Photos that surprised the world. Life before birth and the fatal battle in the ring

In the new selection of two iconic photographs for the whole world, we will show a couple of shots behind which there is something more hidden than it seems at first glance. So, on one of the shots depicted a beaten man. In fact, this “face”, which has become a symbol of great misery, which the thirst for glory can do. The second photo has become an icon for opponents of abortion. However, if they knew the background to the appearance of the picture, they would hardly be happy.

The Last Fight (1983)

In the early 1980s, Billy Collins, Jr., nicknamed Irishman, was a rising star of boxing. By 21, this guy had 14 professional welterweight fights, won all, and in 11 fights – by knockout! The young man had a bright career and a champion title. That all changed on June 16, 1983, when the Irishman seemed to be waiting for a bout with Puerto Rican Luis Resto.


The latter was only seven years older than his opponent, but by his 28 years he was considered an almost written off athlete. The unbalanced Louis showed himself well in amateur fights, but in the professional league he looked extremely insecure. However, somewhere in the early 1980s, he met with the coach Panama Lewis and suddenly won a couple of victories.

Nevertheless, by the beginning of the next battle, Collins was considered the undisputed favorite. The young American (nicknamed “Irishman” is related to the fact that Billy came from an Irish emigrant family, and was also the owner of the characteristic red hair) under the authority of his father, who also made a successful career in boxing, looked like it should be talented and future champions . But Resto by the time, they say, was tightly attached to the bottle and did not constitute a serious threat.

First round It all started without surprises – Louis missed several blows from Billy on the move. The Puerto Rican, of course, also took out an opponent, but against the background of the Irishman’s vigor and agility, these attempts looked sluggish.


However, in the very first break it became clear that something was wrong. Despite Collins’ undisputed advantage in the ring, in the corner he looked battered and surprised. And what are these facial stains? What is going on?

Further worse: by the middle of the battle, the Irishman’s face was filled with painkillers, his skin turned pale, his eyes swelled. And Resto continued as if nothing had happened! In the meantime, his opponent was getting worse and worse. Billy had a swollen face; there were no eyes behind the huge, swollen bruises. Of course, he missed the blows more and more often.

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We must pay tribute to the Irishman – he survived ten rounds. The fight did not end with a knockout, although this was all going well. Towards the end, Collins was in a dreadful state, and it seemed he did not quite clearly understand where he was and what was happening. The judges unconditionally awarded the victory to the Puerto Rican. Here he is – the new champion!

The benefit of television then entered its heyday, and if you wish, you can watch the whole fight with your own eyes. Or at least rewind to the 45th minute – here the denouement of the horrible story begins. Here Louis celebrates his victory, hugs Billy, greets his father-coach. And Collins Sr. Resto grabs the gloves. Surprise. Insult. The Puerto Rican tries to break free, but his opponent’s trainer holds him tight and angrily calls the referee.

A commission was subsequently collected. She found that the protective soft pad had been removed from Louis’s gloves. In addition, it turned out that a flexible tape made of gauze, with which the boxer wrapped the hands, was soaked in a gypsum solution. By the time the battle began, it hardened. The Irishman for ten rounds actually smashed a sledgehammer.

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This snapshot of Billy was taken at the hospital shortly after the battle ended. Its author is unknown, but in this case it does not matter. The boxer recorded retinal detachment, he almost lost his sight and was unable to continue his career. The athlete broke down emotionally, began to drink a lot. Less than a year, as a 22-year-old former boxer in his car crashed into a drainpipe at his own house and died. Many believe that it was suicide.

And what about Resto and his coach? The results of the battle, of course, canceled. The commission found out that the initiator of the “modification” of the gloves was Panama Lewis. At least two more fights before the meeting with the Irish were won in this way. Louis, of course, was also aware of the coach’s tricks.

<figcaption data-recalc-dims= Luis Resto in 2016. Author photo: Alesandro Simonetti / Stern

In 1986, the court found both guilty of assault, illegal use of weapons (they were considered the hands of a Puerto Rican) and a conspiracy. It was also rumored that there was a certain third party behind all of them, who had set a large sum to win Resta in that battle. The coach served four years in prison, and a Puerto Rican boxer spent two and a half. Of course, both had their licenses revoked.

For 15 years after his release, Louis tried to regain the license, and he finally succeeded. The athlete was allowed to train the youth. Today Resto is 64 years old. Twelve years ago, he publicly apologized to his relatives, Billy Collins, visited the grave of an opponent and asked for forgiveness for what was done.

<figcaption data-recalc-dims= From time to time hung with gold Panama Lewis is seen in Miami. Photo source: Stern

Panama Lewis seems to be still alive. In this case, he is under 80. However, he hasn’t been shown in public for a long time, although he was seen in company with Mike Tyson back in the early 2000s. Apologies from the former coach did not wait.

Embryo (1965, author – Lennart Nilsson)

In 1965, LIFE magazine published a photo report by Lennart Nilsson’s The Drama of Life Before Birth. For the first time, in color, clear, high-quality images, the photographer managed to literally in the smallest details show the whole process of the origin of life, from conception to fetal development. On the cover there was a picture of an embryo. This number LIFE became a legend and was sold out in a couple of days.

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Over the past almost 55 years, a snapshot of the fetus has entered various ratings, has become one of the most influential in the Time version and is widely used in materials by opponents of abortion as an illustration of the value of life. Here are just a few who paid attention to a small explanatory caption for Nilsson’s photos. And she said that almost all frames captured dead embryos.

Since childhood, Lennart was fond of insect microphotography. However, by the beginning of his professional career, his childhood hobby was forgotten. As a freelance photographer, the Swede made landscapes, portraits of celebrities, and reports about the liberation of Norway in 1945 for many publications.

But in the 1950s, Nilsson thought about new shooting methods. At that time, ultrasound diagnostics, which had already been used in obstetrics by the early 1960s, began to gain popularity. Vague black and white images of embryos were printed in newspapers and magazines. But it was not that, Lennart wanted clarity and color.

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Experiments began with endoscopes. The photographer, together with the surgeons, made a small incision, as during a laparoscopic operation, and inserted an endoscope with a diameter of less than a millimeter and wide-angle optics into the uterine cavity. In this way, you can take pictures of blood vessels, parts of the body of the fetus, but not the entire embryo. Frames were obtained in black and white, and then processed and painted in different colors.

Take the same famous shot. It seems to be a living fruit as if in a spacesuit soars almost in space. Alas, but for such photos I had to use the material after the abortion, which Nilsson provided the liberal Swedish clinics. Here it was already possible to experiment with lighting and background.

Do not think that the Swedes just allowed to work in fact in the medical field. Lennart has a doctorate in medicine. But, of course, photography has always remained his main craft.

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Source: Fotografiska

After a grand photo shoot, the Swede has repeatedly returned to the theme of “life before birth”. His works went to space with Voyager, they are regularly exhibited in the most famous museums in the world. Pictures of Nilsson managed to become an element of pop culture and a banner in the struggle for life.

Lennart did not stop at what he had achieved. In addition to the topic, which brought him unconditional fame, he did not stop to look for new ways of expression. In particular, the photographer was the first to use a scanning electron microscope in his work, and in 1986 he presented the public with the first color image of HIV from the surface of an infected lymphocyte.

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Lennart Nilsson – one of the most famous and popular photographers of our time. Having lived a very long and rich life, he died quietly at home at the age of 94 on February 28, 2017.


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