Randall "Tex" Cobb

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Randall "Tex" Cobb
BornRandall Craig Cobb
(1950-05-07) May 7, 1950 (age 73)
Bridge City, Texas, U.S.
Other namesTex
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
RankBlack belt in Karate
Years active1975–2001
Professional boxing record
By knockout35
By knockout1
No contests1
Kickboxing record
By knockout9
Other information
UniversityTemple University

Randall Craig "Tex" Cobb (born May 7, 1950) is an American actor, martial artist, and former professional boxer who competed in the heavyweight division. Considered to possess one of the greatest boxing chins of all time,[1] Cobb was a brawler who also packed considerable punching power.[2] He began his fighting career in full contact kickboxing in 1975 before making the jump to professional boxing two years later. He unsuccessfully challenged Larry Holmes for the WBC and lineal world heavyweight title in November 1982, losing by a one-sided unanimous decision. Cobb took wins over notable heavyweights of his era such as Bernardo Mercado, Earnie Shavers, and Leon Spinks. He was ranked in the global top 10 heavyweight boxers by The Ring (in 1981 and 1982) and BoxRec (in 1982).[3][4]

In addition to his fighting career, he has also acted in numerous films and television series, usually appearing as a villain or henchman. Examples include roles in the Coen brothers film Raising Arizona and the popular programs Miami Vice and Walker, Texas Ranger.

Early life[edit]

Randall Cobb was born in Bridge City, Texas, the son of Norma Grace (née Alexander) and Williard Glynn Cobb, a factory foreman. He was raised in Abilene, Texas, and attended Abilene High School, where he played on the football team. Cobb later studied at Abilene Christian University, but dropped out at the age of 19, and began karate training. He lived in the dojo, cleaning the mats to earn his keep.[5] After earning his black belt, he craved full-contact competition, thus took up kickboxing, fighting in an era when only full contact rules were used in the United States. He won his first nine matches, going 9–0 with all knockouts.

He TKO'd El Paso Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion and karate black belt, David Ochoa, in the first-ever professional kickboxing event in El Paso, Texas, in 1975. The promoters were Robert Nava and boxing trainer Tom McKay under the guidance of boxing guru and matchmaker, Paul Clinite. Clinite signed Randall to a professional-boxing contract a few weeks later. He also signed Ochoa, who had fought amateur under the guidance of McKay as his trainer. Clinite provided films of heavyweight boxers to study to get the huge Cobb a good style. After a few days, it was decided that Randall should work at learning the "Joe Louis shuffle". Randall, Paul, and Tom spent a few months at El Paso's San Juan Boxing Gym just doing the simple basics. A few months later, Clinite made arrangements for Randall to be sent to Joe Frazier's gym in Philadelphia.

Boxing career[edit]

After nine straight wins as a kickboxer, Cobb lost his first two amateur bouts. In his professional-boxing debut on January 19, 1977, in El Paso, he knocked out Pedro Vega. He went on to win 13 straight fights by 1979, all by knockout. Cobb was a fighter who had hitting power, as shown by his eighth-round knockout victory over Earnie Shavers in 1980. He lost his two following bouts to Ken Norton and Michael Dokes, respectively, but soon bounced back to earn a shot at Larry Holmes' WBC World Heavyweight Championship. On November 26, 1982, at Houston's Astrodome, Cobb was defeated in a unanimous decision by Holmes, who won all 15 rounds on two of three scorecards. The bloody one-sidedness of the fight, which came 13 days after the bout between Ray Mancini and Duk Koo Kim that led to Kim's death four days later due to brain trauma, horrified sportscaster Howard Cosell so much that he vowed never to cover another professional match, which Cobb jokingly referred to as his "gift to the sport of boxing."[6] When prodded further regarding Cosell's remarks, Cobb observed, "Hey, if it gets him to stop broadcasting NFL games, I'll go play football for a week, too!"[citation needed] When asked if he would consider a rematch, Cobb replied that he did not think that Holmes would agree, as "the champion's fists couldn't handle a rematch."[7] In an interview with Johnny Carson after the Holmes fight, Carson said "He seems to have a much longer reach than you do", to which Cobb replied, "Looked like that to you too?"[8]

He made a brief return to kickboxing on May 5, 1984, to challenge John Jackson for the Professional Karate Association United States Heavyweight title in Birmingham, Alabama, losing on points. Between late 1984 and 1985, he lost four straight fights, the last of which was a knockout at the hands of Dee Collier, the only time he was ever KO'd. After a two-year hiatus, he made a return to the ring and went on a 20-fight undefeated streak against lightly regarded opponents (including a win over past-his-prime former champ Leon Spinks in 1988) before retiring again rather suddenly in 1993. A 1993 Sports Illustrated article alleged that Cobb had participated in a fixed fight with Sonny Barch and had used cocaine with Barch and promoter Rick "Elvis" Parker before and after the fight. Cobb said the magazine libeled him, and he sued for US$150 million. In 1999, a jury awarded Cobb $8.5 million in compensatory damages and $2.2 million in punitive damages. However, the verdict was overturned in 2002 by a federal appeals court, which said that the article was not published with "actual malice". The magazine did not interview the referee and other ringside officials who were at the match, which tends to show that the magazine "might not have acted as a prudent reporter would have acted", the ruling stated. "But the actual malice standard requires more than just proof of negligence".[9]

Acting career[edit]

As a Hollywood actor, Cobb has played a series of villainous roles in films such as Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, Blind Fury, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Liar Liar, The Golden Child, Naked Gun 33+13: The Final Insult, Fletch Lives, and Ernest Goes to Jail. He has made guest appearances on several television shows, including Miami Vice; Highlander: The Series; Married... with Children; Moonlighting; Walker, Texas Ranger; MacGyver (as the character Earthquake); and The X-Files.

Cobb's other appearances include the 1983 film Uncommon Valor, in which he played a rare heroic role; the 1987 movie Critical Condition, in which he plays a character in the psych ward who thinks he is a "brother" (an African American); The Champ, which referred to his boxing career by casting Cobb as a boxer who fights the title character, Billy Flynn; and Diggstown, in which he plays a prison inmate who fights at the behest of a con man. One of his more memorable roles is the menacing outlaw biker/bounty hunter Leonard Smalls in the 1987 Coen Brothers film Raising Arizona.[10] Joel Coen later described Cobb as difficult to work with: "he's less an actor than a force of nature".[11] On Late Night with David Letterman on January 7, 1987, he was asked how boxing compared to acting and said "In the last job I had, if you didn't do it just exactly right you got hit in the mouth. In this kind of job, the worst thing that can happen, I mean if everything in the whole world goes wrong, take two."[12]

In 1992, he appeared in Vince Gill's music video for his song "Don't Let Our Love Start Slippin' Away". In 1993, he spoofed himself by appearing in a commercial for Old El Paso salsa.

Personal life[edit]

Cobb lives in Philadelphia, and maintained a friendship with Philadelphia Daily News columnist Pete Dexter, who frequently commented on boxing. In a notorious 1981 Grays Ferry incident, Cobb came to the defense of Dexter, who during the course of a bar brawl, was severely beaten.[13] Cobb rescued him and endured a broken arm, costing him a scheduled fight with Mike Weaver.

Cobb's eldest son Bo was killed in an accident in early 2001. His younger son Joshua pursued a short career as a boxer.

In January 2008, at age 57, Cobb graduated magna cum laude from Temple University with a bachelor's degree in sport and recreation management. He remarked that it was odd to hear the cheers of a packed arena without being in a boxing ring. "It was nice to have that opportunity to wear a robe, to step up there and not have to worry about bleeding", Cobb said.[14]

Boxing record[edit]

42 Wins (35 knockouts, 7 decisions), 7 Losses (1 knockout, 6 decisions), 1 Draw, 1 No Contest[15]
Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
Win 42–7–1 (1) United States Andre Smiley TKO 2 (8) 1993-06-07 United States Joel Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Win 41–7–1 (1) United States Mike Acklie TKO 6 (8) 1993-05-01 United States Lincoln, Nebraska
Win 40–7–1 (1) United States Guile Wilkinson PTS 6 (6), 3:00 1993-04-19 United States Saint Louis, Missouri
Win 39–7–1 (1) United States John Warrior KO 1 (?) 1993-03-30 United States Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri
Win 38–7–1 (1) United States Mike Smith KO 1 (?) 1993-03-01 United States Allis Plaza Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri
Win 37–7–1 (1) United States Paul Lewis KO 3 (?) 1993-01-19 United States Boise Centre, Boise, Idaho
Win 36–7–1 (1) United States Jim Taylor KO 1 (?) 1992-12-03 United States Myriad Convention Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Win 35–7–1 (1) United States Rick Kellar TKO 4 (?) 1992-11-28 United States North Platte, Nebraska
Win 34–7–1 (1) United States Jeff May TKO 1 (10) 1992-10-27 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan
NC 33–7–1 (1) United States Sonny Barch NC 1 (10), 1:10 1992-09-15 United States War Memorial Auditorium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Originally a TKO win for Cobb, overturned to a no contest after both fighters tested positive for cocaine
Win 33–7–1 United States Leon Spinks MD 10 (10), 3:00 1988-03-18 United States Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Win 32–7–1 United States Michael Johnson KO 6 (?) 1987-05-29 United States Birmingham, Alabama
Win 31–7–1 United States Aaron Brown KO 5 (?) 1987-05-11 United States Finkey's Bar, Daytona Beach, Florida
Draw 30–7–1 United States Bill Duncan TD 1 (?) 1987-04-17 United States Springfield, Missouri
Win 30–7 United States Rick Kellar TKO 2 (10), 2:26 1987-04-07 United States Lincoln, Nebraska
Win 29–7 United States Louis Pappin TKO 1 (10) 1987-04-06 United States Terre Haute, Indiana
Win 28–7 United States Frank Lux TKO 2 (10), 0:55 1987-03-31 United States Madison Central High School, Richmond, Kentucky
Win 27–7 United States Stan Johnson KO 1 (10) 1987-03-26 United States Fayetteville, Arkansas
Win 26–7 United States Frank Lux KO 2 (?) 1987-03-21 United States Springfield, Missouri
Win 25–7 United States Phil Rendine KO 2 (?) 1987-03-12 United States Hot Springs, Arkansas
Loss 24–7 United States Dee Collier KO 1 (10), 2:33 1985-10-29 United States Reseda Country Club, Reseda, California
Loss 24–6 United States Eddie Gregg UD 10 (10), 3:00 1985-05-20 United States Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada
Loss 24–5 United States Michael Dokes TD 4 (12), 1:03 1985-03-15 United States Riviera, Las Vegas For the WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Championship, the bout was stopped due to an accidental foul.
Loss 24–4 United States James Douglas MD 10 (10), 3:00 1984-11-09 United States Riviera, Las Vegas
Win 24–3 United States Mark Lee MD 10 (10), 3:00 1984-09-13 United States Houston
Win 23–3 United States Ernie Smith KO 1 (?) 1984-08-17 United States Houston
Win 22–3 United States Ruben Williams UD 10 (10), 3:00 1984-02-22 United States Civic Auditorium, Bakersfield, California
Win 21–3 United States Mike Jameson UD 10 (10), 3:00 1983-09-29 United States Circle Star Theater, San Carlos, California
Loss 20–3 United States Larry Holmes UD 15 (15), 3:00 1982-11-26 United States Astrodome, Houston For the WBC World Heavyweight Championship
Win 20–2 United States Jeff Shelburg TKO 7 (10) 1982-04-19 United States Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 19–2 Colombia Bernardo Mercado PTS 10 (10), 3:00 1981-11-06 United States Civic Arena, Atlantic City
Win 18–2 United States Harry Terrell KO 5 (10) 1981-05-21 United States HemisFair Arena, San Antonio
Loss 17–2 United States Michael Dokes MD 10 (10), 3:00 1981-03-22 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
Loss 17–1 United States Ken Norton SD 10 (10), 3:00 1980-11-07 United States HemisFair Arena, San Antonio
Win 17–0 United States Earnie Shavers TKO 8 (10), 2:19 1980-08-02 United States Joe Louis Arena, Detroit
Win 16–0 United States Robert Echols KO 1 (?) 1980-05-31 United States El Paso County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas
Win 15–0 United States Roy Wallace UD 10 (10), 3:00 1980-05-09 United States El Paso, Texas
Win 14–0 Mexico Eusebio Hernandez, Jr. KO 1 (?) 1980-03-21 United States El Paso County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas
Win 13–0 United States Terry Mims KO 5 (?) 1979-10-24 United States Scranton, Pennsylvania
Win 12–0 United States Don Halpin KO 3 (?) 1979-08-28 United States Atlantic City
Win 11–0 United States Jesse Crown KO 2 (?) 1979-04-27 United States Robert Treat Hotel, Newark, New Jersey
Win 10–0 United States Zack Ferguson TKO 1 (?), 2:54 1979-04-03 United States Spectrum, Philadelphia
Win 9–0 United States Rodell Dupree TKO 6 (10) 1978-11-11 United States Boston Garden, Boston
Win 8–0 United States Paul Solomon KO 2 (?) 1978-04-07 United States Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles
Win 7–0 United States Don Hinton KO 1 (?) 1978-03-29 United States Silver Slipper, Las Vegas
Win 6–0 United States Dave Martinez KO 1 (10) 1978-03-17 United States The Aladdin, Las Vegas
Win 5–0 United States David Wynne KO 2 (?) 1977-07-08 United States San Diego Coliseum, San Diego
Win 4–0 United States Ernie Smith TKO 3 (?) 1977-05-10 United States El Paso County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas
Win 3–0 United States Trinidad Escamilla KO 1 (?), 1:56 1977-04-02 United States San Antonio Convention Center, San Antonio
Win 2–0 United States Tyrone Harlee KO 2 (?) 1977-03-11 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia
Win 1–0 United States Pedro Vega TKO 1 (4) 1977-01-21 United States El Paso County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas

Kickboxing record[edit]

Kickboxing record
9 wins (9 KOs), 2 losses, 0 draws
Date Result Opponent Event Location Method Round Time
1984-05-05 Loss United States John Jackson United StatesBirmingham, Alabama Decision 9 2:00
For the PKA United States Heavyweight Championship.
1983-00-00 Win United States Anthony Elmore Decision
1975-04-18 Win United States David Ochoa United StatesEl Paso, Texas TKO 2
Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes


Year Title Role Notes
1979 The Champ Bowers
1983 Uncommon Valor "Sailor"
Braker R.E. Packard Television film
1986 The Golden Child Til
1987 Critical Condition Box
The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission Eric "Swede" Wallan Television film
Raising Arizona Leonard Smalls
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol Zack
Buy & Cell Wolf
1989 Fletch Lives Ben Dover
Collision Course Kosnic
Blind Fury Slag
1990 Ernest Goes to Jail Lyle
1991 Raw Nerve Blake Garrett
1992 Diggstown Edward "Wolf" Forrester
1994 Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Gruff Man
Naked Gun 33+13: The Final Insult Big Hairy Con
1996 The Mouse Himself
1997 Liar Liar Skull
1998 The Next Tenant Unknown
2000 Vice Lieutenant Munson
Year Title Role Notes
1985 Code of Vengeance Willard Singleton
Hardcastle and McCormick Dennis "Corky" Conklyn Episode: "The Career Breaker"
1987 Miami Vice Moon Episode: "Down for the Count (Part 1)"
Moonlighting Big Guy In Gas Station Episode: "Sam & Dave"
Frank's Place Cyrus Litt Episode: "Food Fight"
1988 MacGyver Daniel Royce "Earthquake" Toberman Episode: "The Spoilers"
1990–1991 In the Heat of the Night Frank Kloot Episodes: "A Problem Too Personal" and "No Other Road"
1993 Married... with Children The Burglar Episode: "Un-Alful Entry"
Shaky Ground Ned Episode: "Stayin' Alive"
1994 Highlander: The Series Kern Episode: "Line of Fire"
1998 Walker, Texas Ranger Dwight Trammel Episode: "Survival"
2000 The X-Files Bert Zupanic Episode: "Fight Club"
2001 Walker, Texas Ranger Dwight Trammel / Ross Dollarhide / 'flashbacks', Desperado Episode: "The Final Showdown"


  1. ^ Pete Dexter (25 April 2013). "The Weight Of Tex Cobb's Belief". The Stacks.
  2. ^ Brent Brookhouse (11 October 2012). "UFC 153: Bonnar vs. Silva, Tex Cobb vs. Larry Holmes and courage through standing in front of a locomotive". Bloody Elbow.
  3. ^ "The Ring Magazine's Annual Ratings: Heavyweight--1980s". BoxRec. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  4. ^ "BoxRec's Annual Ratings: Heavyweight Annuals". BoxRec. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  5. ^ "WILL OF IRON: The Sport and Times of Randall "Tex" Cobb". Fitflex.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05.
  6. ^ Maxim March 2000; Page 84.
  7. ^ Nark, Jason (8 Dec 2012). "Tex Cobb: Took a licking, kept on ticking". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2021-07-25.
  8. ^ Randall "Tex" Cobb Breaks Down Losing to Larry Holmes | Carson Tonight Show, retrieved 2022-07-02
  9. ^ "Jury Awards 'Tex' Cobb $10.7M". CBS News. 1999-06-11. Retrieved 2016-05-05.
  10. ^ Randall 'Tex' Cobb's IMDb profile... https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002012/
  11. ^ Levine, Josh (2000). The Coen Brothers: The Story of Two American Filmmakers. Toronto, Canada: ECW PRESS. p. 54.
  12. ^ Randall "Tex" Cobb Collection on Letterman, 1982-87, retrieved 2022-09-06
  13. ^ Hiltbrand, David (November 4, 2003). – "A Return to His Old Stomping Grounds". – The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  14. ^ "Randall 'Tex' Cobb earns degree from Temple University". The Philadelphia Inquirer. January 26, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2008-01-26.
  15. ^ "Randall Cobb Professional boxing record". BoxRec.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05.

External links[edit]