A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 24, 2015
“Never hook with a hooker” (boxing adage)

"Don’t/Never hook with a hooker” is a boxing adage. The origin of the expression is unknown, but it was applied at the “Fight of the Century” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier at New York’s Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971. Ali’s trainer and cornerman Angelo Dundee (1921-2012) cautioned Ali not to hook; Ali did throw hooks and lost the fight on a decision.

The expression cautions a boxer not to challenge another boxer with his or her favorite move, but many boxers have successfully ignored the advice.


Sports Illustrated
Originally Posted: March 15, 1971
The Battered Face Of A Winner
Moving remorselessly forward, Joe Frazier, that gritty stump of a man, won a unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden on Monday night to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Frazier not only beat Muhammad Ali to the punch, he licked him in the prophecy department. “Clay is good,” he said beforehand, “but he isn’t good enough to escape.” He wasn’t. Ali, in turn, billed the bout as The Return of the Dancing Master. It wasn’t. Ali didn’t get up on his toes and jab; he chose, disastrously, to hook with a hooker. By this, Ali gave away his 6½” advantage in reach.

Google Books
Best Sports Stories: 1975
New York, NY: Dutton
1976
Pg. 50:
His corner yelled instructions, “Stay there,” meaning in the middle of the ring, and “Don’t hook” — you never hook with a hooker, Dundee said later — but Ali seemed to ignore the counsel.

Sports Illustrated
Originally Posted: April 20, 1981
The Dreamer Adulation has come at last to Detroit’s Thomas Hearns, and if his grandest visions of glory become reality, that will be bad news for Ray Leonard
BY BOB OTTUM
(...)
It also should be noted that before last August’s title match with Cuevas, Angelo Dundee had dire warnings for Hearns. Dundee’s sentiments clearly lay with Cuevas, known to be a hard puncher with a particularly vicious hook. Said Dundee on national television, “One should never hook with a hooker.” Hearns was anxious to test that old maxim. First thing. Cuevas hooked and Hearns hooked back. Then Hearns pumped in three quick jabs and proceeded to hook Cuevas silly. That was before the stunning knockout right hands, but it was on seeing Hearns outhook Cuevas that the experts realized there would be a new champion.

Google Books
It’s Not Over ‘Til It’s Over
By Al Silverman
Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press
2002
Pg. 209:
But he forgot one of the golden rules of boxing: you never hook with a hooker. Twenty seconds in, Ali threw a hook at Frazier that landed. So what did the champ do? Frazier reached back with a left hook that “went all the way to home,” as he said afterwards.  It crashed into Ali’s swollen right jaw.

reddit—Boxing
“Never hook with a hooker” (self.Boxing)
submitted June 26, 2014 by Goapo
I hear this a lot. In fact maybe I have only heard Jim Lampley say it. What is the logic behind this “rule”. I haven’t rewatched the whole thing but I think I remember hearing this the first time in Gatti vs Branco. http://youtu.be/4X7YYbhZH2M?t=26m39s

YouTube
WORST BOXING ADVICE- “Dont HOOK with a HOOKER”
Boxing Fitness Factory
Published on Sep 4, 2014
“Advanced Boxing Defense” and “Kids Only” Boxing Instructional DVD’s or Revolutionary Mp3 Audio Boxing Trainer 1 & 2 @ http://www.boxingfitnessfactory.com.

The Boxing Tribune
My Next Five Favorite Rounds: 6-10
By Ted Sares on March 24, 2015
(...)
8. Juan “Kid” Meza vs. Jaime Garza (1984): Round 1– As the bell rang, Meza reached out to touch gloves, but Garza was having none of it and kept his hands up ready to fight. Clearly, there was no love lost, as there had been an altercation between the two at breakfast. They came out immediately winging and trading hooks. In this case, the old adage, “Never hook with a hooker” did not apply, for both fighters were deadly with this punch.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Tuesday, March 24, 2015 • Permalink