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Lorraine Chargin, fight promoter with husband Don, dies at 79

Lorraine Chargin, 79, who promoted hundreds of fights with her husband, former Olympic Auditorium boxing matchmaker Don Chargin, died of cancer Tuesday at Twin Cities Community Hospital in the San Luis Obispo County town of Templeton.

The Chargins, longtime residents of the San Fernando Valley who later moved to Cambria, promoted boxing shows in San Francisco, Sacramento, Reno and elsewhere. They were fixtures at major fights, including the most lucrative card in history — Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007 — which they co-promoted.

"They were synonymous," veteran boxing publicist Bill Caplan said. "Don did the matchmaking; Lorraine did the detail work."

Lorraine Chargin was strong-willed and feisty, yet caring. She famously stood up to brash promoter Don King when he barged into Arco Arena in Sacramento without a credential in 1995 to watch future heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

"If you don’t start acting like a gentleman, I’ll throw you out of here," Chargin told King.

"She was not afraid of anyone," Caplan said. "A strong woman, with a heart of gold."

The Chargins presided over the careers of champion boxers Bobby Chacon, Tony Lopez, Willie Jorrin and Loreto Garza, along with respected heavyweights Henry Clark and Eddie Machen. Recently, the couple advised Roberto Garcia, who landed a date against Antonio Margarito in his comeback fight May 8 in Mexico.

Lorraine Chargin was born Dec. 4, 1930, in New Haven, Conn. She is survived by her husband of 49 years.

A private service will be held in Cambria, and later this year the International Boxing Hall of Fame, which counts Don Chargin as an inductee, will present a special recognition to Lorraine.

-- Lance Pugmire

 
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