The year was 1960, my desperate trainer uncle entered our 3rd floor South Bronx apartment without bothering to knock. With him was his Lightweight prospect, Pablo Lopez, then undefeated in 8 fights. They had to be at Madison Square Garden in less than two hours for the noon weigh-in, Pablo was scheduled to fight on the undercard that night. BUT… there was one problem, Pablo had suffered a slight cut on his right eyebrow earlier in the week, bad enough to cause a cancellation. My uncle pointed to the cut, Mom looked it over, placed a chair close to the window and said, “Sit down”. My older brother and I watched as my mother pulled out her “cut kit”, mix shades makeup and “go to work”. I had heard stories about Mom working “wonders” on black eyes, shiners and nicks in the past. I was hypnotized. And then she performed an unforgettable “magical” trick. She cut hairs from MY UNCLE’S bushy eyebrows and masterfully glued/pasted them to Pablo’s brow, completely covering any evidence of a cut!! The fighter thanked my Mom and said, “Ï owe you, Eva”, and as they headed out my brother asked my uncle, “Why don’t you just cancel the fight?” My uncle looked at him as if he was crazy and said, “Nobody pulls out of a fight in the Garden. Nobody!!” Well, Pablo lost a rather unpopular upset decision that night to journeyman Tommy Nethercott, whom he later defeated. But by not ‘pulling out’ out he earned another Garden opportunity, which he won. There would be more, SIX more to be exact.
Read moreMy Mom the Cut-Man: Old School Revisited