Looking back – Rocky Berg

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The Purple-Sizzling “Ice” Berg.

 

Elmer Lee Berg, to battle followers higher generally known as Rocky Berg, turned professional 35 years in the past within the fall of 1986. By the point he left the ring he would amass 62 wins in 106 profession bouts going 62-42-2, with 41 KO’s. A busy Midwest membership circuit allowed boxers like Berg to remain busy and amass a following that allowed them to do what they beloved, do it typically and thrill native battle followers within the course of.

 

He was born in Topeka, Kansas, the place he nonetheless resides immediately, however it was in Oklahoma Metropolis, Oklahoma the place the fan-friendly Berg would lay down his boxing roots. A busy, bi-monthly boxing calendar, at spots just like the Commerce Winds Central Inn and the Central Plaza Resort noticed a few of OKC’s resort ballrooms changed into town’s hottest native boxing ticket on battle night- typically starring a red-hot, native star in “Ice” Berg.

 

Rocky fought for somewhat over 10-years at a time when Midwest membership exhibits ran typically, permitting native scrappers to remain busy and hone their craft. Whereas they fought on the membership degree at dwelling, expertise gained in these fights allowed them to construct a file and status as a tricky and sport opponent for a few of boxing’s elite fighters, in the event that they proved adequate. Berg, who was recognized to be prepared to battle anybody, anytime, definitely fell into that class.

 

Native gigs in Oklahoma Metropolis, the place a hometown card would typically characteristic the massively fashionable Berg, and one other Oklahoma fighter, Buck “Tombstone” Smith, (who may field with anybody, and likewise possessed a world class left hook), would see a sold-out crowd thrilled to observe their OKC boxing heroes throw down. This was membership boxing at its best and followers beloved it.

 

When the chance arose, Berg would additionally step away from dwelling to sort out among the finest. Boxing took him everywhere in the world for bouts with tremendous welterweight, world title challenger Jack Callahan, WBC world tremendous welterweight champion Rene Jacquot (in Nancy, France), Indiana’s 3-time world title challenger Marty Jukubowski, BBB of C welterweight champion Kirkland Laing (on the famed Royal Albert Corridor in Kensington, England), WBA world tremendous welterweight champion Gilbert Dele (in Paris, France), 1984-Olympian Joni Nyman (in Sinajoki, Finalnd), WBO world welterweight champion Gert Bo Jacobsen (in Copenhagen, Denmark) and Maine’s WBA world light-weight champion Joey Gamache.

 

In a current dialog with present Manny Pacquiao Promotions’ matchmaker Sean Gibbons, we have been speaking about Midwest membership boxing (the place Gibbons lower his tooth within the sport) again within the day and the subject of his bi-weekly Oklahoma exhibits, and Berg, got here up; Gibbons had nothing however fond reminiscences of “Ice” and his time within the ring.

 

“Rocky ‘Ice’ Berg”, Gibbons exclaimed with a smile, punctuating the sentence together with his signature “Viva.” It was clear speaking to Gibbons that, proper from the get-go, he preferred working with Berg and loved watching a tricky, sport man who merely beloved to get within the ring.

 

“That was a unique time in boxing, in some ways a time I miss terribly, stated a reflective Gibbons. “We did a variety of exhibits and membership exhibits have been booming and there wasn’t 18-miles of purple tape to undergo to place two guys within the ring”, he stated. “It was an ideal setting for Rocky. He was recognized throughout city in OKC, he was a well-liked ticket vendor who drew nice crowds and followers simply beloved to observe him battle. Irrespective of who he fought, from a membership degree opponent to a world champion, Rocky was displaying as much as provide you with every thing he had. Followers noticed that, supported him, revered him for his guts and energy and beloved watching a neighborhood man do what he beloved to do. And, as battle followers, they obtained an everyday dose of some fairly good boxing on the membership degree,” he continued.

 

Rocky, a now retired father and grandfather, was by no means going to compete for a world title. Nonetheless, Gibbons was clear that in his period, Berg, beneath the route of Gibbons, carved out a reasonably good profession for himself that “Ice” can, and may, look again on proudly.

 

“I imply, Billy, when Rocky completed a bout, that they had ‘I’m Proud to be an American’ blasting over the PA, the veterans have been saluting him, he was throwing roses to the women within the crowd. I imply this was a fantastic night time, a enjoyable night time, and folks left the constructing comfortable and looking out ahead to seeing him once more. Rocky beloved it and the followers beloved it. All people wins”, stated Gibbons. “Rocky was a fantastic attraction, and he got here to battle every time he stepped within the ring. I had Rock from his very first bout till his final. We travelled a lotta miles and went everywhere in the world. He had a variety of enjoyable, he stepped into the ring a variety of instances and he beloved it each time he did. I’m certain Rocky seems to be again on his time within the ring and loves it – and he ought to. No one beloved to battle like Rocky Berg. And, for OKC boxing followers, he offered a variety of nice nights on the fights. Viva Rocky; he was a fighter, man.”

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