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Bare Knuckles
Jeff Pearlman
October 26, 1998
The night Billy Collins fought Luis Resto, something was terribly wrong with Resto's gloves. The beating Collins took cost him his career—and maybe his life
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October 26, 1998

Bare Knuckles

The night Billy Collins fought Luis Resto, something was terribly wrong with Resto's gloves. The beating Collins took cost him his career—and maybe his life

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You want to believe Luis Resto. You really do. He is a victim, you tell yourself, and you almost buy it. He says he didn't know. Couldn't have. He's just another pawn in the system, still feeling the effects of that night 15 years ago. Resto was just a boxer then, listening to his trainer. Whatever Panama Lewis said, Resto did. Panama was the boss, right?

Luis, remember to double up on the rights.

Yes, Panama.

Luis, don't dance so much.

O.K., Panama.

Luis, put these gloves on.

Sure, Panama.

Today Resto is broke and living in a small, dank basement apartment under the Morris Park Boxing Gym in the Bronx, while Carlos (Panama) Lewis has a house in Florida and an apartment in Las Vegas. "That whole thing makes me angry," Resto, 42, says softly. "Panama, he can go to hell. F—-Panama."

You want to believe Resto because, to be honest, he is not the brightest bulb in the box. He speaks poorly. His smile is as innocent as a child's. To make money he works in construction. He's a security guard at a store. He sweeps the gym. It is easy to see him, on that long-ago fight night, simply doing as he was told.

Luis, put these gloves on.

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