CLEVELAND - Funeral services are set for boxing legend Jimmy Bivins, who was called a ferocious fighter with a reputation of not backing down from anyone.
Gary Horvath first met Bivins in 1963, and was already a pretty good boxer but was excited when he got the chance to be trained by him.
"I was jumping for joy, because I already new Jimmy Bivins from seeing him on TV. He was a household name in Cleveland, just like saying the 1954 Cleveland Indians,” said Horvath.
Bivins boxed in the 1940s and 1950s.
He stood toe to toe with the best of them and usually won, and was once ranked the number one contender in both the light heavyweight, and heavyweight division.
But he never got a chance to fight for the crown.
Though Bivins never got a title shot, those in the boxing world say he was the best boxer of his era.
He was inducted in the boxing hall of fame in 1999.
Bivins also knew tough times.
In 1998, police found him in his daughter and son in law's attic, covered with bedsores and weighing only 110 pounds, 70 pounds below his fighting weight
Bivins's son-in-law pleaded guilty to criminal neglect.
But Horvath will always remember Bivins as a champ.
"He’ll always be here. He's not down for the 10 count, it’s a minute rest for him that’s all," Horvath said.
Bivins was 92 years old.
Public viewing for Bivins is Monday from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Lucas Memorial Chapel in Garfield Heights.
The family will receive friends at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Liberty Hill Baptist Church on Euclid Avenue and services will follow.
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