Blog and Roll
With his handwritten notes at the ready, ten-time Golden Mike award winner Rich Marotta delivers daily his fast paced, articulate and always entertaining sports updates. Since 1991, as KFI's sports authority, Rich writes and broadcasts seven morning sports updates on Bill Handel.
Rich's input on Bill Handel is not limited to his much respected sports updates however as Rich is often called on by Bill to give his unique perspective on news and current events. Rich also takes every possible opportunity to mention how much he loves the music of Bruce Springsteen.
In 2011, Rich received the high honor of induction into two Halls of Fame. In January, he became only the 26th inductee into the Southern California Sportscasters Hall of Fame. Then in June, he was inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame.
Spending three years with the Los Angeles Kings, 11 years with the NFL's Los Angeles Raiders and four years with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers makes Rich the only sportscaster ever to have been a part of the regular broadcast teams of three major league sports franchises in Los Angeles.
Rich is a four-time Emmy award winner for his television work on KCAL doing boxing ringside color commentary and Raiders preseason play-by-play. Also, as ringside commentator for FOX Sports Net's weekly Sunday Night Fights, KCAL's Fight Night and host of Rich Marotta's Neutral Corner boxing talk show on AM 570, he is considered one of the nation's foremost boxing experts. It is no wonder the L.A. Daily News called Rich Marotta "L.A.'s most versatile sportscaster."
Rich was recently named recipient of the Sam Taub Award, given annually to the "Broadcaster of the Year" by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Rich has two children, Angela and Joey. He is married to the lovely "Helen of England."
This blog may contain profanity and/or material considered inappropriate. The views expressed in this blog are the opinions of the individual writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of KFI AM-640 and Clear Channel Radio.
I was distressed to learn Thursday night that the great, iconic trainer of boxing champions, Angelo Dundee, had died at the age of 90. Angelo is one of the greatest people I've ever had the privilege of meeting in sports. His career speaks for itself, trainer of three of boxing's all-time greats: Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman. Angelo was a master motivator and let me give you an example in the cases of each of the aforementioned three.
Ali, a 7-1 underdog and 22 year old kid, was fighting the feared Sonny Liston in Miami on February 25, 1964. After a fast start in the fight, Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, came back to the corner, blinking his eyes badly. Some type of liminent from Liston had gotten in his eyes and was burning and blinding him. Clay began screaming at Dundee to "Cut off the gloves, cut off the gloves!" Dundee told him, "No way baby, this is for the championship!" Dundee literally pushed Clay back into the ring at the bell with the final word "Run!!!" Clay did just that and six minutes later, Liston quit and a new era was born.... As for Leonard, he was locked in a pitched battle with Tommy Hearns outdoors at Casesars Palace in a Welterweight Title Super-fight that the whole world was watching. After building an early lead, Leonard was sagging and falling behind. After the 12th round, he sat on the stool, and Dundee, in his father-son way, uttered his famous phrase, "You're blowin' it now son, you're blowin' it". Sugar Ray got the message, mounted a furious assault, and a round and a half later, he stopped Hearns. I was sitting three rows back of Leonard's corner and all night I could hear Angelo screaming "Speed Ray, speed!" I'll never forget it. It was the first big fight I ever covered!....Move the clock another 15 years to the mid-90's. George Foreman, at the age of 45 had lost every round to fall far behind Michael Moorer. Before the 10th round, Dundee said to Foreman, "Listen, you've got put this guy down. We're behind baby." Foreman said "OK", and went out and did it, knocking out Moorer to become, at the age of 45, the oldest heavyweight champion in history.
A couple more moments I'll never forget: Young Cassius Clay, before becoming champion, had been knocked down hard at the end of the 4th round by Henry Cooper in England. Clay wobbled back to his corner on rubbery legs. When he sat down hard on the stool, Dundee saw a small hole in Clay's glove. Quickly Dundee inserted his finger into the hole, expanded the tear, then called the referee over to tell him they needed extra time to repair the glove. After the delay, Clay had recovered and stopped Cooper in the next round. Another moment frozen in time: a well past his prime Ali had taken a terrible beating from Larry Holmes for ten rounds. Back in the corner, Dundee told Ali he was stopping the fight. Ali said no, the others in the corner argued vehemently to give Ali another round. The ref came to the corner, and over the protests of the others, screamed at the ref, "I'm the chief second, I'm stoppin' the fight! The fights over!!".
I've known Angelo personally for about 25 years. What a pleasure it was to be around him. I reveled in his stories when he would hold court at the big fights. We played roulette together in Tahoe and Vegas. We both had wives named Helen. He would come on my radio boxing show at the drop of a hat. Never said no, Man, I will miss him. All of boxing will.