Reusse: Ex-Viking an (un)real knockout

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 16, 2013 - 7:24 PM

Ray Edwards' new career has included two ridiculous bouts that stand out even by boxing's laughable standards.

Sunday marks the 122nd anniversary of the first boxing title fight to be held in Minnesota. Chicago's Tommy Ryan defeated St. Paul's Danny Needham in the 76th round to win the world welterweight title. The elongated battle was held at the Twin City Athletic Club in Minneapolis.

It was a week ago that a bout with a local angle last gained attention. No witnesses remain from the events of Feb. 17, 1891, but it can be safely assumed Needham showed more grit than did Nicholas Capes, the loser of the recent fisticuffs.

That fight was actually held across the border -- in Fargo -- on Feb. 9, but the fact that it featured Ray Edwards, the former Vikings defensive end, was a source of Minnesota curiosity.

Capes, a short, bald, chubby Iowan, entered with three first-round knockout losses in three bouts and quickly made it 4-for-4 with a comedic backward vault to the ring's floor. What made this special was Capes went into his vault one second after Edwards' punch missed his face by a foot.

The North Dakota boxing commissioner suspended Capes from further activity -- roughly the equivalent of the triathlon commissioner suspending a short, bald, chubby sportswriter from further Ironman competition.

What was mostly missed here was Edwards being a mere 15 days removed from a KO victory with as much high comedy as the Fargo event. That fight was Jan. 25 in Hinckley, with Cory "Spare Tire'' Briggs as Edwards' foe.

Watching the video on YouTube I would put the Spare Tire at 460, 470 pounds. This Edwards classic ended in 40 seconds, when Briggs took a couple of shots to the gut and knelt against the ropes, unable to rise due to pain and/or bulk.

There are two choices for folks who have followed Minnesota's boxing scene for a few decades: Laugh or cry.

I choose laughter.

I watched Capes and smiled in recollection of Derrick Dukes' boxing debut. I watched the Spare Tire go "ugh'' and smiled in recollection of my friend Ray Whebbe's boxing debut in far away Macao.

Unlike short, bald, chubby Nick Capes, Dukes was 6-3 and chiseled, and had come to the Twin Cities to learn pro wrestling from Eddie Sharkey. In the spring of 1991, much-publicized NFLer Mark Gastineau was going to launch a pro boxing career. Dukes signed up as the opponent for the bout in Salem, Va.

The description: "Gastineau came out of his corner and threw a left hook. Dukes vaulted into the air, landed on his back and was counted out at the 12-second mark of the first round.''

Sharkey, the wrestling teacher, addressed the controversy that followed Dukes' quick exit: "It was a perfect landing. Derrick broke his fall with his hands, just like he has been taught. The problem came because it was the wrong sport.''

Whebbe was a friend of Duke, Sharkey and everyone in the second tier of boxing and wrestling around here. Anywhere on the fringe, there was Ray, spinning yarns.

The best of those came in 1994, when Whebbe tagged along with the three local fighters who had been recruited for the card in Macao. This was a Harold Smith promotion; Smith had done prison time for his financial dealings as a U.S. boxing promoter.

When another fighter bailed on his scheduled bout with Macao heavyweight Li Hou Quing, Whebbe was asked if he had boxed. Ray was hesitant until told there was $1,000 to be earned, he said, "Yeah, I'm a boxer. I'll take the fight.''

Ray had lost 200 pounds in several years of dieting. He was now a less-than-taut 191 pounds and not an impressive sight as a foe for Quing, called "the strongest man in China.''

Whebbe claimed to have "hit him with 20 good shots in the first two minutes.'' The other version was that Ray was running away and Quing knocked him out with one punch to the back of the head.

Whebbe left this veil of tears in 2003, or he could be Ray Edwards' next worthy opponent.

Boxing ... you can't live with it, but you can't get all the laughs without it.

For instance: Gene Fesenmaier was an off-the-wall promoter in the 1970s. A colleague of mine was named the new boxing writer at the St. Paul newspapers. Fez responded by sending an envelope that contained $50.

When the cash was returned, Fez glared at the young sportswriter and said:

"That's the trouble with you, pal. You would rather be right than President.''

Patrick Reusse can be heard noon-4 weekdays on 1500-AM. preusse@startribune.com

  • related content

  • North Dakota suspends boxer for diving against Ray Edwards

    Wednesday February 13, 2013

    North Dakota's fight commissioner has suspended an Iowa boxer for allegedly taking a dive 13 seconds into a bout against former Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards.

  • Ray Edwards stood in a neutral corner after knocking down T.J. Gibson during a bout.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 14 3rd Qtr 1:19
Washington 17
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Phoenix 99 FINAL
New York 90
Portland 6:00 PM
New Orleans
Utah 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Houston
San Antonio 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 8:00 PM
Denver
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Arizona 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Colorado 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Montreal
Washington 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Tampa Bay 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Florida 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Carolina
Chicago 6:00 PM
Columbus
Nashville 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Calgary 9:00 PM
Vancouver
St. Louis 9:30 PM
San Jose
VA Commonwealth 68 FINAL
Cincinnati 47
Charlotte 78 FINAL
Georgetown 81
SMU 62 FINAL
Michigan 51
Louisville 76 FINAL
Western Ky 67
Mount St Marys 45 FINAL
American Univ 46
Abilene Christian 33 FINAL
Boise State 77
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Duquesne 79
South Alabama 65 FINAL
IUPUI 71
Ohio State 74 FINAL
North Carolina 82
Massachusetts 65 FINAL
Providence 85
Syracuse 77 FINAL
Villanova 82
Citadel 61 FINAL
Virginia Tech 64
Belmont 73 FINAL
Fairfield 61
St Bonaventure 69 FINAL
Binghamton 51
Montreat 64 FINAL
Campbell 90
Delaware 74 FINAL
Fair-Dickinson 76
South Florida 62 FINAL
Florida State 75
Vanderbilt 60 FINAL
Georgia Tech 65
SC State 71 FINAL
Houston 63
Missouri 59 FINAL
Illinois 62
Truett-McConnell 55 FINAL
Jacksonville 84
Toledo 83 FINAL
McNeese State 69
Elon 71 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 64
Drexel 68 FINAL
Penn State 73
St Francis-PA 73 FINAL
Rutgers 68
Albany 64 FINAL
Yale 60
PSU-Beaver 74 FINAL
Longwood 106
Eastern Ill 60 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Indiana 82 FINAL
Butler 73
Marshall 58 FINAL
Arkansas State 67
Lafayette 69 FINAL
Kansas 96
Oral Roberts 63 FINAL
Memphis 78
Western Mich 61 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Delaware State 70 FINAL
Oregon 83
Fla Atlantic 56 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
Arkansas Tech 57 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 94
Howard Payne 50 FINAL
Texas-Arlington 89
UMBC 66 FINAL
Kennesaw St 53
St Josephs (IN) 54 FINAL
Chicago State 77
Eastern Mich 77 FINAL
Missouri State 65
UCLA 42 FINAL
Kentucky 83
UC Davis 81 FINAL
Air Force 75
Houston Baptist 67 FINAL
UC Riverside 78
Davidson 80 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 68
USC Upstate 53 FINAL
Miss State 51
NC Central 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 60
Illinois State 77 FINAL
Murray State 89
Louisiana 85 FINAL
Northwestern St 89
Oakland 77 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
Detroit 55 FINAL
Rhode Island 69
Presbyterian 60 FINAL
UT Martin 77
Monmouth 74 FINAL
Wagner 66
Southern U 39 FINAL
Wyoming 57
Iowa State 76 2nd Half 4:48
Drake 43
Wake Forest 42 2nd Half 10:05
Florida 46
High Point 58 2nd Half 6:56
James Madison 60
Texas Southern 44 2nd Half 6:36
Michigan State 50
New Hampshire 54 2nd Half 2:45
Sacred Heart 70
Northeastern 73 2nd Half 2:11
Santa Clara 65
Huston-Tillotson 48 2nd Half 6:46
Texas State 72
Purdue 46 2nd Half 14:31
Notre Dame 52
Prairie View 19 2nd Half 18:04
Sam Houston St 37
Xavier 29 1st Half 3:20
Auburn 21
Bluffton 6:00 PM
Akron
NJIT 6:00 PM
Central Conn St
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Columbia
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Dayton
Iona 6:00 PM
George Mason
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Texas A&M 6:00 PM
Kansas State
Morgan State 6:00 PM
Manhattan
Saint Josephs 6:00 PM
Marist
East Carolina 6:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Richmond 6:00 PM
Pepperdine
La Salle 6:00 PM
Towson
Incarnate Word 6:05 PM
UMKC
CS-Bakersfield 6:30 PM
Idaho State
Iowa 6:30 PM
Northern Iowa
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Long Beach State 7:00 PM
Texas
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
TCU
SE Missouri St 7:30 PM
Arkansas
Lehigh 8:00 PM
Arizona State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Oklahoma 8:00 PM
Washington
Utah Valley U 8:00 PM
Weber State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
St Edwards 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
NC State 8:30 PM
West Virginia
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
Gonzaga
Fresno State 9:00 PM
Pacific
Montana State 9:00 PM
Portland
Ball State 9:00 PM
San Diego St
South Dakota St 9:05 PM
Utah State
Stanford 10:00 PM
BYU
Utah 10:30 PM
UNLV
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 4th Qtr 12:28
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 3 2nd Qtr 11:33
Air Force 6
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Livingstone 77 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Dartmouth 70
Georgia Tech 65 FINAL
St Francis-NY 59
Auburn 49 FINAL
St Johns 56
East Tenn St 56 FINAL
Jacksonville St 57
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Detroit 57
Cal-Irvine 42 FINAL
Wright State 80
Gardner-Webb 47 FINAL
Kennesaw St 50
(7) Stanford 40 FINAL
(11) Tennessee 59
Alabama A&M 47 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Central Michigan 45 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 80
Nebraska Omaha 50 FINAL
Creighton 67
FIU 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 83
Houston 65 FINAL
Nicholls 47
St Thomas Aquinas 45 FINAL
Army 70
St Bonaventure 72 FINAL
Niagara 60
Texas State 57 FINAL
Stetson 75
George Mason 65 FINAL
ULM 53
Grambling 38 FINAL
Kansas State 61
Missouri 79 FINAL
Wake Forest 64
Robert Morris 59 FINAL
Cornell 70
Air Force 44 FINAL
Abilene Christian 80
Hampton 53 FINAL
James Madison 85
American Univ 64 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 52
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 68
Tenn Tech 49 FINAL
NC A&T 54
Presbyterian 45 FINAL
NC Central 33
Penn 58 FINAL
Drexel 67
Lipscomb 38 FINAL
Xavier 62
Vermont 40 FINAL
Green Bay 60
Charleston Southern 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 80
Ohio Christian 62 FINAL
Akron 97
Jacksonville 62 FINAL
Murray State 80
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Iona 58
Indiana 88 FINAL
Oakland 61
Indiana State 64 FINAL
SMU 55
Denver 51 FINAL
Purdue 65
TX-San Antonio 48 FINAL
Texas Tech 64
UCF 57 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 79
Campbell 66 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 55
Florida A&M 67 FINAL
SE Louisiana 69
Northwestern St 61 FINAL
Jackson State 62
Lehigh 61 FINAL
Arizona State 81
Valparaiso 65 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 77
Liberty 60 FINAL
Minnesota 74
Wofford 60 FINAL
North Florida 68
Montana State 61 FINAL
Washington St 82
Marshall 56 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 69
Morgan State 40 FINAL
Chattanooga 55
Northeastern 65 FINAL
Harvard 67
Furman 51 FINAL
(15) Georgia 58
(18) Michigan State 65 FINAL
(9) Baylor 84
Ohio U 52 FINAL
Massachusetts 59
Prairie View 48 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 86
Toledo 64 FINAL
Southern Ill 48
High Point 57 FINAL
(12) Nebraska 83
Winthrop 20 FINAL
Wichita State 66
William Jewell 59 FINAL
UMKC 51
Louisiana Tech 49 2nd Half 4:39
Utah 57
Southern Utah 39 2nd Half 7:42
Gonzaga 59
Hawaii 66 2nd Half 4:37
Loyola Marymount 70
San Jose St 50 2nd Half 6:21
San Francisco 68
CS-Northridge 46 2nd Half 8:04
San Diego State 39
Norfolk State 30 2nd Half 7:12
East Carolina 44
Saint Peters 42 2nd Half 3:40
Loyola-Maryland 51
Arizona 25 2nd Half
Stephen F Austin 23
Northwestern 37 2nd Half 6:00
Eastern Illinois 84
La Salle 5:00 PM
Georgia State
Oral Roberts 22 1st Half 1:46
Wisconsin 32
Florida Atlantic 20 1st Half 0:49
New Mexico St 32
(16) Oregon State 7 1st Half 17:30
Nevada 4
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Villanova
Delaware 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Saint Louis 6:30 PM
Utah Valley U
Washington 7:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Pacific 7:00 PM
Long Beach St
Old Dominion 7:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Austin Peay 9:00 PM
Montana
Lewis-Clark State 9:00 PM
Idaho
(21) Miss State 9:30 PM
Illinois-Chicago

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Sunday against Miami?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close