Boxing and Baseball Are About Individuals

The longtime sportswriter talks about his personal style and who he'd want to step into the ring with.
  • Transcript


Question: Why the hat?

Bert Sugar: It’s a panama in the summer.  It’s a fedora in the winter.  So I change my hats with the season, also my drinks.  But it’s fun.  I’m now identified by my hat, which means less people are wearing them, and have been really since John Kennedy didn’t wear one at his inauguration in ’61.

What's your drink?

Bert Sugar: It’s vodka or tequila in the summer, a white drink, white liquor.  And Scotch, a good Scotch in the... I’m sorry, in the summer, and a good Scotch in the winter; both of which taste good.

I mean, I went to law school, I tell people I passed the Bar, it’s the only bar I’ve ever passed.

Were you in your prime, which boxer would you most want to fight?

Bert Sugar: Well, if I could fight one person I could take, I’d take somebody I could beat.  If I were to take one person I just want to watch them hit the hell out of me, it depends on if I want them to rat-a-tat me like Willie Pep, who’d probably be behind me before I look around, or if I wanted to see a star in the ring and stars in the sky because they hit me so hard, Joe Lewis.  I used so spar with Ali.  All I proved was my nickname as a kid when I boxed in college; I was called “The Great White Hopeless.”  I was terrible, but I loved it. 

If I don’t make the last payment on these teeth, the dentist is going to repo them, you know... I just love sports.  And I love boxing and baseball because it’s individual effort.  I know there are eight other men in baseball, but it comes down to one man, the pitcher, and one man, the batter.  And they’re competing.  The same in boxing, mano-a-mano.  That way, I love both sports probably for the same reason.  And I know a lot of fans, baseball players who are boxing fans, and vice versa because there is that similarity to the two, that’s it’s a one-person achievement. 
Recorded May 4, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen