Subj: The BAWLI Papers No. 71
Date: 99-03-23 19:28:10 EST
The BAWLI Papers
(Boxing As We Liked It)
Edited by J Michael Kenyon
Issue Number 71
Tuesday, March 23, 1999
New York City, New York, US of A
IN THIS ISSUE: TALK ABOUT A DEMPSEY COMEBACK AND LOUIS' POST-RING FUTURE
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HOW ABOUT SCHMELING NOW?
(The Ring Magazine, April, 1930)
By Jack Dempsey
With the Sharkey-Scott fight in Miami out of the way, the fistic highway is
cleared for the heavyweight championship contest between Sharkey and Max
Schmeling in New York this coming summer.
I do not believe any of the stories which have had the German suffering all
sorts of injuries from broken bones to sprained ankles, chilblains and
jaundice. Schmeling will come over here in pretty good shape and I dare say he
will give a good account of himself.
However, my choice still rests with Sharkey, who remains the best bet on this
side of the Atlantic.
It is to be regretted that the Sharkey-Scott fight resulted as it did.
I can appreciate the difficulties of Louis Magnolia, the referee, when the
question of foul arose. I was placed in a similar predicament when Von Porat
fouled Scott in New York, and there was nothing for me to do but to disqualify
I think it should be emphasized at this time, and in this place, that the
rules of boxing which govern the foul do not say that the man fouled must be
utterly incapacitated in order to gain the decision through disqualification
of his opponent. The rules merely state that a foul is a punch below the belt.
There is a feeling among the spectators that a man fouled takes a mean
advantage if he claims the foul though he is not in actual agony, or out. But
the rules stand. If they are not satisfactory in this day they should be
changed. But until they are changed, referees will be in a class with the
onlookers on every occasion when a foul blow is delivered.
There is no question that in the Miami bout, Scott went into the ring with a
psychological handicap. He had figured in something like eleven bouts in which
foul had been entered in the record. This practically landed the psychological
setting of the engagement into Sharkey's hands. It is to be deplored greatly
that the bout ended the way it did for the good reason that it was quite
apparent that Sharkey was going to win, and not very much past the fifth round
The bout between Risko and Campolo which ended in a draw saved the Argentinian
for an engagement with Carnera. Although from all accounts Risko won. Ringside
experts gave him six of the ten rounds. Risko made the fight. He punished the
South American badly and all Campolo could do until the tenth was score with
the rabbit punch. His rally in the tenth was not strong enough to win for him
The Loughran fight with Pierre Charles was quite an upset. Tommy won, but the
Belgian gave a corking fight.
One of the big surprises of the night was the difficulty which Tommy had in
getting the lead over Pierre, who outweighed the Philadelphian by seventeen
and a half pounds. Charles was a willing and clever fighter whose borin-in
style proved very tough for the clever Tommy. Loughran's lip and left eye were
cut and he had to call on all his canniness to gain the verdict. It was
Loughran's second excursion among the heavies and it was not a very happy
event. However, Tommy may have been a bit stableworn and this Charles man was
big; he weighed 209 pounds.
The practical certainty that Sharkey will meet Schmeling in the Milk Fund show
at the Polo Grounds in New York reopens the question of standing with regard
to the German.
There are some who believe that the American's rating was injured through the
way in which the Scott bout ended.
However, the fact remains that Sharkey was the better man, and at this time,
that is the paramount fact. We no longer really are concerned with the
technical features of the Magnolia decision and the Scott claim.
Will Sharkey beat Schmeling or will the German have the better of the
argument? We will have to let the quesiton wait for another month.
One fact remains, however. The Sharkey who gained the verdict over Scott, a
decision which, like the famous "fourteen count" verdict at Chicago, has
started an international controversy, will have to do far better against
Schmeling to carry off the world's title. He will find in Herr Maxie a
different style battler, a more courageous, tearing-in fighter who will give
and take -- something Sharkey has not been up against since he was knocked out
As for the stories that are going the round that I will attempt a comeback, I
shall now repeat my statement published in the February issue of The Ring --
if Sharkey wins, I'll remain in retirement; if Schmeling should win, I'll come
back, provided I can condition myself.
LONDON PRIZE RING RULES RECALLED
(The Ring Magazine, April, 1930)
By Nat Fleischer
The boxing program conducted by the Madison Square Garden Corporation in Miami
produced a most exciting night's sport and left a very interesting question
open to discussion.
The much heralded meeting between Jack Sharkey and Phil Scott was ended in the
third round when Louis Magnolia announced that the Briton had been
The fight had an incident which is unmatched in the history of the ring under
modern glove rules. It was a relapse to the old London prize ring rules, when
a knockdown was a round. By calling a recess after Scott seemingly was hit
low, the referee did something which never before had been seen in an
important fight in this country. The official time of the third round,
shortened as it was, was 3 minutes 42 seconds. The recess was more than one
minute in duration.
Whether Scott was fouled or wasn't fouled will remain a much debated question
for some time to come. But we should get one point clear. Jack Dempsey refers
to it in his article in this issue. The Marquis of Queensbury rules which
govern boxing in this era say that a foul is a blow struck below the belt.
There are other species of fouls, but we are dealing, in this instance, only
with that variety which has to do with a punch below the belt.
There is nothing in the rules which says that a fighter fouled must be unable
A strict ruling would have disqualified Sharkey for fouling, for he
undoubtedly struck two low punches.
But the fight was surrounded with conditions which grew out of Scott's record
for having been involved in fights which developed fouls. This gave Sharkey a
tremendous advantage. It placed Scott under a big handicap. In view of the
fact that Jimmy Johnston did not claim foul and prevent his man from
continuing after the minute's recess, Magnolia's decision was a just one. Wise
as he was, Johnston failed to take advantage of a most interesting situation.
It was a parallel to the Dempsey-Firpo incident. Had Firpo refused to continue
after Dempsey was knocked out of the ring at the Polo Grounds in New York,
there would have been amost involved situation in which the South American
might have been declared within his rights according to the strict
interpretation of the rules. It was a situation exactly analogous to that in
the Scott-Von Porat fight in New York. Scott was fouled and he claimed foul
and would not go on. there was nothing for Dempsey to do but give the fight to
In Miami there was some sort of agreement not to claim the fight on a foul
unless the claimant was injured. Scott seemingly was injured, but his manager
made a bad mistake and there was no comeback in the face of the way the thing
developed. It is my opinion that irrespective of the result, foul or no foul,
Sharkey was the better man. He would have won by a knock-out in about five
rounds had the fight continued.
Scott was not aggressive. He proved fairly clever in a way, but there was
nothing serious to his attack. It was very plain that he was fighting a better
(ED. NOTE -- After Sharkey had scored his third-round knockout of Scott in
Miami Feb. 28, 1930, he fought Schmeling at New York on June 12 and --
ironically -- lost his bid for the world title on a fourth-round foul.)
BUILDUP TO THE STRIBLING-SCHMELING GO
(Associated Press, January 10, 1931)
NEW YORK -- Pa Stribling, father of young Bill, can sign immediately if he
wants to for a heavyweight title bout with Max Schmeling in June, either in
Detroit or Cleveland. But he must agree at the same time to pit Bill against
Jack Sharkey in September if he wins, and there's the rub.
The fog of words surrounding the endless conferences over the tangled affairs
of the heavyweight contenders lifted long enough today to reveal these facts
as part of the current vital statistics. There were other developments of
Chicago, where Nate Lewis offered Schmeling $500,000 for a Stribling bout in
June, apparently has lost all chance of viewing the battle.
At the same time New York City has passed from the picture as a possible site
for a rival attraction, featuring Jack Sharkey and some other heavyweight of
renown in a duel that would have the blessing and sanction of the New York
State Athletic Commission for Schmeling's vacated crown.
One point alone today halted an agreement between pa Stribling and promoters
for the Milk Fund who already have come to terms with Schmeling. Stribling
refuses to agree to the second match, on the grounds that no heavyweight
champion in ring history ever was forced to fight twice for his title in one
He reasons that the fight business cannot support two heavyweight title bouts
in one semester and that a champion should have something to say about his own
affairs both before and after he wins the crown. As a compromise Pa Stribling
probably will agree to defend the title -- if his son wins it -- for the Milk
Fund promoters on some future date.
Stribling's agreement to fight Sharkey in September would pave the way for a
treaty of peace with the New York commission that stripped Schmeling of his
title Tuesday and offered up Jack Sharkey as the man to fight someone for the
crown. The local fathers probably would accept this two-fight arrangement as
the only possible solution of the muddle.
But Pa Stribling refuses to accept this clause and then discover, after a
convenient interval, that sudden illness prvents his carrying out the
agreement -- the usual method in the fight game of getting rid of contracts
signed under duress.
An injury to Schmeling's arm, which prevented him from giving Sharkey a return
match last September after the fouling in June, involved the German so deeply
with the New York commission that Max has been in difficulties here ever
(ED. NOTE -- Young Stribling fought Schmeling in Cleveland on July 3, 1931,
and fell prey to a 15th-round knockout. A little over two years later, he was
dead in Macon, Ga., age 28, of injuries suffered in a motorcycle
PROMOTER WITH A $500,000 ROLL
(Associated Press, January 24, 1931)
NEW YORK -- In more or less official language the word is out today that Jack
Dempsey will fight again this summer if and wherever some kind gentleman can
lay $500,000 on the line.
"You can safely say," whispers Billy Duffy, "that the champ is ready and eager
for another comeback. He wants only one fight but he might take two. I ahve
talked it over with him several times. He's ready to go.
"If old Tex Rickard were still alive, Jack would be in training today. He
feels that he has at least one more great fight left in his system. At 35 he
can't believe that he is through. I can't, either. Properly trained, he should
be at the peak of his physical powers. But where's the promoter?"
Duffy is the one man in the fight game today who really knows what is going on
in the ever changing, volatile mind of the old man mauler.
It was Duffy who leaned through the ropes that night in the Yankee Stadium and
screamed: "Count that man out!" When everyone else in the corner was stunned
and speechless, Jack Sharkey lay grovelling on the canvas claiming foul, the
referee paused bewildered and helpless, and Dempsey needed a friend as he had
never needed one before.
For the one man Dempsey wants to fight -- the one fellow he believes can help
mold a gate that will return him $500,000 -- is Primo Carnera, Fistiana's Moby
Dick, and Duffy is the guiding hand behind the Italian giant's American
endeavors. He would have to choose between Dempsey and Carnera, and he says
his choice would go to the old champion.
"Dempsey," he said, "is the one man who would have a chance to whip Carnera.
Within a year no one will beat Carnera, but right now Dempsey, the blaster,
could saw his way through the Italian's middle. It would make the greatest
fight in history -- another Dempsey-Firpo affair. How Jack did love to smash
at those big fellows!
"It couldn't come in June because I would never agree to any match that would
tend to injure the Milk Fund's match between Young Stribling and Max
Schmeling. Carnera is signed to meet the winner in September. But it wouldn't
be impossible to switch things around somehow and match Dempsey and Carnera
"There's a perfect spot for the battle in the new arena being built now in
Jersey City. It could be made to seat anywhere up to 100,000, and can you
picture that gate? All the money you could get into the place. At least
"The trouble, of course, is finding a promoter."
HABERDASHERY OR BEANERY FOR LOUIS
(Portland Oregonian, February 25, 1939)
By John Lardner, N.A.N.A.
NEW YORK -- When the day comes -- as it will come, and that right speedily, by
the looks of things -- when Joe Louis finds himself with no more bums to
conquer, and time hanging heavy upon his hands, we ask ourselves -- looking
ourselves straight in the eye -- what will this dark and forceful young fellow
find to do?
Of course, the problem is ours, not Joe's. Joe has no doubt mapped out for
himself a bright and useful future, full of interest and divided as follows:
Sleeping -- 60 per cent.
Eating -- 40 per cent.
That is a fine prospect, but it leaves no room for what some word-painter has
called the higher things in life. Joe should give thought to those things, and
right away, because it is just a matter of a few months before the hoarse
challenge of Tony Galento will be stilled, in a manner almost too painful to
discuss, and there will be no more white hopes on the horizon for the time
being. Not unless Lou Nova pushes his demand for quick action, which would be
foolish of Lou. He isn't ready yet.
As for Patrick Edward Comiskey, if they wait till Patrick is ready, they will
have to lead the champion into the ring by his white whiskers.
Searching his past, we find that Joe has not absolutely limited himself to
improving Rip Van Winkle's record for seven furlongs and punishing chicken a
la Maryland. A year or so agao he went to Professor Bill Taub's Bon Ton
clothing emporium and ordered 30 suits with accessories and, just as he was
leaving, his eye was caught by a first edition of "How to Match Your Shirts,
Socks and Ties," the scholarly work of the younger Schofield, one of the
treasures of Professor Taub's vast collection of incunabula.
"What's that book?" inquired the champion.
"That priceless palimpsest," replied Professor Taub, "tells you how to match
your shirts, socks, and -- as it were -- ties."
"Send me a copy to my home, will you?" said Joe. "I think I'll get me a
clothing business when I quit fighting."
That's one prospect. Professor Taub sent Joe a copy of the book and Joe
browsed through it. If he does go into the raiment racket when he retires he
will be following in the footsteps of Benjamin Leonard -- who would advise him
not to -- and Jack Dempsey, who recently merged his haberdashery talents with
the stock and trade of no less a tycoon than Professor Taub himself.
Then Joe could open a restaurant. There was a time not long ago when a retired
boxing champion felt practically undressed without a restaurant. Dempsey had
one, Mickey Walker had one, Leonard had one, Jim Braddock had one. Tony
Canzoneri had one. Dempsey and Walker are the only ones left in the field
today, and Dempsey does not own his beanery nor Walker his soda fountain.
Besides, there is the possibility that Louis would eat himself out of
business. That was the nightmare that haunted cousin Ed Barrow of the New York
Yankees, in connection with Joe DiMaggio's restaurant in San Francisco.
DiMaggio seems to have fought off the temptation to set a new record for
wolfing spaghetti on the cuff by linear measurement, but he gave Mr. Barrow
many a restless night.
During his checkered career, Louis has made one motion picture -- all-sepia,
as they say in film circles. One should be enough. Max Baer was the only
fighter who ever made a good picture, though Maxie Rosenbloom is in there
punching, with the law of averages on his side.
Gene Tunney made something once called "The Fighting Marine," the ghost of
which still haunts Gene's stately acres in Connecticut, looking for a couple
of pieces of bread to sleep between. Briefly, it was straight Smithfield.
Altogether, that gives Louis a wide range of selection -- haberdashery, a
restaurant, the screen. Best of all, there is the concert platform. Unless his
press agents are kidding us, the boy Louis was on his way to take a violin
lesson when a friend persuaded him to trade the fiddle for a pair of boxing
gloves, the first gloves Joe had ever seen.
Maybe he can trade the gloves for the fiddle when he retires. If so, the
future is taken care of, and Joe's neighborhood will boast a broken lease for
every light on Broadway.
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