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Historic Boxing Footage Question

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posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 05:16 PM
Greetings sports fans. I've never posted here (the sports section of BTS) before but I'm pretty sure someone here can help.

I have vivid memories of something I saw on TV in the early 70s. Something horrific and disturbing!

The story:

It's 1974-75. I was 3 or 4, but if it was 1975 then I had barely turned 4. I was watching PBS. They were showing footage from a boxing match that I would now guess as being from the late 1930s. I suppose it could have been from anywhere from 1930 to 1960, but I think late 30s is probably pretty accurate.

What I remember is looking at the screen in time to see - a boxer that I would describe as looking like Humphrey Bogart - taking an uppercut to the chin and dropping to the floor.

What happens next I'll never forget. He spits his severed tongue out in two chunks, and while his trainer wipes blood off of his mug, he makes eye-contact with the camera.

NOW: It has been pointed out to me that, being three, I may not have actually seen what I thought I saw. That perhaps the two chunks of tongue were actually just his mouthpiece.

This is entirely possible.

Though it seemed like the whole purpose of the clip being shown was because it showed what I think it did.

I've tried Googling keywords like "boxing severed bitten tongue footage" and various combinations... I'm pretty proficient at finding stuff if it exists.

SO... I guess what I'm asking is, does anyone here know of such an event? It seems to me like it would be semi well-known footage, if in fact it shows a boxer spitting out his tongue.

OR... Does anyone know of some footage that shows a boxer go down, spit out his mouthpiece and look into the camera? (I realize I just described something that happens all the freakin' time in boxing, but for whatever reason it was included on a PBS show in the 70s, so maybe it's a famous boxer who died around '74? I dunno. Does anyone know what I might've seen?

Thanks in advance!

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 05:03 AM
Sorry, dude. I've never heard of or seen anything like that, and I've seen a lot of old footage. If it does exist, I doubt it's of a well-known fighter. If it were, it would be common knowledge.

Try Googling PBS Boxing Documentaries, or something along those lines.

posted on Jul, 19 2008 @ 07:57 AM
reply to post by Teratoma

It's impossible that it was two chunks of his tongue. Maybe a small bit of the tip, about the size of a pea would be possible, but otherwise the bleeding would be dramatic and copious and probably involve arterial blood, so the fight would have had to be stopped.

That it was in two chunks from one bite probably is the best clue that it was a bloody mouthpiece bitten, or torn in two. Sometimes a boxer when tired will hold his mouthpiece out of his mouth partially, gripped in the middle by his front teeth. This could result in what you saw.

I've seen a lot of old boxing fights and never have heard of this.

It's certainly possible that during a fight something like a half-bitten off piece of a tongue occurred, maybe during those old time barehanded pit fights where they didn't even wear mouth guards.

Anyway, sorry to hear you were traumatized by it. It would be exceedingly rare. Most tongue injuries are not through-and-through.

You might look at tongue injuries and severing by itself to get a better idea if you're trying to defuse and calm your trauma, but it might make it worse. (yikes).


posted on Jul, 19 2008 @ 01:29 PM
Like I said, I believe it's entirely possible. I do think it's possible that the two chunks were his mouthpiece AND his tongue though. The fight was definitely over, whatever it was. So whatever it was that this footage shows was the whole reason for it being included - as if it was historical footage.

So, even if it doesn't show a severed tongue, I'd like to somehow find out what footage I saw. Maybe someone here will be drinking beer with buddies and think about it, and it will ring a bell with someone there.

posted on Jul, 19 2008 @ 02:25 PM
reply to post by Teratoma

Again, I see your point but consider; if the boxer had the mouthpiece in, and clamped down and his tongue was in the way, the soft surface of the mouthpiece wouldn't penetrate from the top. The bottom teeth might go through the tongue, but not bite off a large piece.

When you say the boxer looked at the camera, are you implying he indicated he didn't care his tongue was bitten off?

How big were the pieces? Size of a raisin? Half of a mouthpiece? The whole front of a tongue?

The only fighter who looked a little like Bogart was Dempsey and he never had an accident like this.

I'll ask around.

Good luck with your question.

posted on Jul, 19 2008 @ 08:17 PM
No, the way he looked at the camera was what I'll never forget; he had a look of pure helplessness and horror. There was copious amounts of blood, which his people were wiping off his chin.

The pieces were large. Thing is, I'm trying to picture them as being a mouthpiece at all and it just doesn't fit in to how I remember them looking. I remember them looking like dark, bloody pieces of meat.

Of course this is 30+ years ago, but I'm pretty sure I saw what I saw. Seems like if you lost your mouthpiece in a flurry, a double upper-cut to the jaw could make two chunks, however unlikely.

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:33 PM
Well getting your tounge bit in 1/2 is possible i really doubt thats what it was. It might have been his mouth piece and some teeth.
Some guys so not know when to stop or how to slow down after they loose their wind. Its a dumb trick that i have seen some guys do but fighter will on occasion pop their mouth piece out just a bit to breathe out of their mouth easier. So he might have gotten his mouth piece knocked out along with a couple fron teeth. If the footage was from the 1930s it would be hard to tell between a mouthpiece,teeth and tounge. I have seen some old joe lewis fights where it is hard to tell who is who even though Lewis was black and the other guy was white. But again im not saying you did not see what you saw, just somthing to think about.

[edit on by YoungStalin]

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:03 PM
reply to post by YoungStalin

Thanks for bumping my question, youngstalin. I appreciate the feedback I've gotten from you all, but at the same time, I'm not entirely convinced.

If it was teeth, then it was several teeth in a wad with flesh from his gums. I don't know what it was, but I know what I saw, if that makes any sense. It was two large chunks of something accompanied by LOTS of blood. If it was a mouthpiece (which are almost always white) then it was entirely drenched in blood and mangled into an unrecognizable wad. And there were definitely TWO chunks of whatever came out of his mouth.

I'm able to accept the idea that I mistook what it was for something it wasn't, but I am absolutely certain about the sequence of events:

POW. Boxer goes down. Spits something out of his mouth onto the mat. Bleeds a whole lot. Spits something else out. Whatever it was is solid (not just blood, and bigger than teeth) dark and bloody. Turns towards camera and his manager (or whoever) wipes blood off his face.

I know I was watching PBS, which would only show something like this if it was something historical. I had no concept of the era it was from at the time (being a three or four year old child) but in retrospect I can verify that it was from the 30s or 40s. Possibly 50s-60s but I really don't think so.

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