VIEWS OF THE FIGHT
Your pictorial coverage of the showdown (On Top of the World, Sept. 28) was brilliant. As for Pat Putnam's article, it was most accurate. To think that Ray Leonard could have lost that fight, had it gone the full 15 rounds, because of the incompetence of those so-called judges is disgusting. I saw the bout, and it's obvious from their scoring that the judges weren't watching the same fight I was. Hats off to Referee Davey Pearl for having the courage to stop it before Thomas Hearns was seriously hurt, although I feel he missed one knockdown that cost Leonard points.
Sugar Ray is one of the greatest fighters of all time, in any weight class. He has fought and beaten them all and has always been a man to be respected and admired.
In his preview of the Sugar Ray Leonard- Thomas Hearns fight (Sugar Should Frost Him, Sept. 14), Pat Putnam gave Hearns less than a bum-off-the-street's chance of beating Leonard. Then in the postfight story he wrote as if Hearns never showed anything. We don't know what fight Putnam was watching, but it sure wasn't the same one we attended.
Being from the Detroit area, we went to Las Vegas believing Hearns was invincible, but after the fight we found that although he isn't unbeatable, he's still a great fighter and he showed a lot of heart in a bout in which your writer gave him no chance. This had to be the most biased report we've seen since Rosie Casals covered the Bobby Riggs- Billie Jean King tennis match for ABC-TV.
I'm a Leonard fan. Pat Putnam was correct when he stated that Leonard dominated the rounds he won. He was correct when he said that Hearns almost went down in the seventh round. But he was dead wrong with respect to almost everything else. In my opinion, Leonard didn't "dominate" the fight; the first five rounds, four of which I felt Hearns won, weren't "dull"; and Leonard didn't transform Hearns into a "bewildered and largely ineffectual fighter." Maybe I went to the wrong fight, because what I saw was nonstop action from start to finish. Hearns proved he could box; Leonard proved he could punch. Both proved they were champions.
ACID PRECIPITATION (CONT.)
Allow me to commend Robert H. Boyle on his thoughtful article An American Tragedy (Sept. 21). He did an encyclopedic job of documenting acid precipitation—one of the most critical environmental problems facing the Northeastern states.
It is clear that this is a national problem, transcending geographic and political boundaries. For more than five years, New York State, at the direction of Governor Hugh L. Carey, has been the leader in seeking a satisfactory federal solution. We have assembled a wealth of scientific evidence to document the fact that wind-transported pollution from Midwestern states is a major cause of our acid precipitation problem.
Now we have a unique opportunity to do something about it. The federal Clean Air Act expires this year and its extension is currently before Congress. The problem of long-range transport of pollutants, ignored in the earlier versions of the statute, must be addressed.
The time for action is now. To delay any longer can only result in additional destruction of the environment here in New York State, as well as in the entire Northeast.
ROBERT F. FLACKE
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Robert H. Boyle's presentation of the acid precipitation crisis—and it is no less than a crisis—focused a bright light on corporate responsibility. I would tend to disagree only with Boyle's assertion that "environmental consciousness often makes good economic sense." In the long run, it always makes good economic sense. Industrial production can continue only as long as the ecosystem is capable of absorbing its by-products. No amount of corporate P.R. work will ever change that.