At the age of 74, boxing historian and journalist Bert Sugar is dead.
Sugar had privately battled lung cancer in which only his closest friends had known about, after his long battle with the cancer he succumbed to a heart attack.
“He was ageless,” said boxing promoter Lou DiBella. “Bert was an older guy, but he was young at heart, young in spirit. He was always (up for) a good time. He was a guy who was omnipresent. I called him to see how he’s doing around a month ago. He was positive. I’d known he wasn’t feeling well. I could tell he wasn’t well.”
In 1969 Sugar had bought ‘Boxing Illustrated’ and was the magazines editor until 1973 after which he became editor and publisher for magazine ‘ The Ring.’ He had written over 80 books, much of which were written on his other favorite sport, baseball. In 2005 he was elected to the Boxing Hall Of Fame.
Sugar had became famous for wearing a fedora and smoking fat cigars and was a human encyclopedia on the sport he covered.
“Clearly Bert was unique and created his niche in boxing,” said Steve Farhood, Showtime boxing analyst and long-time friend of Sugar. “He had an exceptional mind with exceptional recall. He loved boxing and the opportunity that boxing gave him to be Bert Sugar. In time he became more of a character and face of boxing than some of the boxers themselves.”
“When you lose a Bert Sugar you lose a piece of boxing history,” said Ross Greenburg, former president of HBO Sports.
“He seemingly went back to Jack Johnson and John L. Sullivan,” Greenburg said. “His passing will leave a large void in the sport. He was everybody’s go-to guy. The sport has so much history and it seems it was all in Bert’s head.”