THE SHY AND MANNERLY CHAMP
The only other Kentuckian to win the heavyweight championship of the world was Marvin Hart, who is but vaguely remembered in boxing history. In 1905 Hart, who weighed 190, stopped the 171-pound Jack Root in 12 rounds at Reno to acquire the title vacated by James J. Jeffries, who refereed the bout. Then Hart lost the crown to Tommy Burns eight months later.
We recall him now because Hart is remembered by his friends as a modest fellow and because he is a deceased neighbor of Cassius Clay, who is not known to anyone as timid. They differ in one other respect. According to Jimmy Dell Lovell, former fight promoter for whom Hart occasionally refereed, Hart was "a great believer that a strong offense was the best of all defenses."
The old Hart farm is a mere five miles south of the Clay home and its house is no longer occupied, but in the stable there dangles an old punching bag. To Hart's sister-in-law, Mrs. Edna Silliman, who treasures several mementoes of his boxing days, Hart's finest remembrance is the plumbing he installed in her home in 1927.
"We never had any trouble with it," she says proudly.
"Marvin was kind of shy and bashful," she remembers. "He was very mannerly, especially around the ladies."
Probably never called them "foxes" in his life.
NAMES TO STICK IN A HAT
In the opinion of many, Australia lost the recent Davis Cup Challenge Round because Harry Hopman, her longtime captain, did not get down to serious work with his players until four weeks before the decisive matches with the U.S. team. Conversely, much credit for the American victory properly went to Bob Kelleher, U.S. captain, who spent the best part of a year readying Chuck McKinley and Dennis Ralston for their big moment at Adelaide.
Now Kelleher says he wants out as nonplaying captain, though it is known that Jim Dickey, newly elected USLTA president, wants him to stay on for the cup defense. But Kelleher seems to have declared his intentions firmly, and, in consequence, one must ask: to whom will the cup captaincy be entrusted?