I am out of the country for the summer, but I just got the call; The 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach was robbed. Cleaned out. Heisted.
Devastating news, as I am a member of The Gym and love that place more than anything. The stole all the equipment, photos, belts, hell, they even took the ring. It looks like the only thing left is the pull up bar and arm straps for hanging crunches. And the recently moved jump rope rack.
I can’t even imagine who would want all that stuff (except the photos) with all the blood, sweat and Dino’s dogs hair all over the place. Hell, there is some of my blood in that place. And for sure a bunch of my snot and saliva.
I am also amazed how they pulled this off. I mean hell, it is on the corner of 5th and Washington in South Beach. Not exactly a minor intersection in a 24 hour a day town.
Unreal. I wish Matt and Dino luck and I hope they get the gym up and running as soon as possible. Hell, I will be back in Miami Beach soon.
Real sh*tty news. And I thought I was having a great summer.
It looks like there is a lot of misinformation about the location about the current The 5th Street Gym in regards to the old one. To set the record straight, the original 5th Street Gym was on the second floor of a building that was torn down. The current 5th Street Gym is in the new building, in the same location as the original on the first floor that it shares with a Wells Fargo location of all things.
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — A historic South Florida gym where some of boxing’s all-time greats have trained became the scene of a “crime ring” of sorts, Monday.
The 5th St. Gym, a Miami Beach landmark, was hit by burglars over the weekend. The inside was left gutted, stripped off its boxing ring. That’s right, the entire ring was somehow picked up and hauled away, along with lots of equipment and personal files. “Well, we were vandalized, as you can see, and the ring was stolen,” said Nina Spencer, whose son owns the gym, “the whole ring. That whole area there was a boxing gym.”
And this was not just any ring in any gym. This is a gym steeped in the history of boxing. Autographed photos of Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Sugar Ray Leonard once hanged on the gym’s walls. Now, they too are gone. “This is so sad,” said Spencer. “It’s devastating. We’re devastated.”
The 5th St. Gym opened on Miami Beach in the 1950s. Famed boxing trainer Angelo Dundee who trained, among others, Muhammad Ali, was part owner of the gym. In a YouTube video, Dundee speaks of the greatness and history associated with the gym: “It’s a great place to train because fighters like to sweat, and man, you could sweat in Miami Beach.”
Roberts returned from Vietnam to New York with screws and a metal plate in his head — the aftermath of an explosion. By the time he was 20, he was one of New York’s biggest nightclub impresarios, rubbing shoulders with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to John Lennon.
But after a business partner turned up dead and an informant told the police Roberts was involved, he hightailed it to sunny Miami. The year was 1975.
“When I first came to Miami, I wasn’t smuggling: I was like all the other dealers on the street just trying to make a living, and it got to a point where I had so much business that these people just couldn’t supply me,” he says.
That’s when Roberts shifted from being a drug dealer to a drug importer for the Colombian Medellin cartel.
Importing paid well: By the end of 1976, Roberts says he was moving 50 kilos of cocaine worth $500,000 or more a month. Roberts was living it up: He had half a dozen servants, a Porsche, multiple houses, dozens of race horses and friends in high places, including the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
The U.S. government labeled Roberts the “American Representative” of the Medellin cartel; he became known as “the bearded gringo” on Miami’s streets.
Roberts and a few American partners created a highly advanced drug-smuggling system that included secret airfields, listening posts to eavesdrop on Coast Guard communications, and homing beacons for tracking cocaine shipped by sea.
“We ended up getting, up by Tampa, a 450-acre farm and it was all surrounded by trees and we put two runways in there and we put hangars in for the planes to go in,” Roberts says.
Their drug-smuggling schemes stymied the U.S. government for nearly a decade.
Death came for Jon Roberts, the infamous cocaine cowboy, on Dec. 28 at age 63, after a long battle with cancer. But his public career as a charming monster is just beginning
A true-crime memoir, “American Desperado” (Crown; $28), written with journalist Evan Wright, has just been published. In Hollywood, director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg are developing a movie based on his exploits.
Dying at his ease in Fort Lauderdale in the company of a devoted younger spouse and his 11-year-old son Julian, product of an earlier marriage, was an improbable end for a man who never repudiated his lifelong philosophy that “evil is stronger than good.”
“How many times have I encountered a crooked politician who wants to establish he’s a nice guy, or a killer who wants you to think he’s a good guy at heart,” says Wright. “I was fascinated because here is a guy who has done monstrous things and he’s not trying to portray himself as a nice guy or a victim.”
As Roberts tells Wright in “American Desperado,” “I might be a sociopath. Most of the time I’ve been on this earth I’ve had no regard for human life. That’s been the key to my success.”
If “American Desperado” is to be believed, Jon Roberts beat people to death in New York, skinned enemy POWs alive in Vietnam, and helped a future CIA agent murder famed mobster Meyer Lansky’s stepson in Miami – with Lansky’s approval.
Roberts first came to national attention as one of the stars of “Cocaine Cowboys,” a Miami-produced documentary that was a surprise hit in 2006. The film details the early 1980s, when Miami became a nearly lawless place awash in cocaine, violence and corruption.
As an American representative of the Medellin Cartel, Roberts helped import some $2 billion worth of cocaine into South Florida, working with infamous figures like Albert San Pedro, Pablo Escobar, Bobby Seal, Max Mermelstein and Bobby Erra.
“He’s a killer,” says Wright, author of the acclaimed Iraq War book, “Generation Kill.” “The notion that Jon is a monster because he kills people doesn’t disqualify a person in my code of life. He’s a killer — let’s move on from there. Let’s find out more.”
Last night, I spoke to Roberts’ smuggling partner and costar in Cocaine Cowboys, the laid-back and quirky Mickey Munday, with whom he had epic disagreements. The last time Munday saw Roberts, he recalls, was at a Miami restaurant with Peter Berg — where the cancer-stricken old criminal vowed to kill Munday before he kicked the bucket: “Before I go, I’m going to get you.”
“I told him: ‘If I had a bucket list, I might put that blonde over there on it,’” Munday says. “‘But not whacking somebody who’s known me for 25 years.’”
“I always thought that he would beat this, I really did,” Munday told me. “If anybody could, it was him, because he’s the meanest son of a bitch I knew. If cancer could get to him it could get to anybody.”
Munday later texted me, referring to Roberts’ nemesis Mermelstein, who also died of cancer: “I hope Jon is kicking Max from one end of Hell to the other.”
California Game VS Florida Game for International Playboys
One thing I have noticed during my life, in “The Life” is that many Playboys from California rarely go to Florida and most Florida Playboys I know rarely if ever go to California.
I am not sure why this is; however I have noticed that usually when California Playboys go to Florida they usually don’t do too well and vice versa. California players get blindsided by the late nights and lack the multi-lingual Game that is necessary in South Florida. And most Florida players are stylistically “off” when on the Wessyde and they have logistical troubles when they try to close in Southern California.
I estimate there are maybe 10 guys in the world can run heavy Game in both California and Florida. And I am 3 of them. And I probably know the other 7 personally.
So, being that I am the most qualified guy out there to write this comparison Data Sheet, here it goes:
(Side Note: for purposes of this Data Sheet, when I refer to “California”, I am really referring to the Southern California Mega-Plex ie Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. And when I am referring to “Florida” I really mean South Florida ie Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Miami. San Francisco is its own animal and I don’t do North Florida.)
There is no doubt that Southern California and South Florida both have mad fly girls. Actually, both places serve up some of the best quality in our rapidly deteriorating country. Generally speaking, the comparison is pretty much a wash because superiority is more determined by the individual International Playboy’s taste. Personally, the Latinas of South Florida get the nod from me. Also, I give a big edge to South Florida in terms of approachability. South Florida girls always leave the door open. They are also comparatively more open to fun. (California girls are not slouches in this department either). I attribute this to the warmer weather, humidity and Latin influence.
Granted, I swoop the top girls in both spots, but it seems like I have to work a little harder to get the same results in California.
Girls Edge: South Florida
It’s kind of funny to compare Southern California and South Florida in terms of competition from other players. It seems like you see the exact type of guy in both places, only in Florida, it is usually a lower budget version of the same guy you will see in California and there are less of them.
For instance, you might see that idiot with a goatee and sleeve tattoos in Newport Beach and see that same idiot in Fort Lauderdale only he will be a cut rate version of the Newport Beach guy. Or you might see three moronic West Coast Hipster fools in LA at the spot and see one of them in Miami. Except that the one in Miami will have less going for him. Those two “tough guys” mad dogging at the bar in San Diego? You will see the same two in Hollywood, FL but they will have less bite.
Sure, the comp can be pretty heavy from some of the Latin Playboys in Miami, but the sheer volume of girls seems to offset it.
Competition Edge: South Florida (because it’s weesher)
Florida gets the edge with way more of a surplus of hot girls to smooth cats. California is pretty comp heavy. The only places in California where you get good ratio’s are events like Grammy parties, Oscar gigs, special parties and the like. In Florida, you get more girls than guys even if you walk in cold to a boutique hotel bar.
Ratio Edge: South Florida
Surprisingly, to most people, South Florida has a way more laid back nightlife vibe. More freedom and less rules. Southern California has all but become a police state with its open container laws, anti-smoking laws and last call laws. Plenty of drugs in both, although it seems easier to cop drugs cold in South Florida than Southern California.
Just because Dr. Dre once said, “California, knows how to party”, doesn’t really hold water in real life. (Keep in mind, Dr. Dre also said, “I still express, yo, I don’t smoke weed or cess” and then came out with an album called “The Chronic”. So his credibility is highly questioned.)
Nightlife Vibe Edge: South Florida
Girls have good style in both. Again, however, the Latinas in Miami tilt the favor to South Florida as they are in non-stop high heels and skirts and dresses. And the Russian girls and Models push it over the top. California comes off a little weesh with girls wearing too many flip-flops, Ugg Boots and sweatpants. Too much West Coast Hipster crap as well (which has really been gaining tons of speed in the last 16 months).
South Florida also gets a huge edge at the beach. Girls just flow bikinis in South Florida. Girls in California bust too much of that “girl board short” crap. And they cover up real quick. South Florida girls just roll in their bikinis. They go topless as well. Which is huge in my book.
Then again, I really like topless girls.
Guys have terrible style in both. But who cares about guys?
Stylistic Edge: South Florida
Travel times can be devastating in Southern California. South Beach with its ease of usage gets the nod here. A top playboy in South Beach is swooping more fly girls than a top playboy in Hollywood on a day to day basis.
User Friendlyness Edge: South Florida
International Girl factor
South Florida wins this one again. In a month, in South Florida you can swoop mass amounts of Venezulanas, Colombians, Brazileras, Peruanas, Cubanas, Bulgarians, Latvians, Moldovans etc etc etc. It would take you 2 years to achieve that in Southern California.
International Girl factor Edge: South Florida
It’s all about the Wildcard Gym in Hollywood and the 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach. I am inclined to give the edge to Wildcard, however the history of the recently re-opened 5th can’t be denied.
Boxing Gym Edge: Draw
It’s no secret that I love Gulf Stream in South Florida and I love Del Mar in San Diego. Anyone that has been reading The G Manifesto knows that I got to go with Del Mar. Plus, in Southern California you have Santa Anita and Hollywood Park.
Racetrack Edge: Southern California
I have said it before, and I will say it again, California is the greatest marketing scheme ever created. Saying you are from California holds more weight than a coke scale when traveling Internationally. Florida, not so much.
International Reputation Edge: California
Geographic Location for Travel
South Florida with two International Airports (FLL and MIA) and multiple countries within a three hour direct flight gets a huge edge over Southern California’s terribly set up airports. Orange County and San Diego are black holes as far as international travel.
Geographic Location for Travel Edge: South Florida
Sometimes I wonder why I base myself out of Southern California, especially considering that it is way more expensive than South Florida.
It might be time to switch up speeds like Bruce Lee riding the Fuji in the movie.
After detonating Shore Club, I roll up to Mint in Miami Beach, slap five with the doorman (you know who I am talking about), who says with an accent, “Nice suit, Michael”, and I respond “thanks, merci“ as I enter the arena.
Mint is popping like corn as usual; tons of fly girls, and the energy is sick.
I roll around, give a “two kisses” greeting to a Chilanga I sort of know and settle in for a Goose and Soda. Sixteen bucks. Not bad.
I am feeling great, and I am Custom Suited Down, so I start ripping the spot off the cord.
Number Crunch a fly Ecuadorian girl, and Number Crunch and kiss a fly Cubana. It’s on.
I take a little break, spark up a smoke, and then I see her: the flyest girl I have seen in Miami Beach. Or at least the flyest girl I have seen in a few hours.
She is tall, thin, and dancing like pop rocks mixed with Classic Coke. I catch my breath and make a move.
It is loud as f*ck, but I get her attention and whisper in her ear. She smiles. Pauses. Then unfortunately, continues dancing.
I pull out some big guns as I whisper in her ear again. She smiles. Kisses me on the cheek. Then unfortunately, continues dancing by herself.
I pull out and grab another cocktail to regroup; I look back over, this girl is fire like hillsides in Southern California during Santa Anas.
It then hits me; this girl is one of my favorite p0rnstars.
I have pretty much lost, but I kind of fancy myself as “Arturo Gatti of nightlife“, of sorts (as in, I often pull out spectacular knockouts from the brink of defeat), so I go back in.
I throw a hailmary left hook, and…miss.
She goes on dancing by herself. Unreal.
I think of pulling out the huge Bankroll I have in my pocket and “pitching” her, but I wisely decide against.
Oh well, even Arturo Gatti took losses.
Come to think of it, I think she only does lesbian p0rn these days.
After the p0rnstar debacle, I saw the flyest Mexicana girl smoking at the closest booth to the door with her friends. I have two Zippos in my pocket but I use The Greatest Opener of All Time.
Miami Beach is a very intoxicating place; the ocean, mad amounts of fly girls (easily the most highly concentrated of any place in America), high heels, dresses, short skirts, drugs, late nights, succulent Comida Cubana, etc. It can also be a godforsaken cesspool. But one place can’t have it all, right?
However, as we have mentioned before, South Beach has been many a player’s “Waterloo”. Top ranked players from NYC end up looking like dorks on the beach because they rock wack beach gear. And as a result, they end up filleted. Top tier California playboys get put through the wood chipper since they are not used to the late nights, late dinning hours, rhythms of the night, and smoking in bars in South Beach (they can thank the Gov and the Police State California has become for that). Even top foreign G’s get battered and bruised.
Lucky for you, the reader, your humble author has one of the greatest track records of all time in South Beach.
Here are some of the biggest mistakes I see guys constantly making in South Beach:
1. Not wearing Custom Suits – South Beach is definitely Custom Suit turf. Amazingly, not that many cats bust them. Which in turn makes it more effective. If you dress in tight jeans or glittery Ed Hardy shirts, expect to get blanked in South Beach. However, on the plus side, you should find plenty in common with about 99% of the guys in America. So you will never be at a loss for friends to go out to the local sports bar and eat “Mondo Nachos” and “Jalapeño Poppers” with.
2. Not Street Gaming – Street Game is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon for swooping in South Beach.
3. Going into clubs “Cold” – Here is the thing with South Beach: the nightclubs are pretty difficult to swoop girls at. You need to have girls cooking before you roll to the club and use the club as a closing tool. If you understand this, you understand South Beach.
4. Not rolling to the restaurants – Sure, most South Beach restaurants are overpriced and the food is kind of wack. And it’s hard to get some decent sushi. But the restaurant bars in Miami are literally, Bolivian gold mines for swooping (and we all know where the price of Gold is today). Roll in Custom Suited Down and slide up to the Colombiana and Cubana in high heels and short skirts at the bar. Proceed accordingly.
(Side Note: I have thought for years that if someone opened up a legit traditional Sushi place in South Beach you would print money. Key words here being “legit traditional”. As a matter of fact, maybe I will talk to some of my Sushi guys when I get back to California.)
5. Not going after locals only tourists – Sure the tourists are easier to swoop on a one night basis, but the local Miami girls way more fly. Check out Brickell; and prepared to have your mind blown.
6. Not smoking – Choosing not to smoke is a horrible move in South Beach. By being a smoker, you get mad free leads. Plus, the health benefits from swooping tons of fly Latinas will easily counter act the “potential” risks from the inhalation of tobacco smoke.
9. Not speaking Spanish – You are going to need to speak at least little Spanish and hold a conversation in Spanish if you really want to come up Aces in South Beach. Other languages help as well. I would say I typically speak about 40% English – 60% Spanish (and other languages) when I am in Miami.
10. Not Dancing – You are going to have to dance if you want to close in South Beach. Here is the Salsa Swoop Move.
11. Being undercapitalized – Sure, you might be able to swoop girls in South Beach if your Game is super tight and your broke. But why make it hard on yourself? South Beach girls love that Young, Handsome, Dashing, Rich, International Playboy in the Custom Suit with the big Bankroll. Why do it any other way? Anything less would be uncivilized.
The other advantage is you can really be a “bully with the bucks” in South Beach. So you really might as well hit hard like Camacho and Vargas and peg the market.
In the expert opinion of your humble author, I have found that the key to South Beach is Swagger.
You really need to “taunt” South Beach, “clown” South Beach and “own” South Beach.
Kind of like this:
If you hang out in South Beach in winter, you might have even see me jump up on the planters on Lincoln Road, Custom Suited Down, grit in mouth and shout, “I am Young, I’m Handsome, I’m Fast, I’m Pretty and Can’t possibly be beat!” to no one in particular.
Now I am not saying you need to disrespect the people of South Beach, I am saying you need to simply be a Nightlife Maestro: Dress Razor Sharp, Carry Big Bankrolls, Display mad Language Game and don’t take any shorts.
Stick your chin out to South Beach, make it miss, and come back with flashy combinations.
Basically you want to harness Pernell Whitakers boxing steez into your Nightlife Steez:
Give it a shot.
And watch your Model swoop and fly Latina girl swoop numbers rise accordingly.
I have mentioned before that The Legendary 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach has recently re-opened and I plan to be there soon. My father, Michael John Mason VI, used to take me there as a young pup and that was where I first met Muhammad Ali (among others). I can’t wait to go back. It’s already locked in stone on my schedule. Congratulations to Angelo Dundee, Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, Tom Tsatas, Matt Baiamonte and Dino Spencer for making it happen. This is a huge one in the win column and a true sign that The Apocalypse is Not coming. At least not yet anyway.
The History of 5th St. Gym, Miami Beach
Muhammed Ali:5th Street Gym
The Fight Years (documentary trailer) 5th Street Gym
I recently finished a pretty dope book called The Man Who Made It Snow by Max Mermelstein, which is about the guy who basically sunk the whole crew depicted in the movie Cocaine Cowboys; Jon Roberts and Mickey Munday. Mermelstein was also personally responsible for making $300 million for the narco-traficantes in The Medellin Cartel and brining in fifty-six tons of Cocaine into America. Essentially, the guy made it snow in Florida.
“I would sell five keys to some colombian for $30,000 a key, or a total of $150,000. By the next day the Colombian had adulterated my pure stuff, just off the plane by 20 percent, adding enough quinine or amphetamine (better known as speed) or inesitol (powdered vitamin B) to produce six cut keys. He sold the six kilos he had created, claiming it was “pure” stuff, for $30,000 a key, making a quick profit of $30,000 in a day or two.
Some other lowlife Colombian bought the cut key and made it into a key and a half by further adulterating it. Then he sold this hashed-up kilo and a half to black street dealers in measure of one-eighth of a “pure” key, selling twelve one-eights of a key and pocketing his profit.
The street peddlers took their one-eighth of a key and added more cut to double it to one-quarter key, then sold it on the street by the gram, a quarter key becoming 250 grams, for $80 to $100 a gram.
The money derived from the pure stuff we brought in from Colombia kept a huge coke-hungry army of dealers and petty pusher driving their fancy cars around the slums of America’s Cities.
Nobody closely associated with the cartel delt in anything less than multiple kilograms of coke straight from Colombia. We never even saw street peddlers. …and life was sweet”
Two main lessons from the book:
Never drive a car.
You can’t chase a paper trail if there is no paper.
gave her a “two kisses” good bye and exit Prime 112 with solid plans to meet the fly Argentinan girl later that night. I step into the balmy South Beach night wearing a two button bespoke cobalt blue Ozwald Boateng suit with the Royal Blue interior like I was from Kansas City. Or Simon City.
Spark up a smoke with the Zippo and a limo driver asks me, “Are you Joe?”
In a heads up move, I respond “No, I am Joe’s boss (having no idea who “Joe” is). Joe is still inside. I need to get to the Gansevoort Hotel quick.”
The limo driver says “Hop in”.
I love pro-bono limo rides.
As I exit the limo, I spot two blond girls, from the West Coast no doubt, smoking cigarettes outside Philippe and say,