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Original Issue


For 87 Years the South's Standard Newspaper

Sports EditorFurman Bisher reports on Light Heavyweight Champion Archie Moore's determinedcampaign to get a fight with Rocky Marciano and wonders if the IBC is waitingfor 38-year-old Archie to grow old

I hope ArchieMoore was tuned in Wednesday night. They were talking about him on televisionafter Bobo Olson, the Hawaiian, had fricasseed that Frenchman, unlucky PierreLanglois. Archie, who's dying for a fight, would have loved it.

The way ithappened, Olson was discussing ring matters with Russ Hodges, the voice of thehops. Russ was trying to convince Bobo that he'd just had a pretty tough fight,and Bobo wasn't buying any of that nonsense.

"He's a goodboy," said Olson, in the manner of a father patting a small child on thehead. "He's a good hitter but he's pretty awkward."

Then Hodgesrequested some notion of his future plans. "Do you plan to move up into aheavier division?"

"Well,"welled Olson, "I might. I'd be interested in fighting somebody like ArchieMoore...whatever my manager thinks I should do."

That isn'texactly what Moore's got in mind, but he's the kind of guy who appreciates anysort of mention these days. Moore's attempting to buck the syndicate that runsboxing. He wants a fight with Rocky Marciano. The syndicate is making no moveto match them. Moore, meanwhile, writes more regularly than most mothers, eachletter driving home another reason he should have a bout with Marciano.

The other day hecame up with the stunning idea of a double-header. He'd fight both Don Cockell,the British fat boy, and Nino Valdes, the Cuban, on the same card. The reasonhe'd make so vigorous an offer is the IBC has indicated at times that these twoheavyweights were ahead of Moore in the line to get at Marciano.

From his 1115Monroe St. address in Toledo then came a new gimmick. There was this letterfrom Moore with four blanks:

"Number ofmen on your staff——"

"Number whowould like to see a Marciano-Moore fight——"

"Number whowould pick Marciano——"

"Number whowould pick Moore—"

The answers, inorder, were: 10, 10, 10 and zero.

Since Moore hasprogress in mind, it isn't likely he'd take too well to a match with Olson. Hehas one title, light heavyweight champion of the world—carefully embossed onhis stationery—and has in mind relieving Marciano of another. He could achievenothing with Olson, except a good-sized wage for a night's work. All Olsonwants is Moore's title.

There hasn't beenany indication that Marciano will do any title defending for some time. He andhis guardian, Al Weill, sit tight and say nothing, except on strategicoccasions. Moore's 38 years old. Maybe Marciano and Weill and the IBC arewaiting for him to age. Maybe they're waiting for this propaganda campaign ofMoore's to hit such a deafening crescendo that they can fill any barn in thecountry with previously passive clients.

A Marciano-Moorematch ordinarily would have made no grand imprint on the nation. Moore'sdiligent correspondence program could change all that and make it a betterseller.

Occasionally SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will reprint anoutstanding sports column from a daily newspaper. The writer will receive aprize of $250.