Subj: The BAWLI Papers No. 74
Date: 99-03-30 15:23:57 EST
From: email@example.com (J Michael Kenyon)
The BAWLI Papers
(Boxing As We Liked It)
Edited by J Michael Kenyon
Issue Number 74
Tuesday, March 30, 1999
New York City, New York, US of A
IN THIS ISSUE: ROCKY MARCIANO, FAMILY DUE FETE BY CAULIFLOWER ALLEY CLUB
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Readers are welcome to submit interesting and otherwise noteworthy articles
concerning professional boxing's long and storied past. The emphasis,
generally, should be on the foremost fighters, managers, trainers and
promoters, and colorful events that otherwise were of some moment in the
sport's history. Either transmit the articles via e-mail or mail them to the
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TRIBUTE TO FORMER BOXING CHAMP
(Newton, Iowa, Daily News, March 6, 1999)
By Dan Ehl
Nick Klepinger, a rural Reasnor artist, is putting the finishing touches on
a bas relief depicting Rocky Marciano, the famous world heavyweight boxing
champion killed 30 years ago in a single-engine aircraft crash south of
The 32-inch by 36-inch work of clay will be allowed to dry, then a rubber
mold will be made, which in turn will be used to create the finished fiber
glass work of art. Klepinger said the fiber glass will be coated with a
substance that simulates bronze. He expects the bas relief to be finished by
mid April, in time for the annual meeting of the Cauliflower Alley Club
scheduled for April 24 at the International Wrestling Institute and Museum.
The CAC is holding its annual meeting for the first time in New ton this
year to, in part, honor the 30th anniversary of Marciano's death.
Klepinger said recreating the battle-marred face of the only heavyweight
boxer to retire with an undefeated record was a challenge. Using a black and
white photo, Klepinger hazd to sculpt in the champ's broken nose and mauled
The photo did not depict Marciano wearing boxing gloves, compelling
Klepinger to borrow a pair of gloves and model them in a mirror. The Reasnor
artist said toward completion of the bas relief it was interesting to watch
the boxer come to life in the clay.
Newton Mayor David Aldridge has declared April 24 as Rocky Marciano Day and
Rocky's nephew, Peter Marciano, will be at the event to represent the
The Cauliflower Alley Club's annual meeting also will feature the first
inductions into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame located in the
museum. The club is a national organization comprised mainly of former
wrestlers, boxers and some Hollywood celebrities.
CAC SCHEDULE OF EVENTS, APR. 23-24-25
Friday, April 23 -- 6 to 9 p.m. - Reception at the museum, with honored
guests Lou Thesz and Verne Gagne and the family of George Tragos. This event
is open ONLY to those who purchase tickets for the Saturday night banquet.
Saturday, April 24 -- NOON -- Official ceremonies at the museum, with
induction of Frank Gotch, Ed "Strangler" Lewis, Lou Thesz and Verne Gagne,
and honoring George Tragos. Unveiling of plaques and short acceptance
speeches by Lou and Verne.
Saturday, April 24 -- 6 to 10 p.m. -- Official banquet of Cauliflower Alley
Club at the Marriott Convention Center in Newton. All four members of the
class of 1999 will be presented and George Tragos will be honored. Tickets
sold on a first-come basis and a total sellout is anticipated. Ticket price
for the banquet is $50.00 and includes Friday night reception.
Sunday, April 25 -- 10 a.m. to noon -- By-invitation-only reception at the
Museum for the family and friends of George Tragos, Lou Thesz and Verne
Gagne, as well as Gold Club members and Golden Ring Club members.
SPECIAL ATTRACTION: The legendary Rocky Marciano was killed in a plane crash
in Newton, Iowa, in 1969. We are planning a wonderful tribute to Rocky!!!
INTERNATIONAL WRESTLING INSTITUTE
The International Wrestling Institute and Museum is very easy to find. It is
located 30 miles east of Des Moines, Iowa, right off Interstate 80, one of
the heaviest traveled highways in America. The beautifully decorated,
8,000-square-foot building is visible from the Interstate and sits right
next to the Holiday Inn Express.
Take Exit 164, go north on Hwy 14 to first stoplight. Turn left and follow
frontage road curving to the left onto 19th Street. The museum is on your
left, address is 1690 W. 19th Street S., Newton, Iowa 50208.
We suggest you call IMMEDIATELY and reserve your seat for the banquet now by
calling the Institute at (515) 791-1517. There are ONLY 350 seats available.
MasterCard and VISA accepted. Deadline for ordering tickets is April 6.
For general information about Newton, contact the Newton Convention Bureau
at (515) 792-0299.
The International Wrestling Institute and Museum is open six days a week.
Tour buses are welcome. Call for specific hours and fees (515) 791-1517.
BOARD TO PROBE ROSENSOHN-WEILL TIE
(United Press International, July 15, 1958)
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California State Athletic Commission, suddenly
suspicious of the boxing game again, will take another look tomorrow at the
possibility of a tie-up between promoter William Rosensohn and boxing
personality Al Weill.
The commission will meet in special session to interrogate Rosensohn, who
will promote the Floyd Patterson-Roy Harris heavyweight title fight in Los
Angeles. There has been some talk that Rosensohn has offered a "kickback" to
Weill to get the title bout.
According to Boxing Inspector Willie Ritchie, the agenda reads like this:
1--Inquiry into the possibility of Weill being involved in promotion of the
2--Approval of a boxing club license for Hollywood Legion Post No. 43 and
William P. Rosensohn at Wrigley Field.
Weill was recently denied a promoter's license and, according to Jack urch,
executive officer of the commission, he may also be denied a manager's
"Weill lied to the commission about not having any recent meetings with
(Frankie) Carbo (underworld figure)," said Urch. "At that time he was
applying for a promoter's license. We only had hearsay evidence that he was
lying. Now we got it nailed down. You can say we expect to revoke his
Rosensohn, a New York advertising executive who recently moved to Los
Angeles, stepped into the promotional business in Los Angeles when Weill was
turned down. It was reported recently that Rosensohn will "kick back" to
Weill $14,000 for expenses Weill reportedly incurred while lining up the
"I have said that I will reimburse Weill for any expenses he may have had,
if we make money on the fight," said Rosensohn. "However, we never discussed
any particular amount."
What the commission wants to know is this: does Weill still have an interest
in the fight, or will the "kickback" be legitimate?
RADEMACHER BARRED FROM WATER SKIING
(Los Angeles Times, July 16, 1958)
No more water skiing for Pete Rademacher. At least not until he fights Zora
Folley in the 10-round headliner on the 17th annual Fight for Lives show at
the Olympic on July 25.
This was the edict laid down yesterday by trainer George Chemeres after Pete
entertained a few friends and newspapermen with his skill on the waters of
Santa Monica Bay.
Rademacher, who became an expert at water skiing on Lake Washington, put on
quite a show over a three-mile course. Pete loves the sport, but will have
to curtail it for the time being. Chemeres is taking no chances on having
his pride and joy banged up prior to the fight.
Meanwhile, Rademacher and Folley are fast nearing the peak of their
Rademacher, the 1956 Olympic Games champi, has sparred over 60 rounds
locally since his arrival at the Kenny LaSalle Health Club in Santa Monica.
Folley, who found the downtown heat unbearable at the Teamsters Gym, has
been toiling at the Long Beach YMCA.
When asked how come the Los Angeles heat wave bothered him when he came here
from Phoenix where the temperatures hit 110 degrees daily, Folley explained
that he worked in a refrigerated gymnasium.
BIG PETE READY FOR BIG CHANCE
(Los Angeles Times, July 22, 1958)
By Dick Hyland
"Every day," says footballer-turned-boxer pete Rademacher, "they have been
working me harder and harder and each day has been getting easier and
easier. I am prepared for the task this time.
"I was not," he continued, "prepared for the Patterson fight except as five
weeks' work permitted.
"I have boxed over 200 rounds since then. During the last six weeks alone I
have worked over 100 rounds. I know exactly what I am up against in Folley
and am equipped for the task," the former Washington State tackle-guard
Watching him work at Kenny La Salle's Gym in Ocean Park is an experience. To
begin with, the place is not only clean looking, it IS clean, which is more
than may be said for some training gyms.
Rademacher himself concentrates deeply upon what he is doing, what he is
being told. "He is easy to work with," says trainer George Chemeres. "He
likes to work, wants to learn." He moves quickly when he moves but it could
be said that he does not move enough in between moves, if that makes sense."
This hesitancy while in close presents a standing target for a sharpshooting
rival and the error is seemingly compounded by Rademacher's habit of keeping
his idle hand too low to protect his jaw when he punches with either right
On the plus side, when Pete Rademacher really tees off with his left hook it
is sharp and packs power and his straight right to the head is the best this
reporter has seen since Max Schmeling dropped Joe Louis with his. It snakes
out very quickly and when it reaches the target Rademacher's entire set of
shoulder, back and right leg muscles are behind it. Mister Folley should
keep a wary eye peeled for this one Friday evening.
Outside the ring and gymnasium, Pete Rademacher is a quiet, balding man with
cold, light blue eyes that warm up surprisingly when he talks. Asked if his
football training has helped or hindered his boxing ambitions, he glanced
quickly at me, then smiled.
"If you like contact sports," he said, "the bruisier and rougher it gets the
better. In football, when I ran into a rough one and got through it, I felt
I had accomplished something, done something.
"Coach Ev (Forest Evashevski) used to tell us, 'I don't mind losing games
when we're outclassed but I never want to hear one of you say that you
wished you had done something you did not do.'
"That meant that he and his staff would train us and get us ready -- and
then it was up to us. What we had put into training would show up on the
field of play Saturday. If we had trained properly no corks would be pulled
and we would be able to do what we wanted to dox.
"I have carried that over to boxing," continued Pete Rademacher. "You must
rely upon yourself and the effort you've put into getting ready when you
enter the ring.
"If you've sharpened your tools and listen to the guy looking on in the
corner, you will give a good acount of yourself and not get hurt."
Would Pete Rademacher recommend boxing as a sport for young men, boys?
"I have strong ideas on that," he said. "Boxing is the greatest sport in the
world for taking a chip off the shoulder of a kid who may be a bit backward
in other sports and so have little recognition.
"Once he KNOWS he can hold his own with anyone, man to man, he no longer
feels he has to prove anything and off goes the shoulder chip. He is on the
road to becoming a pretty well adjusted fellow. One of the greatest wrongs
ever done in this country was to cut out high school boxing."
MODEST HEAVY CHAMPION IN TOWN
(Los Angeles Times, July 22, 1958)
By Al Wolf
John L. Sullivan would twirl in his grave if he knew how heavyweight
champions behave nowadays.
With foot on rail and schooner in hand, the great John L. used to bang the
bar with his other fisst and roar, "I can whip any so-and-so in the house!"
Floyd Patterson, in extreme contrast, is soft-spoken, modest and abstemious.
Arriving here yesterday en route to Oceanside, where he'll train ffor a
defense of the heavy title against Roy Harris at Wrigley Field, Aug. 18, the
23-year-old Negro held a press conference at the swank Sheraton-Town House
"Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano were great champions. I'm champion now, but
not a great one yet because I haven't proved it. I have to fight and beat
somebody who's really good.
"Archie Moore was a lightheavy, and old. Hurricane Jackson doesn't count.
Pete Rademacher was an amateur.
"I would like to fight more often. I still have a lot to learn, and you can
gain experience only by fighting."
Patterson's chances for increased activity -- he won the vacated
championship by belting out Moore on Nov. 30, 1956, has defended only twice
and been idle since the Rademacher go last Aug. 22 -- apparently aren't very
For his manager, fire-breathing, crusading Cus D'Amato, draws the line
against anybody even remotedly connected with the International Boxing Club,
against which he is carrying on unrelenting war. And the IBC "taint" touches
almost everybody in the business.
D'Amato, asked to comment on the boxing investigation now in progress in New
York Cityk, shouted:
"I hope it will reveal that the many things I have been saying about the IBC
are facts. I won't be surprised if some officials of the IBC are indicted.
"It'll be a great thing for boxing when that monopoly is broken up once and
for all. Then deserving fighters can get fights and independent promoters
can stage the matches they want. That is what I've been trying to do -- bust
Patterson stunned the scribes somewhat when asked to comment on his
forthcoming bout with Harris.
"It is my intention to win -- by knockout if the opportunity presents
itself," he said. "But Harris, of course, as the same idea."
Shades of John L. and also of the dese-dem-dose days!
Patterson has never seen the challenger "but off his record he must be real
A year-round trainer, the champion said his present weight is 190 but that
he plans to enter the ring between 184 and 187. He was accompanied here by
three sparring partners, heavyweight Dusty Rhodes, lightheavy Paul Wright
and middleweight Joe Torres, the latter of whom he likes to work with for
Asked to predict the winner of Friday's bout between Rademacher and Folley
at the Olympic, the champion replied:
"Rademacher can punch (he floored Patterson) and might win in an early
round. But if it goes the distance, Folley should finish far in front."
EX-HEAVY GREAT HARRY WILLS DEAD
(Associated Press, December 21, 1958)
NEW YORK -- Harry Wills, the old Brown Panther of the twenties who once
received $50,000 for not fighting Jack Dempsey for the heavyweight
championship, died tonight. He was 66.
The primary cause of his death was diabetes.
Wills fought more than 100 times in a 21-year career that started in 1911 in
his home town, New Orleans. But he never did get to fight Dempsey for the
title. Once contracts were signed but Dempsey's lawyers forfeited his purse
and Wills collected the $50,000.
Wills said later the Dempsey fight never came off because of the racial
issue at the time.
"It wasn't Jack's fault," he commented.
Wills retired from the ring in 1932 and in recent years had been in the real
estate business in Harlem. Among his possessions was a 32-family apartment
house, which he owned outright, and five others.
Twenty-two of his fights were with Sam Langford, another of the great
heavyweights of the generation.
His biggest payday came Sept., 1924, when he and Luis Firpo fought to a no
decision in Jersey City. He received $150,000 for that one. Most ringsiders
thought he gave Firpo a real going over.
Wills attracted almost as much attention with his annual one-month fasts as
with his ring activities.
For almost half a century, he avoided all solid food for one month a year
"to burn off impurities." During his fasts, he drank only water.
He walked 12 miles a day and slept only four or five hours a night. He
claimed the hunger pangs stopped after the third day and by that time he
already had dropped nine pounds. From then until the end of the fast, he
lost two pounds a day.
"Fighting today would be a cinch," he said a couple of years back. "The
fellows today don't know how to protect themselves. They don't know how to
sidestep or feint.
"Sidestepping is a lost art today. The way some of the fighters rush out,
why, if I was fighting them, I'd just sidestep and let them fall out of the
With it all, though, his one big regret was not getting a title fight with
Dempsey, whom he admired greatly.
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From: "J Michael Kenyon"
Subject: The BAWLI Papers No. 74
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 14:52:58 -0500