"Don't quote me saying that," Weaver protested. "All I know is Sugar Ray Robinson has been a real gentleman. He's done everything he said he would do."
Had Gainford picked Young Joe Walcott for Sugar Ray?
"No. I did."
How young was Young Joe?
"Uh—26, 27, maybe." A young man assisting Weaver said, "Twenty-nine. He's 29." The promoter glared at his buddy.
What was Walcott's won-lost record?
Weaver hesitated before he said, "Eight wins, 10 losses, one draw." Then he made West Point mathematics suspect for all time, adding, " Walcott's batting .500."
Walcott, he was told, had admitted to a 6-10-2 record and to being 30. The promoter looked abashed. "Well," he said, "you can't ever tell what one of these young punks will do in that ring. It just takes one punch..."
They hadn't been in action two minutes before you knew Walcott did not have the one punch. Sugar Ray could have beaten him in snowshoes.
The surprisingly good crowd—nearly 4,000 paying from $2 to $7 per seat-had rocked the arena when Robinson appeared 15 minutes late following Mims's easy win over a half-bald Baltimore fireman. Robinson, bobbing and dancing in the white robe with "Sugar Ray" etched on it in apricot hues, ignored the cheers. By contrast, Walcott had paused on the ring apron to stare in disbelief at a tiny knot of fans applauding him. His next act was to misstep into the rosin box, turning it over.