Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Journalist's Tribute to Al Gavin

From Steve Pinto - Former Boxing Columnist, Times Herald-Record - Middletown, NY (1993-1999)

"As a young writer in my early 20's attempting to give someone a reason to publish me for covering the sport I loved, I met Al Gavin at a fight card in upstate, NY. I knew who he was from having seen him in the corner of countless fighters on countless fights I'd watched on TV.

I introduced myself and expected nothing more than a gratuitous, "Hey kid" in return. What I got instead was a foothold on an opportunity I could only dream about. Al spent a good part of the night talking with me at ringside, far more time than I expected he would. He side-stepped most of my questions about his work with genuine interest about my writing pursuits.

A few weeks later, I wrote to thank him for his time and he replied with a long, thoughtful hand-written response. He also put me in touch with Lou Sahadi, publisher of Boxing Scene magazine. It lead to my first published piece, which led to a freelancing career and eight years working as a weekly boxing columnist for an upstate NY newspaper and some of the best moments of my life.

A number of years later, I ran into Al in CT at the Lou Savarese-Leo Nolan fight and had a chance to thank him for helping me get my start. I'm not sure he remembered me but he was as gracious and generous with his time as he was when I'd first met him. I'm grateful to Al for helping me to get my start as a boxing writer. Moreso, I appreciate the time he gave me simply because we shared a common interest. As I've come to know people who knew Al far better than I did, I'm not surprised by this. I'm told that's the type of man he was.

I've never been cut by a punch and needed Al's expertise to keep me in a fight but in some small way, I can identify. I'm a better man for having Al Gavin in my corner."

1 comment:

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