He was one of the icons of the sport. He was a throwback link with his appearance and admirable command of the sport's rich history. Two years later, the hole left by the passing of raconteur extraordinaire Bert Sugar has not and I dare say will not soon be filled.
The prolific author who, I think, wore his trademark fedora in the shower. Sugar, who was never without a soggy stogie, left us on March 25, 2012, at age 74.
A Mount Kisco resident, he honed his bonafides and his schtick in the "Mad Men" era of advertising. He made his early mark on the fight game as the editor of Boxing Illustrated in the early 70s, and then The Ring.
His way with words, both written and spoken --he was a go-to talking head for mainstream media when they did their occasional pop-ins to pugilism, for the odd megafight -- was celebrated with a 2005 induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Now his friend, producer Jules Feiler, has helped put together a proper homage to Sugar, with a half-hour program to run Monday, Feb. 10, on MSG +.
The Sugar tribute features luminaries Lou DiBella, the promoter, Larry Holmes, the former heavyweight champion and Randy Gordon, boxing broadcaster, gather at the downtown Italian joint Ecco, a Sugar fave, and share Bert stories, while host Fran Healy steers the chat on the show titled "The Game 365."
"I realized that there were so many of his friends that missed him," Feiler told me. "We all still talk about him a lot. I thought that it was time someone did something about Bert, nothing had been done and it was overdue. Getting everyone together and telling Bert stories brought all the thunderous laughs back, and for a moment, it was like he was sitting there at the bar and had never left."