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Former World Champion boxer, and gay man, Emile Griffith dead

Posted by David Zimmerman  July 25, 2013 11:44 AM

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"I keep thinking how strange it is ... I kill a man and most people understand and forgive me. However, I love a man, and to so many people this is an unforgivable sin; this makes me an evil person. So, even though I never went to jail, I have been in prison almost all my life."

From the book "Nine ... Ten ... And Out! The Two Worlds of Emile Griffith"

Emile Griffith was a three time World Welterweight Champion. He was also gay, at a time when all gay professional athletes remained staunchly in the closet. Griffith died this week at the age of 75.

Griffith is best known for a 1962 title fight against Benny Paret. In the fight Griffith beat Paret so badly that Paret died 10 days later. In a documentary about the fight called ‘Ring of Fire’ Griffith talked about remarks made by Paret before the fight that may have played a part in the savage beating. In those comments Paret had called Griffith a “maricon,” Spanish for faggot. “When I had him in the corner in the 12th round … I was very angry in the ring,” Griffith said in the documentary. “Nobody ever called me a faggot.”

Griffith had a professional record of 85-24-2. He was the WBA and WBC welterweight champion throughout the Sixties.

His life is the subject of a new opera, "Champion," which debuted in St. Louis last month.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author: Boston Spirit Magazine’s daily blog brings you all of the information you need on New England’s LGBT community. In addition to highlighting local and national LGBT news, we will also highlight local leaders from the worlds of business, politics, fashion and entertainment and keep you up-to-date on all the latest events and parties, hot spots for travel, shopping, dining, and more!

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