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THE GOLDEN ALECK
A smart crook lies low when the heat's on but a smart-aleck crook is different.
Among the smart alecks of crooked boxing is Art Aragon, Golden Boy of the Golden West, one of the more artless welterweights of our time but an opponent-picker of such skill that Ring magazine ranks him No. 3 and the NBA No. 7.
For months smart-aleck Aragon has observed, if not felt, the hot blasts of the most intensive boxing investigation California has ever seen. At the seething center of it were such intimates of his as Cal Eaton, promoter, and Babe McCoy, matchmaker. Among the charges: that McCoy had ordered at least one fighter to dive for Aragon.
The charges were proved to the hilt and McCoy, pleading ill health (he was suffering from unaccountable night sweats), resigned. McCoy, after all, is a smart crook. Commissions come and they go and it's a fair guess that McCoy intended to return to boxing some day when a cooler commission was in charge. But this commission forestalled all that and, just before Christmas, suspended him for life. Just before New Year's it moved to revoke Eaton's license.
While all this was going on anyone but a smart aleck would have concluded that honesty was the next best policy, but Aragon, who has been described as arrogant, took it that with McCoy out of action he would have to assume the burden of fixing his own matches. He made a good try.
He was offered $3,000 for a San Antonio fight. He accepted, provided he could bring his own opponent. And of all opponents he chose Dick Goldstein, who is one of the West Coast's more preposterous pugilists. Goldstein's lurid publicity holds that he is a boyhood victim of Nazi concentration camps. It might even be true. Certainly he fights as if all opponents are Nazis. Unskilled but rough, he has been known to kick those he couldn't hit.
"What are you getting in shape for?" he demanded. "You are going to take a dive!"