BERT SUGAR, an “iconic boxing writer and sports historian who was known for his trademark fedora and ever-present cigar, died Sunday of cardiac arrest,” according to the AP. Sugar had been “battling lung cancer.” He was inducted into the International Boxing HOF in ‘05. The HOF noted that Sugar "wrote more than 80 books,” including "The 100 Greatest Boxers Of All Time." He also “appeared in a handful of films,” including "The Great White Hype" starring SAMUEL L. JACKSON. Boxing Writers Association of America President JACK HIRSCH said that arrangements for a memorial service “are still pending and anyone wishing to honor Sugar should make a donation to the boxing hall” (AP, 3/25). Sugar was also a columnist for SportsBusiness Journal from '98-02 (THE DAILY).
FOND FAREWELL: USA TODAY’s Bob Velin wrote with his “fedora and ever-present cigar, Sugar was an instantly recognizable figure who loved to talk, and he could talk and write about boxing like few others.” There “weren't many better ambassadors of the sport than Sugar” (USATODAY.com, 3/25). Former HBO Sports President ROSS GREENBURG said, “When you lose a Bert Sugar you lose a piece of boxing history.” He added, “His passing will leave a large void in the sport. He was everybody’s go-to guy” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/26). ESPN N.Y.’s Wallace Matthews wrote Sugar’s cigar “was as much a part of his persona as the hat that was always on his head, and the joke that was always on his lips.” He may “well have been the last of a breed, that typically New York wiseguy who possessed one priceless and seemingly vanishing skill: The ability to tell a story at a bar” (ESPN.com, 3/25). ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael wrote Bert was “a brilliant guy and a law school graduate, but he never seemed to take things too seriously” (ESPN.com, 3/25). BOXINGSCENE.com’s David Greisman wrote, “We will remember Sugar fondly. As with his signature cigars, he lit up boxing” (BOXINGSCENE.com, 3/25).