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3 Fixed fights are a treasured part of the mythology of boxing. Mendoza's statement, made in 1823 and quoted in Pierce Egan's Art of Self-Defense (1845), reads: "The present practice of making all boxing matches indiscriminately for very large sums of money is one of the primary causes of the frauds now universally prevalent, for such is the present degraded state of the pugilistic art that scarcely ever is there a battle fairly fought; and for the last ten years there have not been ten honest fights."
4 I would not care to see that one, in any case. All true connoisseurs know that matching two Dutchmen makes for a very slow night.
5 This was possible because, as Egan observed: "The deficiency of strength may be greatly supplied with art, but the want of art will have but heavy and unwieldy succour from strength." I have always thought it would be fine to have this embroidered on a sampler and hung in my study, but I cannot even get my wife to sew buttons on my shirts. I must be wanting in art.
6 Daley's attitude toward brutality is ambiguous. In this same column he also expressed regret that we no longer have heavyweights of Dempsey's caliber around today, and I got the impression that he was less disturbed by the brutality than by the inelegant way it is now inflicted.
7 Choosing examples who live in such a salubrious clime did not strengthen Brinkley's case for their deprivation, but it must have made his study of it much more pleasant.
9 Stepin Fetchit later regained some of his physical and financial health. He was given a job as an adviser to Muhammad Ali.
10 Namath is also said to enjoy the pleasure of women. This is apparently remarkable for a football player, judging by the amount of comment it engenders. Boxers have been known to take such recreation in quantity.
11 The word "probably" is to a journalist what a protective cup is to a boxer. If he is attacked for the statement, the journalist may clutch his qualifier and groan he was fouled.
12 Pierce Egan's Art of Self-Defense makes it clear that the devotion to boxing of England's upper classes in the early 19th century went beyond mere patronage—they became participants: "In [ John Jackson's rooms in Old Bond Street] might be daily witnessed some of our most celebrated lawyers, enlightened statesmen, impartial judges, immense landowners, etc., etc., unbending from their various vocations in society, putting on the gloves with one another, giving hit for hit, imbibing additional courage from every blow." If the fashion were the same today, we might be treated to such bouts as Ramsey Clark vs. John Mitchell, Kunstler vs. Julius Hoffman, Bella Abzug vs. Strom Thurmond, Vidal vs. Buckley or Averell Harriman vs. H. L. Hunt. Now that would revive boxing!