SI Vault
April 30, 1956
PLEASE TELL ME... Sirs: Will you tell a bewildered subscriber—and there must be scores of your readers similarly puzzled—why no mention is ever made of a bout between Floyd Patterson and Archie Moore, or a match between Patterson and Hurricane Jackson? Archie can get down to 175 for a light-heavyweight championship match and Floyd can take off less than ten pounds. Let Patterson win the light-heavyweight championship first before taking on the Rock. If Patterson's present weight is his trained poundage and there is not much left to take off, what is wrong with an overweight match with Moore?
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
April 30, 1956

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5 6

Why should a little ragging, sir,
Produce a blaze of tempah?
Egad, such things could not occur
If we still ruled the Empah.

Too soon we raised our friendly yoke
And yielded our ascendance,
For chaps who cannot take a joke
Aren't fit for independence.

Actually the President of the Marylebone Club, Lord Alexander, telephoned immediate apologies to Pakistan.
Chevy Chase, Md.

In his article on the Basilio-Saxton affair (SI, March 26), Martin Kane's reference to Harry Balogh, the famous referee, gave me a nostalgic chuckle. Mr. Balogh introduced the comparative degree into prizefight lingo. His wonderful monstrosities in his variations of "may the best man win" were alone worth the price of admission. I bet he had fun making them up. One time, I remember, he went so far as to use a negative. The introduction ran about like this:

"In this corner, wearing purple trunks, and weighing 145 pounds, the courageous, colorful, clean-living contender, and a credit to his race.... And in this corner, wearing black trunks, and weighing 145 and a [broad A] half, the popular, promising pugilist, and pride of Perth Amboy.... Both boys will come out fighting, will break clean at the command of the referee, and may the less able adversary NOT emerge victorious."

After two hams had bulled their way through 12 stupid rounds it was difficult to tell which one was the less able. The fights may have been lousy but Harry Balogh never let you down.
Princeton, N.J.

I am sick and tired of reading about the Saxton-Basilio fight and how Basilio "won" the fight. I have followed boxing for many years and am an avid television fight fan. Saxton clearly won the fight. Saxton fought a very smart fight. He had, I believe, a reach advantage of four or five inches. With that advantage, why should Saxton try infighting when Basilio is known as a "swarmer" and fights best at close quarters?

An intelligent person cannot help but note in Mr. Kane's article the statement "He [Saxton] had been first in the ring to little applause. There had been tremendous cheers for Basilio." Now in view of the obvious partisan crowd is it surprising that when a close decision went against their boy they should boo that decision? And are we now going to have aspersions cast on the judges and the referees every time some flannel-mouth reporter loses a two-bit bet on a fight? It is very popular right now to attack boxing, boxing promoters and the boxers themselves, and it is interesting to note how many of these "small men" of the press enjoy tearing apart the profession that gives them their living.

Keep in mind that intelligent people watch the fights and read SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. We don't need you to tell us what we saw. There are a lot of "me toos" who read SI also, and when a popular movement comes along like "Basilio was robbed" they all chorus "me too."
San Diego, Calif.

?SI's eye-witness report appeared March 22, eight days after the fight. Before its account was published SI heard from over 100 readers from every part of the country to which the fight was televised, protesting the decision. Indeed, to date, five weeks after the Basilio-Saxton fight only four readers have written in upholding the decision, and one of these four came from the chairman of the Illinois State Athletic Commission. For latest Chicago "robbery" see page 36.—ED.

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6