GARDEN LOSES ON POINTS
Though it seems like yesterday, it is in fact six years since Federal Judge Sylvester J. Ryan dissolved the International Boxing Club (James D.Norris, president) and ended sport's tightest monopoly (SI, July 1, 1957). The Supreme Court of the United States upheld Ryan. Norris was forced out of Madison Square Garden and, to all effect, boxing.
Key to the old Norris monopoly was its practice of signing champion prizefighters to exclusive contracts. If they did not sign they got no fights. But if they did sign they could fight for Norris or nobody. That tidy arrangement was dissipated by the Ryan decree.
Now Judge Ryan has made another decision. To the reorganized Garden's plea that it be permitted to sign a fighter for more than one bout in a single contract, the judge last week said no. "Competitive conditions in the industry," he said, "do not prevail."
The judge is right once more. The Garden controls the only nationally televised boxing show—and it is a poor thing. Because of the greedily destructive pattern originally designed by Norris, small fight clubs have all but disappeared, and the supply of tolerable talent is scarcely enough to fill a single night's card. Whatever might be done to restore the sport's old prestige, the Garden's solution is not the one. It could only accelerate the descending spiral.
THAT'LL SHOW 'EM, BO
Since the Los Angeles Angels shunted a reluctant Bo Belinsky to the Hawaii Islanders he has won a couple of baseball games, and this has brought him out of what, for a time, looked like a case of the surly sulks. But Bo is talking again, pretty much as usual. Hawaii, he says, is too relaxing.
"It's tough to be ambitious here," he explained. "You have to kick yourself in the tail to play baseball."
It is so relaxing, indeed, that he finds himself going to bed before midnight. Falling asleep, he schemes of ways to confound the Angels. He has one pretty good idea already.
"I'd like to get a photographer to come down to Waikiki," he said, "and take a picture of me on a surfboard to send back to the mainland. They supposedly sent me out here to suffer, but if the picture went back, they'd see how much you suffer in Hawaii."