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CHAOS, INC.
Robert H. Boyle
June 18, 1962
Championship Sports, Inc., born Feature Sports, has earned the name because of the blunders it has made in promoting title fights around the country. This fall CSI will get a whack at the city of Chicago
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June 18, 1962

Chaos, Inc.

Championship Sports, Inc., born Feature Sports, has earned the name because of the blunders it has made in promoting title fights around the country. This fall CSI will get a whack at the city of Chicago

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On September 25 Chicago will be the scene of a heavyweight championship fight between the incumbent, Floyd Patterson, and his challenger, Sonny Liston. If form means anything, Chicago also will be the scene of more confusion than the Honorable Richard J. Daley, mayor, has ever experienced. To be sure, a heavyweight championship fight always tends to be a somewhat tumultuous and disorganized affair. But this one carries a built-in guarantee of confusion: it is promoted by Championship Sports, Inc., an outfit that specializes in promotional bedlam. It is no simple task even to determine who is Championship Sports, Inc. Subject to hourly change, substitution and correction, the dramatis personae in CSI appear to be:

Tom Bolan, 38, a tight-lipped partner in Roy Cohn's law firm and the president of CSI.

Al Bolan, 33, Tom's "nice guy" brother, Brooklyn-bred sports editor of the Greenpoint Star, a neighborhood weekly. New to the big money, well-meaning, but inexperienced. Vice-president and general manager of CSI.

Roy Cohn, 35, onetime boy gumshoe for the late Senator Joe McCarthy, now a Wall Street lawyer and budding industrialist (Lionel Corporation). Until recently, Cohn has been too busy flitting from one thing to another to bother with CSI on a daily basis.

Bill Fugazy, 37, Cohn's buddy. In the travel business. May or may not have an interest in CSI—it depends on who's talking. If it's Fugazy, the answer is yes. If his associates, no.

The involved history of this merry band dates back to the fall of 1959 when Cohn and Fugazy took over an outfit called Feature Sports, the main chunk of debris remaindered from the Bill Rosensohn promotional debacle. Neither of them knew anything about boxing, so Bill's uncle, Humbert (Jack) Fugazy, a respected boxing man highly regarded by Cus D'Amato, Patterson's manager, was made the promoter. Tom Bolan became treasurer.

Uncle Jack was slowly eased to one side by his nephew and Cohn, and the second Patterson-Johansson fight at the Polo Grounds in New York almost literally turned into a riot. The crowd totaled 50,000, but only 32,000 had paid to get in. The rest were gate crashers. Spectators adopted a first-come, first-sit policy, with squatter's rights paramount. Many with $100 tickets couldn't see the fight because of the glut in the aisles.

Although Uncle Jack and Ned Brown, another respected boxing figure, who was handling publicity, had warned that extra guards would be necessary, their warnings were disregarded. When the whole mess was over, Bill Fugazy airily blamed the police. "The cops' fault," he announced. To which Police Commissioner Steve Kennedy retorted, "The police function is to enforce public law for the protection of all the public and not to assist fight promoters who chisel on expenses."

Ned Brown, who left Feature Sports after the fight, has expressed an intention to sue. "I wasn't paid what I was promised," he says, "and they didn't pay the expenses guaranteed to me." Brown, who is 79 years old, says, "Over the years, I've never had an experience like this."

With ill will festering in New York, Feature Sports sought a new site for the third and final Patterson-Johansson fight. In July of 1960 Bill Fugazy announced that the fight would be held in Los Angeles Coliseum on November 1, and said he expected a million-dollar gate. The fight was held in Miami Beach in March 1961, and it grossed a live gate of about $500,000.

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