Randall Craig Cobb, known to the world as "Tex" Cobb, is a name synonymous with versatility and tenacity. Born on May 7, 1950, in Bridge City, Texas, Cobb's life journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. With careers in professional boxing, and acting, he has left an indelible mark in each domain, making him a figure worth celebrating.
Early Life and Athletic Beginnings
Cobb's journey to fame began in the small town of Bridge City, Texas, as the son of Norma Grace and Williard Glynn Cobb. He attended Abilene High School, where he showcased his athletic prowess as a football player. However, his path took an unconventional turn when he dropped out of Abilene Christian University at the age of 19 to pursue a career in martial arts, specifically karate.
His commitment to martial arts led him to live in a dojo, where he cleaned mats in exchange for a place to stay. After earning his black belt, Cobb sought full-contact competition, which led him to the world of kickboxing. In 1975, he embarked on his kickboxing career, winning his first nine matches, all by knockout.
The Transition to Professional Boxing
Cobb's reputation as a knockout artist in kickboxing drew the attention of boxing handlers. Just a few weeks after his first professional kickboxing match in El Paso, Texas, where he knocked out the El Paso Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion, Cobb was signed to a professional boxing contract. His raw talent and formidable size, standing at 6 feet 3 inches and weighing 240 pounds, made him an intriguing prospect in the world of professional boxing.
He embarked on his professional boxing career with a knockout victory over Pedro Vega on January 19, 1977. Cobb's relentless pursuit of success led him to win 13 consecutive fights by 1979, all by knockout. One of his notable victories during this period was a thrilling eighth-round knockout of Earnie Shavers in 1980. However, he faced setbacks with losses to Ken Norton and Michael Dokes.
Cobb's defining moment came when he earned a shot at Larry Holmes' WBC World Heavyweight Championship on November 26, 1982, at the Houston Astrodome. Unfortunately, he suffered a one-sided unanimous decision defeat, but his courage and determination in the ring left a lasting impression. The brutal nature of the fight, coming shortly after a tragic bout between Ray Mancini and Duk Koo Kim, led sportscaster Howard Cosell to swear off covering professional boxing. Cobb's response to Cosell's decision was typically humorous and defiant.
Life Outside the Ring
While boxing played a significant role in Cobb's life, it was not his only pursuit. His larger-than-life personality and distinct appearance made him a natural fit for Hollywood. Cobb transitioned into acting, often playing villainous or henchman roles in films and television series. Some of his notable roles include appearances in movies like "Raising Arizona," "Blind Fury," "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," "Liar Liar," and "The Golden Child." He also graced popular TV shows like "Miami Vice" and "Walker, Texas Ranger."
Cobb's acting career allowed him to showcase his charismatic and unconventional persona, endearing him to audiences with his unique brand of humor and authenticity. Despite not being a leading man in Hollywood, his distinctiveness made him a memorable figure in the entertainment industry.
Legacy and Personal Life
Randall "Tex" Cobb's legacy is one of determination, resilience, and a willingness to embrace life's diverse opportunities. He may not have been the greatest boxer or actor, but he excelled in both fields, earning respect and admiration along the way. His unapologetic authenticity and willingness to be himself resonated with the public, making him a beloved figure.
In his personal life, Cobb faced challenges, including battles with drugs and legal issues. Tragedy struck when his eldest son, Bo, was killed in an accident in early 2001. His younger son, Joshua, briefly pursued a career in boxing.
One of Cobb's remarkable achievements came in January 2008 when, at the age of 57, he graduated magna cum laude from Temple University with a bachelor's degree in sport and recreation management. This accomplishment showcased his determination and commitment to self-improvement.
Randall "Tex" Cobb is a multifaceted individual who made his mark as a fighter, actor, and a symbol of unapologetic individuality. His journey from a small Texas town to the world stage is a testament to his courage and determination, and his legacy continues to inspire those who appreciate a life lived to the fullest.