A 1953 scan of network TV's boxing main events and L.A oldtimers gather.

(ED. NOTE -- The profusion of boxing shows on network television began to
worry small club promoters early in 1953, when the number of weekly network
fight shows increased, first, from three to four, and then from four to five,
within the span of two months. Additionally, in the greater New York area,
there were local telecasts from at least three arenas each week. About this
time, the noted fight personage, "Deacon" Jack Hurley -- then on "the outs"
with the powerful International Boxing Club --  began to tell intimates that,
in his view, "television will kill everything." Hurley remained adamantly
opposed to home TV for the rest of his life, going so far as to totally black
out his most notable promotion, the 1957 world heavyweight championship fight
in the Seattle ballpark between Floyd Patterson and Olympic champion Pete
Rademacher. Join with us now as we review, for old times' sake, three months
of network TV main events covering the months of January, February and March,
1953. The DuMont offerings originated Monday nights from Eastern Parkway Arena
in Brooklyn, N.Y. Wednesday night belonged to CBS, Friday to NBC's Cavalcade
of Sports, usually from Madison Square Garden. ABC, with veteran fight trainer
Ray Arcel setting up a production company to handle the shows, got into the
act with Saturday night fights, most of the early ones originating in Boston.
Yet another ABC offering, from Detroit's Motor City Arena, was added to the
Thursday night lineup in late March.)

Monday, Jan. 5 (Brooklyn) -- Marvin Edelman W10 Charley (Red) Williams,

Wednesday, Jan. 7 (Cleveland Arena) -- Lester Felton TKO4 Del Flanagan,

Friday, Jan. 9 (New York MSG) -- Rocky Castellani W10 Ralph (Tiger) Jones,

Monday, Jan. 12 (Brooklyn) -- Bob Baker (sub for Coley Wallace) W10 Billy
Gilliam, heavyweights.

Wednesday, Jan. 14 (St. Louis Arena) -- Ezzard Charles TKO9 Wes Bascom,

Friday, Jan. 16 (New York St. Nick's) -- Harold Johnson W10 Jimmy Slade,

Monday, Jan. 19 (Brooklyn) -- Chico Vejar TKO4 Italo Scortichini,

Wednesday, Jan. 21 (Wash. DC, Uline Arena) -- Kid Gavilan W10 Vic Cardell,

Friday, Jan. 23 (New York St. Nick's) -- Willie Troy W10 Bobby Jones,

Saturday, Jan. 24 (Boston Mechanics) -- Harold (Baby Face) Jones W10 Freddy
(Babe) Herman, lightweights.

Monday, Jan. 26 (Brooklyn) -- Joey Giambra W10 Danny (Bang Bang) Womber,

                         CBS TO EXPERIMENT WITH SIX-ROUNDERS

(Associated Press, Monday, January 5, 1953)

CHICAGO -- Two six-round bouts, rather than a ten-round main event, will be
televised nationally by the International Boxing Club on Wednesday, January
28, to begin a new television policy.

The IBC plans to televise a pair of six-rounders once a month.

"The idea is to develop new major talent," said Truman Gibson, IBC secretary,
today. "It will give the television public some new faces to watch."

Each fighter on the televised six-rounders will receive $1,000, Gibson said.

The inaugural pair of bouts will be beamed from Chicago Stadium. Floyd
Patterson, former Olympic champion, and Chester Mieszala, Chicago
middleweight, have been matched in one six-rounder. In the other, Chuck
Speiser, former 175-pound Olympic boxer and NCAA titlists, will meet Tony
Lomonaco of Grand Rapids, Mich.

(ED. NOTE -- The experiment seemed to be short-lived.   There was no "new
major talent" shown in six-rounders in either February or March. While
Patterson, in his fifth bout, did get national TV exposure on the 28th, the
other bout fell through, being replaced by a heavyweight tussle matching two
Nebraska-based heavies. Noble was an erstwhile University of Nebraska football

Wednesday, Jan. 28 (Chicago Stadium) -- Floyd Patterson KO5 Chester Mieszala,
middleweights; Bill Noble W6 Larry Watson, heavyweights (Orlando Zulueta KO5
Luther Rawlings, lightweights -- main event not shown on national telecast).

Friday, Jan. 30 (New York MSG) -- Vince Martinez W10 Carmine Fiore,

Saturday, Jan. 31 (Boston Mechanics) -- Charlie (Muscles) Goulart KO5 Bobby
King, middleweights.

Monday, Feb. 2 (Brooklyn) -- Joey Giardello W10 Harold Green, middleweights.

Wednesday, Feb. 4 (Detroit) -- Ezzard Charles TKO9 Tommy Harrison,

Friday, Feb. 6 (New York MSG) -- Pierre Langlois W10 Rocky Castellani,

Saturday, Feb. 7 (Boston Garden) -- Carl (Bobo) Olson W10 Norman Hayes,

Monday, Feb. 9 (Brooklyn) -- Ralph (Tiger) Jones TKO9 Marvin Edelman,

Wednesday, Feb. 11 (Chicago Stadium) -- Kid Gavilan KO Chuck Davey 10 (world
welterweight title defense).

Friday, Feb. 13 (New York MSG) -- Roland LaStarza W10 Rex Layne, heavyweights.

Saturday, Feb. 14 (Syracuse) -- Dick Wagner KO4 Joey DeJohn, middleweights.

Monday, Feb. 16 (Brooklyn) -- Bob Baker W10 Cesar Brion, heavyweights.

Wednesday, Feb. 18 (Coral Gables Coliseum) -- Joe Miceli W10 Bobby Dykes,

Friday, Feb. 20 (New York MSG) -- George Araujo W10 Paddy DeMarco,

Saturday, Feb. 21 (Boston) -- Henry Davis W10 Johnny Gonsalves, lightweights.

Monday, Feb. 23 (Brooklyn) -- Johnny Bratton KO5 Tuzo (Kid) Portuguez,

Wednesday, Feb. 25 (St. Louis Arena) -- Teddy (Red Top) Davis W10 Charley
Riley, featherweights.

Friday, Feb. 27 (New York MSG) -- Pat Marcune W10 Lauro Salas, lightweights.

Saturday, Feb. 28 (Toledo) -- Carmen Basilio W10 Vic Cardell, welterweights.

Monday, Mar. 2 (Brooklyn) -- Danny Giovanelli KO6 Danny Joe Perez,

Wednesday, Mar. 4 (Miami) -- Joey Maxim W10 Danny Nardico, lightheavyweights.

Friday, Mar. 6 (New York MSG) -- Billy Graham W10 Joey Giardello,

Saturday, Mar. 7 (Boston Arena) -- Tommy Collins TKO5 Fabela Chavez,

Monday, Mar. 9 (Brooklyn) -- Livio Minelli W10 Charley Spicer, welterweights.

Wednesday, Mar. 11 (St. Louis Arena) -- Archie Moore W10 Nino Valdes,

Friday, Mar. 13 (New York MSG) -- Chico Vejar W10 Vince Martinez,

Saturday, Mar. 14 (Boston) -- Paddy DeMarco W10 Henry Davis, lightweights.

Monday, Mar. 16 (Brooklyn) -- Ralph (Tiger) Jones D10 Danny (Bang Bang)
Womber, middleweights.

Wednesday, Mar. 18 (Dallas Sportatorium) -- Pierre Langlois W10 Bobby Dykes,

Thursday, Mar. 19 (Detroit Motor City Arena) -- Mike (Rocky) Casillo KO2 Gene
Gunter; Chuck Price vs. Ken Hohner (result not available).

Friday, Mar. 20 (New York MSG) -- Johnny Bratton KO5 Bobby Jones,

Saturday, Mar. 21 (Toledo) -- Harold Johnson W10 Billy Gilliam, heavyweights.

Monday, Mar. 23 (Brooklyn) -- Orlando Zulueta W10 Wallace (Bud) Smith,

Wednesday, Mar. 25 (Cleveland Arena) -- George Araujo W10 Teddy (Red Top)
Davis, lightweights.

Thursday, Mar. 26 (Detroit Motor City Arena) -- Gus Rubicini vs. Lester
Felton, welterweights (result not available).

Friday, Mar. 27 (New York MSG) -- Paddy Young W10 Ernie Durando,

Saturday, Mar. 28 (Philadelphia Met) -- Ike Williams W10 Vic Cardell,

Monday, Mar. 30 (Brooklyn) -- Pierre Langlois W10 Jimmy Beau, middleweights.


(Los Angeles Times, Sunday, November 15, 1998)

By Steve Springer

They are like a group of war veterans when they get together, swapping old
stories about old battles.  But those battles were fought with fists, not
guns. The scars they carry into old age--cauliflower ears, flattened noses,
drooping eyelids--were inflicted not on the battlefield, but in the ring.

They are the fighters of earlier generations.  More than a 100 of them
attended a luncheon in the Hollywood area last week to honor two of their own.
George Latka, a lightweight who fought from 1937 to 1942 and became a trainer,
manager and referee, was celebrating his 84th birthday. Art Aragon, a
welterweight from 1944 to 1959, and the man known as the Golden Boy before
Oscar De La Hoya was even born, was turning 71.

Among those in attendance were Bobby Chacon, Mando Ramos and Ruben Castillo,
all big names from L.A.'s glorious boxing past.

Naturally, many of the oldest members of the group move a little slower, the
once-blazing hands reduced to a mere shake. But that doesn't distinguish them
from any other group of senior citizens.

Ask them about one of their fights, however, and watch the eyes light up and
the hands begin to move as they talk.

Charlie Powell a former heavyweight and a pro football player with the Oakland
Raiders and San Francisco 49ers, remembered a fight he had in 1963 with a
brash young kid named Cassius Clay.

"Early in the fight," Powell said, "I hit him with a right hand to the
stomach. It seemed like I hit him so well that my hand went in all the way up
to the elbow. Everybody in the building thought it was over."  It was, but not
the way Powell envisioned.

"He started throwing punches so fast. . . ," said Powell, his voice trailing
off. "And when you tried to hit him, he got out of the way like he had radar
in his head."

Clay, in those pre-Muhammad Ali days, had predicted that Powell would be gone
in three rounds. Clay used to brag, "They all shall fall in the round I call."

Sure enough, Powell was stopped in the third round.

Aragon remembers when he met actor William Holden, who had been in a boxing
movie called "Golden Boy." When a fan approached Holden and referred to the
actor as Golden Boy, Holden pointed to Aragon, who was by his side, and said,
"He's the Golden Boy."

The name stuck throughout Aragon's ring career and was revived in 1992 when De
La Hoya won a gold medal at the Olympics Games.  And how does Aragon feel
about De La Hoya taking over his nickname?

"With the money he's making," Aragon said, "they can call him anything he

Asked how he feels about fighters routinely making in excess of $1 million a
fight, Latka, who arrived in Los Angeles in 1937 with a $1 in his pocket,
said: "I envy them. Some of the guys here feel like we were cheated out of the
big money."

But Latka can't say he was cheated out of a minute in the ring. He fought 159
times as an amateur, 55 as a pro and refereed for 28 years.

"And I loved it all," he said.

The money was awful in those earlier years and the medical care was often
worse, but at the birthday luncheon, there weren't any regrets heard from any
of the fighters.

Other than that they all wished they'd been born a little later.

                          HARD TO BELIEVE MONGOOSE IS GONE 

(Seattle Times, Tuesday, December 15, 1998)

By Emmett Watson

I have delayed any tribute to the late boxer Archie Moore until I was sure he
was dead.

Those of us who knew him were always a bit superstitious about Archie. But
authoritative accounts of his departure are now in.

Thus ended the life last week of the "Old Mongoose," surely one of mankind's
most remarkable athletes.

Archie's death, along with accounts of Joe DiMaggio's struggle for life, moved
J Michael Kenyon, a towering tribune of sports trivia, to say:

"Archie began fighting for pay in 1936, the same year DiMaggio began his great
career with the Yankees. Talk about two different paths to immortality! Moore
won his title in 1952, a full year after DiMaggio became too old to play

For some curious reason, the Old Mongoose liked me. He called me "One Step"
because of a slight limp I had from a bout with polio.
Of course, Archie liked all sportswriters. He loved the ink at our disposal
because ink, the mother's milk of publicity, nourished his gate receipts.

He once sent me a figure of a coiled cobra on a pedestal, head flaring and
ready to strike.
"Just remember, One Step," he wrote, "that I am the mongoose."

Archie's early years were the Appalachia of boxing. Purses were sparse. By the
time he fought Joey Maxim for the light heavyweight title in 1952, Archie was
39. Or was he 36?

Archie said he was born on Dec. 13, 1913. His mother said he was indeed born
on Dec. 13, but the year was 1916.

"I have given it some thought," Archie explained. "I must have been 3 years
old when I was born."

To get his first title bout with Maxim, Moore exhorted hundreds of
sportswriters to his cause. Because he had to guarantee Maxim $100,000 to even
show up, Archie netted $800 from his championship match.

Though he beat Maxim, the light heavyweight division (175-pound limit) was
minimum wage. So Archie went after bigger men - heavyweights. In all, he
fought four prospective or former heavyweight champions - Ezzard Charles,
Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson and Cassius Clay.

He lost to all four, but two were bouts of high drama. He decked the
heavyweight champion Marciano in the second round, but Marciano, strong and
bull-like, wore him down. After eight rounds the referee wanted to stop the
fight, but Archie said no. "A champion goes out on his back. I am a champion,

The old fight promoter Jack Hurley always proclaimed that Archie's fifth-round
knockout by Floyd Patterson was a dump. He thought it inconceivable that the
light-hitting Patterson could beat such a master as the Mongoose. Archie was
43 then (or was it 40, as his mother said?).

Hurley's argument was fairly convincing. Archie trained only sporadically for
the fight and his weight soared to a bulbous 196. Archie went down in the
fifth, as though on cue, but it doesn't seem important now.
Anybody who lived in a racket like boxing for three decades, as Archie did, is
bound to have a few warts on his reputation.

His records will stand forever: more than 200 fights, 141 knockouts, said to
be the most by a professional boxer. He fought nine world champions and seven
Hall of Fame boxers.

He loved kids and he counseled them against drugs and gangs and dropping out.
In one of his last Seattle visits he spoke at a Garfield High School assembly.
"This is the way it should be," he said, looking over the crowd. "All the
colors of the rainbow."

                            BOXING LOSES AN ORIGINAL 

(Los Angeles Daily News, December 14, 1998)

By Michael Rosenthal

Boxing lost a true wonder when it lost Archie Moore.

The former light heavyweight champion, known for a his big punch, ring savvy
and delightful wit, died in San Diego at what was believed to be 84 on

Consider just a few of his deeds:

He had a record 141 knockouts, according to The Boxing Record Book. That's
more FIGHTS than all but a few boxers have amassed in their careers.

He fought for 27 years, from 1936 to 1963. He began his pro career only eight
years after Jack Dempsey's last fight and ended up in the ring with Cassius
Clay (now Muhammad Ali). And his career wasn't like that of Roberto Duran or
Larry Holmes today: He was a remarkably capable fighter until near the end, at

He was the only one to have fought both Rocky Marciano and Ali. He almost
stopped Marciano before he was knocked out himself in the ninth round in 1955
but was much too slow to cope with Ali and fell in four in 1962. He was 48 in
that fight.

I once asked him who was better, Marciano or Ali. Always a diplomat, he just
smiled and said, "They were both good."

He defended the light-heavyweight title, which he won at 39 by outpointing
Joey Maxim in 1952, 11 times over a span of 10 years.

He had engaged in 169 bouts over the span of 17 years before he got that
opportunity to fight for the championship -- his first title shot. That's

He was one of the principals in one of the greatest fights ever. He got up
from four brain-jarring knockdowns -- three in the first round -- to stop Yvon
Durelle in the 11th in a title defense. As the story goes, after the fourth 
knockdown, his wily manager Doc Kearns had him wave to his wife, whom he was 
told was sitting behind Durelle, when all the while she was sitting elsewhere.

Durelle, believing Moore was waving at him, became unnerved in a turning point
in the fight. Boxing historian Bert Sugar rates Moore the greatest light 
heavyweight and 23rd best fighter of any weight in his "The 100 Greatest Boxers 
of All-Time."

"He epitomized the light-heavyweight division," Sugar said.

Moore had his disappointments.

He had to wait so long for his shot at the title principally because he was
African-American and so talented. He had to fight Maxim for only $800 to get
his opportunity finally. He spent a lot of time on what was called the "Black
Circuit," fighting other top African-American fighters who shared a similar

Moore, a natural light heavyweight who weighed no more than 206 pounds in any
fight, never claimed the one prize he so wanted: the heavyweight title. He
lost to Marciano in 1955 (at 41) and Floyd Patterson the following year in his
only two opportunities.

He always saw the Marciano fight as the one that got away. Years later, Moore
said that had referee Howie Kessler simply wiped off Marciano's gloves after
the champ went down in the second round instead of yanking his arms -- which
helped pump life back into him -- Moore might've won the title.

As it was, Moore never complained.

The media loved him because he loved to talk and because of what he had to
say. He was a self-promoter long before Ali. Television analyst and former
sportswriter Larry Merchant tells the story of how Moore used to write long,
engaging letters to the writers as a way of marketing himself. And he was
always armed with one-liners.

One example is the discrepancy in his age. Moore's mother said he was born in
1913; he said he was born in 1916. Moore's explanation?

"I've given this a lot of thought," he said, "and have decided that I must
have been three when I was born."

By all accounts, he was a lovable, witty and well-respected character. More
than anything, though, he was a fighter's fighter -- even without the
heavyweight crown.

He accomplished more after the age of 39 than all but a few boxers have in
their entire careers. If there was ever a one-of-a-kind figure in this sport,
Moore was it.

"Archie, to me, was the forerunner of fighters who were appreciated outside
the ring as well as in the ring," veteran trainer Angelo Dundee told the
Associated Press. "He was slick, he was smart, he was his own PR man.

"The media loved him because he gave them something, plus he could fight like