Don King, on Mike Tyson

"Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter?
He went to prison, not to Princeton."

"To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music
and the dancers hit each other."

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Livingstone Bramble



Ras-I Alujah Bramble (formerly Livingstone Bramble)

Ras-I Alujah Bramble, nee Abuja Bramble, nee Livingstone bramble

Some people are just blessed. Professional boxer Livingstone Bramble had everything one could ask for in a name: a good first name, a good last name, and a sweet-sounding birthplace – St. Kitts and Nevis. It’s enough to make a guy named Dave Carlson green with envy. Dave Bramble, Livingstone Carlson, Davingstone Brambleson, or even just “Dave Carlson from the mean streets of St. Kitts and Nevis” – any of these names would be an improvement.

Not to mention that he won a world title and then defended it in a second fight against heavily-favored lightweight world champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini (in what must have been the most fun boxing poster anyone has ever designed).

His name was so good, in fact, that the best name they could come up with for a fight card where fellow world champion Hector “Macho” Camacho would defend his title for the last time before facing Bramble was “The Preamble to Bramble.” Let’s make this clear: the guy’s name was so good that promoters decided the best way to sell a fight with a charismatic, camera-friendly world champion named “Macho” Camacho was to drop Camacho’s name entirely and use the name of a guy who wasn’t even in the fight, because Camacho might fight Livingstone Bramble next!

But Bramble decided to tempt fate. He started hanging out with witch doctors and practicing witchcraft. He would carry a snake into the boxing ring and at publicity events. He was rumored to do far crazier witch rituals. In Bramble’s next fight, with a record of 24-1, he would be upset by Edwin Rosario in a second-round knockout, and would never fight Camacho nor regain his previous success.

In his worst mistake, he decided to change his name, to Ras-I Alujah Bramble, and would also fight under the names Ras-I Bramble and Abuja Bramble. One writer referred to him as The Boxer Formerly Known as Livingstone Bramble. The name change didn’t work – he would go 16-24 after the Rosario fight, with his last bout in 2003, although he often hints at a potential comeback.

This should be a cautionary tale. Livingstone Bramble had an awesome name and was on top of the world – a tremendous lightweight fighter. But when it comes to exceptional names, there can be too much of a good thing.


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