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May 14, 2013

REST IN PEACE, JOHNNY BOS

Boxingtalk joins the boxing community in mourning the death of Johnny Bos, a matchmaker and advisor whose boxing knowledge was matched only by his eccentricities (the man never ate vegetables and believed everything was part of a conspiracy). Despite his odd habits, Bos' ability to pick the right opponents for developing a prospect and his skill at making exciting undercard matches caused him to be sought out the world over. Here are a few brief memories of Johnny Bos:

Stephen "Bread" Edwards, trainer and Boxingtalk columnist: Bos called me on the phone and if you weren't paying attention you would say he was rambling. But if you listened closely you would realize he was still very sharp despite the raspy voice and wear and tear. Bos dislosed some secrets to me that was honored for. He told me he never told anyone Joey Gamache was an Indian until he was already big. He told methat John Mugabi was pretty much blind in one eye because of a thumb against James "Hard Rock" Green. Some stories I don't care to repeat. The biggest lesson he taught me was "timing". He told me they made a mistake in moving Tommy Morrison. He thought Morrision was a vicious puncher and that they should have went after Larry Holmes because Homes could always be hit cleanly. Interesting.
 
The last time we talked  on May 8th, he told me he saw my prospect Julian "J rock" Williams fight on Showtime Extreme. He gave me his stamp of approval and told me was pleasnatly suprised at his old school fight game. I asked Bos for his address so I could send him a package of T shirts and I was planning on sliding a few bucks in theire because the Bos was down on his times. Bos never sent me his address... 
 

Kurt Emhoff, boxing attorney: My friend, partner-in-crime and mentor, Johan Bosdahl, a/k/a Johnny Bos, passed away this weekend.  Johnny was a matchmaker and advisor for some of the best fighters in the sport over the last 30+ years including Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Gerry Cooney and Joey Gamache - just to name a few.  He was also one of the most knowledgeable guys AND one of the most colorful characters in boxing, and that's really saying something.  Anyone who saw him dressed in his mink coats and bling will never forget his pimped-out style.  I met Johnny at Jimmy's Corner Bar in New York City, sometime in late 1999 or early 2000.  He was there with the owner, trainer Jimmy Glenn and former world champ Joey Gamache.  We hit it off right away due to our mutual love of boxing.  I spent many an hour at his place on 34th Street across from Macy's in Manhattan- watching fight tapes, looking through all of his books and autographs - just trying to soak up as much knowledge as I could from one of the best matchmakers ever. Eventually we worked together as partners in managing a few fighters - Paulie Malignaggi, Jeffrey Resto and Chris "The Mechanic" Smith.  I learned far more from a few of the many midnight phone calls he made to me (he kept VERY late hours) than anything I ever read in a book or magazine or heard from any commentator.  What I remember most about Johnny was that he was an extremely generous man with both his time and the little money that he made in this sport.  He generally didn't have two pennies to rub together but he'd give the shirt off of his back to his fighters if they were in need.  He touched a lot of people in this sport with his generosity and created memories that those who were his friends won't soon forget.  It was really sad that Johnny had to move back down to Florida a few years ago because he could not support himself in New York with the dwindling money he was earning from boxing.  He fiercely missed being in New York, where he was born and raised.  He may have succumbed to the congestive heart failure he suffered from for years, but I think if he could talk to us, he'd say his real cause of death was a broken heart - being separated from the city he loved so much.  He was one of a kind - they broke the mold . . . I'll miss you buddy. Rest In Peace Bos.

Joe Quiambao, DiBella Entertainment matchmaker... RIP to the legendary Johnny Bos. He was one of the few people to show me the ropes when I was just an intern at DiBella Entertainment. He was also one of my mentors in this matchmaking business. As strange as some of his consipiracy theories were, when you think about it, most of the times it did make sense.



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