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Apr 16th
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Home Boxing FORGOTTEN BROTHERS, Volume 1
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rigoberto-alvarez-boxerLeon and Michael, Vitali and Vladimir, Rafael and Juan Manuel.  We know the last names without them being said.  If you are a true boxing fan, you will even recognize Gabriel and Rafael, as well as Gaby and Orlando.  It is rare enough to have one world champion in the family. To have two is super rare, and gives credence to geneticists who claim that athletic ability is 90% in the blood.

However, for every pair of siblings with competitive accolades, there are those who do not quite match up.  I don’t mean fighters with brothers who never fought.  That is the majority of them.  I mean fighters whose brothers got nowhere close to the level of their famous sibling, but did make an attempt.  Some of them did pretty well themselves.  Perhaps we wouldn’t be forgetting them, if not for that enormous shadow.  Here are the first few entries, in part one of a two part story.

Rigoberto Alvarez – He is the first of two men on this list, who actually can call themselves world champions. In the category of fame, however, they is being currently dwarfed.  Unlike Omar Chavez, Rigoberto cannot even blame the name.  It is the unbeaten record of his more famous brother, along with the complexion, that pushes the older Alvarez into the background.  Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is a star to such an extent that many do not even realize he has a brother in the same weight class.  This Alvarez won his belt from James Kirkland conqueror Nobuhiro Ishida, and lost it to American Austin Trout.  It looks like he is already taking on better competition than his younger brother.  His career is nowhere near over, but he’d have to accomplish a lot to overtake “Canelo” in the eyes of the fans.

Leon Calvin – The older half-brother of Cory Spinks enters this category tragically.  As we now know, fighters do not always end up rich because they win world titles.  Even at the highest levels that is so.  Therefore, Leon Spinks’ sons did not grow up with a silver spoon like Chavez Jr.  The eldest of these sons, who fought under the name Leon Calvin, turned pro and won his first two fights.  He could not, however, escape street life, and was tragically murdered at age 19.

Bobby Quarry – This young man is not even number 2 in the family from which he came.  Bobby is the youngest, by far younger than Jerry and Mike, in the fighting Quarry family.  Jerry was one of the best fighters never to win a world title, and if not for poor skin and sharing an era with Ali, Foreman, and Frazier, he likely would have been champion.  Mike fought for the light heavyweight tile, but was badly KO’d by Bob Foster, and was never the same again.  Bobby fought in the 80’s and 90’s, and scored a couple of upset KO’s, but was relegated to journeyman status very early on, and retired with a losing record.  It may have been for the best, however, that his career did not progress further.  Both Jerry and Mike died from complications from dementia pugilistica, while Bobby suffered from the disease, but not nearly to the same extent.

Chris Strait

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