BOXING: NOTICE TO THE WORLD
I wish to congratulate you upon the excellent coverage that you have always given to boxing, but more particularly in your recent issues. You refer to the recent report made to our Governor Brown by Attorney General Mosk concerning the operation of our commission ("What Every Governor Should Know," EVENTS & DISCOVERIES, Aug. 17). This report was indeed penetrating and fair. We enjoy a close relationship with our attorney general, and have great respect for him.
Your article was also timely, accurate and fair, except for what was likely an inadvertent implication that our commission had an ulterior motive in approving certain bouts that might be tainted by hoodlum connections. This ulterior motive, your article implied, was a theoretical fear that we might have concerning the loss of tax revenues and hence lack of money to pay our salaries.
I can understand your wording, as similar talk is frequently heard in boxing circles throughout the country. However, it can hardly be applied to California, since we draw no salary—not a dime.
The problem we have in preventing hoodlum participation in the larger imported fights is that all persons involved come to us with a license from some other area. Since the illegal activity of the hoodlums often takes place in their home states, and because of the assumption in America that everyone is innocent until proved guilty, it is next to impossible for us to gather adequate evidence of guilt in the short time usually allowed.
We have been successful, to our satisfaction, in several cases, and licenses were denied. Unfortunately, those denied the right to be active in California are often welcomed elsewhere. Rest assured, and you can give notice to the world, that the California commission will deny licenses to hoodlums whenever it has sufficient legal evidence to do so—and regardless of the effect upon tax revenues.
A nationwide solution may well be dependent upon the increased interest of honest local commissions in national matters and probably federal regulation, and our attorney general's recommendation in this connection must be explored in great detail.
HARRY W. FALK JR.
Member, California Athletic
Boxing is a big business and crosses state lines. Neither the State of New York nor any other state can correct the situation by itself.
I suggest federal legislation covering the following:
A federal commissioner, appointed perhaps for life. This man should not be a politician or anyone connected with boxing today He must be a man with courage, ability, imagination and integrity.
He should have the authority and duty to select all challengers for championship matches and elimination tournaments.
He should have the authority to revoke the title from any champion who refuses to defend within a reasonable time.
His approval should be required for all contracts involving the promotion of title bouts or elimination tournaments.
I realize these suggestions would only be a start.
ROBERT B. BURNS
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Isn't there a "Mann Act" that could possibly stop this apparent prostitution of muscles and footwork? It appears that boxing is not afforded the protection that other sports possess.
The public image of boxing is one of hoodlumism and undercover machinations, and the terrible thing about this is that the public appears to have accepted the cheat, the liar and the manipulator as part and parcel of boxing.
If boxing cannot be regulated any better than it is at present, then we ought to take legislative action to control these punks.
CARL H. DURHAM
New Bern, N.C.
CHESS: SEND BOBBY TO YUGOSLAVIA
WE WHO HAVE BEEN PRIVILEGED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE GROWTH OF THIS VERY FINE EVENT ARE INDEED GRATEFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF BOBBY FISCHER AND FOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE THROUGH THE 19TH HOLE FOR CHESS ENTHUSIASTS EVERYWHERE TO ASSIST OUR NATIONAL CHAMPION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CANDIDATES TOURNAMENT IN YUGOSLAVIA.
As an avid chess enthusiast, I feel that Russia would give Khrushchev's eyeteeth to show this lad to the world if they had him. But they don't have a wonder like Bobby, and we do.
Please find enclosed my contribution, hoping it will help Bobby in his forthcoming chess matches in Yugoslavia.
Here is-my contribution. I am glad to learn that any money contributed not needed for Bobby's expenses will go toward supporting chess in this country. Chess is a marvelous game, as anyone who will give it a try will find out. And you don't have to be a giant brain—anyone can play and enjoy it.
New York City
IT WAS WILLIE IN '93
Your English golf contributor, Henry Longhurst, is not correct in Invaders from below the Equator (SI, July 13). He states: "At 23, Gary Player...is the youngest player to win the British title since it became a 72-hole event." The facts are that after 1891 the British Open Championship was extended to 72 holes and in 1893 the winner was Willie Auchterlonie, then aged 21.
My authority is Willie Auchterlonie himself, aged 87 years on August 5, 1959.
He is still hale and hearty, and lives with his son Laurie Auchterlonie in St. Andrews, where I see him regularly.
LIEUT. COLONEL W. H. PIKE
St. Andrews, Scotland
POLO: SACROSANCT 17
It would seem to me that your normally very accurate reporters came a bit unstuck in Pumping Plasma into Polo (SI, Aug. 10).
According to your text, there are "only 17 polo players in the U.S. who can be considered of championship caliber. It is significant that not one of them is from Long Island or, more specifically, Meadow Brook."
Polo players are rated on their averages, with a 10-goal player being classed in the same category as a .400 hitter in baseball. There are, however, four nine-goal players active in the game today, one of whom is Alan Corey Jr. And where does Corey come from? Meadow Brook.
Would you not consider one of the four top polo players in the U.S. worthy of championship caliber? If you don't, this is like saying that Yogi Berra is not considered a big league ballplayer.
Another whom I feel belongs very definitely in your sacrosanct 17 is Pete Bostwick. Bostwick is now down to seven goals in the ratings, primarily because he may not be as young as he was yesterday, but I dare say he still is a better player than virtually any of those pictured in your pages, with the possible exception of Harold Barry. And where does Bostwick do his poloing? At Meadow Brook.
The national 20-goal tournament (which, with the National Open, ranks as the World Series of polo) was played last year and this year on Long Island. Who won it in 1958? Meadow Brook.
Who won it in 1959? The Firestone team from Dallas, with Meadow Brook in the runner-up spot.
They are playing some fine polo at Oak Brook, and no one takes anything from them. But they still are playing better polo at Meadow Brook; and if you don't think so I would challenge you to select any four midwestern players to meet Meadow Brook for the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED trophy.
•SPORTS ILLUSTRATED accepts the challenge and nominates the following Oak Brook players—Cecil Smith, George Oliver, Harold Barry and Gus White Jr.—to meet the Meadow Brook team for the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Silver Mallet.—ED.