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October 20, 1967 - Image 11

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-10-20

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24, 1967

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

PAGE ELEVEN

20, 1987 THE MICliI~AN DAILY PAGE ELEVEN
____________________________________________ q _______________________________________________________

Grayle Howlett
OFF BASE
Why Boxing
Will 'Never Die
"The Harder They Fall" is a 1956 vintage film making the
late-night rounds at your local TV station. It isn't Humphrey Bogart
at his best. More to the point, it isn't boxing at its best.
As a fictionalized version of Budd Schulberg's novel on Primo
Carnera, the Bogey flick probably proves that there is no such thing
as "boxing at its best." It trots out every cliche the moviemakers
have used for boxing-the crooked managers, the tahk fighters, the
sinister racketeers, etc. The film does have one redeeming factor in
that Bogey, a conniving newspaperman turned conniving PR man,
does in the end establish himself on the side of justice when he ap-
peals for Congressional intervention into the "boxing business."
It is interesting that he refers to boxing as a business. It seems
that boxing has been called a lot of things. Legalized murder. A blood-
bath for fun and profit. The sweet science.
Boxing has been called everything but a sport. The closest it
has ever come is when Jim Murray, the syndicated columnist, refer-
eed to it as a "sport" in quotes.
But boxing's history, in my lifetime, has been firmly etch-
ed in my mind. I remember distinctly Carmen Basilio's left eye
puffed up to the size of a casaba melon, leaving him defenseless
to the looping rights of Sugar Ray Robinson.
I remember a sweeping left hook thrown by the, then challen-
ger Floyd Patterson which lifted the then champion Ingemar Johans-
son a foot off the canvas. As I watched the prone body of Johansson
ripple with convulsions then ominously lie still, I wondered if the
count of ten would be the Swede's eulogy.
I.remember Don Dunphy's graphic description of the blood-
bath he was receiving from the battered face of Brian London, being
torn along the dotted line by Cassius Clay.
And I remember the pathetic attempt of a cornered Benny
"Kid" Paret to raise a hand in defense to the onslaught of Emille
Griffith. Finally, one merciful punch floored him. Not even the in-
stant replay could tell you which punch killed him.
Hardly memories befitting "one of the purest of art forms" as
writer Red Smith describes boxing.
The critics contend that the trouble with boxing is not that
Paret took one punch too many but that he was allowed to take any
punch at all.
Suggestions to moralize boxing have ranged from congressional
elimination of the sport to forcing the fighters to wear headgears
Somebody even suggested that they make the ring round so a Kid
Paret couldn't get caught in a corner.
The fact is that boxing has been resting on one knee lis-
tening to the mandatory eight count almost since its inception.
The trick is to see how the nine-ten is delivered. Many thought
the death-knell had been sounded when TV abandoned the "Fri-
day Night Fights."
Then, in a move reminiscent of ageless Archie Moore climbing
off the canvas after being floored three times to destroy unknown
Yvon Dorel, ABC stepped in to sponsor the World Heavyweight elim-
ination Tournament and boxing would once more survive.
Boxing will never die.
The question still remains, however, whether the fight game
should be stopped.
I am a fight fan. I know of nothing more artistic in the world
of sports than a quick combination thrown from a blur of footwork,
or more exciting than the gasp from the crowd when it connects.
I get so keyed up before a championship fight that I have to
throw a few punches to relax. The hushed tones of Howard Cossell
talking to the fighters before they step into the ring is one of the
greatest moments in sports. At this moment, every fighter, whether a
nice-guy Paterson or a loud-mouth Clay, sounds the same-subdued
and sullen. They have to be. They have to live with the thought that
in the next hour they may be beaten, physically beaten.
Boxing will never die because boxing should never die.
Boxing is a sport. As a matter of fact, boxing is the most
natural and elemental sport. Boxing is the personification of the
competitive spirit, Anybody who risks his good looks by climbing
into a roped off area has to know what winning's all about. Go
ahead ask your face about it.
We sophisticate sport and the idea of winning by putting a bat
in an athlete's hand or telling him to lug a ball across a goal line.
We give him a set of rulesso he gets the idea that he has to be a
master tactician to win. I mean, it just isn't worth it unless "you
flood the zone to force one-on-one coverage by the linebacker."
Boxing remains uncomplicated. The better man always wins.
He enters the ring with just his fists and a little bit of footwork. If
he physically beats his man, he's a winner. If he doesn't, he has a
permanent history of his career carved someplace on his face.
There are some selfish reasons why I think boxing should nev-

er die. Boxers make the best copy in sport. Whether a pseudo-sophis-
ticate like Ray Robinson, or a battling rancher like Oene Fulmer,
whether a philosopher like Floyd Patterson or a playboy like Oscar
Bonovena, there's always a story.
If every sportswriter could capture the essence of a fighter
on paper, then he would be worthy to continue his trade.
Boxing remains a paradox to me. I recognize it as probably the
highest of sport forms yet I remember most vividly the death of
Paret. So does everybody else. Nothing is so blinding as the sight of
blood.
What has to be remembered is that Paret may have died but
the spirit he carried into that ring didn't.
Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steigerish managers, Cassius Clay, and
Jim Murray notwithstanding, boxing is a sport which will never die.

Prospects Promising
For 'M' Grid Frosh
By ROBIN WRIGHT proved to be promising blockers
The freshman football team with good quickness considering
beat the varsity. their size. They can really hit
Or at least, beat the varsity you.
reserves 9-6 Another position Coach Dodd

MICHIGAN
invites you to a
SKI WEEKEND

And then tied them, 0-0.
The freshman may have an-
other chance to further prove
themselves when they play the
freshman of Bowling Green and
Toledo University next month.
As Coach Bill Dodd put it, "We'll
get really good ball games from
both.
"Our boys have come through
during scrimmage with the var-
sity in positions they've never
played before."
Dodd was speaking most spe-
cifically about not having a cen-
DETROIT (A)-- The Detroit
Tigers released veteran pitcher
Johnny Podres and infielder
Jerry Lumpe yesterday to make
room for youngsters on the
roster.
In othershifts, catcher Bill
Heath Wand outfielder Lenny
Green were assigned to Toledo
of the International League.
ter. "Because we have people to
succeed varsity center Joe Dayton
after he graduates, we felt when
we were recruiting that we didn't
need to concentrate in that area.
"To cure the situation we've
moved Tim Killian, formerly
either a tight end or a defensive
linebacker and Edward Baldwin,
a middle guard in high school, to
center, and both have done quite
well."
Thievery
Graduation will rob the team of
Rosema, Phillips, Porter and
Monthei from the line and Vid-
mer in the quarterback position.
As Dodd comments, "In recruit-
ing this year's team we felt we
needed to go after linemen and
quarterbacks. Three of our four
defensive tackles will be lost to us
this year and we'll need replace-
ments for next year."
When recruiting Dodd didn't go
after any one or two top players,
but wanted a good group of solid,
well-rounded athletes. He feels
he accomplished his purpose. "We
have good size on the team. None
of our tackles are under 6'3" or
weigh in at less than 220 pounds.
"We picked up two fine boys-
Guilio Catallo, 6'4" and 260
pounds, and Daniel Dierdorf, 6'3"
and 255 pounds. Both have so far

was concerned with, in terms of
replacements on next year's var-
sity team, was quarterback. The
team has four fine prospects.
"One outstanding player is!
Jerry Perkins, who broke many
of Tom Harmon's high school rec-
ords in Gary, Ind. He's 6' and 185
pounds. Perkins has great speed,
and throws left-handed.
A Good Betts
"Nathaniel Betts is another boy
we're watching closely. He's taller
than Perkins, 6'4", but weighs
only 180. He's not as accurate as.
Perkins, but can run and get out-
side with the ball.
"William Berutti, who hails
from Bob Timberlake's hometown,
Franklin, Ohio, and Don Moore-
head have also impressed us at
practice, but they've both been
out for ten days with knee in-
juries. We're anxious to see them
do more running later."
One noticeable factor is that
there are only 22 freshmen on
tender this year, eight less than
the maximum Big Ten limit. But
scholarships are accumulative and
according to Dodd, this year will
be an important recruiting year
in preparation for next year's
frosh team. Next year there may
be as many as 34 or 35 tenders
extended to freshmen.
Dodd emphasized the enthusi-
astic attitude among the frosh.
So far, they have proven to be a
hard working group. "As the team
looks now I can easily say we
could produce up to 10 to 15
starters for next year's squad,"
states Dodd.
"Although we don't have the
numbers - only 38 compared to
last year's 50-we have the size
we need to fill in those gaps
graduation will produce.
"I'm real pleased, I couldn't ask
much more from them at this
point," he concluded.
PAUL CAMELET
MASTER TAILOR
Alterations for Men & Women
He is not with the Comelet
Brothers any more. He is
in business for himself.
1103 S. University
above drug store
C 663-4381

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