When John worked on the Stern Show he had a boxing match at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, with ex-army paratrooper "Crazy Cabbie". John weighed 174 lbs. & was 5 feet 7 1/2 inches tall. Cabbie weighed 265 lbs. & was 6 feet 3 inches tall. John was a 3-1 underdog. He overcame all odds & won the fight unanimously!
How the fight came to be:
John & his wife were watching an episode of Celebrity Boxing. He couldn't understand why these "celebrities" would risk getting their heads beaten in for a mere 30,000 dollars. He expressed his feeling on the air the next day on Stern. Howard asked John how much he would need to box, John said at least 100,000 dollars. Cabbie called in to challenge John, he always disliked John because he felt John kept him off the show (hence the crazy in his name). John accepted the challenge to Howard's disbelief & the fight was born!
How John won:
John's masseuse & friend, Lisa Ripi, works with many of the New York Jets, Jumbo Elliot & Jason Fabini train at the Gold’s Gym in Syosset. Steve Weinberger & Bev Francis own the gym. Steve became John's weight trainer. He hooked up John with Super-Heavyweight Kickboxing Champ, Derek Panza & full contact Fighting Entrepreneur, Joel Gold. Derek & Joel worked with John for 3 months straight. John sparred with 6 ft. plus boxers who taught John how to punch & take a punch. "I remember the 1st day of sparring, it was the 1st & last day that I brought my wife. I got my head kicked in so bad there was blood spewing from my nose & lip!" Derek felt John needed to learn how to take a punch & be ready & comfortable at bleeding in the ring. He made each sparring bout harder than the actual bout with Cabbie would be. He also put John on a healthy diet & worked with John on his technique. Derek told John that he would win, my gym has never had a loss. John felt even more nervous that he would be his 1st loss, but he also felt confident & determined to pummel Cabbie in the ring. "I knew the odds were against me, Cabbie was so much bigger, most people at the Stern show felt Cabbie would kill me, I knew differently, Derek, Joel, & Steve had trained me too hard for me to go down without a fight ." People thought John would get seriously hurt in this fight, it bothered John, the Father of 2 daughters, after all, he didn't want to get killed. "I remember sitting in Derek’s office & asking him, Derek, could I die in this fight, Derek looked at me & said, "You are not going to die, you are going to win this fight!" That's all I needed to hear, the worrying was over & the fighting began.
The fight took place at trumps Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ. The 4000 seats to the fight were sold out, celebrities, Wack Packers, & fight enthusiasts were in attendance. Many of whom stayed up & drank all night. Evander Holyfield was there, Donald Trump was there, that guy with the hat & cigar who attends every famous fight was there. John was backstage before the fight, with his vintage "Rocky" poster that his wife gave him that morning behind him, Howard came back & said "John, I can call off this fight if you'd like" John looked at him & said, Call it off!? Are you kidding! Howard, I'm going to win this fight!"
The Fight Breakdown:
The fight began after Michael Buffer's announcement. John came out punching, that was the strategy, keep punching, let Cabbie worry that he misjudged the heart on this lighter, smaller in size guy. Around the 3rd round people started chanting "Cabbie sucks, Cabbie sucks"! this energized John even more, at the end of the 2nd round Evander Holyfield was asked who he had thought was winning. Evander said, "I think Stuttering Joe is winning" Well he was right... Partially... John won a unanimous decision. The crowd went nuts, despite, 5inches, 70 some odd pounds & the fact that Cabbie wore head gear, double the thickness of John's, (Cabbie had sparring head gear, while John had amatuer boxing head gear) John still managed to overcome the odds & win the fight!
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