The son of martial arts icon Bruce Lee, Brandon, was born February 1, 1965.
Tragically, 18 years ago next month, Brandon was killed at 28 while filming a scene in The Crow.
Brandon was an emerging Hollywood star at the time and his curious death is still discussed to this day.
Somewhat similarly, Bruce died while working on the movie Enter the Dragon in July 1973.
Bruce Lee was a physical marvel and combat expert who possessed legendary fighting skills.
Had Lee focused his efforts strictly on the sport of boxing, he likely would have been one of the greatest welterweight, or middleweight, champions of all-time.
Lee was born in San Francisco, California.
However, he was raised by his parents in Hong Kong until his late teenage years.
In the mid-1950s, Hong Kong was badly infested by the criminal activities of violent gangs.
Throughout his adolescence, Lee frequently fought and seriously bludgeoned many thugs associated with these gangs.
Although he was consistently the victor, the shire brutality of these brawls made Lee’s parents elect to have their son properly trained in martial arts.
In the 1958 Hong Kong Inter-School Amateur Boxing Championships, Lee trounced three-time British titlist Gary Elms by a third round knockout.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that if Bruce Lee had gone into pro boxing, he could easily have ranked in the top three in the lightweight division or junior-welterweight division,” said Dan Inosanto, a martial arts instructor who focuses on Jeet Kune Do Concepts.
In April 1959, Lee returned to the Bay Area where he lived with his older sister, Agnes.
Shortly after his homecoming in The City by the Bay, Lee began to formally teach martial arts.
In a full-contact match at a YMCA handball court in Seattle in 1962, Lee knocked-out a Japanese black belt called “Uechi” in seconds.
“The karate man arrived in his gi, complete with black belt, while Bruce showed up in his street clothes and simply took off his shoes. The fight lasted exactly 11 seconds,” said witness Taki Kamura. “Bruce had hit the guy something like 15 times and kicked him once. I thought he’d killed him”
Granted, this was a full-contact match and not a boxing contest.
Nevertheless, it is astonishing that Lee allegedly managed to punch his opponent “like 15 times” in “11 seconds.”
“Quickness is such an important quality for a boxer,” said Brad Sherwood, 30, a resident of South Boston who works as a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in Medford. “Couple that with his strength, and there’s no telling how much he could have accomplished as a boxer.”
Lee was so supremely fast that many of his movements were periodically too rapid to be captured clearly on film.
The Chinese-American’s surreal quickness was renowned and his punching speed alone would have enabled him to smoothly transition into a dominant pugilist if he had so desired.
Lee was extraordinarily strong, abnormally fast and he owned the mentality of a scrapper.
Considering his litany of gifts, if Lee solely dedicated all of his preparations toward “The Sweet Science,” he could have earned induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) in Canastota, New York.
At the absolute least, Bruce Lee would have been an overwhelming force in the squared circle during any era.