Leslie Parke, "Peek-a-boo", oil on paper

Leslie Parke, “Peek-a-boo”, oil on paper

 

For Cus d”Amato, the first order of business for his fighter’s was for them to defend themselves. He developed a style of boxing called “peek-a-boo”, where the fighters would keep their head’s protected at all times by holding their hands up on either side of their face. Cus spent time teaching the fighters exactly the angle at which they needed to hold their gloves so that a punch would glide off the outside of the glove and miss their head. Ah, if there were only such a thing to protect artists from their critics.

Cus was also credited with Mohammed Ali’s “rope a dope” strategy in his fight with Foreman. George Foreman‘s punching strength was unparalleled. If Ali were to come after him full force in the early rounds, Foreman would have quickly worn him out and then knocked him out. But hanging back and letting Foreman punch unopposed for several rounds, Ali was able to tire Foreman out, so that once exhausted Ali could come on with full strength and dominate him. It was a risky strategy, as Foreman could easily have broken Ali’s upper arms with his punches. But it didn’t fail, and the rest is history.

As an artist, I had my eyes on my own champions George Bellows and Thomas Eakins.

Thomas Eakins

Thomas Eakins

 

Leslie Parke, "Breath", oil on canvas

Leslie Parke, “Breath”, oil on canvas

 

Thomas Eakins, "Salutat"

Thomas Eakins, “Salutat”

 

Leslie Parke, "The Winner", oil on linen, Private Collection

Leslie Parke, “The Winner”, oil on linen, Private Collection

 

George Bellows, "Counted Out"

George Bellows, “Counted Out”

 

Leslie Parke, "Knock Out", oil on paper

Leslie Parke, “Knock Out”, oil on paper

 

George Bellows, "Dempsey and Firpo"

George Bellows, “Dempsey and Firpo”

 

Leslie Parke, "Push Off", oil on canvas

Leslie Parke, “Push Off”, oil on canvas

 

George Bellows

George Bellows

 

Leslie Parke, "Montell", oil on paper

Leslie Parke, “Montell”, oil on paper

 

George Bellows, "Stag at Sharkey's"

George Bellows, “Stag at Sharkey’s”

 

Leslie Parke, "Punch", oil on canvas

Leslie Parke, “Punch”, oil on canvas

 

Well, not a bad showing for a girl.

 

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