"Certainly," said Dundee. "My kid will take any date, just give us a couple of weeks notice. We'll even take short money."
"Angelo, are you drunk? Jimmy Ellis will fight Buster Mathis for short money?" What the hell are you talking about, an exhibition?"
Angelo Dundee had to laugh. "Get serious. I'm not talking about Ellis; I'm talking about Al Jones. You know the rules: anybody wants to fight Ellis has got to fight my policeman first. Whaddaya say?"
"No problem," Brenner purred. "No problem at all. Just send two contracts. One for Jones and Mathis and one for Ellis and Mathis in case Buster beats your policeman. Is that what you had in mind?"
"Goodby," said Angelo Dundee.
Three weeks after quitting as a bouncer, Jones went into the Auditorium at Miami Beach and decisioned Lee Andrews in four rounds, his first fight for Dundee. Since then he has won 23 more, 15 of them by knockouts, and has fought a 10-round draw with Zora Folley. All of his fights have been in south Florida, the majority of them for Chris Dundee, Angelo's older brother, who is the promoter in Miami Beach. Most of the people he has fought have names like Joe Lewis White and Jefferson Davis and Roosevelt Eddie, but he becomes annoyed if you suggest that they passed their prefight physicals only because the doctors neglected to check to see if they were alive.
"Look," he says. "Call me a bum. Call me anything you want. But don't say anything about the guys I fought. Just for climbing in a ring they deserve better than that. Even a bum doesn't like to be called a bum."
"Ernie, this is Angelo Dundee. How would you like to have a shot at Jimmy Ellis?"
"How about tonight?" said Ernie Terrell.
"Well, not quite that soon," said Dundee. "First you got to fight my policeman: Al Jones. That's the rule. Whaddaya say?"