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11/17/2010

One year ago: Harry Kabakoff

November 17, 2010 |  6:00 am

KabakoffHarry Kabakoff was a boxing trainer and manager known for his colorful personality and intense loyalty to his fighters. He died one year ago at age 82.

Kabakoff was called "the General Motors of fight managers" in 1972 by The Times' Jim Murray, who pointed out that Kabakoff had a roster of 67 names but only 10 who could "really fight."

One of his best fighters was Jesus Pimentel, whom he found while scouring the barrios of Mexico in search of young talent. Despite a loyal 12 years together, Pimentel's career was marked by near-misses that often were blamed on Kabakoff's reluctance to take risks.

"He was maybe the most colorful character in boxing that I've ever met, and everyone in boxing is colorful," said Bill Caplan, a boxing publicist. "He was a rogue and a rascal and he was funny and lovable."

Kabakoff was born Melville Himmelfarb, but he changed his name in honor of his uncle, a successful boxer. Sportswriters at the time joked at his trading one unwieldy name for another.

For more on the eccentric boxing manager, read Harry Kabakoff's obituary by The Times.

--Michael Farr

Photo: Harry Kabakoff. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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