Boxing

In the boxing world, South Florida is best known for the 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach where Muhammad Ali trained along with other greats such as George Foreman and Sugar Ray Leonard. But there were countless others training in more obscure gyms in Miami as they tried to break into the big time using their brawn.  The fight that drew Miami into the national spotlight was the 1964 Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston heavyweight championship fight on Miami Beach. And the man who pushed the area into prominence was Beach promoter, Chris Dundee. Dundee was the person who worked the deal with Louisville businessmen to have Clay train at the 5th Street Gym and fight Liston at the Miami Beach Convention Center. In the early 1980s, Miami was fertile soil for predominantly Latin American shows.  During that time, the driving forces in were Tuto Zabala and Willy Martinez. Zabala successfully tapped into the Colombian market by bringing in highly popular Miguel “Happy” Lora, among others.

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