New Book by Timekeeper Mike North
Enter Your Name & Email Address Below And Be Part of Our Boxing Community!! It's FREE!!
While heading into the Staples
Center for the Victor Ortiz-Josesito Lopez card on June 23, I ran into boxing timekeeper Mike North. A longtime member of the local fight community, North has worn many hats during his career in the sweet science and is currently a member of the California State Athletic Commission
The Southern California licensed official has also been an sportswriter, ringside photographer, amateur boxing official and now a published author. His new book entitled “At the Apron: A Night at the Fights” chronicles his early years and the ins and outs of the sport through the eyes of a hard-working insider. This 109-page tome was a labor of love for North, whose passion for boxing remains.
In the category of biography/autobiography/memoir, the Missouri native gives readers a peek at what it was like for him coming up through the ranks. He was a longtime wedding photographer before entering the world of pro boxing. Reliving his excitement as a rookie shooting ringside, he recalls the colorful characters he meets along the way during his journey in the fight game. The novel details many prizefighters and superstar champions (without actually being named, clues provide hints) that North has watched win and lose, rise and fall in the ring.
The former photojournalist keeps the chapters light and breezy and easy to read as he keeps you guessing to the real-life identities of some of lively personalities in this new title. He has worked in fights featuring Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Julio Cesar Chavez and countless others. He told me that it didn’t take too long to write the book, once he hunkered down and let his pen flow.
I first met Mike and his wife Nancy at a boxing dinner when he regaled the table with entertaining trivia from the sport’s heyday. He has a knack for remembering dates and details of decades past. Through his work, he has amassed so many vivid memories that it’s only fitting he’s penned “At the Apron,” which captures some of the highlights he’s seen through the years. North also keeps it real with his talk about the politics of boxing and seedier characters he encounters while starting out in the circuit. Boxers are all blood, guts, and glory but what transpires outside of the ring can be fascinating as well.
The timekeeper’s love of the boxing is what drove him to write this book. He mentions his associates have been very supportive of his efforts and it’s been a great experience to see his writing come to fruition. Fans see these timekeepers wearing their black-and-white striped shirts but often do not realize the level of commitment the job entails.
North’s involvement in SoCal boxing continues. He is part of the California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization (CAMO) and Mike is the 2012 Secretary and Treasurer of the newly-formed California Boxing Officials Association (formerly the California Referees Association). He is also a frequent fixture ringside with his clanging of the bell to begin and end the rounds.
And manning a time clock and counting down the seconds is harder than it looks. The officials often reports hours before the fights begin, attend numerous meetings and can get splattered with blood, sweat and more.
“Being a timekeeper is not an easy job,” boxing judge Max De Luca tells me. “As a judge, we get that one minute rest between rounds–but timekeepers do not.”
De Luca is the current California Boxing Officials Association Vice President and was the 2010-2011 WBC “Judge of the Year.” His father Dr. Michael De Luca was a ringside doctor for over three decades. “I’ve known Mike about 15 years,” Max says. “I have a lot of respect for him; he’s one of the best in California.”
“I love doing this!” the bespectacled timekeeper from Canyon Country smiled, when I caught up with him at the recent Golden Boy/Showtime fights. “I always look forward to a great night of boxing.”
Wearing his CSAC jacket, the veteran official then entered the venue as he began yet another exciting “Night at the Apron.”
“At the Apron: A Night at the Fights”
By Mike North
Available on Amazon.com
13.95 suggested retail price
Photos by Michele Chong
Calling All Boxing Fans
Boxing Fans, It's Edgar, Founder & Publisher of MyBoxingFans.com, and I personally want to ask you to subscribe to our email newsletter its completely Free! Just enter your name and email below: