Boxing got into his blood from early on, and Johnny Bos didn't try and fight it. The matchmaker extraordinaire, who put boxing right there with air and water, died Saturday at his Clearwater, Fl. residence, at age 61.
The fiancee of his younger brother, Jeffrey Bosdal, told ESPN New York that the late fight agent started to learn his trade in his early teens, by setting up neighborhood kids in boxoffs on the streets of Brooklyn.
"It was a different time," said Suzanne McBee, the fiancee, on the phone from Florida. "Yes, he ate, slept, lived and breathed boxing." She told me her phone has been ringing non-stop, with people checking in, offering condolences and saying how much Bos meant to them.
McBee told me that a visitation period and service will be held on Saturday, May 18, at Dobies Funeral Home on Hudson Ave. in Hudson, Fla. to honor Bos, who fell in love with the sweet science and maintained a sometimes stormy, but enduring affair with the sport to the end.
I spoke to Bos' daughter, Surojini Sudowoodo Braithwaite, about her father. She, too, has been deluged with calls and messages from people telling her how her dad touched them. "It's so evident he loved what he did," said the Maine resident, who told me she had been planning to move to Florida to be near dad soon. "It wasn't a job for him."
She admitted that she wanted to box, and asked her dad for his blessing. "He told me he didn't want me to do it," she said, breaking up. "He didn't want me to get hurt. I wanted to do it to make him proud but he wanted to keep me alive and I can't argue with that."
Knowing how many people Bos influenced has helped her during this difficult time.
"Knowing how much love and respect people had for him puts me in a selfless state," she said, "and takes the sad part away."