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A Tale Of Two Brothers

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Life takes interesting twists and turns. Sometimes those turns lead to success and fortune and other times they lead to frustrations and failures. One does not know the end result when they head down one of life’s pathways, and along with being unpredictable, it is also often unfair. Case in point might be the lives of two brothers who were both born in Fort Duchesne, Utah on a Ute Indian Reservation over fifty years ago. Ernie Lopez, the oldest of the two boys , became a popular boxer in the l960’s and l970’s and younger brother, Danny, followed in his footsteps. They both headed down the same pathway but various twists lead to different destinations. Ernie died last year at the age of 64 after a battle with dementia. Prior to that he dropped out of sight, distanced himself from family, and spent some time in a homeless shelter in Fort Worth, Texas. He experienced a moment of triumph when he was named to the California Boxing Hall of Fame, an honor he was able to accept only after being located in the homeless shelter. He leaves a legacy of stamina and endurance; a gentle man with a big heart but no so much in the way of worldly goods or recognition. In contrast, brother Danny “little red” Lopez, was just this past week inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame to join the likes of Mohammed Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Joe Louis and Gene Fullmer. Danny Lopez enjoyed a lengthy professional featherweight boxing career in which he racked up a 42-6 record including 39 knockouts. His life has been filled with successes (along with some disappointments) a lucrative career, a great family who has stood by him and unlike many other boxers, he has retained his physical and mental health.
What is it, one has to wonder, that makes the difference in the direction a life takes?

Nancy Smith is one of the owners of RobbinsSports.com, an online retailer specializing in Baseball Uniforms and Gym Bags