MONTREAL BRAWL (CONT.)
Right on for the extraordinary article on the Leonard-Duran fight (June 30)! Right on for the breathtaking photographs (the spread on pages 14 and 15 actually caused my head to snap back)!
However, right off to the winner of the fight. I hope the Hartford Whalers, Connecticut's entry in the National Hockey League, take heed of Duran's bull, push and shoulder tactics—they need a defenseman who can smash awaiting centers out of the goalmouth—the way Duran did to Leonard.
I caught the Duran-Leonard fight on closed circuit and from what I could see, Sugar Ray could easily have beaten Duran had he fought like the Sugar Ray I saw before the Duran fiasco. I still can't understand why Sugar Ray fought Duran flat-footed for 15 rounds.
It has been written that Duran cut off the ring, put pressure on and didn't give Sugar Ray a chance to use his speed. That's a bunch of bull. From the opening bell in Round 1 Sugar Ray stood flat-footed and invited Duran to be the aggressor. At no time during the fight did Sugar Ray try to jab and move.
Should they fight again, I say Sugar Ray will make Duran look like an amateur. That is, if Sugar Ray uses his speed the way he should.
LOUIS T. EVANS
Because of your excellent coverage of the Leonard-Duran fight, you are hereby forgiven for not having the New York Islanders on your June 2 cover.
As I saw it, the "Brawl in Montreal" could have aptly served as an undercard to a heavyweight wrestling match. Although the bout was certainly exciting, it was marred by Duran's grabbing and shoving tactics, which were allowed by the referee.
In other fights I have witnessed, such "bullying" has usually resulted in the issuing of warnings by the ring official, and I cannot understand why it was permitted in this fight.
Additionally, Duran's behavior while awaiting the decision was virtually uncivilized, and certainly unbecoming to a champion. If the inevitable rematch is officiated more closely, the boxer with the most talent and class—Ray Leonard—will surely win. I, for one, am not entirely convinced that he lost this one.
Then again, I've never really been a wrestling fan.
STEPHEN J. LASKARZEWSKI
Nowhere do you mention the complete and total disregard for sportsmanship Duran displayed in the ring after the fight. It was a disgusting display of foul language, dirty signs and a generally moronic attitude.
It was a great fight, but he is a poor example of a champion.
Surely, the "Brawl in Montreal" was just to test Roberto's enDURANce.
I was thrilled by your picture of Duran's right fist landing on Sugar Ray's jaw. It reminds me of a picture of Rocky Marciano's right lead that KO'd Jersey Joe Walcott in the 13th round of their 1952 bout.
The intensity and expression of the two men are remarkably similar.
Congratulations to Clive Gammon for his article on Jim Watt (A Great Stramash in Glasgow, June 16), which showed not only what a great boxer Watt really is but also the proud spirit the Scots have.
The strong feeling that Watt has for his country and the countless other Scottish fanatics backing him are the main reasons for his victory. This emotional bond between a man and his country actually gave Howard Davis no chance at all of winning. It's events like these that make me even more proud of being a Scotsman.
EARL THE PEARL
Your article on Earl Weaver (Mr. and Mrs. Earl Weaver, June 30) was excellent, until the last part of it. You made it sound as though the Orioles' 1979 World Series loss was completely Weaver's fault. Earl had to start Mike Flanagan in Game 5 because the only other pitchers he could have started, Steve Stone and Sammy Stewart, had pitched the day before, when Weaver's crafty use of his bench pulled out a victory. And for his failure to win the "big one," where were you after the 1970 World Series?
I thought Frank Deford's article on Earl Weaver did a fine job of portraying a businessman and a man who knows his business. Having followed the Orioles throughout the '70s, I realize that the Earl of Baseball is one of only three Orioles to have been with the club for those 10 years of division titles, pennants and World Series. Either he has been the luckiest manager in history or he knows his business. I would opt for the latter. How else could a man be arrogant, cocky and hostile and get away with it? As Deford said, "Earl is baseball. Can do it all."
ERIC M. CURNOW
As a former member of American University's golf team, I am puzzled by the shirt Earl Weaver is wearing in the picture on page 51. American U. never had such shirts for its golfers, and the school's mascot is an eagle, not a patriot. Where did it come from?
•Weaver doesn't know; he says the shirt was given to him in Japan last fall.—ED.
SAVE THE FROGS
Steve Wulf's Scorecard column in the June 30 issue has prompted me to write on behalf of the remaining frogs of America. Wulf states that "hunting keeps the frog population in check." He writes as though this is a necessity, when other publications in recent months have had headlines such as WHERE HAVE ALL THE FROGS GONE? Robert C. Cowen of The Christian Science Monitor quotes Richard Wassersug of the University of Chicago as warning that there is a growing frog shortage caused by thoughtless human action, and that the pressures on frogs are manifold.
In view of this state of affairs, Wulf's light-hearted commentary seems irresponsible.
When Jack Nicklaus was named SI's Sportsman of the Year for 1978, Frank Deford noted that zero-digit years have been special for Nicklaus: he was born in 1940; learned to play golf in 1950; married and finished second to Palmer in the 1960 U.S. Open; and ended a long slump in 1970 with a victory in the British Open.
Deford states in his article (Dec. 25, 1978) that "certainly there must be some special surprise in store for us in 1980." That "surprise" came in the thrilling 1980 U.S. Open.
J. BRYAN KELLEY
Your article about Jim (Catfish) Hunter (Look Homeward, Yankee, June 23) was great. I especially enjoyed the picture of Jim and his daughter chewing Red Man.
You folks usually do such good work, but, I swear, to see a 6-year-old with a wad in her jaw blatantly advertising her father's brand is a bit much. Tobacco's fine and Carolina is finer, but a 6-year-old chewin' and commercializin'? Stick to swimsuits and sports.
It is always a delight to read Kenny Moore's articles, but the one in your June 23 issue about the great English runner Sebastian Coe (A Hard and Supple Man) was exceptional! The descriptions of the marvelous Coe family were the highlight for me.
Walcott and Leonard both took it on the chin.
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