so popular in his hometown that a street was named after him and him and July 10th was declared a holiday in honor of him and his trainer father.
    Although he never smoked (or drank) in his life he contracted lung cancer and died young at only 59 years of age.
    He faced cancer with incredible courage; fighting it for over a year without a word of complaint before dying in his wife's arms.

Credit: tom_jeffords


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