Subj: The BAWLI Papers No. 93
Date: 99-06-15 19:55:20 EDT
From: (J Michael Kenyon)

The BAWLI Papers
(Boxing As We Liked It)
Edited by J Michael Kenyon

Issue Number 93
Tuesday, June 15, 1999
New York City, New York, US of A


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(Washington Post, Monday, Oct. 31, 1966)

By Dave Brady

Former boxer Billy Conn is, as they say in show biz, "between engagements."
He has found sanctuary in the friendly environs of his native Pittsburgh,
secure from threats with an unlisted telephone, the status symbol that is a
relic of an earlier fame as light-heavyweight champion and challenger of Joe

The night people are telling the Pittsburgh Kid that he will be laughing
about his recent refereeing caper in Mexico City years from now.

When they ask him if he will go back for the rematch between Carlos Ortiz
and Sugar Ramos, he says, "I've already forgotten the address of the referee

A guy who always liked to be where the action was, Conn could be said to
have grown up with Las Vegas, where the only risks he took with his fists
were with dice.

He winced last year at the impact when he saw Willie Adams crumple a ball
carrier in a Redskins' intrasquad game, but dismissed it later as mere
horseplay "because they wear headgear." Now he thinks "refereeing in Mexico
is tougher than fighting or football."

The hangup at the El Torea Arena in Mexico City last week was "something
else," he admitted. "That was the most exciting 15-round 'Hey Rube' I ever
was in. My back still hurts.

"They punched me, kicked me, threw bottles and rocks at me. When they busted
my back open, and when I see all those people hollering at me, I say to
myself -- how am I going to get myself out of this jackpot? It did not look
like it was going to be educational.

"When that guy Sugar Ramos got his eye slit open, I asked the doctor to come
in the ring and look at him, but the doc was afraid. It was his call, but he
told me I would have to make it. The next round I got the doc to look at
Ramos, but the doc got hit on the head with one of those silver pesos or a
rock, or something.

"I wasn't sure because I was so busy ducking. I knew Ramos could not
continue. He would have gotten beaten if he did, but the chairman of the
boxing commission said he was going to take away Ortiz's title if he did not
get back in the ring in 10 minutes.

"Ortiz would not have gone back in there with a hundred machine guns for 40
million dollars. Bill Daly, Ortiz's manager, said Carlos would have got his
head cut off. It later took 28 stitches to sew up Ramos' eye.

"Ortiz got knocked down in the ring from punches and kicks. Daly put a
bucket over Ortiz's head because of the stuff they were throwing, but it
didn't save the fighter from the people who climbed up on the ring."

For a fleeting moment, there was an outcropping of Conn's sense of humor:
"Daly got his head busted open and his shirt was full of blood, but I had to
laugh. You should have heard the names he was calling those people, and they
could not even understand him. I told him, 'You better be quiet or they will
hang you.'

"I felt like the lone covered wagon. It was the loneliest feeling in the
world. It looked like a bunch of Indians circling up. I thought I was a
goner. It looked like the end of the line at 49 for me. Cops came in, but
they were scared to do anything.

"The worst part was the walk past those people to the dressing room. I had
to walk slow to make them think I was not scared. If I had run and gone down
I would have got my brains knocked out. If I had tried to fight back I would
have gotten lynched. I was thinking I might get one of those shivs in my

Conn said he took the job of refereeing because he was on his way to Las
Vegas, and had always wanted to see Mexico City -- "a nice city. That was
the last time I see Old Mexico."


(San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 21, 1966)

By Jack Fiske

LOS ANGELES -- No less an authority than Cus D'Amato, the premier protector
of young pugilists, and Joe Frazier should avoid meeting Eddie Machen at
this point in the Olympic heavyweight champion's career.

"Machen, no matter his age and state of his legs, is too cute for Frazier,"
Cus said immediately after Joe had won a split decision in September over
Oscar Bonavena in New York to remain undefeated in 13 bouts. However, the
ten-rounder, in which Frazier visited the canvas twice, was the first time
that the Philadelphian didn't win by a kayo.

D'Amato's advice went unheeded. So, tonight a sellout crowd of close to
10,000 at the Los Angeles Olympic and an overflow of nearly 5,000 at the
L.A. Sports Arena, where the scheduled ten-rounder will be piped in via
closed circuit television, will see if Eddie is still able to outbox a
young, strong left hooker touted as a cinch to be a future opponent for
Cassius Clay.

Machen, 34, and long over the hill, has been resurrected here and
surprisingly has become a darling of the fans. Eddie, after losing a debated
decision to young Manuel Ramos, went on to spoil Joe Orbillo's undefeated
record, easily outboxed Jerry Quarry and Scrapiron Johnson, and picked up
perhaps more money in the past year than when he was the number one

This is Frazier's third appearance here. In his first two he hooked Al Jones
and Chuck Leslie into early submission and went away with the rating of "the
best of the young prospects" over Quarry, Orbillo, etc.

Machen, a financial bankrupt, will take home $15,000 to Berkeley for this
endeavor. Frazier will do likewise. Quite good pickings nowadays for a fight
between unranked heavies, one a has been and the other unproven.


(San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 22, 1966)

By Jack Fiske

LOS ANGELES -- Undefeated Joe Frazier, who forsook his trade as a
Philadelphia butcher, treated Eddie Machen like a side of beef last night
and inflicted only the second knockout ever suffered by the Berkeley

An almost sellout crowd at the Los Angeles Olympic saw the 1964 U.S. Olympic
champion floor the 34-year-old Machen in the first round, go on to win every
other round, then bring the bout to a halt at :22 of the 10th and final

There were 9,500 people in the Olympic for a gross gate of $44,830, which
was boosted to $60,295 by 3,000 who paid $15,465 to watch the bout on
closed-circuit TV at the L.A. Sports Arena. Each fighter got 25 per cent of
the take.

The nearest thing to a perpetual motion heavyweight we have ever seen,
Frazier whaled away with hooks to the body and except for a brief onslaught
by Machen in the eighth round it was all Frazier.

He scored his 13th consecutive victory and 11th knockout. It was only the
second time in Machen's career of 61 fights that he has been stopped, and
only the third time he has ever been knocked down.

When referee Tommy Hart stepped between the two heavies, Machen was taking a
beating against the ropes without offering a return. In the previous round,
Eddie, with his back against the ropes (a position he fought in almost
throughout the fight) took two severe left hooks to the chin and, although
staggered, hung on grimly and refused to go down.

From the first round it was obvious, as Frazier relentlessly poured in body
punches, that Eddie could only use his wiles and perhaps come up with a
desperation counter punch to turn the tide.

At 34, the veteran Berkeley heavyweight, with legs that would not behave,
was unable to move around and box. Instead, he rested against the ropes in
hopes of smothering Frazier's punches and counter and flurry on occasion.

At the 2:49 mark of the first round, a left hook to the chin dumped Machen
over the lower ring strand and onto the apron. He took a count of seven
while trying to get back into the ring and was up at eight.

Woozy, and looking blank, he extended his gloves to be wiped off just as the
bell rang ended the round.

Thereafter, although never in such serious trouble again until the final
round, Eddie could only offer feeble resistance except in the eighth. A
countering left hook in that round staggered Frazier, but the Philadelphian
on his way down grabbed Eddie's left leg, righted himself and hung on as the
spectators screamed.

Through the ninth round, judge Lee Grossman scored 14-0, referee Hart had it
10-2 and judge George Latka scored in 14-1 -- all for the 22-year-old
winner. The Chronicle card it had it 11-0 for Frazier.

Frazier, 205, scored his third kayo win in this same ring. Machen, 192, who
protested later Hart should have allowed him to be knocked out, suffered his
ninth defeat against 50 wins and two draws.


(San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 28, 1966)

By Art Rosenbaum

Boxing is coming off the canvas around the country. Predictions of its
death, through legislative investigation and public disinterest, were

The sport was floored by hoolumism, congressional hearings, ring deaths,
excessive television, a white backlash, medical scorn and a high standard of
living. To explain the last point, net earnings of boxers coming up are less
than the most menial wage; today's youngsters find boxing's risks
economically unwise.

However, fist fighting is an elementary thing and its roots are deep within
humans. The combination of its elemental aspects and the emergence of its
current spokesmen (Cassius Clay for one) have given it new fire. In Los
Angeles, for example, boxing shows are filling the houses weekly. The
Frazier-Machen bout there last week pulled in $63,000 on a combined in
person-closed TV arrangement, and that's like old time money.

Tonight in the new Oakland Coliseum arena, three tens could nearly fill the
house. People are talking about boxing again.

In one feature, Bobo Olson meets Don Fullmer. In another, Jimmy Lester faces
Andy Heilman.

Both Olson and Lester are trained by Al Citrino, who finds little
difference, essentially, in their handling.

Olson has been boxing 21 years under 13 managers. He has ten dependents and
he continues to fight because no other occupation offers him the dollars he
requires. He is boxing "scared," and therefore fights craftily, for he knows
he must win if he is to get important work.

Lester is the son of a former well-known local boxer, known as Top Row
Allen, but real name Vern Lester. Jimmy was born 21 years ago when Olson,
then 17, was earning his first official buck. Lester is a hard puncher,
unpredictable, quixotic, and often thought to have a "don't-care" attitude.

"Say what you want about Olson's full life," said Citrino the trainer, "but
he has the good legs. He doesn't drink or smoke. Every morning now he runs
45 minutes to an hour, shadow boxing along the way. It's not easy . . . try
it some time. In the afternoon he boxes five or six rounds against tough
boys, Bob Stintinato and Don Hicks.

"Bobo never complains. You ask him for one more round, he gives you one more
round. How many other guys his age could go even one round? Bobo has great
recuperative power. He can sleep standing up and I think this is his secret.

Leo Leavitt, former Honolulu promoter who gave Olson his first paydays,

"I'll tell you his other secrets. He never wore shoes until he was 18. He
used to climb them mountains every day with his cronies to hunt wild pigs
and goats. That's how he got those legs. And another item -- when he was a
kid and very small, he had to fight other guys every day. The other boys
were bigger, so Bobo learned how to punch to the stomach. They talk about
Olson being knocked out a few times . . . true; but Olson has ruined the
careers of many boxers by his body punching."

"Lester," continued Citrino, "has the same routine as Olson . . . the same
morning run and shadow boxing, the same number of rounds in the afternoon.
He might wince if I ask him for another round, but he'll smile and dig in.
We have trouble getting sparring partners for him, because he hits hard with
both hands. We must work out with light heavies and use big gloves. In his
last fight the other guy had a big cut on top of his head, and there were no
butts. I'd say that's hitting."

Citrino had another thought. "It's good to hear my friends asking me again
about the fighters I train. A few years ago, for a while, boxing was a worse
word than some of those used in the poetry by that girl out on Haight

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