Hank Kaplan Tribute

In This Corner  mourns the loss of Hank Kaplan.

1919-2007

One of the last links to my brilliant pugilistic career is gone with the passing of Hank Kaplan last week.   More importantly and more factually  Hank’s passing truly does means the entire sport of boxing has lost one of it’s greatest links to its  entire  treasured fistic history. 

Kaplan leaves behind one of the largest boxing memorabilia collections, but what is now gone is his tremendous boxing brain which helped so many of us to gain access into so much of this sport’s special and storied history. 

Personally, I have lost a man whom I have known since I was a little boy chasing Muhammad Ali around the legendary 5th Street Gym on Miami Beach.  I have lost a man who actually promoted several of my own professional fights in my limited career as a prize fighter.  Hank actually found me a few guys I could beat, which was no easy task. 

I lost a man who, once I entered professional broadcasting, became my leading source into boxing’s past.  Through Hank’s knowledge, I gained so much of my now own.  He must have appeared on my radio shows a hundred times as a guest.  Once I became a boxing commentator, I would call him at all hours of the day, and mostly night, when he loved to talk about the sport he loved so much.  

More than all this tremendous knowledge of the sport that Hank gave me, more than all of this, I lost a friend which, more and more I have found out with age, is a real treasured and even priceless commodity. 

Hank was a wonderful person.  I’m thankful to God that Hank hung around long enough to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame last year.  He had been part of the Induction committee their for many, many years.  Boxing was lucky to have had Hank around for 88 years.  I was lucky to call him my friend for over 30 years. 

Hank I will miss you so much my friend.  IN THIS CORNER gives a ten count for Hank Kaplan.  Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding.  May God rest his soul.

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