Floyd Patterson gives Heavyweight Champion Clay-Ali a rather severe berating in his article that begins on page 78 of this issue, and there are those who will wonder if the religious-ideological issue between the two Negro fighters is not being exaggerated to help the gate for their November 22 fight. Such maneuvers would not be without precedent in the boxing business.
In this case, though, while there is no reason to believe that the promoters are trying desperately to suppress news of the feud, it is clear that Floyd Patterson is perfectly sincere in his resentment; that resentment is directed against the segregationist Black Muslim movement, to which Clay adheres. In so adhering, Patterson feels, Clay is a disgrace to his race, his country and to boxing. Some of what Patterson writes is illogical, but his attitude is likely to evoke a great deal of public sympathy. Sentimental favorite for the fight he will be—although unsentimentally he may wind up at 2-1 against.
As for Clay, there are some points to be made about him. He is a young man who, in his quieter moments, can exercise much charm. The movement to which he belongs is repugnant to most Americans, regardless of race, but it is not illegal. Finally, Clay has an unblemished record as a citizen—which is more than can be said for a number of prominent present-day boxers.
Out of 158 rookies who made NFL or AFL squads this year, seven are from the University of Wisconsin. That is three more than the closest rivals (like Tulsa, Grambling and Florida State) and six more than Arkansas, the national champion. Badger Coach Milt Bruhn should be proud—and he is. Perhaps embarrassed, too, because Wisconsin won only three games last season.
Before student vigilantes string up the coach's effigy, however, a few points should be made.
Tackle Roger Pillath ( Los Angeles Rams) was a senior in 1963 and played for the minor-league Canton team last year, not for Bruhn. Defensive Back Jim Nettles ( Philadelphia Eagles) lacked eligibility and stayed in school to get his degree. Fullback Ralph Kurek ( Chicago Bears) and Defensive Back Carl Silvestri ( St. Louis Cardinals) were often on the injured list.
Still, Bruhn feels a little nervous. "I'm real pleased that these kids are doing so well," he said. "But I've got to win some games."
ADVERTISEMENT FOR HIMSELF