Robert H. Boyle's meticulously written story about the death of boxer Willie Classen (No Man Was His Keeper, March 24), coupled with Marshall Arisman's sepulchral drawings of that horrible evening, was a vivid reminder of the tragic consequences of irregularities in the administration of boxing. The underside of the sport is as murky as the topside is glittery. However, the selfless actions of one individual went unnoticed. Tribute should certainly be paid to John Condon, the peppy voice of Madison Square Garden, who spent the entire night at the hospital, solacing Classen's wife.
RICHARD R. BARTMAN
New York City
The Willie Classen story is a sad one indeed. And it's made sadder still by the fact that his death could have been prevented. Thanks to SI for getting to the bottom of this mess.
Your article The Future Is Soon (March 10) does nothing to dispute Jimmy Jacobs' belief that boxing's heavyweight division is in a pathetic state. Your assessment that "most of the good ones are a year or so from a title shot" undershoots the mark by several light-years. Closer to the truth is your statement that "all are largely unchallenged."
That they are unchallenged is certainly borne out by the composite record of the young fighters mentioned in the story. The totals were 156 wins, one loss and three draws. Thus, only four of the bouts could have involved members of your young elite. The question therefore is: Who are the even more unknown boxers against whom your stars of the future have run up these lopsided records? And do all those victories really mean anything, coming as they have against no-name opponents? I doubt it.
ALLAN J. RYAN, M.D.
Shame on you.
Where, in your pictorial review of the Monterey Rugby Festival (Game for a Bloody Good Game, March 17), was a picture showing the rugby grounds of Pebble Beach, the cheering crowds or the friendly picnic-like atmosphere? Instead, we got blood and gore! Matrons don't lock up their daughters when ruggers are around; one even let hers marry an Oregon State player right on the field. The essence of Monterey is quality rugby in a beautiful setting with large crowds. You failed to capture it.
Rugby makes the NFL look like a birthday party for 7-year-olds, yet it's a game for gentlemen. One of these gentlemen, I might add, is my geometry teacher, Mike Mitchell, who is pictured on page 30. He's No. 9.
Mountain View, Calif.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Please inform William Nack ('CB' Plus 'CA' Spelled 'V', March 24) that he should add foresight to understatement and reserve as British national attributes. He says Alan Minter's restaurant is in a Jesuit abbey built in 1150. The Jesuit order came into being in 1540.
REV. JAMES KUNTZ, S.J.
Santa Clara, Calif.
The Jesuits don't live in abbeys and were founded in 1534.
JAMES F. MCGUIRE
New York City
?A Jesuit teaching group was formed in 1534, but was not officially recognized as an order until 1540. Minter's restaurant is in part of a building erected in about 1140 that subsequently became a Franciscan priory.—ED.