Don Dunphy enjoyed a long career behind the mike calling fights at ringside for radio and then television audiences. In his forty-year career, Dunphy called the blow-by-blow of over two thousand fights, with over two hundred of them for titles, including 50 heavyweight championships.
Born in New York, Dunphy went to Manhattan College, where he was a college correspondent for a number of New York newspapers. After graduating, Dunphy worked for a time at the New York Coliseum, broadcasting hockey and wrestling from the site. He also hosted a daily sports show, for no pay, on radio station WHOM, and worked at WINS as a spotter for football broadcasts before getting air time himself, mostly doing ticker tape re-creations. He worked Newark Bears minor league baseball games and, in 1936, assisted at broadcasts of Cornell University football games. In 1937, Dunphy became the sports director at WINS, a job he held for the next ten years. He also hosted a popular boxing talk show on WINS on Saturday afternoons.
In 1939, Dunphy ventured into local fight broadcasts, and in 1941, he auditioned for radio sponsor Gillette Safety Razor Company by calling the Gus Lesnevich-Anton Christoforidis fight at Madison Square Garden. He got the job and his next broadcast was the first Joe Louis-Billy Conn fight. Dunphy called fights on radio for Gillette for nineteen years.
In 1960, Dunphy moved over to television and called fights on the ABC network for four years. He also worked fights for WOR-TV and continued to call many championship fights on radio. By the 1970s and early '80s, Dunphy had retired from network television, but he was still very much in demand on closed-circuit telecasts, calling such fights as Ali-Frazier I, and Ali-Foreman. His final complete blow-by-blow of a major fight was the first Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns fight in 1981.
Dunphy worked with color man Bill Corum for many years. He was also paired with such celebrity broadcasting partners as Muhammad Ali, Pearl Bailey, Flip Wilson and Ryan O'Neal. Throughout his career, Dunphy broadcast New York Yankee games, the Cotton Bowl, track events, bowling, basketball and horse racing.
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Excerpted with permission from 'The Boxing Register' by James B. Roberts and Alexander G. Skutt, copyright © 1999 by McBooks Press. All rights reserved.