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Thread: "a Neat Place to Do His Training"

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    "a Neat Place to Do His Training"

    I'm curious whether other fighters of the day trained in such luxurious locations ????

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    05.03.1933
    By HENRY McLEMORE (United Press Staff Correspondent)

    IT SEEMS MR. MAX SCHMELING HAS QUITE A NEAT PLACE TO DO HIS TRAINING

    Lake Swannonoa N J.(UP) There have been greater managers than Joe Jacobs perhaps, but the man who handles Max Schmeling stands along and unchallenged as a picker of training camp sites. No one, living or dead, ever surrounded his charge with more pure, unadulterated and, shall we say, unbridled, luxury than does Jacobs who comes from the tenements of the east side. Joe was thought to have accomplished his masterpiece last year when he pitched Schmelings camp at Green Kill Lodge. But that was before the boys under direction of Professor Jack Dempsey got a look at this place where the German will prepare for his June 8 joust with Max Baer.

    Overlooks Lake Swannonoa
    The clubhouse, once the home of the late Alfred T. Ringling, stands high on a hill overlooking Lake Swannonoa. It is, to use an architectural phrase, quite a joint. The place had 117 rooms at the last count, but the man who was making the check got tired and quit on the fifth floor. Jacobs, beaming, led a tour of inspection over three floors and here are a few of the rooms uncovered. A nightclub, complete to dining booths, orchestra dais, soft lights and walls covered with modernistic murals, an organ room, with stained glass windows and deep, oriental rugs. "Here," Jacobs explained, "is a swell place for Max to get away from it all. I can see him now, fingers running idly over the organ keyboard while figuring out a way to get inside Baer's guard with his left."

    Fair-Sized Library
    A combination library and lounge room with approximately the dimensions of a LaCrosse field. In the mahogany cases that line the wall are represented Schopenhauer, Henry George and Erasmus. There is a story of geographical discovery by, appropriately enough, a student named Joseph Jacobs. Schmeling is "nuts" about a good book, Jacobs explained. There are a sunken bath, which in an emergency, can be used for launchings; a glass enclosed sun porch and three or four ball rooms. Surrounding this castle is an estate variously estimated at larger than Maryland and exactly the size of Montenegro. Over its paths and turf run animals from the elusive chipmunk to the more elusive deer. Jacobs said Max might do a little shooting.

    Trout In Lake
    The lake is liberally stocked with trout. Its waters offer an unsurpassed setting for his rescue of a maiden, an act without which no training camp is official. Across the lake (you cross it by a rustic bridge of some 100 yards in
    length) stands the bungalow where Schmeling, along with Jacobs and his staff of trainers, rubbers and cooks will live. It's a modest little place of only some 20 or 30 rooms and was chosen by Jacobs, who explained that the ex-champion liked to "rough it."

    And A Tapping Room!
    Tennis courts, polo field, bridle paths, a boxing arena and we believe a squash racket court, complete the training site. Oh yes, there's a quaint little taproom downstairs and if you will pardon us we're going down now and do a
    little tapping. My hammer, Charles.

    PS As a clincher on what sort of a place this is, let us tell you that there's a manicurist shop adjoining the pressroom. As Hype Igoe said: "Wouldn't I have loved to have seen Kid Broad train in this joint."


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    Re: "a Neat Place to Do His Training"

    BEFORE FIGHT CAMP BECAME A SUITE SCIENCE ]

    By IRVING RUDD; IRVING RUDD IS IN HIS 50TH YEAR AS A SPORTS PRESS AGENT (NEVER A PUBLIC RELATIONS COUNSELOR).
    Published: March 1, 1987

    LEAD: SUGAR RAY LEONARD lives in a luxury suite at the Hotel Inter-Continental, Hilton Head, S.C. The daily rate for Leonard's suite is $425. Meals are extra.

    SUGAR RAY LEONARD lives in a luxury suite at the Hotel Inter-Continental, Hilton Head, S.C. The daily rate for Leonard's suite is $425. Meals are extra.

    Across the country at the Canyon Hotel in Palm Springs, Calif., is where Marvelous Marvin Hagler is in residence. His suite, give or take a few bucks, costs the same as Sugar Ray's. From Marvin's digs you can see Bob Hope's house high up on a hill.

    Both fighters will probably break camp sometime in mid-March and conclude their conditionings at Caesars Palace where they face off for the undisputed middleweight championship on April 6.

    The first training camp I ever visited was Dr. Bier's in Pompton Lakes, N.J., when I got my first job as a press agent for a neighborhood boxing club in 1937. Joe Louis was training for a fight with Tommy Farr. Although he was devastatingly awesome as he pasted one sparring partner after another, including an old Brownsville fight hero of mine, Pal Silvers, the highlight of that visit, I told the gang, the next day in Leff's Candy Store on Powell Street and Lott Avenue, was meeting Albert Payson Terhune.

    Albert Payson Terhune was an author who wrote ''Lad, a Dog,'' a tear-jerker novel about a boy and his dog. Anyone who attended P.S. 109 on Sackman Street or P.S. 149 in East New York just had to have read ''Lad, a Dog,'' by Albert Payson Terhune. My pals were properly impressed.

    Pompton Lakes, some two hours drive from New York City in those days, was remote, heavily wooded; cottages or cabins and a main guest house made up the camp. This held true for Mme. Bey's in Summit, N.J., or Gus Wilson's at Orangeburg, N.Y., A smidgin of luxury that was to make up most training sites today was faintly visible when the gracious Jennie Grossinger welcomed Barney Ross, the first fighter to train at her kosher Catskill retreat, about 1934.

    There were two staples of press agentry in the early '30's. One was the maiden drowning in the lake, the other was a photo of the champion chopping down a tree.

    You see, our boxing hero was doing roadwork early in the morning when he heard this cry for help. A maiden, the reports from camp always read, was drowning in a lake, and the heroic fighter stopped his running long enough to effect a rescue.

    Later I used to wonder what the maiden was doing around the lake around 6 in the morning, especially when it was freezing cold in the winter.

    I once asked the great trainer, Ray Arcel, about the wood chopping, and he looked at me as though I was punchy. The great danger and risk should have been apparent. Also, if one examined the photos carefully, the ax-wielding boxer was probably wearing fancy, pressed slacks and polished oxford street shoes.

    The first time I ever worked a training camp was in 1939, when I assisted with the publicity for the world middleweight champion, Fred Apostoli, who was to box Ceferino Garcia in Madison Square Garden.

    I had the room next door to Apostoli and he seemed restless late at night; over and over he played a recording of ''So Easy to Love'' with music by Tommy Dorsey. He lost his title by a K.O. to Garcia and it was at that time a kid in his early 20's learned that ''carrying a torch'' was not a monopoly with Lady Liberty.

    In June 1941, I was hired by Mike Jacobs for the princely sum of $25 a week for three weeks to be with Al (Bummy) Davis at Mme. Bey's, where Davis trained for a fight with Fritzie Zivic.

    Although the dateline on the stories read ''Summit, New Jersey,'' the camp was actually situated in Chatham Township (pop. 2,200), and Rusty Bey, the son of Mme. Bey, was the Chief of Police. Which brings me to Foulproof Taylor.

    Foulproof Taylor, who lived in Brooklyn and worked for the Postal Telegraph Company, was an inventor. In the late 1930's he fashioned a crude forerunner of the baseball safety helmet. He also invented a foulproof cup. To market his device he would visit Stillman's Gym or the Pioneer Gym in Manhattan and, wearing his cup, would stand, his feet apart, inviting anyone to punch or kick him in the groin area.



    The offer was often accepted, and it was not unusual to see a giant heavyweight shoot a mean hook below the belt. Taylor, with a Don King-like white thatched frightwig hairdo, would be knocked rear over teakettle, but bounced up unhurt. Once at Mme. Bay's he asked the Hearst newspapers' boxing writer, Hype Igoe, to test the Foulproof Taylor Cup. Igoe did, and Taylor crashed into a baseboard wall from which it took several men several minutes to extricate him.

    A makeshift plaque was put over the hole in the wall which read:

    ''Hypus Igoe through this wall Knocked Foulproof Taylor - Cup and all!''

    It was a big deal in those days when a limo with 8 or 10 writers would visit a fight camp.

    We hand-cranked our press releases on a mimeograph machine after we typed on a stencil, licked the envelopes, and walked two miles into town to the post office. These days, boxing, in the age of Buck Rogers, sees the camp press agent utilizing telecopiers, telexes and the telephone. Phone calls to or from both fighters' camps from coast to coast, from London, Italy, France, and from the Orient as well as Central and South America are routine.

    Over the last 10 years all camp jobs have not been in posh palaces like the Hotel Inter-Continental on Hilton Head. There was Massacre Canyon in the desert of California with Ken Norton, who closed the windows and doors of a wooden shack gym in 105-degree heat. Show Low, Ariz. (pop. 3,378), with Muhammad Ali in 1976, was a hoot. I once figured that the time spent in all of the Ali camps I worked, if put together, would total one year of my life.

    In 1977, I joined Earnie Shavers in -are you ready? - Calcutta, Ohio. Not even veteran Ohio newspapermen knew where the camp was situated. I always joke: ''You heard of 'Oh! Calcutta!?' Well, I spent seven weeks in Calcutta, Oh.!'' Late in 1985 I spent some time with Thomas Hearns in Laughlin, Nev.

    Never heard of Laughlin? Well you should. It's 50 miles east of Searchlight, Nev., and right across the Colorado River from the noise and clamor of downtown Bullhead City, Ariz. There's a restaurant in Laughlin serving chicken and fish dinner combinations which invites you to ''try our Cluck and Hook Special.''

    Once, in Leon Spinks's camp (1978 vs. Ali, second fight), I cut off the meal money of one of the Spinks bodyguards, a guy named Lawrence Tero. He had signed a breakfast tab in the coffee shop for $45. That was for one breakfast. I verbally abused him plenty too. How the heck did I know that Lawrence Tero was soon to become known as ''Mr. T?''

    There's quite a way to go toward Hagler versus Leonard, but I can't help wondering with whom or where my next training camp job takes me. It could be picturesque St. Vincent, Italy, at the Italian-Swiss-French border (Ray Mancini 1983), or it might be beautiful Lake Tahoe (Mike Weaver, 1981), or some unheard of whistle stop next to nowhere.

    Wouldn't miss it for a million!
    Last edited by iskigoe; 12-05-2007 at 04:17 PM.

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    Re: "a Neat Place to Do His Training"

    .

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    Re: "a Neat Place to Do His Training"

    Quote Originally Posted by iskigoe

    There were two staples of press agentry in the early '30's. One was the maiden drowning in the lake, the other was a photo of the champion chopping down a tree.



    Once at Mme. Bay's he asked the Hearst newspapers' boxing writer, Hype Igoe, to test the Foulproof Taylor Cup. Igoe did, and Taylor crashed into a baseboard wall from which it took several men several minutes to extricate him. A makeshift plaque was put over the hole in the wall which read:
    ''Hypus Igoe through this wall Knocked Foulproof Taylor - Cup and all!''
    Kevin,

    These are hysterical !! The maiden drowning in the lake must've been in the 20s, I have yet to read about it in the early 30s. The wood chopping one is definitely common and I suspect the "he's knocked so many of his sparring partners out, manager so and so is combing the city for more brave lads to brave his killer fists" is questionable too !

    So did you ever find out whether the Foulproof Taylor Cup came into general use ?

    Good stuff, thanks !
    Cat

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