?Though bleeding spectacularly from a split nose and a cut eye, Rocky Marciano ended Ezzard Charles's third attempt to recapture the world's heavyweight championship by knocking him out in the eighth round. The rematch chiefly established that 1) Charles and the champion no longer belong in the same ring, and 2) Marciano is the most relentless fighter in the world today (see pages 58-61).
?Big-time college football began with a bang. Explosive Oklahoma won a nationally televised intersectional game with California 27-13, despite the best efforts of the Golden Bears' Passer Paul Larson and the pleading roar of 58,000 Berkeley fans (see pages 70-71). Maryland, 1953 national champions, beat Kentucky 20-0; Georgia Tech beat Tulane 28-0; and Texas took Louisiana State 20-6. Meanwhile, California's San Jose State solemnly defeated a San Quentin Prison eleven 26-13 (at San Quentin) to gain a year's possession of one of the oddest trophies in sport: a ball and chain.
?As football drew its first crowds of the year baseball drew some of its last before the World Series; Cleveland won the American League pennant, and at week's end the New York Giants had a virtual death grip on the National League championship.
?There was tennis: Vic Seixas beat Tony Trabert in the finals of the Pacific Southwest Championships at Los Angeles. There was golf: 21-year-old Barbara Romack of Sacramento won the women's amateur championship. There was even championship walking: Leo Sjogren of Brooklyn did 50 kilometers in 4 hrs. 43:44, a new record for heel-and-toe work, in Baltimore.
Ezzard Charles was a fearful sight as New York's irascible swarm of fight writers jostled in to inspect him after his gallant 15-round stand against Rocky Marciano last June. The whole right side of his face was swollen grotesquely, his right eye was a slit and one corner of his mouth had puffed into a shiny, pink, unlikely bulb. But there was a fierce and sullen dignity about him for all that. "I want him again," he whispered. "I want him again. He's all the plan I've got." One night last week the same Ezzard Charles?a curiously different man?entertained again in the same brightly lighted dressing room.
He had punched recklessly enough with Marciano in a few exciting flurries. He had been down thrice, and the third time had risen a split second too late. But he bore not a mark as he stood, naked except for a Turkish towel about his middle, and watched the reporters and photographers pushing in through the door. It was Marciano?his nose split, his eyebrow torn by Charles's calculated work in close?on whom the surgeon was working down the hall. Charles behaved as if it were he who had won?and talked as though he were convincing himself that he could have done so.
He smiled at the big question of the night?could he have risen a split second before the count of ten instead of a split second after it, and fought on? "I was up," he said in a monotone. "I know I was up. Sure, I could have finished the round. Two more rounds, I'd a won the fight."
"Won it? How could you have won it?"