PASSINGS: Gil Clancy, Zoogz Rift, Carl Bunch, David E. Davis Jr., James Pritchett, James M. Roberts, Pat Rowe
Gil Clancy

Boxing trainer

Gil Clancy, 88, a boxing trainer who helped lead Emile Griffith to welterweight and middleweight titles, died Thursday at an assisted-living facility on Long Island, N.Y., his family said.

Born in Rockaway Beach, N.Y., in 1922, Clancy boxed in the Army during World War II. After his discharge he studied physical education at New York University, earning a master's degree in teaching and paying tuition by training fighters. Eventually, he rose to prominence as a corner man.

Clancy also worked with Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Oscar De La Hoya. But he's best known for his 20-year association with Griffith.

Griffith captured the welterweight title from Benny "The Kid" Paret in April 1961 with a 13th-round knockout. Six months later, Griffith lost the title to Paret in a split decision, then regained it in a controversial rematch with Paret in 1962.

With Clancy shouting encouragement from the corner, Griffith knocked Paret unconscious, and Paret stayed propped against the ropes while Griffith hit him repeatedly for several seconds before referee Ruby Goldstein stopped the fight. Paret never regained consciousness and died 10 days later.

After retiring from training, Clancy worked as a TV commentator.

He was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.

Zoogz Rift

Punk rock musician

Zoogz Rift, 57, a punk rock musician whose experimental style garnered comparisons with Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa, died March 22 at Encino Hospital of complications from diabetes, said his partner, Laura Rift.

Rift's music "both challenges and irritates, insults and amuses," Jeff Spurrier wrote in The Times in 1985. "His songs are musical mud pies lobbed at the mainstream market, fragmentation earbombs set in often bizarre meters with arrangements that both soothe and sear."

Rift was born Robert Pawlikowski on July 10, 1953, in Paterson, N.J., but grew up in Parsippany, N.J. He moved to Los Angeles in 1977 after starting his career in the early 1970s. He played in New York punk rock clubs such as CBGB before moving to California.

His first album was 1979's "Idiots on the Miniature Golf Course." Rift recorded steadily through the 1980s.

He also was a painter and a pro wrestling personality with the Universal Wrestling Federation beginning in the 1990s. Rift had several health problems in recent years and started oil painting about 2002 after finding it increasingly difficult to play guitar, Laura Rift said.

Laura and Zoogz Rift were divorced but had reconciled years ago, she said.

Carl Bunch

Drummer for Buddy Holly