29
Jan
2020

EXCLUSIVE: Saoul Mamby mystery solved, Larry Holmes touching eulogy

Phil Jay 09/01/2020
Saoul Mamby

📸 WBC / BHOF

World Boxing News has received information regarding the final days and resting of former WBC world champion Saoul Mamby.

A veteran of 85 professional bouts, Mamby died in the run-up to Christmas at the age of 72.

Claiming the World Boxing Council super lightweight title in 1980, Saoul made five successful defenses on the back of facing Roberto Duran in 1976.

Eventually retiring in 2000 at the age of 53, Mamby came back for one last hurrah in 2008. It remains disputed to this day whether Mamby broke the record for the all-time oldest competing boxer.

Much-revered in his home of New York City, the Bronx-born boxer left a lasting legacy.

Former manager Steve Tannenbaum, a regular contact of WBN, has revealed some information since Mamby passed away.

“Firstly, it has been reported in the media that Mamby passed away on December 19th. This turns out to be not accurate as Paul Saoul Mamby, in fact, was still with us. He did not pass on until the following day on Friday, December 20 at 2:48 pm – to be exact,” he explained to World Boxing News.

“Apparently, there was a miscommunication between the hospital and a family member on December 18. Someone was told that Mamby had passed.

“I was among a very small group of boxing people outside of his children who was informed of his death. I then passed it on to WBN as I understood it to be accurate.

“Sorry for this error, but Mamby was still with us on life support at the hospital on the 18th and 19th.

“Mamby’s death has been shrouded in some mystery as several well-known boxing people who knew him for years were not even aware of his death. They didn’t hear the news until Showtime TV announced it Saturday night.

“I ‘m not at all surprised by any of this as Mamby was a bit of a recluse. He was a very private guy who never sought attention or limelight.

“Knowing him, he definitely wouldn’t have wanted his funeral to be a celebrity gathering.”

Saoul Mamby Oldest Boxer
Rod Jacobs

Tannenbaum continued: “Mamby’s funeral took place on Saturday, December 28th at the EMC Church, 132 Street, and 7th Avenue – in Harlem.

“The main speaker was heavyweight champ Larry Holmes who gave a very touching eulogy about his close friend of nearly half a century.

“As was with Mamby in life, the service was understated and private. But it did include a small contingent of New York City boxing dignitaries.

“In attendance, paying their respects, were former WBO middleweight champ Lonnie Bradley, former WBC light middleweight champ Aaron Davis with father /trainer Larry ’Tumbler’ Davis. And former NY State boxing commissioner and TV commentator Randy Gordon.

“Mamby’s son Mieschan Mamby, who himself was a talented amateur boxer winning two golden gloves titles – but never turned pro, led the family brigade and spoke passionately and eloquently about his dad.”


RECORD

In the weeks after Mamby’s death, Tannenbaum has been investigating the facts surrounding Mamby’s claim to the aged boxer record.

Contacting the Guinness World Records, WBN and Tannenbaum have looked at the case closely.

GWR replied to WBN saying the following: “If you think you have seen a record that has been broken by someone else, then please advise them to get in touch with us to make an application!”

It comes on the back of a new claim by Albert Hughes Jr. who recently competed at 70 years old. If ratified, the fight would beat UK slugger Steven Ward, who holds the current record with GWR.

Looking into a potential farce, Tannenbaum is also on the case.

“Regarding Albert Hughes and Ward’s claims I’ve escalated the inquiry to government officials. I’ll keep you posted on any developments,” he stated.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay