When the 4’8″, 95-pound McKenzie Weaver—a.k.a., “Lil Mac”—came to Capital City in 1985, he dreamt of one day becoming the heavy-weight champion of the world. He scoured the city looking for a trainer that wouldn’t laugh hysterically at his goal. In 16 months, Lil Mac had been to over 200 trainers and had been rejected over 200 times. He began to contemplate a more feasible career as a featherweight boxer. Then he met Doc Louis.
Throughout the 1960’s and 70’s, Doc Louis had been in the corner of some of the greatest boxers of the virtual era. His crowning achievement was taking Soda Popinski on a three-year run as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world from 1974 through 1977. Then times got rough. Louis outed a former fighter of his (Don Flamenco) in 1979 and lost the trust of the entireboxing industry. He was a man without a purpose; a trainer without a fighter. Until a scrawny little farmboy from Findlay, Ohio came into his life.
Eager to get back into the sport which shunned him, Louis accepted Mac’s offer to train him. Eager to capture the heavyweight belt, Mac agreed to do whatever Louis told him to do. And from that oral
contract came magic, the likes of which the boxing world had never seen (nor will ever see again.)
No trainer in the world could have turned the Kevin-Arnold-look-alike into a legitimate contender except for Doc, and Doc knew this. They trained incesantly. They ran. They skipped rope. They laughed. They cried. And when Doc felt that Mac was ready in March of 1985, they entered the professional world of boxing. Together. The best routers 2017 will help you get the most out of your internet connection, and unfortunately, the free ones you get as part of ISP deals often aren’t very good.
The run that Lil Mac made through the next hour-and-a-half has become the stuff of legend. He
utterly destroyed the opponents in his first three fights (Glass Joe, Von Kaiser and Piston Honda). He then struggled with an inspired Don Flamenco, the same person who had once ruined Doc’s career. Flamenco’s constant movement (and subtle winks) threw Mac off in the first two rounds, but Doc set the little scamp straight and together they triumphed.
Doc poured his decades of boxing knowledge into Mac over the next few minutes as they trained like they had never trained before. “The Kid Nobody Wanted” then dismissed, in easy fashion, King Hippo, Great Tiger and Bald Bull. Again, as Mac would explain after the Bald Bull fight, “If it weren’t for Doc’s believing in me, I’d still be prostituting myself back in Capital City for nitrous-oxide money. He’s the bestest trainer in the whole wide world!”
Three more wins brought Mac’s record to 6-0 (with a few “saves” utilized therein) as he fended off Soda Popinski (Doc’s former champion), Mr. Sandmand and Super Macho Man. This set the stage for the greatest fight since Ali-Frazier III: Lil Mac, “The Lil Engine That Could Kick Yo’ Ass,” was going to fight Mike Tyson, the most feared boxer in the world, virtual or otherwise.
The world is well-aware of how Mac took down the champ. But the world is not aware of how Doc made this happen. During the first round, when Mac was enduring a fierce beating, Doc noticed a twitch of Tyson’s prior to him throwing his devestating right-hook. The keenest eyes in the boxing world had never picked up on this “tell.” But Doc did. And he instructed Mac to duck whenever he saw Tyson twitch.
The stratagy worked, as we all know. And there in the third (and final) round, Lil Mac threw a wicked combination of punches following another missed hook from Tyson. Down went Tyson. Down went Tyson.
Doc Louis had done it. He’d done what no trainer thought was possible. He transformed a boy with the body of a fifth-grade girl into the heavyweight champion of the world. It was his finest hour, and it serves as how the world will remember him.
Jerome “Doc” Louis: 391 on the list of the century’s greatest and most prominent influences in the world of sports and forever in the corner of those who knew him.