Cisco’s back in corner of local boxer
For Montgomery Media
Most of the men in the area who are closing in on their 90th birthday are content to spend summer evenings sitting on the porch or watching television then having a bedtime snack prior to hitting the hay — all before the 10 p.m. news airs on TV.
Norristown’s Hank Cisco is just the opposite. The spry octogenarian likes to be out enjoying action — especially boxing action.
Cisco, who will turn 90 Nov. 9, has a long and illustrious career in the boxing world — as a boxer, as a referee and as the founder of Norristown PAL. On Thursday night, Cisco will return to the land of liniment and leather when he joins the corner crew of a yRunJ ER[HU ZKR LV fiJKWLnJ on a seven-bout card at The Deck in Essington.
The event’s promoter Damon Feldman hooked up Cisco with Montgomeryville’s Tyrone Crawley, Jr., an undefeated (3-0-0) ZHOWHUZHLJKW ZKR LV fiJKWing Staunton, Virginia’s Christian Steele (3-5-1) in a four-found undercard bout.
“I’ve known Hank for a long time and I’m trying to build up boxing in that area (Montgomery County),” said Feldman, who is coSURPRWLnJ WKH fiJKW ZLWK former world champion Meldrick Taylor. “I thought Hank would be a good guy to come in as an advisor and work the corner. He’s a legend.”
Crawley, who was a standout point guard and quarterback at Roxborough HLJK, fiUVW PHW CLVFR Ln another era. His father Ty- URnH CUDZOHy, D TuLFN-fiVWHG southpaw, was a top-ranked welterweight who posted a 22-2-0 record from 19801988.
The elder Crawley lost to Livingstone Bramble in a WBA World Lightweight title bout in 1986 — one of the last scheduled 15-round fiJKWV Ln ER[LnJ KLVWRUy. 7KH finDO VFKHGuOHG 15-URunGHU featured Coatesville’s Calvin Grove against Jorge Paez in an IBF World Featherweight title bout in 1988 in Paez’s hometown of Mexicali, Mexico.
“I met Hank when I was younger,” said Crawley, Jr., who is also a southpaw. “He refereed some of my dad’s fiJKWV. HDnN KDV JRWWHn together with me for this fiJKW DnG KH JDYH PH D ORW RI good advice — things like staying disciplined and having good eating habits.
“0y WUDLnHUV IRU WKLV fiJKW are my dad and Bosey Ennis. Both of Bosey’s sons — Derek and Farah — are really good boxers from Philadelphia. And I’ll have Hank with me in the dressing room.”
Cisco, whose roots go back to Italy — to Sciacca in the southwest part of Sicily — was originally contacted by Feldman to work with John Mercurio, an Italian-American heavyweight from Philadelphia.
“I was supposed to be helping this heavyweight boxer but he broke his arm,” said Cisco, who for the last eight years has served as WKH RIfiFLDO ‘APEDVVDGRU RI Norristown.’ “I told Damon that I’d work with these yRunJ fiJKWHUV VR , MRWWHG down a lot of notes — cards with tips on how to be a good boxer.”
During a chat at a press gathering last week, Cisco spoke of the tips he had written — tips such as build a counter-attack, have the ZLOO WR ZLn, fiJKW DW WRS speed all the time, keep control of your emotions and keep thinking “I’m not tired” and “I can’t be hurt.”
Cisco also had more speFLfiF LnVWUuFWLRnV.
“The power of the punch is important,” said Cisco. “vour feet have to be under you and you have to shift your weight properly. The most devastating punch is a straight right to the head. Punch through an object not at an object. The left part of the body is like a hinge and you have to swing your body around with the punch. Don’t lead with a hook and never lead with a right — unless you want to get hit.”
Some of Cisco’s other “Words of Wisdom” are — KDnGV KLJK DOO WKH WLPH, fiJKW bell to bell, rip the uppercut, lead with your left jab, keep moving, punch only when there is an opening and remember that all the skills of boxing will be of no help without conditioning.
In Thursday evening’s main event, 2008 Olympic Bronze medal winner vordenis Ugas of Cuba (13-1-0, 6 .2V) ZLOO fiJKW (O 3DVR’V Adan Hernandez (15-7-0, 6 KOs) in a 10-round junior welterweight bout.
The card will feature offspring of two former heavyweight champions. In a four-round welterweight bout, Philadelphia’s Tim Witherspoon Jr. (9-3-1, 2 KO’s) faces Providence’s Josh Beeman (4-11-4, 2 KO’s). Bruce Seldon’s son Isiah Seldon from Atlantic CLWy (7-0, 3 .2’V) ZLOO fiJKW AWODnWD’V LHNDn ByfiHOG (3-4-2, 1 KO) in a six-round middleweight bout.