If we could have our way, the winner of the Dick Tiger-Emile Griffith fight for the middleweight title on April 25 would be matched immediately with Luis Rodriguez, the former welterweight champion—especially if the winner is Dick Tiger, since Rodriguez and Griffith have already met three times. A Cuban expatriate of large energies and cheerful disposition, Luis is one of our favorite athletes—a fighter who fights. Luis lights with equal facility as a middleweight or welterweight. He is undefeated in his last 15 bouts—or since he met Griffith the last time—and 12 of these victories were over middleweights. A fortnight ago in Philadelphia Luis scored a 9th-round TKO over George Benton, a strong middleweight. It was a flashy victory; Benton is always at his best in a home fight and had not been beaten in Philadelphia since a six-rounder in 1950.
Luis is a man very hard to lose in a crowd, for he has deep horizontal furrows in his brow that make him look like a piece of Mayan sculpture. Below the brow are a confident eye and a heroic nose. " Cassius Clay is the greatest," Luis says, "but I am the best."
IT'S ALL RELATIVE
More remarkable than the percentage of the 945 students at Dallas Baptist College who are excellent basketball players is the number of those players who have three or more parents. This unusual ratio was discovered by coach Dennis Walling when his team won 23 games, went to the national junior college tournament and attracted much attention from senior-college recruiters.
The whole problem is that Dallas Baptist is becoming a four-year college next year, and Walling wants to keep some of his players. Alas, even after a polite message to recruiters whom he has been helping for years, Walling had to tell his players not to talk with anyone except close relatives.
That slowed the swarming coaches not at all. "After games," Walling moaned, "they rushed on the court and claimed they were mothers and fathers. Why, it wasn't even safe to leave players on the bench during a game. You looked around and saw strangers sitting on the bench talking to the players."
HORN OF SNOOK
Educators who deplore the narrowing effect of specialization in the schools may well see Jimmy Horn of Snook, Texas as a sort of Renaissance man. He is the basketball coach of the high school there and also teaches American history, chemistry and general science. The population of the town is 145, and the school's male enrollment 30. Horn's team has won the Class B state basketball championship two years in a row with 78 straight wins. "During basketball," Horn says modestly, "they hire a man to take my place driving the school bus." He adds, "They treat me good here," indicating that he has not yet been co-opted to teach English.
WRONG TIME FOR A TIME-OUT
Our familiar enemy, the television commercial time-out that interrupts the flow of a sports event, reared up again last week in the last minutes of a Knicks- 76ers basketball game. The teams were only a point apart in a match crucial to Philadelphia in its drive toward the Eastern title when the officials, at a signal relayed from the TV director, stopped the game. The time-out was called with the Knicks in possession, and the 76ers went on to win, so there was no bloodshed. But as usual in such circumstances, the spectators were let down and the outcome of the game itself jeopardized by this senseless interference.