THE FIGHT FANS
This week Poor Put-upon Fight Fans, with no officers, house organ, dues, press
agent or headquarters provided by their articles of incorporation (which were
never written) chose SI's 19TH HOLE as their meeting place. Herewith excerpts
from some of their letters.
I just sat fuming through the Saddler-Elorde championship bout (SI, Jan. 30). I
think the stench of boxing's dirty business slowly being aired out in the East
is settling out here with a vengeance. Even yours and others' reports had not
prepared me for the filthiness of Saddler's whole approach to winning another
fight. With him it is obviously so ingrained as to no longer seem conscious. He
butts continuously on the inside, holds and hits, forearms to the neck, lunges
and hits on the break, draws the head down with the left and follows with a
right uppercut, all so simultaneously or consecutively that it leaves you
occasionally with the thought that you are being demonstrated a manual of these
offenses. The galling part was the complete unconcern with which Referee Ray
Flores viewed this sorry proceeding. For nine rounds his main concern seemed to
be to avoid hindering Saddler's "style" in any way. The tender
solicitude he displayed for Elorde after his eye was finally mauled was truly
touching, a picture dimmed somewhat by his subsequent blindness as Saddler held
Elorde's head and finished the job.
I never saw or
heard of Elorde before. His fight plan seemed good and showed signs of being
adequate had he received the kind of protection he had every right to
With this and the
rotten Pep-Cadilli decision out here recently, I sure feel that California need
take a back seat to no one in the matter of boxing's racket symptoms. Doubtless
my nickel's worth of protest pains Flores and all his great and good friends no
further than to cause a chuckle on the way to the bank, but I hope you will
stay right on the firing line with potshots at every exposed part of the
vulnerable under(world) side of boxing.
Either that or
let Elorde use a bolo knife.
Yours in pretty
much of a sweat,
HARRY W. CROSBY
Del Mar, Calif.
To anyone who had doubted that the situation in boxing was rotten, I commend
the performance of "Champion" Saddler in his fight against Elorde. I
will not argue that championship athletes per se are, or have to be, lily white
in their professional ethics and scruples. But I submit as prima facie evidence
of professional malfeasance the timorous behavior of both the referee and
television announcer of this fight. If there is to be order and decency in
athletics the men who officiate and the journalists who cover must be of
courage and strength. Such was not in evidence.
Every bit as
disheartening is the apparent lack of concern by the sponsors of such shows for
the administration of the vehicle they have chosen to represent their product.
I can only assume complete indifference on the part of the sponsor. They are
wasting a power greater than Commissioner Helfand can bring to bear and so are
being remiss in fulfilling their social responsibilities.
J. W. CORBETT
...Saddler hit, shoved, dragged and wrestled on every break, ripped open
Elorde's eye with his hatchet-like head, gouged the cut with his laces,
massaged his opponent round after round with a constant stream of elbows,
shoves and fouls of every description until the match was stopped with Saddler
Why is a foul
fighter like Saddler allowed to fight in this manner fight after fight...?
C. W. JACKSON