Name: Woody Starr
Alias: Roscoe Bell
Died: 2006-01-01 (Age:49)
Hometown: Nassau, Bahamas, The
Boxing Record: click
Woody Starr sometimes used the alias Roscoe Bell, a name he took after seeing the real Roscoe Bell, a Floridian, in action.
By Fred Sturrup, Nassau Guardian Associate Editor (2006):
- The arenas of sports are filled with a variety of personalities from different backgrounds and with varying levels of talent. Some perform so well that they remain etched in the minds of peers and fans. There are others who show consistency throughout long careers but somehow never capture the imagination of viewers and are often forgotten once they retire.
- Still there are those who though not particularly talented, touch their sport in a special way. They function in a manner that distinguishes them from all others. And then, there are athletes who are simply personable, free spirits who are beloved more for character than ability.
- One such person was Woody Star or Roscoe Bell, the names he was known as at different times during his professional boxing career. I will refer to him as Roscoe Bell from this point because more fans are likely to remember him by that name. Roscoe was one of those fighters who would have benefited greatly from an amateur career, but, even though the Amateur Boxing Association of The Bahamas was already established and actually a vibrant organization when Bell started to fight, he and some others were steered into the pro ranks before they could reap the dividends of proper development.
- I remember quite well the night when I first saw him in a ring. He was very young, I believe 16 at the time. The Bahamas Boxing Commission was not in place. I remember turning to Charlie Major Sr. and remarking at the youthfulness of Roscoe. He had been matched against a veteran and sure enough before the first round was over, the youngster was knocked to the canvas with a bloody mouth.
- When he regained his senses, he bounced up, smiled through the redness and said he would get his man the next time.
- Well, Roscoe Bell (a name he took after seeing the real Roscoe Bell, a Floridian in action against Ray Minus Sr.) never won a lot of fights, but, he was an engaging individual, always smiling and a pure lover of the game of boxing. We all thought of him as our pal. As he got more experienced, :Roscoe provided a few very entertaining matches, but, it was his demeanor that impacted the sport.
- He was friendly with everybody and his nature belied the profession in which you try to render your opponent helpless. Folks who knew nothing of his boxing career probably would have surmised that he had been a fighter when they saw him from time to time, walking along and then slipping into a shadow boxing jog. During his latter years before health problems did what ring opponents could not do, keep him down, he was a fixture over on Paradise Island where he worked as a hotel attendant.
- Last Thursday, I received a call from former middleweight champion of The Bahamas Marvin 'Marvelous' Smith. He and Bell were neighbors. Smith informed that after not seeing his friend for a few days, he and others busted through the front door of Bell's home the previous Sunday. They found him dead.
- The boxing fraternity has been stripped of one of its lively figures. I couldn't make contact with any family members to get his accurate age at press time, but, he would have been in his early 50s. Condolences go out to his family and friends.
- May his soul rest in peace.