Man Discovers Grandfather's Secret Boxing Career Years Later, Goes Viral
How is this not a movie already?
Last week, Twitter user @lovelyjessij asked people to share a "dark family secret" that they only learned about as adults. While many people shared some truly intense tales, the one that went viral was posted by @AngryManTV, who told a story that's worthy of a Hollywood movie.
It was only when he went to his funeral that this man learned that his grandfather had been a professional welterweight boxer back in the 1940s. Once he began to dig deep into his family's history, he discovered the tragic reason his career had been kept a secret.
"I sat and stared at medals won and articles from my grandpop's bouts in NYC in the 40's," he wrote. "But no one had any intel as to why his boxing career had been such a secret. I only learned the truth about 10 years ago."
Back in the '40s, his grandfather had been fighting professionally when he was drafted into the army. After serving his country in World War II for two and a half years, he returned home and resumed his professional boxing career.
"In looking up his record online, I saw a string of 11 straight wins," he wrote. "Then suddenly a few losses and a career ending DQ at Madison Square Garden."
His grandmother said she had no idea why he chose to abandon his beloved profession, only that he suddenly told her her wanted to go to culinary school and swore to never discuss boxing again.
When his grandfather's brother got sick a few years back, he decided to finally reveal what led to the demise of this pro's boxing career.
It turns out that every time his grandfather won, the mob lost a lot of money, and it became an issue.
"He spoke of a moment before a fight where members of the mob came into the locker room and told my grandpops that he was going to lose or else his family be in danger," he wrote. "I'm not sure what the results of those fights were, but my uncle claims that my grandpops refused to lose. Yet, when the big fight at MSG came up, he abruptly told his trainer that he was retiring. So basically, due to pressure from the mob my grandpops gave up his boxing career to protect my grandmoms and my mom who was his only child at the time. He went on to be a chef at Howard Johnson for some 30 years."
Until he died, all he knew was that his grandfather had been "one [heck] of a cook," but when he learned this family secret and started to dig around, he found a boxing historian named Clay Moyle in Washington State who was selling old magazines on eBay, one of which has his grandfather on the cover.
"I was stunned. I emailed dude with my story and he told me he had other articles and magazines with my grandpops featured. I sent him money via PayPal and be sent me the items overnight. I opened up that envelope and listen, I cried like a baby. There he was, my grandpops as a young prizefighter in NYC on the cover of this boxing magazine. I'd never seen this before. I spent the next few hours reading through all the articles and feeling proud. This cat was damn good. He had a career stripped away and it made me sad. But I appreciated why he quit."
He made copies of the newspaper clippings and magazines and framed the originals, giving them to his mother on her birthday. As one would expect, she cried.
"I'm sure she had a bit of the same emotions that I had. But that was her father. She had never seen those magazines and articles either."
Now, he keeps framed copies in his "mancave." It's sad that his boxing career had to end due to such tragic circumstances, but it's also a testament to his grandfather, a man who put his family first.
"Bittersweet memories of what could have been, but I'm extremely proud of my grandpops, his accomplishments & for loving and protecting for our family."
For more viral stories like this one, See This Incredible Story of a Long-Lost Family Meeting for the First Time.
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