MONTGOMERY WINS AFTER HOT MIX (Los Angeles Times, February 14, 1945) By Paul Lowry In one of the wildest and roughest fights staged at the Olympic in months, Bob (Bobcat) Montgomery, world's lightweight champion (New York version) slashed his way to a unanimous 10-round decision over Cecil Hudson last night. Thanks to two legitimate knockdowns -- one for a brief count in the eighth and another for a four-count in the ninth -- Montgomery gained the votes of Referee Abe roth and two judges, but in victory he walked off with more boos than he did cheers. A crowd of 10,000 that packed the Olympic to the rafters gave the Bobcat, now Soldier Bob of Luke Field, the Bronx cheer for flooring Hudson after the fourth-round bell. The punch possibly took a lot of steam out of Hudson. The incident climaxed a display of bad blood that started with a punching orgy after the bell ending the second inning, and was repeated at the end of the third. This time Roth had to pull Montgomery off Hudson while one of the latter's seconds pried his man away. When the bell rang the finish of the fourth the fighters were near the ropes. Before Roth could jump between them Montgomery lashed out with a whistling right, the same type of blow that later floored his rival twice, and Hudson fell to the floor. The boos broke loose in a great volume, but Roth said the punch came so soon after the belol that it would have been a hairline decision to rule it foul. This ended the after-bell punching soirees, but both boys were guilty of rough work in the clinches with head, elbows and gloves. In back-alley parlance, it was a wicked brawl. In making his western debut, Montgomery, a wiry-legged, tireless punching fighter who has been out of action for six months, proved he can take it as well as dish it out. He absorbed a lot of tantalizing left jabs and hard rights from Hudson early in the battle, and still came on with a pace that wore Hudson down to a frazzle. Bobcat was a bit rusty in his timing, but when he got the range he hit effectively. Hudson put up one of his best local fights, and as far as points were concerned was ahead of the lightweight king at the end of the seventh round. He outweighed Montgomery, 146 1/2 to 139 3/4. Roth called the fight 60 to 50 in Montgomery's favor; Judge George Goodman, 59 to 51; Judge Mushy Callahan, 56 1/2 to 53 1/2; The Times, 57 to 53. Roth gave Montgomery seven rounds to three. Rudy Campa, 146, defeated Wilford Scott, 140, in the six-round semi-windup, while in the preliminaries Johnny Brisco, 201, proved too rugged for balding Steve Ludman, 192, in six rounds; Willie Collins, 160 1/2, won from Al Morey, 158, and Russ Long, 147, captured the curtain raiser from Benny Black, 147.
LOUIS GOES INTO TRAINING FOR CONN (Los Angeles Times, November 13, 1945) By Stuart Bell Joe Louis yesterday inaugurated at Willie Orner's gymnasium a postwar "golden era" of sports that will make the Dempsey-Tunney era look like something dragged out of a pauper's tomb. Going into serious training for the defense of his title at Yankee Stadium in June, Louis boxed two rounds before a capacity crowd and will box again today before going north for a boxing engagement in San Francisco. He will probably go four rounds today. At the gym was Irving Rosee, Mike Jacobs' nephew, who is representing Louis here, who said that Louis was going to have two fights next summer instead of one. If Conn beats him june Louis' contract calls for a return title bout in Stpember. If Louis wins he will fight the leading challenger in September, whether it be Conn or somebody else. Eddie Eagan, chairman of the New York Boxing Commission, said here a week ago that the June match would gross $5,000,000 from ticket sales, television rights and radio. Dempsey and Tunney did less than $5,000,000 for both their fights. Louis will get 40 per cent. Any fight Louis has in September is certain to gross a million or two, even if Joe fights only Joe Doaks. The champion boxed with Gene Felton ysterday. he weighed 220 pounds and said he had no fear about removing 15 pounds before June and weighing 205 for Conn, which is about what he weighed when he kayoed Conn in 13 rounds in his last important title bout. He said yesterday he has no fear that three years in military service will make him too rusty for Conn. He is looking toward another kayo. Louis showed how nerveless he is when he caught every cue in an absolutely poised appearance on a national radio program Sunday. He even looked Hollywood from his smart gray suit to his closely cropped mustache. After exhibtions and theater appearances that will take him as far north as Vancouver, Joe will head for New York, where he will work out at his old spot, Pompton Lake. He expects to start work there about March 1. In view of the time and Joe being one of the most conscientious workers in the ring trade, he figures to be in excellent shape by June. Manny Seaman, brother of Solly, the once famous boxer, directed Joe's workouts yesterday and will be with him the rest of his training period. He will not have so much time for golf, where he is always in the 70s. One thing that disappoints the champ is a local theater engagement next week which will keep him from seeing the Arturo Godoy-Johnny Haynes fight at the Olympic a week from tonight. Louis fought Godoy, who arrives here today with his manager, Al Weill, twice, winning on decision and a kayo. He says Godoy was one of the hardest fellows he ever fought and will be a tough nut for the local heavyweight to crack.
WEILL SEES LOUIS, GODOY FIGHT IN L.A. (Los Angeles Times, Thursday, Nov. 15, 1945) By Stuart Bell A heavyweight championship boxing bout in Los Angeles in September with Joe Louis and Arturo Godoy is the dream and aim of Al Weill, manager of Godoy, who is here to fight Johnny Haynes at the Olympic Tuesday. The affable pilot has these reasons for believing that there is better than an even chance for the scrap to be staged here. They are: 1--Louis will knock out Billy Conn in June (Weill's unequivocal predication). 2--Louis will defend his title a second time as he signed to do and in September Godoy will be the top challenger. 3--New York may be apathetic toward a third Louis-Godoy fight, Louis having outpointed the Chilean once and knocked him out in a second fight. 4--Los Angeles can produce a six-figure gate in the Coliseum. 5--Los Angeles rivals New York as a television and radio center. 6--Godoy is a more formidable fighter than Conn. He has had 22 bouts while Louis and Conn have been idle and would lick Louis in June if he had Conn's spot. Naturally, in setting forth his argument, Weill is assuming several things, the most important being that Godoy, now on an extensive ring tour in the country, will be undefeated in September. He is taking no consideration of the fact that Johnny Haynes, probably the hardest hitter Godoy has met except Louis, may flatten his expectant challenger. Not to be floored by this stunning possibility, the crafty pilot who steered Lou Ambers to the lightweight title, said yesterday: "So what? That would knock Godoy out of a shot at Louis maybe but it might push Haynes right into it so Los Angeles would have the title fight after all." Weill is a strong booster for L.A. He is here for his seventh trip with fighters. If a Louis-Godoy match were consummated for Los Angeles it would be the completion of a bout arranged here in 1941. Louis had beaten everybody. His last victory had been over Tony Musto. Godoy was all set to come here when his mother died in his native Chile and he had to go back and take charge of the family and a large estate. Before he could return Godoy was caught in the war. He is a lieutenant in the Chilean army in which he has served for 15 years. The South American champion, looking fit as a fiddle, began his boxing yesterday for the Haynes scrap. He is a rugged customer who weaves from a very sturdy pair of legs. He gives nobody a good shot at his chin.
FIDEL LaBARBA BACK FROM THE WAR (Los Angeles Times, November 15, 1945) Fidel LaBarba, who has been in combat, off and on, since he was 14 years old -- 26 years ago -- returned to Los Angeles yesterday after spending more than two years in Italy. The 1924 Olympic Games flyweight champion who won the world crown only 11 months after turning professional saw action from Casablanca through the North African campaign, went to Sicily and across to the Italian mainland as far as Naples. His duties were in special services, the main job being to help supply glider corps with equipment. Several times he was forced to sneak behind the German lines at night and get out the next evening. LaBarba met a girl in Naples and promptly married her. A daughter was born to his wife, Gianna Louisa, last Sept. 15 and appropriately enough they named her Victoria. Retiring from the ring in 1931, he enrolled at Stanford. After getting his degree, he wrote magazine articles and in 1936 went to work for Darryl Zanuck at 20th Century-Fox. He remained there until he enlisted in October, 1942.
L.A. WEIGHED AS SITE FOR LOUIS BOUT (United Press, Friday, November 16, 1945) NEW YORK -- Promoter Mike Jacobs announced today that he was considering seriously the possibility of staging the Joe Louis-Billy Conn heavyweight championship fight at Los Angeles in June. His announcement followed a conference with Leonard J. Roach, supervisor of the county of Los Angeles and president of the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission. Roach, who arrived in New York today, informed Jacobs that the huge Coliseum, at last had been thrown open to professional boxing. The Coliseum accommodates 104,000 people in the stands alone. Roach estimated that with seats placed on the field it could accommodate 140,000 for a fight. Seldon has the Coliseum permitted professional sports of any kind. Under a recent reorganization setup, permission has been granted to stage one world's championship boxing contest per year in the Coliseum. This new setup comprises a nine-man commission with three members each from the city of Los Angeles, the county of Los Angeles and the state of California -- joint owners of the Coliseum. Roach told Jacobs that rental for the Coliseum would be 10 per cent of the gross gate. Jacobs said he could not consider such a high rental, although the proposition interested him considerably. Roach then said "I will propose to the Coliseum Commission that a much lower rental be arranged. I am flying back to Los Angeles Monday and I will make my proposal to the commission on Tuesday. I am certain that it will be accepted." Jacobs said that one of the reasons why he is much interested in the California proposition is that champion Louis long has indicated that he would like the big fight to be staged in California. Southern California has become the Brown Bomber's favorite stamping grounds and he is purchasing a home in Los Angeles. Jacobs pointed out also that California also is a great sports state which draws tremendous crowds for its football games including the annual Rose Bowl classic. In connection with this Roach stressed that during the 1932 Olympic Games the Los Angeles Coliseum played to crowds of more than 100,000 persons a day. Roach said that Los Angeles county alone has a population of 3,700,000 and that transportation facilities are readily available to bring people there from all parts of the nation. Louis boxed four exhibition rounds against two opponents in San Francisco Thursday night. Jack (Sugar Lip) Robinson, 202, spent most of the two-minute rounds backing around the ring while the audience of 6,000 laughed and cheered. Big Boy Brown, 258, of St. Louis, the second opponent, managed to reach Louis with a few blows but wilted when the Brown Bomber mixed it near the end.
MUSINA KAYOES CARNERA IN SEVENTH (Associated Press, November 21, 1945) MILAN, Italy -- Primo Carnera, former heavyweight champion, was knocked out in the seventh round tonight by Luigi Musina, claimant to the European heavyweight title. Carnera, who entered the ring at 260 pounds, was completely outclassed by his 187-pound opponent. Musina twice floored the 39-year-old Carnera in the first round and continued to nail the former world champ with accurate punches until Carnera quit in the seventh. It was scored as a TKO.
LAYS DEFEAT TO PISTOL-PACKING FAN (Associated Press, Thursday, Nov. 22, 1945) MILAN, Italy -- Primo Carnera, onetime world heavyweight boxing champion, said today that a spectator forced him at pistol point to enter the ring for a losing comeback bout with Luigi Musina last night. In an interview with the Associated Press, the 264-pound Carnera blamed his seven-round technical knockout on upset nerves and demanded a return bout. (ED. NOTE -- Carnera did get the rematch, in fact, two of them, losing both over the eight-round distance to Musina on March 19, 1946 in Trieste, and May 12, 1946 in Gorizia, Italy. Three months after that, he was in the United States, ready to begin what turned out to be a lengthy and vastly successful professional wrestling career.)
GENE TUNNEY TO BUILD HOMES (Associated Press, December 16, 1945) STAMFORD, Ct. -- Former world's heavyweight champion Gene Tunney has announced that he is going into the construction business, concentrating on low-cost houses but perhaps also to build larger homes such as he himself occupies here. Papers of incorporation were filed at the town clerk's office over the weekend for the Stamford Building Co., listing Tunney as president.
KEARNS ACQUITTED OF FRAUD CHARGES (New York Times, December 22, 1945) Jack Kearns, 63-year-old former manager of Jack Dempsey and other prize fighters, was found not guilty at 10:45 o'clock last night by a Federal court jury of all charges in a twenty-six count indictment alleging fraud and conspiracy. Found not guilty also by a jury of seven men and five women was a woman co-defendant, Gloria Carruthers, 45-year-old Utica, N.Y., astrologer, known as Princess Zulieka. The jury had been deliberating since 12:30 p.m. yesterday and had thrice asked Federal Judge Mortimer G. Byers for instruction and exhibits. Mr. Kearns and Miss Carruthers were charged, with a third defendant who pleaded guilty when the trial began on Dec. 10, with having violated the fraud provisions of the Securities Act, using the mails to defraud, and conspiracy. The third defendant was Harry Lennon, 60, of 304 East Forty-second Street. The government alleged that through the operation of a fire extinguisher company he promoted, investors lost $150,000. The company, Federal Fyr-ex, manufactured extinguishers, according to Peter J. Donoghue, executive assistant United States attorney, who presented the government's case. Mr. Kearns' counsel contended that the former fight manager never was an official of the company and was in fact duped and "a fool, as were all investors in Lennon's company." The Kearns defense consisted entirely of the testimony of character witnesses, among them many promiment figures of the newspaoper and sports world. One of the latter -- Mickey Walker, former world's welterweight and middleweight champion, whom Mr. Kearns also managed -- was present throughout the trial. Mr. Kearns did not take the stand. "Princess Zulieka" did, however, and pictured herself as a victim of Lennon.
SPORTS MIRROR (San Francisco Chronicle, January 27, 1946) By Harry B. Smith The first big fight -- a heavyweight title match -- still stands out in my mind as the most colorful match of them all. It was the Jeffries-Johnson fight at Reno, in the summer of 1910. And while, from a money standpoint, it never rated with later battles, it did have the color and the personality. And so, I'll always remember that session as something that I want to keep in mind. From that standpoint, I'll put the Jeffries-Johnson affair against all the others. Jeffries had been the champion, but had retired. Jack Johnson, after his win in Australia against Tommy Burns, was rated as heavy champ. I never could get all that straightened around, but it didn't make much difference. Jeff was sent on a ballyoo tour of the country. So the match was made, presumably for San Francisco, and the bidding started. Sunshine Jim Coffroth was one of the local promoters. Tex Rickard, who rated himself a promoter because he had handled the Gans-Nelson fight in Goldfield, was in the bidding game with Jack Gleason. There were others, but when it came time to make bids, nobody could touch Tex and Gleason. Money was short with them, but they had plenty of nerve. Their bid won the fight, which was to have been held at Eighth and Market streets on what was then some vacant lots. In fact, the building of the stands was under way and was halted only when Governor Gillette threw a bombshell into the proceedings by declaring the fight could not be held in California. Consternation followed. Nobody knew exactly what could be done or how to do it. Reno, Nev., which was, even in those days, by way of being the greatest little city in the world, was selected. Fighters and newspaper folks were bundled aboard a special train and sent to the Nevadan metropolis. Reno was never a large city, but it could and did absorb a lot of people. That is where for several weeks we met our color and personality stuff. Reno was bubbling over with people and with enthusiasm. Gambling was legalized. Jeffries' camp for training was at one end of Reno -- quite some distance from the town, while Johnson was in another part. Newspapermen, not alone from San Francisco and other parts of the state, but from all over the East, were sent on the rush to cover the fight. Every New York paper had its stars on hand, not only great sports writers, but all good newspapermen, to write feature stories, while sports authorities handled the fight itself. We had a lot of names that counted in fight circles then. In the heavyweight ranks we had John L. Sullivan, who wore a diamond as big as an apple; Bob Fitzsimmon and James J. Corbett, Stanley Ketchel, abe Attell, Battling Nelson and representatives in virtually every weight division were there. Fight promoters from all parts of the country gathered there. A picture taken at ringside of the celebrities, and still extant, gives you a better than a faint idea of some of the stars of the ring who made it their business to be there. Special trains were operated from every important city on the Pacific Coast and eastern points also had their trains, on which the customers occupied their sleeping reservations. They aimed to reach Reno the day before the fight and most of them left the night of the fight. We all of us lived virtually on one street, and what a night -- all night, too -- was that night before the fight? It was an afternoon fight, for night-time fights for the big contests were little known or appreciated. It was hot, too, and most of us suffered from that. The Chronicle had a big staff to report the fight and the entire details were managed by the late Charles de Young. We took our notes at ringside, were sent back to our Reno quarters in automobiles, and there typed our stories, which were sent into the Chronicle telegraph rooms. It was a job well done. Chronicle pictures included the knockout. We filed 45,000 words and had a 12-page sports section, with little other in it than the Reno fight. That same night a few of us from the Chronicle left for San Francisco by way of Tallac on Lake Tahoe -- the Tallac Hotel being headquarters for a long time of Lucky Baldwin, another famous California character. Reno, at sports tops for several weeks, faded back for the time being and we had little to talk about save the fight that was.