On Second Thought: Ez Lost Chance; Gained Prestige, Daily Racing Form, 1954-06-19


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t__m_mimmmm "™~~-— On Second Thought Ez Lost Chance; Gained Prestige f , By BARNEY NAGLER , _ NEW YORK, N. Y., June 18.— The man with the camera, nose to the canvas and tail high, was taking direction from his! boss boss to to leeward. leeward. "Dont "Dont t__m_mimmmm boss boss to to leeward. leeward. "Dont "Dont waste the film," the director said when the 11th round began. "Wait for a knockdown or a knockout. Its coming." It went on through the 12th, the 13th, the 14th and then the 15th, but neither knockdown or knockout -came. There at the end, face misshapen, misshapen, spirit spirit en en- "™~~-— misshapen, misshapen, spirit spirit en en- gulfed, hopes gone, was Ezzard Charles, the distinguished loser. In defeat he had performed admirably, perhaps better than at any time in his career. He had lost to Rocky Marciano, the human truck, and with it perhaps all hopes for the retrieving of the world heavyweight championship, but in defeat he had conquered a world. They had said he was timorous. They had said he was too imag-inattive to be able to stand up in the cauldron, hot-seated by fate and buffeted by the blows of Marciano. Indeed, he had done the unexpected and, in the losing, he had won. This was at the Stadium, in the dark of Thursday night, but in the broad daylight of today Ezzard Charles accomplishment seemed even brighter than unde rthe lights. It can be said that he was better in defeat than Marciano was in victory. It must be said that he performed according to plan. Marciano didnt. "I thought I could knock him out," Marciano said today. In light of his own remark, Marciano was a disappointment. Hes a brawler, no doubt. Hes as firm as a tank. Hes as persistent as an on-coming train. He apparently takes a punch with aplomb. He is all this and yet he isnt the great puncher they had come to believe he was. He didnt take Charles out his misery, even in .the late rounds of their wonderful brawl at the Stadium. Charles had come to the fight determined to fight this kind of a fight. He had planned to stay at mid-ring, never to go back on the ropes. He had planned to move in a small circle, thereby preserving his legs. He did all this. He did it so well, for that matter, a composite of the officials votes — by Ruby Goldstein, Harold Barnes and Arthur Aidala — comes to seven, six, two in rounds. He did it so well, againx that on most cards he was away out in front for the first six rounds and yet managed to take the 14th round on the cards of two officials. It may be that this was Charles peak performance. If he is to be rewarded — rewarded? — with another chance to take the unbeaten, untied heavyweight champion to the wire once again, in Septem-ter, it would not be the same. He bad surprise going for him before 47,585 fanatics in the Stadium Thursday night. Fighting Marciano again, this element would be gone, additionally, the brawl may have taken a great deal out of him. However, Thursday was a great night for Charles. Not that it is intended here to convey the impression that the officials were all wrong. Joe Louis thought so, but Louis was a great fighter, never a great judge of give and take. Marciano won, of course, but lost considerably because of his failure to put over the knockout. -Ive had better days," he said today. He meant "nights," apart from, which he was telling the truth. It wasnt so much that he was not as good as ever. It simply was the case of Charles making the champion look bad. This afternoon, Marciano came to a viewing room on Seventh Avenue to seethe cut film version of the fight. The editors left 10 of the 15 rounds on the cutting room floor. . .Some of Charles best rounds. The film contained rounds one, four, six, 10 and 15. Yet, when it was over, Marciano kidded himself." "I missed as many on film as I did in the ring." He did, too. There is left over the feeling, in many quarters, that this was a one-sided fight; Charles was taking and Rocky pitching. Thats how many look back on it and yet is this true? Of course it isnt. Marciano was hit hard, time and again. He was suckercd into right counters when he missed -swinging rights. He was belted and it may be said that not even Mar- ciano can consistently absorb such punches and not be affected. Some night, some place, he will pay the penalty for his inability to stave off many punches with anything but head and chin. Charles couldnt make it stick, but the residue remains. The price has been paid. It had been anticipated that Charles would take even more advantage of Mar-cianos misses and near misses. He didnt and perhaps lost his chance to make what the historians cal history — to become the first ex-champion of heavyweights to take back the title. He lost only the. chance. His ring prestige was refurbished.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1954061901/drf1954061901_2_1
Local Identifier: drf1954061901_2_1
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800