Like his friend Calhoun, Sutcliffe says flatly he knows precious little about boxing and not very much about Cassius Clay, either. "I've just shaken hands with him, you might say," he says, you might say, elliptically. But in Danville, Ky., where Sutcliffe has another farm and is chairman of the board of trustees of Centre College, he has a barber friend by name of Either One Richardson. (In a quandary over what to call the baby boy, Richardson's parents asked his grandmother which of two names she favored. "I likes either one," she replied, and so he was christened.) "Either One knows Cassius," says Sutcliffe, "and he says he's a good boy. That's good enough for me."
Another man who winters in Florida (a Delray Beach neighbor of Lyons Brown) is J. D. STETSON COLEMAN. At any rate, he spends some of the winter there, having another home in The Plains, Va., another in Georgia and an apartment in New York. Built like Rocky Marciano, Coleman is pushing 60 but is a long way from running out of steam. He is chairman of a Florida bus company, chairman of a Georgia drug company, chairman of an Oklahoma oil company and an officer of an Illinois candy company, which his wife owns, to mention a few of the irons in his fire. The son of a "damned good moneymaker" of a father and a mother who "cursed" him with four names (he refuses to divulge what J. D. stands for), Coleman was born in Macon, Ga. He was an all-sports athlete there, at Exeter and at Yale and today owns shares of the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Rams. He likes to invest his money in sports in general "because of the drama and because Wall Street hasn't caught onto the idea yet," and he likes having money behind Clay because "we think we can keep him out of the financial trouble Joe Louis got into—which almost made me sick to see."
When WILLIAM SOL CUTCHINS was made president of Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation a few years ago, not too many people took notice. But when the
Princeton Alumni Weekly mentioned that he owned a piece of Cassius Clay, he got congratulatory telegrams from old friends as far away as Australia. At such times, Bill Cutchins is tempted to wonder what on earth the world is coming to. "Frankly," he says, "the situation is pretty astonishing."
The grandson of a man who was a private in the Confederate army at 15, and the son of a lawyer, Cutchins was born in Richmond and went to school at Virginia Military Institute and Princeton. Along the way he played catcher for a semipro baseball team in Oxford, N.C. and hoped in the bargain to make it in the majors someday. "Then one day the Chicago White Sox were down to have a look," says Cutchins. "And as far as I know, one look was enough. If they saw anything they liked they never manifested that information to me."
With that dream dashed, Cutchins took a job at the Export Leaf Tobacco Co. in Richmond. Long interested in archeology, it was Cutchins' hunch that the company would send him to Asia and the Middle East—which it did and where he dug.
Once back in the U.S., Cutchins moved on to Brown & Williamson, began his career selling cigarettes to shopkeepers along the streets of Charleston, W. Va. Today, it is a pleasure to report, he is the No. 1 man (there is no chairman) in the company that makes Viceroys and Raleighs. He is also president of the town's new ABC-TV station.
Bill Cutchins, a handsome man of 62 who looks like a president, talks like a president and works like a president who wants to remain one, was thinking about watching Viceroy's thinking-man commercials on TV's Naked City the night he got a call from Bill Faversham inviting him over. Faversham said he had an idea about a syndicate to manage a young boxer named Cassius Marcellus Clay, of all things.
The man who helped plot the commercials Bill Cutchins never got to see that night is ARCHIBALD MCGHEE FOSTER. Archie Foster, 47, a senior vice-president of the Ted Bates advertising agency in Manhattan, is group leader for the agency's Brown & Williamson account, and no man ever walked out of Brooks Bros, who better looks the part. Husky-voiced and suave, Foster, as he figures to be, is quite a friend of Bill Cutchins. On top of that, for four years before Clay turned professional, Foster had been responsible for Viceroy's co-sponsorship (with Miles Laboratories. Inc.) of the old Wednesday Night Fights on the ABC-TV network. "So the group came to me because of my contacts in the fight game," says Foster. "They had a fighter, but they weren't exactly sure what they were supposed to do with him. I began to get in touch with people and, you know, one thing led to another." The most important thing led to was Angelo Dundee, the man the syndicate hired to train Clay after an idea for Archie Moore to do the job failed to work out. (" Dundee is the best trainer and free-wheeling psychologist in boxing," says one of the 11, "and he's so clean he's practically antiseptic") Another thing led to was an invitation to Foster to join the syndicate, which he was "delighted to accept."
Since there is a detectable thread of common interest running through the several syndicate members, the story of what brought them all together is half told right there. The complete story as remembered by Bill Faversham (like anything fading into history, the tale is already picking up minor contradictions) goes like this:
Shortly after Clay won the Golden Gloves heavyweight title in New York in the spring of 1960, Faversham was playing bridge in his home with Pat Calhoun, a friend since Colonel Faversham came to town. "It seemed logical that some day the boy would turn professional," Faversham says, "and while I'd never had such a thought in my life, it occurred to me that maybe a few of us ought to keep an eye on him. I said all this to Pat, and he just said 'Mmmm' and bid two hearts." In August of that year Clay won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the Rome Olympics. "Not long after that," says Faversham, "I read in the paper where a deal between Cassius and Billy Reynolds had fallen through. I decided we ought to make a move." The deal Faversham is talking about involved Clay and the executive vice-president of the Reynolds Metals Co. Billy Reynolds, a Louisville millionaire, offered Clay a contract almost as fat as the one he now has from the 11-man syndicate, but Clay never signed it. The conflict arose over a Louisville policeman, Joe Martin, who had taught Clay to box when he was 12 years old and had introduced Cassius to Reynolds. When Reynolds said Martin would play a role in Clay's professional career. Clay's father, who doesn't like cops in general and Joe Martin in particular, squelched the whole thing.