The last fight of the last unbeaten heavyweight boxing champion

                       INTEREST HIGH OVER ROCKY'S FIGHT 

(Associated Press, Saturday, September 17, 1955)

By Jack Hand

NEW YORK -- For the first time since the days of Joe
Louis, there is a "big fight" tang in the fall air as Rocky
Marciano prepares to defend his heavyweight title
Tuesday night in Yankee Stadium.

Although Marciano, unbeaten in 48 fights, remains a
strong 3-1 favorite to whip the long frustrated
challenger, all signs point to a roaring crowd of 50,000
and a gate of over $750,000 for the 15-round match.

With all due respect to Roland LaStarza, Ezzard
Charles and Don Cockell, the public never gave any of
Rocky's previous challengers a chance to win. Ever
since the September night in 1952 when he got off the
floor to knock out Jersey Joe Walcott and win the title,
Rocky has been head and shoulders above the division.

The carefully planned publicity campaign for Moore,
followed by his victory over Nino Valdes and his
knockout of Bobo Olson in three rounds, has cast the
38-year-old ring gypsy in the role of a martyr.
Encouraged by the delaying tactics of Al Weill, the
champion's manager, people began to believe that
Marciano was ducking Moore. A Marciano-Moore match
became a "must."

Not since Louis fought his return match with Walcott or
his second bout with Billy Conn has there been such
tremendous interest in a heavyweight match. The
International Boxing Club reports an advance sale of
$500,000. Even a man with a good connection could
buy nothing better than a seat in the 26th row last week
at the $40 tops.

In addition to the natural appeal of a match between the
31-year-old champ from Brockton, Mass., and the older,
more experienced lightheavyweight king, the sale has
been boosted by the fact there will be no home
television.

Theater television really comes of age for this bout with
128 theaters in 92 cities piping the picture to their
audiences over a closed circuit TV. As the average fee
is about $3.50 and 350,000 are expected, theater
television network officials indicate they will gross one
million dollars. Roughly speaking, the promoters and
fighters get a total of about $1 per head to be divided 40
per cent to Marciano, 20 per cent to Moore and 40 per
cent to the promoters.

On the basis of the 40-20 percentage split, which also
holds good for the regular gate receipts, Marciano
should drag down about $400,000 and Moore about
$200,000 for the night's work.

The all-time record for a fight, of course, was the
$2,658,660 for the Gene Tunney-Jack Dempsey
rematch at Chicago, Sept. 22, 1927. The best since
was the $1,925,564 for the second Louis-Conn bout in
1946 at $100 tops.

To clear the wires for the theater TV, the bout will go on
30 minutes later than usual at 9:30 p.m. (EST). In case
of rain the show would be held over until Wednesday
night at 9:45 p.m. (EST).

The fight will be heard on radio over the American
Broadcasting Co., the Armed Forces Radio Network
and the Voice of America.

Marciano has trained at Grossinger, N.Y., as usual, with
his customary devotion to condition. He hasn't boxed as
many rounds as he has for some fights, about 120 in all.
There has been fear that he might go stale from
overwork but he appears in the proper frame of mind,
fully alert to the danger in the cagey elder statesman.

In contrast to Marciano's rather quiet camp, Moore has
been sounding off like a carnival pitchman at his sylvan
retreat in North Adams, Mass., where he has predicted
he'd win by a knockout in ten rounds. Moore has been
living up to his reputation as a "character," scaring the
promoters by trying to fly a plane, beating the drums for
his tenor sax protege, Lucky Thompson, and explaining
his theory of "relaxism" to the fight writers who have
been relaxed for years.


                   HURRICANE SCARE HOLDS OFF FIGHT ONE DAY 

(Associated Press, Tuesday, September 20, 1954)

By Jack Hand

NEW YORK -- Rocky Marciano and Archie Moore,
sidelined for 24 hours by the empty threat of Hurricane
Ione, weighed in heavier than expected today for
Wednesday's heavyweight title bout at Yankee Stadium.

The fickle dame Ione scared Jim Norris, president of the
International Boxing Club, into announcing a one-day
postponement in mid-morning. Shortly after the noon
weigh-in the sun peeked through and the skies cleared.
It would have been possible to have held the fight as
Ione sliced out to sea. Both the Giants and Dodgers
played ball games as scheduled.

Because the fight falls on Wednesday night it will be
pushed back 15 minutes to 9:45 p.m. (EST) to avoid
conflict with the usual Wednesday television show, a
middleweight bout at Miami between Bobby Dykes and
George Johnson.

There will be no changes in arrangements for the big
bout, except the new starting time. The bout will not be
seen on home television but will be beamed into 128
theaters in 92 cities and four veterans' hospitals on
theater network television. It also will be carried on
network (ABC) radio.

IBC officials reported the advance sale was "between
$650,000 and $700,000" with few refunds asked.
Promised a perfect day for the fight, they hoped to sell
an additional $150,000 worth of tickets at the gate. It
appeared that the original estimate of 50,000 people and
$750,000 might be topped, despite the postponement.

Marciano, unbeaten in his 48-bout career, remained a
17-5 favorite to blunt the bid of the 38-year-old
lightheavy king, after the weigh-in and postponement.
Marciano, grinning for the camera men, weighed 188
1/4, and Moore came in at 188 pounds. The Rock had
been expected to weigh 187 and Moore 185 or 186.
However, Moore said he was "satisfied" with his weight.
He was up as high as 196 1/2 for Nino Valdes May 2
and down to 175 for Bobo Olson June 22 so it shouldn't
make much difference.

Under New York rules there won't be any second weigh-
in unless there is a 48-hour postponement. Both men
will be examined again at their hotel rooms tomorrow.

Marciano appeared to be more relaxed than Moore at
the weigh-in. Dr. Vincent Nardiello of the New York
State Athletic Commission, who examined both men,
said Moore "seemed a little on edge, more than before
the Olson fight." Of course, as the Olson fight turned
out (a third round knockout victory for Moore) he didn't
have much to be on edge about that night.

Dr. Nardiello said Marciano was "the same old usual
cool cucumber." He doubted if the 24-hour delay would
affect either man. Marciano said he was all geared to
fight tonight but merely shrugged off the delay. In
answer to an afternoon paper report that this would be
his last fight, Marciano said, "I'm only thinking about this
fight right now." His manager, Al Weill, said there was
"positively nothing to it (the retirement)."

If the weatherman proved to be wrong again tomorrow
and the fair weather did not materialize, the fight would
be set back to Thursday. After that? The IBC chiefs
simply throw up their hands when that question is
raised. With a World Series almost certain to start at the
Stadium next Wednesday, the Yanks even frowned on
a one-day postponement.


                        ROCKY DUMPS ARCHIE IN THE NINTH  

(Associated Press, Wednesday, September 21, 1955)

By Jack Hand


NEW YORK -- Rocky Marciano scraped himself out of
the resin from a second-round knockdown to floor
ancient Archie Moore four times and knock him out in
1:19 of the ninth round tonight in a furiously contested
heavyweight title brawl.

The 38-year-old ring gypsy, battling gamely against
heavy cannonading, finally sunk in his own corner from
a short left hook. His legs crumpled under him and his
eyes were glassy as he held the ropes with a soggy left
mitten.

Archie tried to drag himself up for one last try at the
unbeaten champ but he collapsed in a heap and had to
be lifted onto his stool by his cornermen.

It was a fierce and battle battle while it lasted, this match
betrween the unbeaten champ from Brockton, Mass.,
and the lightheavy king from the twin cities of San Diego
and Toledo. At the end, the ring was assaulted by a
swarm of Marciano rooters who had to be subdued by a
cordon of police.

Dropped for a four-count in the second round, the
second knockdown of his 49-bout career, Marciano
threw the full violence of his primitive attack against the
challenger.

The Rock drove Moore from corner to corner in a fierce
barrage in the fourth, chasing Moore from rope to rope
and punishing him bitterly every time he cornered him.

The old "Suzy Q" right hand was ringing to its target in
the sixth with Moore doing his best to counter when it
missed. A long overhand right to the head shook Moore
from head to toe in the sixth and then another right left
the old boy on the floor, close to the ropes near his own
corner. He was up quickly at four.

Swarming over his man with the urge to end it with one
quick blow, Marciano sent Moore to the deck again with
an overhand right. This time he didn't get up until eight.
In his anxiety, Rocky was still swinging after the bell.

It was apparent to most of the big crowd of about 55,000
that paid over $900,000 that old Archie couldn't
continue much longer under this numbing attack. But he
came out for the seventh, slashing back with his short
counter blows. A right to the head sent Moore spinning
to the floor but Referee Kessler ruled he had slipped
and quickly brushed off his gloves.

The most exciting heavyweight title scrap since
Marciano won the crown from Jersey Joe Walcott at
Philadelphia in 1952 found Rocky trying to apply the
crusher in the eighth.

Weary and hurt, with his right eye almost closed, Moore
fought a retreating battle with counter bursts. He simply
couldn't stand up against the ever-onward champion.

Just before the bell ended the eighth, another shocking
right tore through the chill night air and landed on
Archie's jaw. He went down, grabbing the ropes with
one hand, and sat on the canvas as the referee tallied
seven. He was saved by the bell, although he didn't
even know it rang.

Kessler, who had shouted "keep them up" to both men
in the first round and warned Rocky "watch the head" in
the fifth, cautioned Marciano to "keep them up" again in
the ninth as he closed in for the kill.

The final punch, a left hook to the head, didn't seem half
as hard as some of the other blows that the Brockton
Blockbuster had rained on Archie's anatomy, but it was
sharp and on target. It was a fitting end for a whale of a
battle.

Marciano went into the ring for his sixth defense a 4 to 1
favorite with only a four-ounce edge over the lightheavy
champ, whose title, of course, was not at stake.
Marciano weighed 188 1/4 yesterday when they
stepped on the scales, a few hours after the bout was
postponed for 24 hours because of the empty threat of
Hurricane Ione. Moore scaled 188. They didn't have to
weigh a second time.

It was the end of a long, dusty road, clogged with bitter
frustration, for Archie who finally was getting his shot at
the ring's biggest jackpot at the age of 38. Marciano,
only 31, simply carried too many guns and packed too
much power for him.

Although Moore's bid for the "big one" failed and his 21-
fight winning streak was broken, he took down the
biggest purse of his career, probably about $200,000
when all receipts, including theater television, are
counted. It was his fifth knockout in 145 fights since
1936 and his first since June 2, 1948 when Leonard
Morrow took him out in one.

Marciano's 40 per cent cut, twice as much as Moore's,
probably will come to about $400,000, largest of his
career.

The drama of this fight wasn't long in coming. Marciano,
floored only once in his career, in the first round of his
first match with Walcott, found himself on the deck in
the second round. He had just hooked to the head when
Archie smashed home a short right. Wearing a
surprised look on his battered face, the Rock got up at
four.

In the second round it appeared that Rocky was due to
be sliced and gashed by Moore's cutting punches. He
bled from the nose and there was a growing bruise
under his left eye. By the third round, Moore had
opened a cut over that left eye.

Still, when it was all over, it was Moore who bore the
marks of battle, with only a narrow slit of a right eye
open.

Although Archie had to be helped to his corner after the
knockout, he recovered and left under his own power.
On the way to his dressing room, he was rubber legged,
leaning on two cornermen for help but still waving to
admirers on all sides.

"If you think I put up a good fight then I'm extremely
happy," he said in his dressing room. "I think he fought
a great fight." He smiled and bantered with the press in
his usual glib style after taking a shower.

In Marciano's dressing room, it developed that he was
considering retirement as an unbeaten champ. "I'm
undecided about retiring," he said. "My mother and my
wife both want me to retire."

All three officials had Marciano way out front before he
finished matters with his 43rd knockout and there was
nothing technical about this one. Referee Kesser scored
it 5-2-1, Judge Artie Aidala 7-1 and Judge Harold
Barnes 5-3, all for Marciano. The AP card was 6-2.

Kessler gave Moore the second and seventh and called
the fifth even. Aidala gave Moore the second and
Barnes scored the second, third and fifth for the
challenger. The AP card had Moore on top in the first
and second.

                      SUPREME COURT HEARS BOXING DEBATE 

(Associated Press, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 1954)

By Herb Altschull

WASHINGTON -- The government told the Supreme
Court today boxing promoters have become so involved
in nationwide television shows that the fight game
should be officially declared to be a business within the
meaning of the nation's antitrust laws.

This line of argument was taken by Phillip Elman,
special assistant to the attorney general, in asking the
high tribunal to order a lower court to bring to trial the
government's civil suit that claims boxing violates the
country's laws against monopolies.

Elman said the court's previous decisions exempting
baseball from the antitrust laws should not be applied to
boxing.

And, spurred by a suggestion from Justice Felix
Frankfurter, Elman told the court it shouldn't be
"capricious" in dealing with the comparison between
baseball and boxing. The two activities simply are not
the same thing, Elman said.

Whitley North Seymour, New York attorney
representing the International Boxing Club (IBC),
challenged this statement directly. He said baseball and
boxing are "precisely analagous."

And, Seymour said, the court must use its baseball
decisions as a precedent for throwing out the
government's claim and declaring boxing to be outside
the scope of the antitrust laws.

The argument appeared to boil down to these questions:

1. Does the widespread use of radio, television and
motion picture contracts by boxing promoters put them
in interstate commerce?

2. Does the structure of boxing differ substantially from
the structure of baseball?

3. When Congress declared baseball to be outside the
scope of antitrust laws, was it tacitly putting boxing
within those laws?

"Yes," said the government; "no," said the boxing
people.

The Supreme Court will weigh these issues before
coming up with a decision, which is not likely to be
forthcoming for several months.

Elman said boxing promoters make so much of their
money from television that "fights might just as well be
put on in television studios."

Seymour replied that baseball club owners make more
money from television than boxing promoters -- "by 10
to 1."

Elman said that after the Supreme Court declared
baseball outside the antitrust laws in 1922, the game
developed its structure and controversial "reserve
clause" with the understanding it wouldn't get involved in
federal hassles.

For this reason, Elman said, to declared baseball to be
in interstate commerce would force it to revolutionize its
structure. But, he added, a court ruling in the
government's favor here wouldn't force boxing to
change any of its laws.

Seymour and his fellow attorney, Charles H. Watson of
Chicago, said Congress and the court were well aware
of the existence of boxing in 1922 and that boxing also
used that 32-year-old ruling as the basis of its
development.

Watson said Congress could not have "closed its eyes"
on boxing when it exempted baseball from interstate
commerce. "If it exempted one sport," he said, "it
exempted them all."

Chief Justice Earl Warren interposed:

"Didn't Congress take a different view? Didn't it at one
time make it a criminal offense to transport films of fights
across state lines?"

Watson said he thought Warren was confusing "the
report of the game and the game itself." The attorney
said he wasn't arguing that TV, radio and motion
pictures are not interstate activities.

                    JAMES D. NORRIS SUES SPORTS ILLUSTRATED 

(Associated Press, Monday, December 13, 1954)

CHICAGO -- James D. Norris Jr., president of the
International Boxing Club, Inc., said today he has
advised his attorneys to file a five million dollar libel and
conspiracy suit against Sports Illustrated magazine.

Sports Illustrated last week carried an article by ex-
heavyweight boxer Harry Thomas. The article said
Norris "fixed" the Thomas-Max Schmeling fight at
Madison Square Garden, Dec. 13, 1937, and Thomas'
fight with Tony Galento in Philadelphia, Nov. 14, 1938.

The 48-year-old head of the IBC said the suit will be
filed against the magazine "as well as all parties
connected with the libelous and malicious conspiracy to
defame my character with the avowed purpose of
outlawing boxing."

He named no individuals in his statement.

Norris said any money the suit wins for him will be
turned over to charity.

Informed of Norris' planned action, Sidney L. James,
managing editor of Sports Illustrated, issued the
following statement:

"Sports Illustrated printed the story because it is
convinced it is true, and we stand by it as we do any
story we print."