Home > Oral Histories of Some Lankville Pugilists > Oral Histories of Some Former Lankville Pugilists

Oral Histories of Some Former Lankville Pugilists

Rocky "Fancy Boy" Pheft (1949-1962), 52-25, 33 KO)

Rocky “Fancy Boy” Pheft (1949-1962), 52-25, 33 KO

I grew up on a farm in the Outlands and my old man, he wasn’t no good at farming so we were always starving. Just about all of us died of starvation. The old man, he wasn’t real good at fixing things either, so the house kept falling over. Eventually, we were all living under a tarp in the dead cornfield. “This is the fault of Adam and Eve,” the old man would say. “We was meant to live forever.” Nobody had no idea what the hell he was talking about.

Anyways, I was determined you could say to make a better life for myself. So, after a bunch of us died of starvation one winter, I took off in a buddy’s car and headed for the Lankville Central Urban Area. And when I got there, this one guy, he said, “you got big hands, kid” and he sent me down to Staller’s Gym which was a famous place back then.

I trained under the old Desert Area fighter Buck Sundays. He got my first fight in the Lankville Square Arena in 1949 and I won that and then I won about 7 or 8 fights in a row and I started to make some dough. First thing I did was buy a beautiful silk suit and after that they all started to call me fancy boy. I had hats too, you should have seen them hats. Big giant hats– that was the style then, giant hats. I had boxes of ’em.

Everything was going along well until 1955 and that’s when I faced Emile Bread. That was a Friday night fight on TV and a title fight and right before I got into the ring, a couple of wiseguys stopped me on the way out of the dressing room and told me to throw it. “Go down in the 4th, kid,” they said. “If you don’t, we’ll take all your giant hats.” Well, they had me over a barrel. There was nothing I could do. I fell in the 4th and Bread kept his title. And after that, I felt like everybody knew. I couldn’t get no good fights after that. Just carnivals, carpet store openings, just bush league fights. I couldn’t afford the good suits and the giant hats and they stopped calling me Fancy Boy. Well, I kept on for awhile but in 1962, I was fighting for pennies at some place where they didn’t even have no ring. We just fought in a big cardboard box. You’re done Pheft I said to myself.

So, after that, I got married. Her name was Inez. She was a lovely little thing. She was foreign. We was married 32 years. She was blown away by the wind. God, I miss her.

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