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Packy’s World: Shannon Briggs “Let’s Go Champ” My Tukus, Sonny Liston, My Pal Al & Burt Reynolds Awarded The Chutzpah Award


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By Packy “Boom Boom” Goldstein

Oy Vay are you going to hear it today… By the time this article is posted by Bradley on Ringside Report it will be July 2nd. A day that I will never forget and sadly, it has come again. On July 2, 1998, at 1:30 AM my dearest friend Alvin, of 39 years, passed away in his sleep. He was 70 years old. It seems like yesterday that my Sadie picked up the phone and it was Bradley informing her of the news. I heard Sadie weeping uncontrollably as I jumped out of bed and ran off to see what was wrong. The look on her face is one I will never forget because as I did, she so loved Al and felt grief stricken, something I felt as well.

Al passed on a Thursday and I can remember how Bradley, his only son, jumped on a plane (he was in the Navy at the time) flew to Florida on the Red Eye. He coordinated his funeral and wrote the most eloquent heartfelt and at times, very funny eulogy I have ever heard. I still have a copy of it in my desk drawer. I was very proud of Al’s son that day and I have been for many years. Bradley, as you post my article, just know, you were your Dad’s entire world. He loved you with a fierce loyalty that I can vouch for because he also had it for all of his closest friends and I am honored to say I was in that group. To Al: I still love you my dearest friend and one day, I hope to see you up there ringside watching the fights and kibitzing with all the fighters you introduced me to over the years.

BriggsShannon Briggs… Let’s go champ my tukus. In his prime, he was not that great! Anyone who thought he beat George Foreman back in 1997, needs to get their eyes checked. That was a gift decision and I felt very unjust. Today, Briggs walks around making a fool out of himself, and he has as much of a chance of beating Wladimir Klitschko as I do of having my 85 years bagels shoot anything more than piss. You bet I said it folks.

Sonny Liston… I met him in late 63, through Al, at a card game in a hotel room in the Eden Roc on Miami Beach. He was one heck of a card player, and thoughSonny I beat him in a few hands of Poker, he was a great sport and fun to be around. Al had told me Sonny got a bum rap and at least from my dealings, I can tell you he was nothing, but a gentleman with a very dirty sense of humor, which endured him for sure to Al.

My Pal Al (“Bad” Brad’s Father)… It’s December 1998 and Al had been gone five months. Bradley was living in Virginia at the time and in the Navy. He would go to his mailbox and in it, there was a Christmas card from a very close friend of Al’s over the years. Bradley opens the card, to find a check for a good sum of money and the card tells the story. It was Al’s wishes that this money would be sent to Bradley the first Christmas after he had passed. For years, Al saved up this money and swore his buddy Ed to secrecy. Though it broke Ed’s heart to finally break the secret because it meant our dear friend Al had passed, it also meant the world to him that he could carry out Al’s last wish. Bradley called me in tears that night because he was so moved by what his amazing father had done. Simply put, that was my pal Al. An amazing man, with a huge heart, who always loved his son and took care of his closest friends.

Burt ReynoldsThe Chutzpah Award… The Chutzpah Award goes to screen legend Burt Reynolds. He is one of our most underrated actors in the movie business and a guy who always stood up for his friends and his craft. In all my meetings with him at events over the years, here in Florida, he was always very friendly and took time for the many fans that I saw come up to him.

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