Sugar Ray arrived a good half hour late. He walked in easily, wearing dark slacks and a paisley-print sport shirt, his eyes harboring the cloudy look of a man just aroused from deep slumber. Gainford bellied a path through 40-odd gawkers clogging up the narrow hall. Everybody hi-Sugared and howdy-Rayed as Robinson sidestepped an old-fashioned set of scales on rollers, shucked his shirt and dropped onto a straight-back chair.
Young Walcott either fell or was pushed from the fingerprint room. Little rivers of sweat ran down his body, and you wondered if maybe the fingerprint expert had overexercised his thumbs. He seemed uncertain whether he should speak to Robinson or ignore him, as Sugar was ignoring him. Young Walcott weighed 156 but looked smaller. When the ex-champ mounted the scales—in shorts, undershirt and sneakers—there was a moment of consternation. Sugar Ray muttered under his breath, stripped to the skin and still came in 10 ounces over the 160-pound limit. More mumbles. Gainford said, "Lemme see, Ray." His thumb performed a certain magic on the scales. "Hunnert and sixty on the nose," he proclaimed. Nobody disputed him.
Standing at ringside in the empty arena, Ed Weaver said, "This is my first promotion here, but I've promoted five cards down in Virginia. Tell you anything you want to know."
All right, what was he guaranteeing Robinson for the fight?
Weaver's eyes flicked around the empty seats. "Around five thousand. If I take in 10 I can break even. No way to know on a fight like this. But all I want to do is bring good, clean boxing attractions to Washington. I think the game's worth saving. Good, clean, honest cards will bring the public back in droves."
Why didn't this good, clean, honest card match Holly Mims against Robinson?
"Off the record?" Weaver asked.
Weaver hesitated. "Come on, pal. Don't put me on the spot."
It was suggested that Gainford didn't want Mims for his aging tiger.