Yours is the first objective, levelheaded account of the Muhammad Ali-Jimmy Young fight I have read (The Champ Looked Like a Chump, May 10). While Ali did nothing to enhance his reputation, Young did not at any time take charge of the fight, although it appeared that he could have, almost at will. Instead, he fought a "cute" fight, content to make an undertrained, overconfident Ali look bad. This might have been enough to outpoint another contender in a nontitle encounter, but you do not strip the heavyweight champion of the world of his crown simply because he has embarrassed himself. The challenger has to have shown himself to be clearly superior and in command. Jimmy Young did neither, and it was gratifying to see Mark Kram put things in perspective without resorting to an apologia for Ali's sorry performance.
By receiving more than $1 million for fighting Jimmy Young, Muhammad Ali proved that you can get something for nothing. As a champion, Ali is expected to set a good example, but we saw a shell of a fighter giving a shell of a performance in what was insultingly called a title defense. Ali has announced he will retire at the end of this year. May I suggest that he meet his signed commitments and then retire at the end of September? Ali has given life and excitement to boxing, but I do not believe that anyone wants to see a fading Ali in the ring merely going through the motions and taking the fans for granted.
Boy, have the critics and anti-Ali forces risen up. One letdown by Ali, and they tear him to shreds. Maybe it wasn't the greatest show on earth, but the critics should remember that Ali has done more for boxing than anyone else ever has.
PRINCE, UECKER & WOLF
My hat goes off to William Leggett for his in-depth look at Monday Night Baseball (TV/RADIO, May 10). I think it's a great idea to continue Monday Night Baseball, but let's have announcers who get excited when a ball is hit in the gap for extra bases instead of discussing who the greatest pitcher was during the Depression years. What happened to the exuberant Harry Caray, who could make a one-hour rain delay exciting? Bob Prince, Bob Uecker and Warner Wolf make a stolen base, a triple into the corner or a diving backhanded stab sound like the news.
White Hall, Ill.
William Leggett's TV/RADIO column, usually articulate and perceptive, roamed far off base in its assessment of ABC's coverage of major league baseball. Bob Prince, Bob Uecker and Warner Wolf have achieved what NBC's Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek failed to accomplish during a decade of exclusive coverage—make baseball come alive, give the sport an exuberance and flair.
Give me Bob Prince's vibrancy and fervor every Monday night. Let Kubek lull Leggett to sleep.
William Leggett adequately displayed his dislike for ABC's version of Monday Night Baseball. He concentrated much of his criticism on Announcer Warner Wolf. I don't believe all the tomatoes Leggett threw at Wolf were justified. I have watched Wolf at work for six years, and I think he is one of the finest sportscasters around today.
Come back home, Warner. Washington still loves you!
SHARON L. RAYMOND
Chevy Chase, Md.
While I am inclined to agree with William Leggett's evaluation of Warner Wolf's announcing prowess, I think Leggett should check out his facts on Roy While of the Yankees. White, whose glove supposedly "goes clank in the night," compiled a fielding average of .984 last year, a mark superior to those of superstars such as Reggie Jackson (.965) and Fred Lynn (.983). In 1971 White tied a major league record by playing an entire season in Yankee Stadium's tough-sun field without committing a single error. White's nonexistent throwing arm was responsible for 11 outfield assists in 1975, a mark identical to that of Lynn, whose fielding abilities have never been subject to criticism. White also hit .290 in 1975, with 12 home runs and 16 stolen bases.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
William Leggett could not have made a truer assertion regarding Al Michaels" thoroughness and accuracy as an announcer. Michaels was the voice of the Hawaii Islanders Triple A baseball club before he moved up to the big time, and he impressed me then as an eloquent and knowledgeable play-by-play man whose delivery was as smooth as silk.
J. A. KINIMAKA
New York City