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March 27, 1962 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1962-03-27

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Paret Near Death After Defeat'



NEW YORK (P)-State investi-

gators last night rushed a report
to Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller on
Saturday's championship prize
fight that left welterweight Benny
(Kid) Paret near death. Doctors
said all has been done that can
be done for the Cuban-born boxer
for the time being.
The New York State Athletic
Commission, which polices profes-
sional boxing in the state, called
witnesses, viewed films of the
fight, then turned in a report for
transmission to Rockefeller in Al-
The governor's office indicated
there would be no comment on
the findings last night. Rockefeller
earlier said the violent beating of
Paret in full view of millions on
television left him "deeply con-
cerned and disturbed."
Grudge Fight
The 25-year-old Paret, who lost
his world welterweight title to
Emile Griffith in a grudge fight
at Madison Square Garden, has
been in a deep coma since he was
carried from the ring on a stretch-
er. It was Paret's second knock-
out in as many fights in less than
four months.
Paret underwent an operation
Sunday to remove pressure from
his brain. This was followed yes-
terday by a tracheotomy-an in-
cision into the windpipe-to :assist
his breathing.
"No further operation at this
time is contemplated," said a

medical bulletin from Dr. John S.
Crisp, a chief surgical resident at
Roosevelt Hospital.
No Champion Deaths
No champion ever has been
fatally injured in an American
prize ring.
There was speculation that a
prior fight with middleweight
champion Gene Fullmer last Dec.
9 had weakened Paret and made
him an easy target for Griffith's
battering ram attack in the 12th
round of Saturday's fight. Referee
Ruby Goldstein finally stopped the
fight and awarded Griffith the
title on a technical knockout.
.Not Enough Rest?
Said Gus Lesnevich, former ]ight
heavyweight champion and now 4
referee, who watched the fight
Saturday from ringside:
"Personally, I don't think Paret
had enough rest since the Fullmer
fight. He looked very sluggish dur-
ing the entire fight."
From his home in West Jordan,
Utah, Fullmer agreed. He declared,
"I never hit a guy so many times
before he went out . . . it was
not a fight to be followed by
another tough one right off. He
got a bad ' beating in the fight
with me." 1
Goldstein's timing in bringing
the fight to a close as Griffith
hammered punches into Paret,
while the champion staggered on
the ropes, also drew attention.
Goldstein, one of the best known
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Houston 7, Los Angeles (A) 0
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Cleveland 3, Chicago (N) 0
Los Angeles (N) 7, Milwaukee 3
Pittsburgh 10, Chicago (A) 9
St. Louis 7, Cincinnati 6
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referees in the nation, said he
stopped the fight as soon as he
realized Paret was "not rolling
away from the punches and was
in danger."
Goldstein Defended
Lesnevich and another ringsider,
former heavyweight champ Jersey
Joe Walcott, both defended Gold-
stein. They said it is customary
in a title fight for a referee to
limit his interference of the men
in the ring.
"If Ruby had stopped it sooner,"
Lesnevich said, "and Paret were
all right, he would have been

criticized for stopping it too soon.
Paret's managers say they were
yelling at Ruby to stop it, but I
was sitting near them and, if they
were yelling anything, I didn't
hear it."
However, Johnny Sullo, 49, one
of Paret's seconds, said the first
blow by Griffith that caught Paret
on the ropes knocked him sense-
less. Added Sullo:
"When we saw that he was help-
less, we yelled to Goldstein to
separate them. We yelled, 'Get in
there and stop it Rube. Get be-
tween them.'"

Raimey Takes Second
In First Try at Hurdles

,n .

Dave Raimey had better watch
out or he's going to have to take
up track seriously.
The junior football halfback,
who amazed everybody earlier in
the season with his feats as a
broadjumper, tried his hand .at
hurdling last Saturday for the
first time since high school and
nearly won.
Raimey placed second to West-
ern Michigan's Gay Barham in
the 60-yd. low hurdles at the
Western Michigan Open in Kal-
amazoo, but even more impres-
sively, his time of :07.0 was just
.1 of f the varsity record.
"He looked lousy on the first
hurdle, a little better on the sec-
ond one and great from then on,"
commented Coach Don Canhamr.
"He was terrific, that guy."
Almost Wins
Raimey nearly caught Barham,
who finished in :06.9.
Canham, who explained that he
was "just goofing around," didn't
enter Raimey in the broad jump
because "his ankle was bothering
In fact Canham sent Ergas Leps,
Dorr Casto and freshman Dan
Hughes to run in Hamilton, Ont.,
so as a result, the Wolverines took
only two first at Kalamazoo while
Western Michigan walked away
with seven. In Hamilton, Leps'
second place in the mile run was
the only time the Wolverines hit
the scoreboard.
Hurdler Bennie McRae decided
to stay in Ann Arbor.
Rod Denhart, the Big Ten chain-
pion, led a Wolverine slam at
Kalamazoo in the pole vault, clear-
ing 14'4". Junior Steve Overton
was right behind at 14'0", and
sophomore George Wade managed
13'6" for third.
Two-Mile Team Wins
The Wolverines entered three

relay teams but won only the
two-mile, as Ted Kelly, Dave
Hayes, Jay Sampson and Charlie
Aquino timed 7:48.2. Sampson's
1:55.3 half-mile was the fastest
Then the one-mile unit of Car-
ter Reese, Aquino, Talt Malone
and Mac Hunter timed a good
3:20.9 but still finished only third
despite Hunter's strong anchor leg
of :48.9.
Aquino, a half-miler all last
year, ran his second consecutive
sub-:51 quarter-mile, pleasant sur-
prise to Canham, who has been
juggling his relay team .round
all year.
"I'm going to run him on the
relay from now on," Canham
Second in Sprint Medley
The sprint medley relay team of
John Davis, Bill Hornbeck, Reese
and Dave Romain picked up a
second for the Wolverines in that
event, while Joe Mason and Char-
lie Peltz, normally both hurdlers,
tied for third in the' 300-yd. dash
in :33.3.
In the other field events, Roger
Schmitt hit 52'1" for a third in
the shot put, and Steve Williams
leaped 6'4" to tie for third in
the high jump.
But at Hamilton, meanwhile,,
Leps was getting beaten in the
open mile run. Jim Irons of the
Toronto Olympic Club held off
the Michigan captain in 4:10.0,
just .2 ahead of Leps.
"He just didn't quite catch the
guy," Assistant Coach Elmer
Swanson remarked. "That's what
happens on board tracks some-
Casto and Hughes went one-two
in their heat of the 600-yd. run,
but their times of 1:14.8 and
1:16.9, respectively, didn't earn
them a place.

FRC Representative will be ON CAMPUS for interviews- MARCH 29 & 30

7he WE"he s Ciqcl
Legalized Mayhem
FOR TWELVE BRUTAL ROUNDS, welterweight king Benny (Kid)
Paret took the hammer-like blows of challenger Emile Griffith.
His head puffed up like a month-old melon but his game legs kept
him standing until referee Ruby Goldstein had to award a TKO to
Griffith as Paret sank to the canvas unconscious and oblivious to the
ring announcer's words which meant that he had lost the fight.
But Benny Paret's biggest fight had only begun-he was now
fighting for his life. He was rushed from Madison Square Garden
to the hospital, where emergency brain surgery was performed and
where he was declared in critical condition.
At this point, it looks like Paret may live . . . in a coma for one
Emile Griffith did exactly what Paret would have done to
him; he beat his opponent to a bloody pulp, trying to knock him
unconscious. That's the purpose of boxing, just as scoring runs is
the purpose of baseball.
That professional boxing is called a sport is a travesty, a blemish
on the word "sport." It is one of the few vestiges of primitive contest
remaining in our civilized worla.
THERE ARE THOSE who will defend the sport for various reasons.
Some maintain that boxing is a skill, that the movements, the
footwork, the reflexes make prize fighting more demanding of an
individual than many other sports. The colorful fights of Sugar Ray
Robinson, Willie Pep and countless others perhaps substantiate this
contention. Yet the intention of aly prize fighter, whether scientific
strategist or clumsy slugger remains the same: to knock his opponent
senseless or to main him so that a technical knockout can be award-
Another objection is that it is probably the only way. men like
Paret (a $2-per-day Cuban sugar plantation worker who received one
year of formal schooling) could make a decent living for their families.
Even Paret's wife said that pro boxing should not be barred.
"There are a number of men who depend on it for a living. They
have kids to support. I don't think it should be forbidden them. If
my husband had not been hurt, he would have continued to fight.
He knows no other business, and that's true of many of the fight-
ers," she said.
It is probably true that the riches which Pare njoyed durn;
his brief reign as champ could never have been attained by a life-
time of toil in the Cuban sugar fields. Perhaps he would have died
before this due to disease or other more or less natural causes. But
this does not excuse the fact that society has legally condoned the
manner in which he was beaten senseless. This legalized mayhem
in the ring would be called assault with intent to do great bodily harm
in the law courts.
SOCIETY HAS MADE IT LEGAL for two men to attempt to maim
each other, to beat each other senseless in order to win a sporting
contest. To me this does not seem sporting at all.
The ultimate social good must be considered. Can society bear
with a clear conscience the :responsibility for Paret and the hundreds
of other fighters who have died of ring Injuries or who go through
life with half of their mental faculties inoperative or impaired? I
don't feel that it can. If a junkie wants dope despite te ill effects
which it brings, should dope peddling be legalized? Society has said
no, realizing the social responsibility which it must bear for the ill
effects. So it should be with boxing.
A good deal of criticism has been leveled at referee Ruby
Goldstein for not stopping the fight earlier. In his judgment,
Paret did not seem in poor enough condition to stop the right. I
have no quarrel with Goldstein's judgment. He is one of the
most experienced and respected referees in boxing.
This only goes to show that if a referee of Goldstein's stature
could not tell earlier that Paret was seriously injured, then the physi-
cal damage which boxing inflicts upon contestants cannot be pre-
vented in the ring. It must be stopped outside of the ring. In short,
the safe way is to stop prize, fighting.
BOXING HAS COME A LONG WAY since the ancient times. The
days when horse shoes were placed in boxing gloves have passed.,
The Marquis of Queensbury revised the rules and "civilized" the
sport. Modifications have been made through the years to cut down
on physical injuries but they still plague boxing.
College boxing, with its head gear and stricter rules, has cut down
on serious injuries. Perhaps more equipment and bigger gloves is the
answer. Fencing competition continues today, but the winner does not
make shish kabob of his opponent in order to win. Perhaps boxing
could follow this line, if it wishes to survive in modern society.
The primary objective of the fighter has remained unchanged from
its origins: to physically hurt his opponent. This I think is the basic
fault with pro boxing today. It is the reason why Virgil Akins, yester-
day a ranking title contender, now sits blind as a result of ring com-
petition. It is the reason Benny Paret hovers nearer death than life.
It is the reason that professional boxing, like cock fighting and glad-
latorial combat, should be a contest of the brutal past.

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