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FORECAST: CLEAR FOR CLAY
Once upon a time Pete Rademacher thought he could whip Floyd Patterson. Now he thinks Cassius Clay will beat Sonny Liston. On his Patterson conviction he persuaded wealthy backers to put up a $250,000 guarantee for him. Pete has found wealthy backers willing to offer Clay $500,000 to make the first defense of his title (Clay will beat Liston, you understand) in either the Akron Rubber Bowl or Cleveland Stadium.
Pete lives now in Medina, Ohio, where he is an associate of Edward C. Mears, president of National Management, Inc., a builder-developer, and on the side he has been promoting fights in Akron with remarkable success. "Every one of the five fights I have promoted has been a near sellout," Pete boasts.
He has also been advising fighters, among them the last man to win over Cassius Clay, which is why he is challenging Cassius. The fighter is Amos Johnson, who defeated Clay in the 1959 Pan American Games trials, has fought in the Marines and holds an 8-1 record since he turned professional.
Why does Pete think Clay will beat Liston?
"Clay is just as big as Liston," Pete replies. "He is much faster. He has better leg speed. He can punch. He will not pull a Floyd Patterson by walking into range for Liston. His strategy will be to harass and move, which Patterson should have done, and in the late rounds, when Liston is tired, he just might knock him out."
BACK HOME IN INDIANA
The atmosphere of Evansville, Ind. during the basketball season is very much like that which prevailed in Brooklyn during the glorious years when the real Dodgers played at Ebbets Field. There is the same zany enthusiasm, and this year it is justified. Evansville College ranks as the No. 1 small college team in the country and is favored to win the NCAA College Division tournament at Evansville in March, when, one may expect, the city will really blow its top.
A few weeks ago two drunks were tossed out of the stadium by a policeman. Scrambling back into line, they bought new tickets, were admitted, and were booted again. Back to the ticket window and past a now astonished ticket-taker and back to the cop. This time, though, they pleaded their case before a lenient college official and were granted amnesty. Another Evansville fan, transplanted to Chicago, makes a 600-mile round-trip drive for virtually every home game. Still another, exiled in Los Angeles, has flown to Denver and Tucson to see his old school team in action.
Basketball has become the hub of most community and social functions in Evansville. One country club runs buses to and from games. An entire section is occupied by elite fans who pay $100 apiece for season tickets. And a good many of the fans come to the games attired in defiant red.