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August 10, 1964
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August 10, 1964


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Although the World Boxing Association changed its name a while back, it has not changed its nature. Like a turtle and like its predecessor, the National Boxing Association, the WBA is always sticking its neck out. then pulling it back at the first threat. Through its president, Ed Lassman, who once threatened to lift Muhammad Ali's heavyweight title because he did not like the champion's manners, the WBA now is considering a refusal to recognize the Clay-Sonny Liston rematch, signed last week for somewhere, sometime. The WBA does not like rematch clauses in fight contracts, Lassman explained, it does not like Liston's underworld connections and it does not like the idea of a fighter, like Liston, having a piece of a promotion.

The WBA is supremely correct on all three points and utterly incapable of enforcing them. It would be inconsistent with its past performances if it even tried to enforce them. It has yawped against rematch clauses for years and has recognized all rematches. It knew of Liston's thoroughly publicized underworld connections long before he won the title and recognized all his fights.

The WBA will consider Lassman's three points at its Norfolk, Va. convention later this month. It will do about them what it has done in the past. Nothing effective.


The International Game Fish Association, which authenticates all world marine game-fish rod-and-reel records, has for some time been caught up in an ichthyological dispute. It began when the association removed the silver marlin from its books this year, thus disqualifying what had been world-record catches, including a 911-pound marlin taken in Hawaiian waters by Dale Scott of Los Angeles in 1957. There is no such thing, the IGFA ruled, as a silver marlin—a decision reached largely through the efforts of ichthyologists like Dr. Donald DeSylva of the University of Miami. "The silver aspect," DeSylva said, "is merely a color phase which some marlin enter when taken from the water."

Ichthyologists are also convinced that the Atlantic and Pacific blue marlin (and the late silver marlin) are one and the same fish. They want the IGFA to list them that way.

If the IGFA does switch to a single category for blue marlin:

?There will be only four species of marlin—black, blue, striped and white.

?The world-record blue marlin may be the pending 1,095-pounder caught off Hawaii this year by Jack Whaling of Glendale, Calif.

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