SI Vault
September 07, 1959
Despite a journalistic lifetime spent with its dragons this magazine still believes there is a white knight for boxing
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September 07, 1959

Yes, Virginia, There Is A St. George

Despite a journalistic lifetime spent with its dragons this magazine still believes there is a white knight for boxing

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Close behind Brown was California Attorney General Stanley Mosk, who returned to his home state from some chats with New York law enforcement officials "more alarmed about boxing" than ever. On the other side of the nation the New York Post's editorial page urged Governor Nelson Rockefeller "to interest himself in this situation."

Then galloping down from Washington came Senator Estes Kefauver, an old pro at probing the underworld, to announce that his antimonopoly subcommittee is starting a special investigation of the fight game on a national scale.

On a somewhat lower level of national awareness there was Sports Columnist Jimmy Cannon, who announced with some bluntness that boxing "is the garbage dump of sports."

Most significant of all, perhaps, was the resounding voice of the good, gray New York Times, a paper which only last month had seemed editorially to wish a return to what it all but called "the good old days" of the International Boxing Club and Jim Norris.

"Boxing," wrote the Times's chief sports columnist, "is the slum area of sports. Maybe the time has come to destroy this slum."

We heartily welcome all these Georgie-come-latelies to the fight, even though they seem determined to slay not the offending dragon but the outraged maiden. We ourselves cannot believe that the only way left to cure boxing is to kill it. There are plenty of decent, honest sports fans about who would like to see boxing thrive and flourish in an atmosphere of honest competition. We would like to be able to point out to Reader Jackson the single, sinful dragon who is holding the maiden in fief, and to cite for him the perfect gentle knight who will one day set her free. We doubt it will be so simple. Like the editorial writer who told Virginia about Santa Claus we are forced to seek refuge in a symbol, a symbol that is no less real because it is abstract. We hope that Virginia didn't stop believing in Santa Claus when she discovered that the seedy bell ringer on the Bowery street corner at Christmastime was not the real thing. Clean boxing has had some pretty seedy defenders, but the spirit of St. George is omnipresent in every man of good will, in every responsible official, in every truly dedicated athletic commissioner, in every indignant sportswriter and in every sports fan who seeks, as we do, to make championship boxing a clean sport instead of a dirty business.

Thus, our painful frustrations notwithstanding, we say again with the same firmness of tone:


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