Randall Tex Cobb: ‘They called me a fat, cowardly, cocaine-snorting, fight-fixing cheat. Who they calling fat?’

Steve Bunce on the hellraiser, Randall Tex Cobb

RANDALL ‘TEX’ COBB would have been an awesome Olympian, preventing in a kind of Chilly Struggle classics from the Seventies or Eighties. After the carnage in Tokyo when Ricardo Torres Jnr beat Cuba’s Dainier Pero, they need to be made compulsory. Cobb would have relished a struggle with Teofilo Stevenson or the nice and uncared for Soviet, Igor Vysotsky. It by no means occurred and we needed to settle for the massive Texan elevating hell with a technology of superb heavyweights. And he was superb at elevating hell. He beat Earnie Shavers and he constructed a stand-up routine from his 15-round struggle towards Larry Holmes on the Astrodome in Houston in 1982. He fought an excellent Holmes, survived the space, took a brutal beating and had the jokes to show it. It was additionally Holmes at his most vicious, one thing he typically hid behind humour.

It was after the Shavers struggle that Tex refined his concept about boxers and laziness; he insists that he may by no means work an actual job, labouring away for hours on finish. Boxing is the right sport for the lazy in Tex’s concept. “Take Shavers, laziest man alive,” he stated in a misplaced interview from 1989. “He needed to win so dangerous, he’d do something to maintain from having to work. He punched me under the belt and as I leaned over he head-butted me after which he grabbed my head and started punching me. The ref lastly steps in and says, ‘Aw, Earnie.’” 

He pauses there to chortle and you realize there’s a traditional Tex punchline coming. And there’s. I might have liked to have been doing that interview. “I say to the ref, ‘Don’t hassle the person, he’s busy.’ Earnie needed to let me go, he was laughing a lot. Sweetest man ever lived.” Shavers was stopped in eight rounds one night time in Detroit in 1980; Shavers went to hospital after the struggle. Large Tex along with his broken face actually knew his manner round a late-night ER. 

The struggle with Shavers was the primary struggle in a powerful sequence; three months later Cobb dropped a cut up to Ken Norton and only a few months after that, Michael Dokes scraped house after 10 rounds. Dokes was unbeaten in 20, being groomed, a rising star within the struggle recreation. Dokes, we too simply overlook, was a terrific fighter earlier than the crack pipe ruined his life. 

On the night time, one decide had it even, the opposite two went narrowly for Dokes. It was an escape, make no mistake. It was additionally a harsh and priceless lesson – Dokes gained a model of the world title the next 12 months, simply six fights later. Cobb has no regrets about his function within the enterprise and he lastly give up in 1993 after 51 fights; Cobb gained 42, misplaced simply seven occasions. It’s a sometimes neglected report from a time when so many boxers have been coming, going and vanishing. He was the ugly face, which is harsh, of the Misplaced Technology. He lived in powerful heavyweight occasions.  “Shavers hit me so exhausting, I’m stunned I’m alive,” stated Cobb. Plainly lots of people have been stunned he lived so lengthy, took a lot punishment within the ring and gave the impression to be within the incorrect place so many occasions. He as soon as faced-down a bar full of males brandishing baseball bats and introduced: “I positive hope that is the softball group.” It was not, and Cobb left with a damaged arm.

It fits the Randall Tex Cobb picture to deal with the fights (the boxing model) that delivered the most effective strains, not essentially the most effective wins. Make no mistake, the person with the unforgettable face, may actually struggle and he loved it. In all equity, that’s the reason he had the unforgettable face. “I by no means cared who was within the different nook,” insisted Cobb. “I simply by no means needed to go to work.” After the Holmes loss, Cobb spent the complete purse of 600,000 {dollars} going wild in Australia. It makes no distinction if the story is true or false, it simply appears pure Tex. 

“They referred to as me a fats, cowardly, cocaine-snorting, fight-fixing cheat. Who they calling fats?” stated Cobb. He was clearly a delight for the hacks and that self-deprecatory humour is at all times a winner. “I can’t take it critical – all I do is hit individuals.” And get hit.

Clearly, the one-liners from the Holmes struggle are actually boxing legend, however his half within the 45-minutes of savagery are sometimes forgotten. He took so many punches and stumbled and rolled and talked in the course of the struggle that it takes on a cinematic high quality; a uncooked model of a Rocky film. “Larry by no means beat me, he simply gained the primary 15 rounds.” Holmes nonetheless shakes his head and smiles when Cobb’s identify is talked about. 

Peter Dexter, pal and creator, as soon as stated of Cobb: “I do know him, he gained’t cheat himself. And after it’s over – it doesn’t matter what number of occasions he’s hit within the face – he’ll be capable to look within the mirror and never be afraid of what he sees.” Cobb had his arm damaged within the baseball-bat brawl defending Dexter.

I might recommend that makes Tex a rarity within the fashionable heavyweight enterprise – an old-school fighter and a person not afraid of his personal reflection in a mirror.

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