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COLUMNS OF THE WEEK
Dan Daniel
January 17, 1955
New York World-Telegram
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January 17, 1955

Columns Of The Week

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New York World-Telegram

Helfand knows the breed, and perhaps he can exterminate its influences..."

Ordinarily, reorganization of a minor state bureau in New York hardly would excite repercussions in California, England and France. But the political overthrow of Bob Christenberry, Republican, as chairman of the New York Athletic Commission, and appointment of Julius Helfand, Democrat, in his place, is of far greater than parochial importance.

The New York Commission always has exercised a tremendous influence over world boxing. The European Boxing Union may name Robert Cohen as bantamweight champion, the National Boxing Assn. may come up, as it did recently, with a phony recognition of Mexico's Raton Macias.

But, in the final analysis, what the chairman of the New York body thinks about any important ring issue is of the greatest weight. Christenberry has been the chairman of the World Championship Committee of the EBU.

Boxing is not in a healthy state in this country. For this, much of the blame must be traced to the New York Commission. Perhaps the illness has advanced to the incurable stage. Helfand's regime, which conceivably will endure at least through the four years of Averell Harriman's term as governor, may discover a miracle antibiotic. And then again, it may decide on a mercy killing.

No matter what the outcome, the hoodlum influence in New York boxing is in for a rugged time. Helfand, with a racket-busting reputation in Brooklyn, is well equipped for the campaign.

His friends tell me that Helfand did not accept the boxing job with the idea of digging into the commission office for a career. Julie wants to be a judge. That is bad news for Frank Carbo and associates.

Helfand is confronted with an appalling agenda. There are so many things wrong, there are so many possibly beneficial moves to be tried. If he is wise—and his reputation encourages the strong belief that he is—the new chairman will move slowly, step by step cleaning up one stall at a time.

What Helfand will be after is a cleanout of the lobby-gows who were forced on Christenberry by the political associations of his job. The new czar must not trade one set of hangers-on for another.

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