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Of course they have slums here on the Moon! Why shouldn't they? Where there's people there's gonna be slums, regardless if the whole city got a plastic dome over it with air conditioning and all that. And where you have slums you have guess what? Right! You have kids wanna be fighters coming up to a gym.
For that matter, you probably have guys like Manny Klein, too, ready to steal another manager's fighter. If it wasn't for Manny Klein I wouldn't be here now, watching my health like an old lady. I would be back in New York still, managing Benny Messina, the Heavyweight Champion of the Universe.
I had Benny from the first Inter-Galaxy Gloves eliminations. He would of been my first champion. Soon as that lousy Manny Klein seen what I had, he wants in, and when I said no, they froze me out of the Sport World Palace, they froze me out of the New Spartacus Gardens, and I couldn't even get Benny a four-rounder at a hick joint like the Pollux Arena, let alone fight on top anywhere. By the time Benny got a shot at the title, everybody had a piece, he was cut up like a pizza, and I was out of the picture. And it was Manny Klein done it all, from the first time he looked at Benny with them little beady eyes until the day his boys showed me out of the office and told me to take a trip for my health.
The doctor agreed with Manny's boys too. He told me either I'm gonna get away from the whole thing or I'll aggravate myself to death with my blood pressure like it is. As he says, I got two nice apartment houses in a good residential neighborhood. What do I need to mess with fighters to make money? So here I am on the Moon.
Well, at least it's comfortable for me up here. The whole city is air-conditioned and they have this artificial two-thirds gravity to make things easier. It's nice! I mean, you weigh 240 on Earth, like me, here when you step on a scale you're a trim, slim 160. You don't look any different, but you feel wonderful. I never seen so many happy fat guys in my life, stuffing their guts and their wives yelling, "Watch the diet!"
It's nice for the fighters, too. It ain't such hard work keeping in shape. You see heavyweights move around like them old movies of Willie Pep, I mean it's fantastic! But it's crazy because you'd be out of your mind to try to bring a Moon boxer back to Earth. I mean one that's born on the Moon. You don't know what you got.
Say a kid moves nice, got a good punch, colorful style, weighs maybe 155. Means on Earth he'll be what? A fat heavyweight—232� pounds! And what's more, you could bet on it, he couldn't even stand up good for a week after he gets there. He'll be sick in the stomach and weak and sweating like a horse and maybe never be good for anything at all in the ring. I seen it happen with what's-his-name, Moonboy Williams. Oh what a buildup they give him and it was all straight, his Luna record, I mean. Nobody was doing business and the knockouts were strictly bona fide. He come to New York and what? Two fights and he's tending bar.
But up here, there's no future in the whole thing altogether. There ain't enough people all told to fill the New Spartacus, and don't think all of them are fight fans, either. Half of them are these intellectual technicians would rather listen to chamber music.
Well, you know all this and you're not stupid and yet when you see a kid with talent, it's like falling in love. You tell yourself come on, be smart, what do you need more worries? Aside from ruining your peace of mind, you stand to lose a lot of money if the kid turns out to be a bum. But when they look good, you want to do something with them. You see in your mind the Sport World Arena sold out and the stereo rights alone maybe a million bucks.
All right, I had the itch to go back to New York with this kid I seen, jumping Jupiter what a fighter! I mean a real picture fighter, a cutie with an equalizer could knock you out any time in the fight, a sweetheart!