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.