SUGAR RAY FAVORED IN STADIUM TITLE BOUT (The Associated Press, Tuesday, June 24, 1952) By Jack Hand Joey Maxim and Sugar Ray Robinson sweated it out in the gyms today, awaiting tomorrow's once-postponed lightheavyweight title bout at Yankee Stadium. As luck would have it, a warm sun, wilting humid New Yorkers, turned up 24 hours late. The weather man promised more of the same tomorrow, but he also forecast scattered thundershowers late in the day. The fight could not be held tonight because of a mutual no-conflict agreement between the New York Yankees and Giants. The Giants were playing a twilight- night doubleheader at home with Cincinnati. If postponed tomorrow, the bout will go on Thursday despite a Dodger-Giant game at the Polo Grounds. This was a "write-in" game not originally scheduled, and thus is not covered in the Yankee pact. Strong Robinson support appeared shortly after yesterday's original weigh-in, changed the odds from 6 to 5 and "pick 'em" to make Sugar Ray a 13 to 10 favorite in his bid for a third title. Sugar Ray, the middleweight champ, weighed 160 to Maxim's 174 3/4 yesterday but they must weigh again tomorrow. Wily Jack Kearns, veteran manager of Maxim, resorted to a rule book technicality to claim he was supposed to weigh in today and not tomorrow. The doctor quoted the New York State Athletic Commission rule book as follows: "In the event of a postponement due to weather conditions, new weights and physical examinations will be required the next day." As today is "the next day," he put Pal Joey on the scales and weighed him in at 174 1/2. Bob Christenberry, chairman of the commission, was expected to take a dim view of such shenanigans and insist on a second weigh-in in the Madison Square Garden lobby at noon Wednesday, as announced. Because Maxim must make 175 pounds or less and Robinson has no weight problem, many feel the postponement will be more of a strain on the champ from Cleveland. He worked much harder than Robinson, boxed over 100 rounds and trained to hit a peak near the class limit yesterday. The two-day wait is bound to have some effect. Perhaps you will remember Jersey Joe Walcott's dull performance in his second Joe Louis bout after he waited two days in a hotel room when rain forced successive postponements. His handlers brought Jersey Joe to a peak and then lost it. The same thing goes, of course, for Robinson. But he has trained lighter, boxed fewer rounds and concentrated on getting his legs ready to go the full 15 against a man with a 15-pound weight pull. Sugar Ray's only danger is in going too far past 160 and slowing himself down. That was why he loosened up in the gym yesterday. Maxim, after a four-mile road jaunt this morning, went through a brisk workout at Stillman's Gym this afternoon during which he perspired freely. His exercises consisted of three rounds of shadow boxing, a session with the light bag and another with the skipping rope. He wore a bathrobe during part of the workout. Kearns said that the lightheavy champion weighed 174 1/2 after coming in off the road, and Maxim himself reckoned he would weigh in lighter tomorrow than the 174 3/4 he scaled yesterday. Up in Harlem where a large crowd jammed around the entrance to the Uptown Gym, awaiting his appearance, Robinson zipped through a light drill of shadow boxing, bag punching and rope skipping. He did no road work. After he finished, he weighed 157 1/2 or 2 1/2 pounds less than he did yesterday. Sugar Ray said he would come in tomorrow at about 159 1/2. He planned to rest at his Riverdale home and will not dry out. MAXIM RETAINS WORLD TITLE, WINS BY TKO (The Associated Press, June 25, 1952) By Jack Hand NEW YORK -- Joey Maxim dramatically saved his world light heavyweight title tonight after taking an early round beating when Sugar Ray Robinson was unable to come out for the 14th round of their title bout in the steaming, 103-degree heat of Yankee Stadium. Reeling to his corner in sheer exhaustion after the 13th, Robinson's bid for ring immortality as a triple champion ended on his stool in his own corner, a technical knockout victim. It was the first time in the brilliant, 137-bout career of Robinson that the Harlem Sugar Dandy had been stopped. The soggy sweatbox that was Yankee Stadium had already exacted its toll of Referee Ruby Goldstein in the first 10 rounds of the struggle, fought before a whopping shirt-sleeved crowd. Overcome by the heat, Goldstein had to give way to sub Referee Ray Miller in the 11th. The heat and the 15 1/2 pounds he gave away to Pal Joey from Cleveland suddenly caught up with Robinson in the 13th. The crowd was stunned when Sugar Ray, the sure-footed dancing master of the first 10 rounds, fell flat on his face in the 13th as he threw a wild haymaker right. The sight of Robinson on his face from a missed punch was an indication of his desperate plight. As the 13th ended, he collapsed, wobbling against the ropes near a neutral corner and had to be dragged to his own stool. Dr. Alexander Schiff, ringside physician, climbed into the ring and asked Robinson, "Can you go on?" The middleweight champ replied, "I can't get up on my feet. I'm all in." Dr. Schiff then signaled Referee Miller it was all over on Robinson's own word. Dr. Schiff said, "Robinson suffered from heat exhaustion similar to that which affected Referee Goldstein early in the fight." Robinson was a cool artist of perfection in the early stages and it looked like he would laugh off the weight advantage the 30-year-old Maxim held. But it finally caught up with him this sizzling evening. Weighing only 157 1/2 to Maxim's 173 in a second weigh-in for this bout that was postponed 48 hours Monday because of rain, Sugar Ray outsped Maxim to pile up a wide early lead. Time after time he danced into the attack with his stinging combinations and slipped away from Maxim's jabs. But the time finally came when he could dance no more. Under New York rules it was listed a 14-round TKO since the bell had sounded, starting the 14th. Before he had to be assisted from the ring, a heat victim, Referee Ruby Goldstein warned Maxim two or three times for trying to use his elbow on Ray's head and sliding the back of his glove over Robinson's face. He also chastened Sugar Ray for holding on when they got at close quarters. DEMPSEY DESCRIBES LIFE IN MINING TOWNS (The Associated Press, Saturday, January 16, 1954) By Jack Hand NEW YORK -- "I was Mom's boy. Helped with the washing and the cooking. I was raised like a girl." The man across the table was Jack Dempsey, the cruel puncher who humbled Jess Willard and flattened Luis Firpo in a riotous brawl that was voted the sports thrill of the last 50 years. Dempsey's early life -- from 1895 to 1915, before the record books pick him up -- has produced a thorny wilderness of hal truths about a homeless hobo on the prowl for three squares a day. Part of it is true. Much is pure fiction. Dempsey, himself, isn't even sure of all the facts. Men didn't have much time to keep track of days and years in the roaring mining camps of Colorado and Utah at the turn of the century. The former heavyweight champ, who will be 59 on his next birthday, June 24, sat in a booth at Jack Dempsey's restaurant on Broadway, talking about his early days. He spends more time in his restaurant these days, re-organizing the management. From time to time, visitors stopped at the booth. "Will you sign this dollar bill for me, Jack? It's for my son, Ricky, back in Arkansas." "I'll never forget how nice you were to the kid who wanted your autograph in New Britain." "Please sign this, Jack. Down in High Point, North Carolina, there's only one name in boxing -- Jack Dempsey." That was the way it went. Every few minutes Jack had to stop talking to flash his grin, shake a hand and sign a paper. He loved it. You might think the name "Dempsey" would have begun to fade. After all, it was 1927 when he fought Gene Tunney the last time, 27 long years ago. But they still flock to wring his hand. "I never was a hobo," he said quickly. Dempsey talks fast, as impatient with words as he used to be with his fists. "Sure, I rode the trains (freights); everybody roden them. But I never was a bum." He thought for a moment before adding "the American drifter built the West. Nobody thought nothing of it. Fellow went from town to town, looking for a job. You rode the trains -- the rods, the blind baggage, the top of freight cars. Everybody was drifting. "I never stayed away from home too long. I missed my mother too much. I was Mom's boy, next to the youngest boy in our family of 11 kids. We always had enough to eat at home. Everybody had to work. We were just ordinary working people, drifting around the West, making a living, that's all. "I used to help Mom around the house. The first job I had was thinning beets, pitching hay and working a threshing machine on a farm. We'd live on a farm in the summer and move into some mining town in the winter. "My mother and dad came from Logan, West Virginia. Her maiden name was Mary Priscilla Smoot and my father's name was Hiram Dempsey. They got religion down in Logan and joined the Mormon Church. That's how they happened to move West. My grandather was Anderson Dempsey, a county sheriff, county surveyor and a captain in the Confederate Army. "By the time I was born the family had moved to Manassa, Colorado. My father was an elder in the church but my mother really was the most religious -- she was very devout. I still believe in it myself. We take care of our own during tough times. And have missionaries who do a great job. Now they call it the Latter Day Saints." Dempsey first worked in a mine at Logan when the family returned to West Virginia briefly, trying to recover some of his grandfather's land that had been sold for taxes. Most of his mining days were spent in the West at places like Cripple Creek, Creed, Leadville, Victor and Salida, in Colorado. "My father worked outside, driving a team of horses most of the time," he said. "First, I was a mucker, that's the thoughest job of all, shoveling out the ore. The pay was about $1.50 or $2 a day. After awhile it got so I'd go away for three or four months on a job. I'd try to bring home $100 to my mother if I could. "That was when I really started fighting. I'd always boxed around home because one of my brothers, Bernard, was a fighter. He also fought under the name Jack Dempsey. "In the mining camps on a Saturday night they'd have a fight. Some new fellow would drift in, like me, and I'd fight the local champ, bare fists. Maybe he'd be a big fat guy who couldn't fight much. "I knew enough to stay away long enough to get the other fellow tired. Then I'd let him have it. We used to fight until one guy got knocked out or quit. You were no good if you quit. They'd take up a collection and maybe you'd get $1.75 or $2 or $3, in pennies, nickels and dimes. It was found money, an extra dollar on the side. I was only a 135-pounder then. "The secret of boxing is very simple -- hit the other guy and don't get hit yourself. Anybody -- even a baby -- can punch if they don't get hit back." There was more, much more as incidents from the past popped to mind. But this gives you a rough idea of the life of Jack Dempsey, 1895 to 1915, before the record book picks him up. BOXING OFFICIAL PROPOSES SMALL-CLUB AID (The Associated Press, Saturday, January 23, 1954) By Jack Hand NEW YORK -- Bob Christenberry, chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission, suggests a small tax on all boxing clubs to provide an emergency fund for subsiding small clubs. Christenberry is holding a series of off-the-cuff meetings with leading promoters in New York state, including the International Boxing Club, Emil Lence of Brooklyn's Eastern Parkway and Norm Rothschild of Syracuse, on his new plan. If boxing does an annual gross business of, say, a million dollars in New York, a two per cent tax would set up $20,000 to help the small clubs. In many cases, $300 would be the difference between operating successfully or folding. Joe McKenna, veteran White Plains promoter, tried to run weekly shows at the Westchester Community Center without any television backing. He ran one show, lost about $50, and threw in the sponge. If Christenberry's plan materializes, such a club would be able to dip into the emergency fund on one condition -- the promoter would have to promise to introduce two new faces on each boxing show. In that way, small club promoters would be encouraged to develop new talent from the amateur ranks. There is no question about the fight business needing new talent. With network TV shows on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, the promoters are forced to overwork the available "name" fighters. Matchmakers know they must make the best of what they have. That is why you see the same fighters back month after month. Even the losers are assured of steady work. Take New York City, for instance. Years ago there used to be a small club operating every night in the week and often two on the same night. St. Nicholas Arena, White Plains, Broadway Arena, Sunnyside, Eastern Parkway, Park Arena, Bronx Coliseum, Ridgewood Grove, Rockland Palace -- all those and more, too. Now the only clubs running in the New York City area are Madison Square Garden and Eastern Parkway. Each has a network TV contract that carries the load. It is the same story upstate. Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester and Utica used to run every week. Now the best they can do is an occasional "spot" show. Only Syracuse operates with any degree of regularity. The economic state of the nation, when most boys can get good pay without taking a chance on getting banged up in the ring, is responsible for some of the lack of talent. But the small clubs, always the breeding ground of future stars, also are important factors.