TIGERS AND ELEPHANTS
Congratulations on Gilbert Rogin's fine coverage of the third Patterson-Johansson fight (A Matter of Heart, March 20) and your excellent comment that Sonny Liston must be given his fair and well-deserved shot at the title (SCORECARD, March 20).
After viewing Floyd, who looked like a drunken moonshiner on roller skates, and Ingo, who more closely resembled an elephant with a broken leg, I'm more convinced than ever that Sonny could have drop-kicked these two "tigers" into total retirement for good.
The Moment of Decision, which I illustrated (What Ingo Must Do to Win, March 13), came in the first round—as I figured it would—at the instant before Ingemar was hit and sent down. This, as the photograph shows (right), is where it was win or lose for both men. Ingemar's best punch, the straight right, if used here when Floyd, cornered and in desperation, was "opening up to throw his left," would have finished Patterson. But instead, Ingo flinched and got hit, and the champion got off the hook.
FIELD VS. CAVE
I don't think Ray Cave remembered the University of San Francisco basketball team of a few years ago when he called this year's Ohio State basketball team the "best of all time" (The Field Against the Buckeyes, March 13). I only wonder how many of Jerry Lucas' short shots would be jammed down his throat by Phil Woolpert's greatest of all teams, which won 60 straight games in a little over two years. That team was composed of Russell, Jones, Perry, Mullen, Brown and Farmer. Three of them are now playing pro basketball, and Bill Russell is still the greatest defensive player of all time.
I especially enjoyed the pictures of Russia's gymnasts (Dance of the Gyms, March 13). It is about time this truly worthwhile sport received the recognition it deserves.
Gymnastics, a sport that demands strength, intelligence and stamina, has qualities every sport should have.
You state that the Soviet gymnasts pictured "won over America's best in competition at West Chester (Pa.) State Teachers College." Doris Fuchs of Rochester won the uneven parallel bars event with 9.666 points, over Larisa Latynina (whom you pictured) and Tamara Ljukhina, her closest Soviet rivals who were tied at 9.600 points.
PAUL C. MARCUS
Every so often SPORTS ILLUSTRATED prints an article that sends me into transports of delight. This time it's The Pool Hustlers (March 20).
An old pal of mine, Bones Harding, who used to caddie around Kansas City, 40 years ago, tells this story about Titanic Slim Thompson. He was a pretty fair golfer (national left-hand champion, if you can believe the stories) and used to challenge a mark on the links now and then. After a well-planned series of insults, Titanic would finally goad the poor guy into a match with "his" 12-year-old son. Of course, it turned out that the "son" was a pro golfer, named Yockey, who at 30 was a little too old for caddying, and at 4 feet a little short for anything else.
Incidentally, legend has it that Titanic, a born cynic, got his nickname by betting that the "unsinkable" ship of the same name would sink.
New York City