Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Bobby Lee Hunter, Cont’d

August 21st, 2012 · 4 Comments

One of the great joys of this whole Microkhan endeavor is reaching folks who might not otherwise have occasion to check out our work. And some of those good correspondents are not only interested observers, but also characters in the various yarns we unspool. Our recent post about the rise and fall of incarcerated pugilist Bobby Lee Hunter brought two such commenters out of the woodwork, both of them former world-class boxers. The first, Pat Cowdell, was an English fighter who lost a decision to Hunter at a London Hilton. The other, Tim Dement, was the man who ultimately denied Hunter’s Olympic dreams (see clip above); I’m reprinting his comment here in full, as it’s such a lovely testament to the strange camaraderie that can develop between men who are supposed to pummel each other for our enjoyment:

I also wondered what happened to my buddy Bobby Lee Hunter… We became friends in 1971 as team mates on the USA team that traveled to London and Russia to box. I was a light flyweight and Bobby was a flyweight. I have a newspaper clipping from London paper saying in the headlines “Tiny Tim Too Young to Fight.” I was just 16 years old. They would not allow me to box. However I enjoyed the fights however I had beaten the two Polish Champs aged 31 and 27.

Pat and I must be the same age. In London only men attended the matches all dressed in tuxedos. Pat did good with Bobby.

Bobby and I trained and sparred together in 1971 in Miami at the dog race track before he went to that Pan Am games and won a bronze.

Please take a second look at my match with Bobby at the 72 Olympic trails (see on YouTube) and tell me who won.

I understand they asked Bobby to box against me again at the box offs two weeks later and he refused. I told them please don’t ask him again. I did feel lucky. I love Bobby lee and would love see him again.

To thank Dement for his kind contribution to Microkhan, I am front-paging the clip of his Olympic Trials bout with Hunter. I still think it’s a close call as to who won, but I can see now that there’s no concrete reason to quibble with the judges’ decision.

Also: Howard Cossell, you are missed. Sorely missed.


Tags: ·····

4 Comments so far ↓

  • Tim Dement

    Allow me to continue and thanks for the review.
    Bad decisions by the judges are one of the toughest things that a boxer will have to deal with.
    Example: when I was boxing the Louisiana State Golden Glove tournament was always in south Louisiana. I’m from north Louisiana.
    I boxed in the la. State GG at age 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. I never won La. GG until after the 72 Olympics in 1973.
    A bad decision is like being Robbed…and I felt like I had lost several matches by bad decisions.
    How frustrating; I thought how could someone even except the Trophy they know they did not win ?
    So how did I deal with this?
    I kept Boxing and I remember winning a bad decision. All of a sudden I understood why I lost those previous bad decisions. It was so that when the day came that I won a bad decision I would know how to except it. And I did.
    In the 72 Olmpics several US boxers got Robbed however I was not one of them. Jessie Valdez (whom I spoke with on the phone yesterday) and Reggie Jones did get Robbed.
    Back to Bobby lee Hunter
    When he traveled around boxing it was only one so-called guard with him. Ray Satterfield (?) was his guard, coach and great guy who traveled with Bobby.
    I will never forget watching Bobby Lee Hunter boxing in Fort Bragg N. C. at the 1971 Pa Am Trails.
    The Bell for the 1st round rang…and before the ring of the bell cleared the air, with one punch his opponent was out like a light.
    We train together and sparred when I was 106 lbs and he was 112 lbs. That was when Coach Bobby Lewis nicknamed me “the Road Runner” beep beep and I moved to stay away from Bobby’s bombs.
    As team mates we spent enough time together that we became friends.
    I wish Bobby all the Best and may He know He is Loved.
    Worry about nothing- Pray about everything

  • Russell Ogata

    I remember watching the bout as a sophomore in high school. I had seen the build up documentary about Bobby Lee Hunter in the prison laundry and his “pro” fighting style and chances at the Olympics. When he fought Tim Dement, it was assumed that Hunter would win. Midway through the first round, my Dad said that Tim was moving away from the power hand and scoring amateur points. I was impressed with Dements poise for such slight, a young fighter. That finals stuck with me all these years and today I just decided to look it up and came upon commentary by Dement. If he reads this blog again: It was an inspiring fight and you certainly belonged on that Olympic Team. Hope your life has gone well.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @Russell Ogata: Thanks a million for sharing the story. I’m sure Tim will see and appreciate your kind words.

  • Tim Dement

    Hey Russell
    Nice to be remembered and. I hope all is well with you and your family.
    I quit boxing for several years after the 72 olympics do to a torn retina . In 1980 I was 25 years old and attempted to make a comeback. My third comeback bout was school gym and they did not have a glove table. They just past the gloves out and allowed you to put them on in the locker room.
    My opponent place a metal two finger brass knuckle object inside his right glove. The first two rounds he was slapping me with right hand that had hurt more than normal. Then he hit me on top of my head and I dropped to one knee I got up and he hit me again with this loaded glove with the brass knuckles busted thru the leather glove which knocked my nose off my face.
    I choose to forgive this person. He just want to win in the worst way. I raised his hand in his victory before realizing he had a loaded glove. People at ringside said it looked like electricity knocked it off.