NORRIS IS FED UP
Investigators of hoodlum control in boxing have no trouble proving to their own satisfaction that, as Governor George M. Leader of Pennsylvania told the National Boxing Association convention, the sport is controlled by a "sinister hierarchy." Fight managers tell, off the record, how Frankie Carbo arranges lucrative TV bouts for those fighters and managers who are willing to "listen." ("If you tell Frankie you'll listen, he'll get you fights.") Boxers tell, off the record, of Carbo's power. ("But if you print a word of this, I'll deny it.")
George A. Barton, aging former president of NBA, a sportswriter and official and long-time friend of boxing, told at the convention how his own investigation had smashed against a wall of fear when he asked for affidavits to the tales of chicanery he was told. ("Not me. I don't want to get knocked off.")
Governor Leader, who changed the face of boxing in his own state by banning it until the state legislature adopted a new, stringent code, asked that the states represented by NBA adopt a uniform "model code" for the sport's regulation. He was convinced, he said, that "television, more than any other single factor, has made possible the present very obvious centralization of power in the boxing business in the United States.
"If money power—and that is the real power—in boxing has been centered in cartels whose business is interstate, then governmental power must be organized to meet the situation," he said. "Some day that governmental power may be federal, but today it is altogether the responsibility of the states."
The NBA decided that Congress ought to investigate boxing, and Senator Charles E. Potter of Michigan (the convention was in Detroit) said he would see what he could do to bring it about. In Washington, he relayed the NBA request to Chairman Warren G. Magnuson of the Senate Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee. Magnuson's office indicated he would talk it over with other members of the committee.
The response of James D. Norris, president of the International Boxing Club, to all this was one of disgust. He was, he said, "getting fed up with all these investigations."
MUSINGS ON MENZIES
Prime Minister Robert G. Menzies notes on page 28 that the game of tennis may be said to span the lifetime of one man, the magnificent Sir Norman Brookes. Brookes is 78 years old and tennis is 82 years old. Our national championships are but 74.
In this brief period tennis has surmounted extraordinary handicaps. The Prime Minister mentions one in passing—its origins as a "polite garden party accomplishment"—but there were others. For instance, the British major who invented tennis insisted that it be called Spharistike, which is Greek for something along the lines of "Play ball!" The major was outraged when the name didn't catch on. Folks just called it tennis-on-the-lawn because they noted its close relationship to the ancient game of court tennis. The relationship was denied by the major, who wanted to patent and exploit the game. He didn't get very far.