Robert Edward Czyz is a retired American boxer and commentator….who was both a former world light heavyweight and world cruiserweight champion…nicknamed the “Matinee Idol”….as Czyz was a member of the United States amateur boxing team whose other members died in the 1980 plane crash. Because of an auto accident one week before the fatal trip….Czyz was not on the plane.
Czyz had a quick start to his professional boxing career in the early 1980’s….and he was soon in line for a shot against world middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler….but had to start from scratch after suffering a 10-round loss at the hands of veteran Mustafa Hamsho in November 1982……prior to his fight with Hagler…..so, Czyz went up in weight….then put another string of wins together…..and in September 1986….he finally found himself in a ring with undefeated world IBF light heavyweight champion Slobodan Kacar (Olympic Gold medallist of 1980)….when Czyz beat him in five rounds. Czyz made three defenses….a one-round defeat of David Sears….a see-saw second-round KO of Willie Edwards…..and a fifth-round TKO of Jim MacDonald….as seen in this video herewith. Czyz then took on “Prince” Charles Williams in October 1987….when he scored an early knockdown of Williams…..only to have the challenger not only stayed in the fight….but also hammered shut Czyz’ left eye en route to scoring a TKO victory….thus seizing the title after eight rounds of boxing. Czyz then lost a decision to Dennis Andries in May 1988….followed by a couple of victories….followed by two cracks at the world title in 1989…..as Czyz despite truly good efforts on his part in both challenges….lost both of them by a 12-round decision to Virgil Hill in North Dakota for the WBA light heavyweight title in March…..then by a 10th-round TKO loss to Williams in an IBF title rematch in June.
Czyz went on to stop then-undefeated Andrew Maynard in seven rounds (the second undefeated Gold medallist he KO’d) in June 1990….then jumped up to the cruiserweight division. He challenged Robert Daniels for Daniels’ WBA world cruiserweight championship in March 1991….winning by a unanimous decision. Two defenses against Bash Ali and Donny Lalonde were made….with both being won by unanimous decision before Czyz vacated the title. In 1994, Czyz became a television boxing analyst working alongside Marv Albert and Dr.Ferdie Pacheco whilst continuing his boxing career.The trio covered fights in many locations worldwide. In December 1994, he covered the first world title fight ever held in Ecuador as a member of Showtime’s crew. In 1996, he stepped up to the heavyweight division by losing by knockout in five rounds to Evander Holyfield and quickly retired thereafter.
Jim MacDanald was a pretty darn good club fighter who go several cracks a the light heavyweight title……as he was a Marine boxer just like Leon Spinks had been.