During the past
12 months, Jackson, in an attempt to bring a semblance of scientific order to
the business, has fought with dissident commissions (Massachusetts resigned
from the NBA last January when it was faced with censure for staging an
unauthorized welterweight title match between Tony DeMarco and Virgil Akins),
reluctant fighters (Joe Brown seemed disinclined to risk his lightweight title
against Kenny Lane until Jackson and Texas Commissioner M. B. Morgan forced his
hand), Julius Helfand and the International Boxing Club.
"I think the
IBC has been very shortsighted in the policy of providing for the future,"
Jackson says, "but then that's their business. Apparently, they're waxing
fat on the boxing business and putting nothing back into it. You know, this
country around here [Union Grove, Wis., his summer home] is a farm community,
and you should listen to the farmers talk about a shiftless character who farms
intensively and depletes the growing qualities of the soil. He takes all the
good out of it and doesn't put any fertilizer back in. Same with the
Jackson is also
worried about televised boxing. According to him, "As long as it's under
its present operation I am [concerned]. If there were competition set up—and
this is D'Amato's idea—we would broaden the field and probably draw in smaller
clubs. Then you wouldn't have to submit to the dictates of a monopolistic
group. It would be far healthier."
Jackson also has
reservations about Helfand, whose New York commission is for bidden by
interpretation of state law from membership in the NBA. "I'm not close
enough to the picture to know what prompts some of the things Mr. Helfand
does," Jackson says. "I don't know if he arrives at his conclusions
independently or is swayed by some outside influence. I know it appears at
times that he makes a studied effort to upset NBA procedures. I don't know
whether that is to demonstrate the superiority of the World Championship
Committee [Helfand is chairman] over the NBA, or whether it is personal
aggrandizement, or whether it might be promotional interests, to put it mildly.
If you take on a responsibility, you owe a responsibility to the people to do
Jackson has taken
on a responsibility and has provided the hack-ridden NBA with the most honest,
feisty and enlightened leadership it has had in years.
The NBA meets in
Las Vegas next week for its annual convention and to elect a new president.
There is a strong movement to draft Jackson for another term. "If the
consensus is that they want me, I'll do it," Jackson says. "Having no
strings, I can go down the middle of the road without having to kow-tow to
Truman Gibson [IBC president] or any others. And that feeling has taken hold of
the NBA. They like that attitude."
We do, too.
Your Dog and Your
contemporary man's fixation on the microbe, Arthur Guiterman some years back
wrote a poem about the Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup. You may recall
they "were playing in the garden when a Bunny gamboled up;/They looked upon
the Creature with a loathing undisguised;/—It wasn't Disinfected and it wasn't
you, or your father, chortled. "That's a good one." Well, you can very
well laugh out of the other side of your mouthwash now. Dr. Shyamal K. Sinha, a
biological researcher from Kansas City, has advanced the theory that we catch
colds from our dogs. Or they catch them from us. Or both, mind you. Dr. Sinha
was telling all this to members of the American Veterinary Medical Association,
convened in Philadelphia the other day. The way he told it, 13 dogs were
inoculated with one of four strains of live cold virus, and turned out with 13
other, unsuspecting dogs. Sure enough, 24 hours later, and 26 were sick. Then,
worse to tell, Dr. Sinha infected the recuperated pups with another strain of
virus. This time he got sick and so did five assistants—sore throats, fever,