By Paul Rubin
Last night about 6, Norm Frauenheim stepped into the lovely and delicious Mexican restaurant Coyoacan with longtime lady Francisca Montoya.
Frauenheim, to put it mildly, was shocked to see about 20 close friends awaiting his arrival for what was a surprise "retirement" party at the South Central Avenue spot. Someone handed him a cold beer as he shook his head over and over in amazement. Attention to himself is something he has never wanted.
The great champ Michael Carbajal and his girlfriend Laura showed up to pay their respects (sounds like a wake, huh, but it certainly wasn't). As the Arizona Republic longtime boxing writer, Frauenheim was ringside for almost all of Carbajal's fights, big and small, from an exhibition at the old Graham Central Station on Grand Avenue to a bullring in Mexico City against arch-rival Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzalez.
Thirty-seven other employees were let go by the Republic recently in the paper's latest round of layoffs, and Frauenheim was one of them shown the door. He was pretty much forced to accept the paper's buyout offer on the very day he returned from a three-week stint covering the Beijing Olympics.
Frauenheim already has landed on his feet; he's writing a column for the well-liked boxing Web site, 15rounds.com.
Here's an idea of what the Republic's dwindling base of readers will be missing: It's a piece about the Phoenix cop who died tragically a few days ago after getting beaten up inside the ring out on the Res.