HBO retells story of 1983 Luis Resto-Billy Collins Jr. bout
"Assault in the Ring," HBO Sports' latest documentary, debuts Saturday and is worth your 90 minutes on its own merits.
Director/producer Eric Drath's work, on which HBO collaborated, tells the story of the infamous 1983 junior middleweight fight at the Garden between Billy Collins Jr. and Luis Resto that pretty much ruined both men's lives.
Resto, whose gloves were illegally altered under mysterious circumstances, and his former trainer, the slimy Panama Lewis, revisit the events of a quarter century ago, most memorably in two face-to-face confrontations in Miami facilitated by Drath.
Says Resto: “You know, I think about that fight almost every day. When I work in the gym, I work with the other guys. I don’t see your face, I see Collins’ face."
The subtext here is HBO has a long history of not exploring the dark side of boxing - a sport it essentially bankrolls - with an investigative eye, including in its acclaimed "Real Sports" series.
This doesn't fully make up for that, but for at least this once, HBO doesn't shy away from the cloud that has hovered over the sport forever.