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Last Saturday night in Boston, Vince Martinez knocked out a little-known fighter named Mario Terry in the third round. The fight was unimpressive, but Columnist Gillooly was intrigued by the fervor of the new relationship between Martinez and his manager, Bill Daly.
Verboten Vince Martinez, recently returned from the cruel penal island of Boycott, a moated fortress somewhere off the Jersey shore, dropped into town yesterday to declare, in harmonious chorus with his manager, that he wasn't really exiled at all and that he has no Napoleonic complexes.
Cafe sockciety collected at the Como on Friend St. for scrapple (naturally the fight mob's favorite breakfast is scrapple) and Martinez, quite possibly the best welterweight in the world, and his reconciled pilot, Honest Bill Daly, were present.
Daly is known far as well as wide as Honest Bill because he is treasurer of the International Boxing Managers Guild, or Guilt in pugdom's parlance; because he keeps saying: "Well, we might as well be honest about this"; and because, any time that he takes the empty bottles to the supermarket for rebate, he always turns over the full amount to the Mrs. The latter calls for sterling character, indeed.
It turns out that Martinez didn't spend 15 months on barren but inescapable Boycott. It was another colony entirely; a pleasant retreat known as Friendship Vineyard.
"Certainly I made no move to boycott this boy," said Daly with an endearing glance at Martinez. "It was friendship. In 35 years in The Game, I've made a lot of friends: promoters, managers, sportswriters. They all figured I got a bad deal and they just wouldn't give him any action out of sympathy to me."
Daly winced at each mention of boycott, which has a conspiratorial ring, and the tone of intrigue. The dictionary says it derived from a situation in County Mayo, Ireland in 1880 when a Captain Boycott, a land agent, got the total snub. It means to combine against a person in a policy of nonassociation especially for political reasons and next trip to the dictionary I must get around to fettle as in "fine fettle" and petrel as in "stormy petrel" to find out what in h—l they are.
While Daly and Martinez were on the outs—Daly figures it was a $100,000 spat—Martinez was practically at leisure with only a few bouts. He couldn't even pick a fight on the street. Each time he put on his kid gloves (and "he's a dandy) there was a tug at Ms heart because there was no padding in the knuckles. He was taboo, fib doubt about it, doing his light training in a figurative leprosarium.
Once a Canadian fighter was smuggled in, ostensibly to give Martinez a go somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line, far from the big gold of New York. At the last moment the Canadian excused himself. Friendship for Daly had raised its loyal head. Another time vassal Vince was to have gone against Irvin Steen in Akron. The day of the bout it was canceled and the promoter gave "lack of interest" as the reason. There had been a violent storm in the vicinity that day; the excuse had merit.
A wrangle with Martinez' family caused the $100,000 cleavage and set Martinez back a full year. It cost him possibly the best year of his strife, for he was named Rookie of the Year for 1952 and experts saw him soon shelling Johnny Saxton from the title.