FREEHOLD, NJ – A conversation with Bobby ” Chappie” Czyz is neither ordinary or boring. He says what’s on his mind and explains himself, in-depth, on a myriad of subjects.
The former Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight Champion of the World is no punch-drunk palooka. Despite dealing with the after effects of a near-death car accident a few years ago that resulted in burns, lung damage and days in a coma, Bobby Czyz is clear and concise. We spoke about boxing, football, baseball as well as religion, evolution and even some politics.
Bobby Czyz owned the Jersey boxing scene of the early eightees. As a teenager, this product of Wanaque disbursed every aging fighter and upstart thrown in the ring with him at the Totowa Ice World. So much so, that he was named the Matinée Idol. Lou Duva was his manager and promoter setting up the opponents that led Czyz to his 20-0 start . As Bobby explains, Duva advised and promoted his career but Czyz grew suspicious of the Duva’s intentions pairing him up at the age of twenty against Mustafa Hamsho, a ranked veteran who was coming off a loss to Marvin Hagler. Bobby recalls that Duva had previously mentioned that Hamsho was one of the opponents that he needed to stay away from at such an early point in his career. With TV money calling for the pairing, Duva, who had told Bobby that he would earn $125,000 for this nationally televised fight, quickly raised that anty to $175,000 when Czyz declined the first amount. On November 20th 1982 ( my wedding day), Czyz lost a unanimous decision, fighting eight rounds with a broken hand. At that point, Bobby was resolute to break from the shifty Duva’s as soon as his four year contract expired. ” When I told Duva that I was not resigning with him, he told me that he had to drop me. I told him that I had learned enough to handle my career from here and Duva said “Good Luck with that”.
Bobby, never lacking confidence , told me that he knew that he was marketable. ” I was white, bright and polite, but could I fight” , said Czyz. He knew that his popularity and ability to articulate would serve him well. Turns out that he was indeed white and bright managing himself and training under his lifetime corner man Tommy Parks to three World Titles.
Bobby Czyz does not dance around an issue. He has zero reservation opining that boxing is far from squeaky clean. His assertions regarding the promotors paying the judges leads to the questionable decisions that have plagued the sport. He even states that this aided him early in his career. ” It’s a conflict of interest” says Bobby.
In Part II of my interview , we will cover more of Czyz’s view of where boxing is headed, what he is doing now as well his love of football and the New York Rangers.
The puck dropped last evening, and the New York Rangers knocking off the reigning champ, Chicago Blackhawks. Rookie Oscar Lindberg nets the first goal of the season. King (without a crown…yet) Henrik was in playoff form, making some amazing saves against a Hawks team that is relentless.
Good luck to the Mets of Queens vs Donny Baseball and his Dodgers of La La Land…
Come back tomorrow for perhaps someone who cares to recap the Yankees season.