I think professional sports are great, but there's still a place for the amateur athlete in this nation. I only hope that professionalism doesn't kill off too many potential world record-breakers. After all, not every athlete can be a Mickey Mantle or a Bob Cousy.
ROBERT IN RUNYONLAND
Re: To Fight or Not to Fight? (Sept. 7): "Nothing is simple in boxing," says Robert H. Boyle. Nothing but the boobs who run it.
James Beattie may be the new hope for heavyweight boxing (The Prick of Kid Galahad, Inc., Aug. 31), but if he has to contend with those Damon Runyon types featured in your story on the WBA meeting, my hope for him is that he gets out right now.
All right. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. You took a pretty firm stand on the Yankee- CBS fiasco. How about something definite on boxing?
It seems to me your problem should be how to write or not to write about boxing. Is it ludicrous or serious? In the Boyle story the approach to boxing is that it is a ridiculously funny sport with all sorts of laughable characters like those at the WBA convention, running around Norfolk trying to decide to pledge allegiance to the flag, boxing or "rassling."
Don't get me wrong. I think it was a hilarious story, and I laughed as hard as anyone else. But if this is how you feel about the subject (and your previous fun with Cassius on a camel wasn't exactly solid news reporting), why not give the same type of coverage to the next heavyweight championship fight? After the first Clay-Liston waltz, certainly the second (WBA-sanctioned or not) can't be much more than a funny fox trot.
C. J. DAVIS
New York City