The Harder They Fall: Frankie Gambino, Mr. C and Me
By Sunset Thomas (March 15, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
Frankie Gambino loves Mr. C—Cosell from Heaven because Howard Cosell is dead and so is Frankie (he’s my ghost-of-a-goombah sidekick). But since Frankie is sort of stuck here with me on earth, he finds Mr. C the closest thing to the dearly departed.

I first met Mr. C at the NABF Hall of Fame Dinner in Reno, Nevada—that same evening I ment Arthur Mercante (who was signing the iconic photo taken by Frank Sinatra of Mercante counting the fallen Muhammad Ali in the first Ali/Frazier match at Madison Square Garden).

I met Roberto Duran that night as well. Frankie has always given “Hands of Stone” Duran a pass on the “No mas” incident—because in Frankie’s distorted view, ‘He said it in Spanish—that’s kind of like having your fingers crossed when you make a promise.’ Sometimes Frankie Gambino makes no sense!

But I understand where Frankie is coming from regarding Duran. In one tragic “no mas” moment Roberto’s legacy was tainted forever. Hey, Roberto fought in some epic battles and with tons of heart. Despite that lapse, neither Frankie Gambino nor I have ever questioned the cojones of Roberto Duran.

Anyways, back to Mr. C.

We next met at the Sam Peter bout in Reno (which is where I first met Frankie Gambino). Hey, who knows, maybe Mr. C channeling the real Cosell created some kind of weird cosmic anomaly and that’s how Frankie got here in the first place—like I said, who knows?

So my connection with Sam Peter (an up-and coming Heavyweight at the time) was through my long-time family friend Dino Duva (the Duva’s promoted Sam).

What a specimen that Sam was—bulky, strong, athletic—a family man with the one goal—becoming the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Sadly, his work ethic was questionable and that too is a question of heart.

“Heart is everything,” Frankie bleats. “Muhammad Ali had heart, he had a big mouth, but his heart was even bigger and so he could back up those Louiville lips. Rocky Marciano—nothing but heart. Hell, he was shy and suspicious of everyone around him—he was a student of the sport who let his fists do his talking. That’s what people don’t get about the fight game. You can have talent, you can be a self-promoter—these are not mutually exclusive traits in our sport but you better back up whatever you bring into the ring. That’s why I don’t like this MMA stuff—show me a guy who’ll be competitive for six, seven years plus. It’s too physical—boxing is mental—skill first—brains and brawn mixed together like some science project—the ultimate blend of athleticism. (Frankie is soooo old-school!)

To loyal readers of Dog House Boxing, I hope you’ll all go to and search for Anatomy of an Adult Film, that’s my book—it’s doing well. Anatomy of an Adult Film is a fast-paced read and a sexy romp—I’m sure you’ll love it!
The Hard-boiled murder/mystery novel
Death’s Green Eyes….
Anyways, shortly after the Peter’s/Sykes fight, Mr. C and I joined up to co-host a radio show in Reno on ESPN—the XXXtra Point (with Chuck “Godfather”Travella, and others). We had a popular and sexy provocative show that went on for a few years until I moved back to Vegas.

Once back in Vegas I proud to learn that my buddy Mr. C had been invited to participate at the opening of the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville and then it seemed he was everywhere—appearing at the Golden Gloves competition in San Francisco, speaking at the WBHOF Directors Dinner and hosting an event with the aforementioned Arthur Mercante at the Eldorado Casino/Hotel in Reno. Heck, the ham even has a commercial with James Toney coming out soon—not to mention a documentary about him!

Mr. C has heart and a hairpiece—just as his name sake did! The real Cosell was fond of “telling it like it is,” and that takes heart.

“Why that guy stuck up for Ali when he had to balls to stick up for his convictions and not go to Vietnam—even though he’d see more action in the ring than on tour there. That’s heart—standing up for your beliefs and Cosell was right there beside him—that’s heart too.” Sometimes I soooo proud of Frankie…

So now I’m working on a project with Mr. C called it’ll be an irreverent, sexy sports show with all the bells and whistles and perhaps Frankie will make an occasional appearance and well, as Frankie says about me, “You got a lot of heart kid, but you got so much flesh in front of it you need a sonar system instead of a stethoscope to hear the damn thing!”

Loyal DoghouseBoxing readers please check out my book (Anatomy of an Adult Film) and my cohorts hard-boiled murder/mystery novel—Death’s Green Eyes….

To find out more on Frankie Gambino
- Please click the link: 
The Harder They Fall: How I meet Frankie Gambino.

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