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Join Date: Feb 2006
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theirs A second half,
Part Two: An Interview With Legendary Dogmam Sonny Sykes
Do you believe the dogs are more a money game to some people? I donít know if it is. But if thatís the case, then we made it a money game. Money ainít going to buy good dogs, perhaps you can buy some good match dogs, but it takes more than money to get yourself a good family of dogs together. There is more power to the determined dogman that keeps going on and uses common sense instead of somebody that thinks he can get there by spending a lot of money. Look at me! Iíve been buying dogs from $800 and up and what did I get. I donít think you can buy a good dog. Let me tell you somethingÖ I donít believe people are breeding for gameness anymore, they are breeding for mouth! You take all these magazines and you sum up all the fight reports and then divide it by the number of matches and see what you getÖ. 15 or 17 minutes. So what does that tell you? People are getting away from Gameness, and when you do that you are in trouble! Today for a young guy in the states itís hard to find a good dog, so how do you think the poor kid in Amsterdam is going to find one!
Donít you believe that was the same situation a hundred years ago when the American fanciers where importing dogs from over seas? No. Because the Irishman brought the dogs with them and they maintained their ties with their friends in their own country. There was a close relationship and they knew who they were talking to. Now the poor kid in Amsterdam knows nothing about what is really going on over here. He reads the ads in the books and he goes oohhhÖ this dog is a 5x winner, but he donít know about the people who own the dogs. Donít you know more now that you are amongst us thieves? Donít you have a different outlook now than the rest of your friends back in Europe that donít realize how it is over here?
In other words itís real important to have good contacts? Right! Very important! Itís always been and always will be that the guy with the loudest vocabulary will sell the most dogs. Remember that!! All these guys that run full page ads in the mags and are selling pups on a wholesale basis donít even look at their dogs. They sell papers and the hard work of others that made one of their dogs look good. They capitalize on that one good dog. AnywayÖ this is how I feel, do you believe Iím telling you something wrong or goofy?
Who do you think is a good breeder? The Carolinas have always been well represented. One of the best (if you like the Redboy stuff) is Fletcher Chavis, the old man himself. He is a good guy for someone to buy a dog from if they want to get started. I have a Mexican friend who bought the whole yard from Chavis and I like what I have seen so far. Maybe heís got some more, I donít knowÖ Chavis was the first to make a Champion out of Redboy. That was the YELLOW JOHN dog. Later came S.T.P.ís TORO, JOHN BOY and others, but Fletcher Chavis was the first to do that. Also, Sorrells would be a good choice to go visit in person and buy a dog from, or Carl Winn. Go and talk to these men and see how you do. To me, that Sorrells stuff is the purest family alive because there is nothing in there but Klausí ZEKE, Sorrells and Corvino. I like that BLUE MONDAY dog or something with RED JERRY in it. All other breeders are just mixing bloodlines. I have some Greenwood dogs THAT I cross with my BOOMERANG stuff and that seems to work good too.
But Sonny, you must have some pure Corvino dogs around here somewhere. Tell me the truth? No, I donít have any. I donít, f*ck you. End interview!
O.K. but whatís that little black bitch in your backyard out of? WellÖ she is 6/8 Corvino, her name is ASHLEY and I will breed her to ATARI another 6/8 Corvino dog. He is a 6x winner from Roul Jaques, but there is no such animal as a pure Corvino anymore.
What about if I had a pure Corvino dog, but he was a rank cur. Would you breed to him? If he was yours, I would say no, kill him. But if he was mine I would probably take a gamble. But seriously, there is no dog alive with nothing but gamedogs in his ancestry. Look at all the great ones. Letís take BOLIO for instance, he was out of RED BABY and she was out of a bitch called SUSIE. SUSIE quit so many times when she was in California that they changed her name to GOLDIE. Thereís quitting in all them dogs! BOLIOíS sire ZEKE was a good dog, but his sire and grand sire, a dog named COLONEL quit. So I would probably breed to a pure Corvino bred dog if he did quit before.
Sonny, did you know Walter Komosinski? Oh yes, real good. Walter came from Creighton, Pennsylvania. He lived there most of his life, but he came from Poland when he was just a teenager. Walter worked in the mines and worked himself up to a foreman. In fact, after his retirement, the younger mine engineers with college educations would come up to him for advice when they had a problem. Walterís education was experience and he was a real smart man. He could carry on a conversation on any subject, Presidents, SenatorsÖ you name it. He bought a little farm close to the mines where he worked and he had 88 acres of land. He kept around 40 dogs all the time and he was a good breeder and very good competitor. Very hard to beat! Joe and Walter were good friends, but Walter was basically a Colby breeder. He always brought his dogs in a little heavier than most other guys, and he was very successful. I fought him twice and won both times. One in 1 hour 58 minutes and one in 10 minutes. The dog I used in the 10 minute fight was BRAVO. I got him from Heinzl. I believe he was a 37lb dog, real good. The first time I beat Walter was with a dog called Huntsí PETE that was the sire to Cirouxís BEAR. I donít know if Walter knew something about carbohydrates, but his dogs were always strong and he also brought them in wet with plenty of fluids in their systems. Walter wouldnít travel. You always had to fight at his place, and the referee and time keeper were usually his friends. You always had to fight in a dimly lit place with an atmosphere between a half coal mine, and a half barn with coal dust covering the light bulbs. He was very hard to beat.
What about Mike Ferris? Now Mike was not a breeder, but a dogfighter. If he thought he had a good dog, he would meet you in Hong Kong. He was a very active man and good too. I know he brought them in fairly thin, but that was the whole idea in those days. Mike is still active and lives in Chicago working for a Catholic school or something. But he got out of the dogs because of his health, heís got asthma real bad and then his wife divorced him, so he got out of the dogs.
Did you know Floyd Boudreaux personally? Who? Oh, you mean Martin Luther Kingís brother! Yes I knew him. I met him many times. He is a good dogman. I believe we were matched into each other several times. I read the interview in the magazine, but he didnít say much. I donít know how the old ELI dog was bred, but I do know that we had no black dogs in those days. The only black dog I knew of was Evelyn Startís CRY BABY. Iíve seen the SCRUB dog twice. The first time Mayfield barely won with him, he had to push him out of the corner and the second time I saw him he quit in 4 or 5 minutes. He was definitely not game. I also seen BLIND BILLY at Floydís fatherís place, but I couldnít tell you where he got the dog from. You hear rumors, but thatís all it is as far as Iím concerned.
What happened when you went down to Mississippi and matched into Jim Taylor? I believe I was matched into Jim for $500 a side back in 1964. I won the fight in something like 30 minutes and I remember that when we stepped over the pit wall the beats were upped to $5,000 a side and that was big money in those days. Later on, we matched again and I lost in 2 hours and 45 minutes. He used a bitch from Ed Crenshaw called LEPRCHAUN and I used PATCHES at 36lbs. Both bitches died that time.
What other good dogs did you see? Well, Iíve seen Tudorís SPIKE kill Smithís DUGGAN. SPIKE was strictly a shoulder dog. I liked him. SPIKE also had a brother called JEFF and one called BUCK. I saw BUCK lose to CRACKER, but now CRACKER was his half brother so I feel that never should have happened. BUCK was out of DIBO and BLACK WIDOW, and CRACKER was out of DIBO and RED LADY. Both exceptional dogs by todayís standards. There was one dog that was better and that was Kirklandís NEGRO, he too was related to DIBO. NEGRO was owned by this man from Alabama and he beat CRACKER. Another one that I rate as one of the best Iíve seen in my life is Jerome Hernandezís NIG as well as Tealís TIP and SUSIE. Cottonís BULLET and RENO were good dogs. RENO was a 4x winner out of Corvino blood and I matched into him. That was my first fight. It lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes. Mayfield had a good little bitch called JESSIE, a spotted white and brown bitch. Maybe the gamest scratch Iíve ever seen was when DUGGAN crawled across the pit into SPIKE. His bones were sticking out and even Joe got excited. He threw his blanket in the air and was screaming out of excitement. I seen the WINO dog that Mr. Jolley sold to Bill Cotton quit against Mike Ferrisí ADOLF who was a Heinzl dog. Ferrisí APACHE was a real good little 33lb bitch, a real classy head fighting bitch. I seen STRIDER against CASSIUS CLAY and oh, Iíve seen so many, sometimes I canít remember their names.