Tonight at 9:00 p.m. on MSG Network’s “Friday Night Fights,” hosted by John Duddy and Mark Breland: Ray Mancini vs. Livingstone Bramble (6/1/84).
Sporting a 20-1 record, Livingstone Bramble entered this 1984 bout with a shot to take down defending WBA lightweight champ Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, NY. A heavy underdog, Bramble almost ended the fight in the first round after he severely sliced Mancini’s eye, but “Boom Boom’s” cut man quickly equalized the injury. Still, Mancini wasn’t prepared for Bramble’s ability to turn southpaw, which resulted in a number of additional cuts to Mancini’s face and the eventual loss of the belt by a 14th round knockout.
Duddy: “Back (in 1984) fighting was really popular, especially for the smaller weights and Ray ”Boom Boom” Mancini was one of those reasons.”
Breland: “Oh yeah, the smaller weights were big back then. You had Ray Leonard, Alexis Aguello…all of the small guys were big bangers.”
Duddy: “In attendance that night, Hector Camacho and Aaron Pryor, and they were all watering at the mouth wanting to fight Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini. But, first he had to get through Livingstone Bramble. Tell us about Livingstone.”
Breland: “I mean Livingstone was a very very tough guy. He had a very awkward style coming into tonight, but he was very smart. But, the way I think about him is he has very long arms and he would bring his hands up and his hands blocked everything.”
Duddy: “Bramble was the first guy from the Virgin Islands to win a title since Emile Griffith. The turn to southpaw, that really was the key in the fight.”
Breland: “Very much so because it just kept throwing Mancini off.”
Duddy: “They had a rematch a year later and unfortunately for “Boom Boom” that was a wee bit more of the same.”
Breland: “Ray is a great fighter ,don’t get me wrong, but Bramble was much tougher and was just ready for the fight.”
Friday Night Fights is part of MSG Network’s Summer Block Party. For more information go to www.msg.com/summer and join the conversation on Twitter with @MSGNetworks.