Last Saturdaynight in Boston, Vince Martinez knocked out a little-known fighter named MarioTerry in the third round. The fight was unimpressive, but Columnist Gilloolywas intrigued by the fervor of the new relationship between Martinez and hismanager, Bill Daly.
Verboten VinceMartinez, recently returned from the cruel penal island of Boycott, a moatedfortress somewhere off the Jersey shore, dropped into town yesterday todeclare, in harmonious chorus with his manager, that he wasn't really exiled atall and that he has no Napoleonic complexes.
Cafe sockcietycollected at the Como on Friend St. for scrapple (naturally the fight mob'sfavorite breakfast is scrapple) and Martinez, quite possibly the bestwelterweight in the world, and his reconciled pilot, Honest Bill Daly, werepresent.
Daly is knownfar as well as wide as Honest Bill because he is treasurer of the InternationalBoxing Managers Guild, or Guilt in pugdom's parlance; because he keeps saying:"Well, we might as well be honest about this"; and because, any timethat he takes the empty bottles to the supermarket for rebate, he always turnsover the full amount to the Mrs. The latter calls for sterling character,indeed.
It turns outthat Martinez didn't spend 15 months on barren but inescapable Boycott. It wasanother colony entirely; a pleasant retreat known as Friendship Vineyard.
"Certainly Imade no move to boycott this boy," said Daly with an endearing glance atMartinez. "It was friendship. In 35 years in The Game, I've made a lot offriends: promoters, managers, sportswriters. They all figured I got a bad dealand they just wouldn't give him any action out of sympathy to me."
Daly winced ateach mention of boycott, which has a conspiratorial ring, and the tone ofintrigue. The dictionary says it derived from a situation in County Mayo,Ireland in 1880 when a Captain Boycott, a land agent, got the total snub. Itmeans to combine against a person in a policy of nonassociation especially forpolitical reasons and next trip to the dictionary I must get around to fettleas in "fine fettle" and petrel as in "stormy petrel" to findout what in h—l they are.
While Daly andMartinez were on the outs—Daly figures it was a $100,000 spat—Martinez waspractically at leisure with only a few bouts. He couldn't even pick a fight onthe street. Each time he put on his kid gloves (and "he's a dandy) therewas a tug at Ms heart because there was no padding in the knuckles. He wastaboo, fib doubt about it, doing his light training in a figurativeleprosarium.
Once a Canadianfighter was smuggled in, ostensibly to give Martinez a go somewhere south ofthe Mason-Dixon line, far from the big gold of New York. At the last moment theCanadian excused himself. Friendship for Daly had raised its loyal head.Another time vassal Vince was to have gone against Irvin Steen in Akron. Theday of the bout it was canceled and the promoter gave "lack ofinterest" as the reason. There had been a violent storm in the vicinitythat day; the excuse had merit.
A wrangle withMartinez' family caused the $100,000 cleavage and set Martinez back a fullyear. It cost him possibly the best year of his strife, for he was named Rookieof the Year for 1952 and experts saw him soon shelling Johnny Saxton from thetitle.
IT'S THE LITTLETHINGS
Martinez' dad,Anthony, and Daly were co-managers at the outset, with Daly taking 23[1/6]% andPop receiving 10[1/6]. Daly and Mr. Martinez quarreled over some items:"Little things I can't even remember," spoke Daly. "It was like aman and wife in a little tiff at breakfast. Before the day was out it would beforgotten except that the in laws and the outlaws, that's what I calloutsiders, stepped in for a piece of the fight. By dinnertime the man and wifewould be looking for lawyers."
TheMartinezes—brother Phil Martinez was in the scenario as a second—and Dalyfinally saw their fiscal folly and again are devoted although, of course,keeping a vigilant eye upon one another at all times.
At only 26,Vince is making a virtual comeback. Fifteen months on Boycott, or ratherFriendship Isle, must have rusted Vince, but Daly optimized; "Ourseparation could work the other way for Vince is now more mature, stronger andhas learned to pace himself." Where he learned pace in semi-seclusion is amystery. Must have been at the Yonkers or Roosevelt raceway.