Billy Collins Jr. vs. Luis Resto

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1983-06-16 : Billy Collins Jr. 156 lbs fought without result Luis Resto 156 lbs by NC in round 10 of 10

  • Ring Announcer: Michael Buffer
  • Aired On: ABC's Wide World of Sports
  • TV Commentators: Jim MacKay, Jake LaMotta, Vickie LaMotta (Jake's 2nd wife)
  • Matchmaker: Teddy Brennan

Notes

Collins's Post-Fight Injuries
  • The commentators of the bout unaware, repeatedly referred to how "game" Billy Collins was and the amount of heart and courage he showed. In Round 8, Vikie LaMotta stated of Collins that "He has no defense now. I can't see him contributing anything other than to get hurt more."
  • Originally, Resto won a unanimous decision. The New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) ordered the result changed to "No Contest" following charges that Resto's gloves had been illegally tampered with before the bout by Resto's trainer, Panama Lewis. The investigation reveled that a 3/4 inch hole had been cut into Resto's glove and an ounce of padding removed from each.
  • In October 1986, Lewis and Resto were both put on trial and found guilty of assault, criminal possession of a weapon (Resto's hands) and conspiracy. Lewis was also found guilty of tampering with a sports contest. Prosecutors charged that since Lewis had deliberately removed the padding from Resto's gloves, the bout with Collins amounted to an illegal assault. Lewis was sentenced to six years in prison, Resto to three years. Lewis was released from prison in 1990 and Resto in 1989.
  • Collins suffered a torn iris and permanently blurred vision, ending his boxing career. He died on March 6, 1984, when he crashed his car into a culvert near his home in Antioch, Tennessee.
  • This bout and its aftermath are the subject of the 2009 HBO documentary "Assault in the Ring." In an interview for the film, Resto admitted that Lewis had not only removed the padding from the gloves but also dipped his hand wraps in plaster of Paris to harden them. He also said that Lewis had taken the padding out of his gloves on at least two other occasions and alleged that the plot centered around a large amount of money bet on him, the underdog, by a third party who had met with Lewis prior to the fight.

Bout Summary

Collins came out working primarily with a jab in the opening round. Midway through the round, he landed a good right hand that got Resto's attention. Resto too worked in the opening round with a jab and occasionally threw hooks to the body when in close. He found some success with a few right hands amid a flurry of misses. In Round 2, Resto, at the insistence of his trainer Panama Lewis, continued to pump the jab. Collins has a strong 2nd landing combinations in the center of the ring early. Resto came on in Round 3 and landed some heavy shots both upstairs and to the body and appeared to have Collins hurt by the end of the round. To his credit, Collins took the shots and fired back with nice combinations of his own. When Collins returned to his corner, his team immediately went to work on trying to control the swelling that had already begun on both his eyes. Recognizable enough that the television commentator made mention of it. Round 4 was another high-output round with each fighter trading power shots early. It was evident that Resto's shots were hurting Collins as most would momentarily pause him or back him up somewhat. Early in Round 5, Resto landed a left hand that caught Collins flush and sent him backing across the ring and opened up in the final minute with numerous clean punches that had Collins in trouble. In the 6th, Resto continued to pour it on as the eyebrows of Collins had become dramatically swollen and his left eye darkened. In the final seconds, Collins was rocked by combination but threw back with one of his own. Resto was warned in the round for a low blow. Collins complained to his corner that he was tired following the round and as the bell rang, Panama Lewis could be seen pulling Resto's gloves to make them tighter at the knuckles. In Round 7, a cut opened on Collins's left eye that would stream blood down his cheek and Resto continued to deliver a "beating." Between rounds, both the doctor and the referee came over to look at the eyes of Collins. In the 8th, the two went toe-to-toe with Resto attempting to come forward and throw wide shots. Collins landed decently well in the round, but had lost much of the steam from his punches. As the round concluded, Resto landed several big hooks and remarkably Collins kept his feet. Round 9 was mostly fought in close quarters with both fighters trading. A right-left combination sent Collins back into the corner. Between Rounds 9 and 10, Lewis is visible in the broadcast removing something from his pocket and twice putting it under the nose of Resto for him to inhale. In Collins's corner, his trainer/father told him "You did good son. You're fighting your heart out" and as he stood back up for the final round the swelling to his brows and the bridge of his nose were disfiguring and both of his eyes were almost completely shut. In the final minute of the final round, Collins was again hurt by a left hand but as the closing bell rang he threw. At the conclusion of the fight, the crowd offered a standing ovation and Resto came over, hugged Collins and kissed him on the cheek. As Resto was leaving the corner, Collins father grabbed Resto's right glove and began calling for the commissioner saying that, "All the padding's out of his goddamn gloves." Resto attempted to pull away and the commissioner came in to view them, with Lewis saying "Them's the gloves they give us."