Archie Moore at his Salt Mine training camp 1959.
It’s good to have idols??
Archie Moore’s idol was Charles Atlas. Archie followed his advise and stayed in good physical condition his entire life.
December 13, 1916 – December 9, 1998—Archie Moore was an American professional boxer and the longest reigning World Light Heavyweight Champion of all time (December 1952 – May 1962). He had one of the longest professional careers in the history of the sport, competing from 1935 to 1963. He fought from 1936-until 1964 and had fights with Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson and Muhammad Ali.
He won 185 of his 219 bouts (131 knockouts ) before retiring at 49 years old.
Archie Moore created a boxing training center near Ramona California calling it “Salt Mine.” He called it “Salt Mine” because he said he worked as hard there to get ready for fights as anyone did in a salt mine. He personally trained here and also helped train others including Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) and George Foreman.
Salt Mine Road was marked by an arrow painted on a boulder in large white letters: “Archie Moore’s Salt Mine.” The property had miles of roads and trails that were used by Moore and others for roadwork. At that time, the backcountry was still primitive, and runners often encountered wildlife such as mountain lions and rattlesnakes while on the trails.
The property was 120 acres with five homes and a gymnasium, located in a big barn known as the “Bucket of Blood,” with a skull painted on the door. There were also a ring and a sweat house (steam room). Boulders with names painted on them stood outside as monuments to great fighters of the past, including Jack Johnson, Ray Robinson and Joe Lewis.
In the early days, the Salt Mine was a Spartan camp with no support staff. The young fighters were expected to pitch in and help with the cooking, cleaning and mopping, chop wood for the stove and do all sorts of chores around the property.
Cassius Clay showed up to train but he didn’t want to do chores. Clay was spoiled by his mother at home, said, “I ain’t gonna wash dishes like a woman.” Fall of 1960 after staying at the camp for about six weeks, Clay left the Salt Mine and went back home to Louisville. But the Salt Mine training camp inspired him to create his own training camp calling it Deer Lake Training Camp located in Pennsylvania in 1972.