Recently this writer during an intermission at an Atlantic City boxing event went over and briefly sat with former two division world champion Bobby “Chappie” Czyz. He held the IBF World Light heavyweight and the WBA World Cruiserweight titles. I did an article on him in January of 2011 for now defunct Doghouse Boxing.
Czyz referred to his next to last career fight against former Cruiser and Heavyweight champion Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, 31-3. Czyz was 44-6 (28) going into that fight which was stopped after the fifth round. Rumors were Holyfield had used a foreign substance on his gloves causing the stoppage due to eye injury. “I had independent corroboration from a NY police officer that Tabasco sauce was on the gloves, but he wouldn’t testify as to how he found out. Holyfield does a monthly cycle of Winstrol before each fit. To bulk up from 188 when he fought me he was 211 using anabolic steroids as well as Synthetic Human Growth Hormone to become a legitimate heavyweight. I received this information from an anonymous source but I had no way to verify it.
“Smokin” Bert Cooper informed me he had the same problem against Holyfield from a substance on his gloves,” said Czyz. The day after the fight the skin on his face was peeling off as if after a bad sunburn. He accused Holyfield of being a dirty fighter using his head and elbows. “You can ask Mike Tyson about that,” said Czyz.
I mentioned what a great broadcaster he was with Showtime from 1992 to 2003. “I intend to return to broadcasting before the year is out,” said Czyz. I believe at least one former boxer should be included during a boxing broadcast.
Czyz won his first twenty fights debuting in April of 1980. Twelve of them were at Ice World in Totowa, NJ. As a member of the USA team he looked forward to going to the 1980 Olympics but then President Jimmy Carter boycotted them. “I trained at the Lou Costello Gym in Paterson, NJ, from 1972-1980,” said Czyz. Among those twenty wins he defeated former WBC/WBA Super Welter champ Oscar “Shotgun” Albarado, 55-8-1, stopping him in three rounds. He also defeated 1972 Olympian Reggie Jones, 16-7-1, who retired after the sixth round for the USA NJ State Middleweight title in June of 1981. In his sixteenth fight he defeated former WBC World Super Welterweight champion Elisha Obed, 86-12-4, by DQ for excessive holding in 6 in November of 1981.
Two months later at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City Czyz defeated half-brother of “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, southpaw Robbie Sims, 12-0, over 10 rounds, having dropped him in the tenth and final round. In his next fight he stopped southpaw Bobby Coolidge, 21-2-1, in the fourth round.
In November of 1982 with his record now 20-0 Czyz took on Mustafa Hamsho, 34-2-2, and suffered his first defeat over ten rounds. “I got sick two days before the fight but the money was so much I couldn’t pull out. I broke my hand in the second round but never said anything to my corner,” said Czyz. A bone graft was taken from his hip and he was in a hand cast for three months and out of action for ten months.
“One boxer I could not stand was Tim Broady, 14-2-1 who shot his mouth off continuously. When I put him on the canvas I asked him now how good am I?”
In July of 1985 with his contract to Lou Duva nearing an end Czyz defeated former IBF World Super Middleweight champion Scotland’s Murray Sutherland, 46-12-1, who was under contract with Duva. Two months later he won the IBF World Light Heavyweight title landing some twenty punches without return stopping former 1980 Olympic Gold Medalist Slobodan Kacar, 21-0, of Yugoslavia. Kacar had Angelo Dundee in his corner. Czyz added three more successful title defenses defeating David Sears, 17-2-1, putting him in retirement, NABF champ Willie Edwards, 22-2-1, and Jim MacDonald 20-3, all by stoppage.
In October of 1987 Czyz defended against his No. 1 contender “Prince” Charles Williams, 21-4-2, retiring in his corner in the ninth round, behind on two score cards and even on one. He had Williams down once and then Williams was given a standing count which gave him a chance to last out the round. In his very next fight seven months later he lost a majority decision to former WBC Light Heavyweight champion Jamaican Dennis “The Hackney Rock” Andries, 30-7-2. In his next fight he won a split decision over the former WBA Light Heavyweight champion Leslie Stewart, 26-2, of Guyana. Seemed he was being in one tough fight after another.
Two fights later Czyz lost to WBA Light Heavyweight champion Virgil “Quick Silver” Hill, 23-0, over twelve rounds. Three months later in a rematch for his former IBF title he lost again to “Prince” Charles Williams, retiring in his corner after ten rounds.
In March of 1990 in his next fight Czyz defeated future IBF Cruiserweight champion Jamaican Uriah “Bossman” Grant, 17-7. He followed this up knocking out 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist Andrew Maynard, 12-0, in seven rounds. Two fights later in March of 1991 he won a split decision over Robert “Preacher Man” Daniels, 19-1-1, winning the WBA World Cruiserweight title.
Czyz made two successful defenses defeating Nigeria’s Bash Ali, 36-12, and former WBC Light Heavyweight champion Canadian Donny “Golden Boy” Lalonde, 35-3. Czyz was hit by a car suffering severe injuries. He would have to vacate his world title returning to action twenty-one months later. It would be another six months before challenging IBO World Cruiserweight champion Nigerian David Izegwire, 15-0, getting knocked down in the fourth round and unable to come out for the fifth round.
After seven months in his next fight Czyz would beef up to 206, some seventeen pounds and stop Tim “Dough Boy” Tomashek, 51-11, and staying at heavyweight. Prior to the Holyfield fight he stopped Richard “Action” Jackson, 19-0, for the vacant WBU Super Cruiserweight title, in six rounds. After the Holyfield fight he ended his career losing to South Africa’s Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders, 33-1, in two rounds.
Czyz will be inducted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame on June 3rd!
Czyz got in contact with me and answered some questions:
KEN HISSNER: When we met recently you mentioned about getting back into the broadcasting business. Can you talk about that?
BOBBY CZYZ: I got a call by a man who hired me years ago and said we got a new set of plans in the US, UK, China and on June 2nd PPV in Wyoming and two more shows and seven next year.
KEN HISSNER: When I interviewed you back in 2011 you talked about the problems being managed by Lou Duva with many broken promises. It came to a head getting ready to fight Murray Sutherland who was also under contract with him. Do you want to mention this at this time?
BOBBY CZYZ: He said he had a contract with Park and Sutherland with Park winning only to find he didn’t have a contract with Park so I didn’t get that title fight. Don’t lie to me. I got out of the contract and went on to win three world titles. He was a good manager and a poor trainer.
KEN HISSNER: You lost your first fight after going 20-0 to Mustafa “Rocky Estafire” Hamsho breaking your hand in the second round but still going the full ten rounds. Did you ever seek a rematch with him?
BOBBY CZYZ: My dad died shortly afterwards and I didn’t look for a rematch. When he fought Donny Lalonde I was to fight him if he won but he lost so it made no sense to fight him again. We later became friends.
KEN HISSNER: After winning the IBF Light Heavyweight title in 1986 your twelve fight win streak came to an end losing your title to “Prince” Charles Williams. You had him down and then he was given a standing count. Do you think if for not the referee giving him that count you could have stopped him?
BOBBY CZYZ: I think Carlos Padilla should not have given him an 8 count which is for the amateurs not the professionals.
KEN HISSNER: Though seven months before your next fight you take on former WBC champ Dennis Andries losing a majority decision. Wasn’t that a tough fight to take coming back?
BOBBY CZYZ: I was really sick the day before that fight with a 101 fever throwing up all morning with a 103 fever. My trainer Tommy Parks asked if I wanted to fight. I told him I gave my word I’d fight. His trainer Manny Steward told me Andries said “he had never been hit as hard as that before”.
KEN HISSNER: You then beat former champion Leslie Stewart and fight Virgil Hill for his WBA light heavyweight title losing a decision. How good would you rate Hill at that time?
BOBBY CZYZ: Stewart afterwards said I could fight. I dropped Hill and it was called a slip and he later said he was knocked down. He was quick and I had problems with my back at the time.
KEN HISSNER: You lose in a rematch with Williams. Were you starting to have a problem making 175? I retired for about ten months and knew I still had something left in my career.
BOBBY CZYZ: Yes that was an issue.
KEN HISSNER: Eventually move up to Cruiserweight winning the title from Robert Daniels. You had several defenses but were hit by a car and were out of action for about 21 months. You had a small comeback win and then 6 months later lose to IBO Cruiser champion David Izegwire. Do you think you rushed into that fight too soon?
BOBBY CZYZ: I had back spasams and my quadrata muscles locked up in my back.
KEN HISSNER: I think you were about 10-0 at the Ice World in Totowa and 15-3 in Atlantic City. Did you have a favorite place to fight?
BOBBY CZYZ: I didn’t care where I fought. I would fight you in your kitchen.
KEN HISSNER: My final question is can I ask who that good looking woman was with you at the fights the last time I saw you?
BOBBY CZYZ: She is one of my ex-girlfriends that I’m close with. When I am inducted she will be there.
KEN HISSNER: At 56 you still could pass for a Matinee Idol. Thanks for taking the time for another interview.
BOBBY CZYZ: We’ve developed a relationship over time and I will see you at the ACB HOF induction.