THE PLOT SO FAR: Cus D'Amato, manager of the rising young heavyweight Floyd Patterson, and the International Boxing Club ( James D. Norris, president), colossus of the sport, were feuding. Neither would speak to the other. Patterson could get no TV fights. Rocky Marciano, world's heavyweight champion, was about to retire. Archie Moore, aging, crafty pretender to the throne, plotted a coup d'�tat which might be unpopular with the citizenry. But Patterson, young, handsome, virile, bided his time, putting full confidence in the rightness of his cause and the astute guidance of D'Amato. As our last instalment (April 16 issue) ended, pride and obstinacy were keeping D'Amato and the IBC apart. Would they gel together? And if so, whose will was the stronger? Would the haughty, powerful IBC swallow its pride and make the one gesture, a telephone call (GR 5-9203), that could lead to a reconciliation with Cus? Now go on with the story:
A few days after Rocky Marciano announced his retirement, Jim Norris, his ruggedly handsome features grim with decision, turned to a secretary in the IBC offices.
"Get me Cus D'Amato on the telephone," he said curtly.
It was something like that, anyhow, and pretty soon he and Cus were seated together to talk over the impending heavyweight elimination tournament and, most especially, the role in it to be played by Floyd Patterson. There was no disagreement on the proper opponent for Patterson. It would have to be Hurricane Jackson, who had risen to the No. 2 challenger's position by losing every once in a while to Jimmy Slade but also by destroying the emotional stability of such opponents as Ezzard Charles and Bob Baker with the most confusing attack ever launched against sound, orthodox boxing men.
It was settled, finally, that Patterson and Jackson would meet on the night of June 8 at Madison Square Garden in the second of the IBC's elimination fights. Each would get a minimum of $40,000 (10 times what D'Amato had previously been offered). The fight would be televised.
So, at long last, one of boxing's very biggest plums was served to Floyd Patterson.
The D'Amato-Patterson camp, certain of victory over Jackson, would be happy to meet Archie Moore for the title in September but the IBC has other notions. It would like very much to drag out the eliminations and, in this respect, got off to a fine, slow start the other night in Miami Beach, where Bob Baker and Johnny Holman, two ponderous hulks, poked at each other with little effect for 12 rounds. Baker, who in the presence of Holman can seem faster than he is, won easily. What the victory established, beyond a poverty of high-ranking heavyweights, is not too apparent. Even Jackson has beaten Baker. But the IBC is thinking of throwing him into the same ring with either Patterson or Archie Moore, who kayoed Baker a couple of years ago.
Some further confusion was contributed by Jack (Doc) Kearns, a wanderer who turned up in the fistic wasteland of Phoenix, Ariz. the other day to propose that Archie Moore, in whom he has an interest, very likely could be induced to fight none other than Zora Folley (surely you recognize the name) in what Kearns lightly referred to as "a heavyweight title bout." The feats of Folley include being knocked out by Johnny Summerlin, a true contender, and Young Jack Johnson, California heavyweight. Kearns was talking, in rather specific terms, of making Phoenix a big fight center and in this seems to have the backing of Honest Bill Daly, manager of Vince Martinez, the once-grounded welterweight. At any rate Kearns talked of staging a welterweight championship fight in Phoenix, another fight between Martinez and the winner of the Sugar Ray Robinson- Bobo Olson fight and the aforementioned "title bout" between Moore and Folley. Kearns makes interesting conversation wherever he goes.
Meanwhile, back at Long Pond Inn on the shores of Greenwood Lake, N.Y., Floyd Patterson was introduced to a busload of boxing writers, many of whom had not seen him in action since he knocked out Archie McBride at the Garden almost a year ago.
He has grown some, they agreed, with massive muscle now mounting his broad shoulders. His neck is sturdier. His arms suggest the authentic power of a heavyweight. He has been training and is down to 182 pounds.