view raw text
Eye Injury Perils Bassetts Career May Never Fight Again, Says Medic Philadelphia Featherweight Flying to United States to * Undergo Emergency Surgery PARIS, France, May 3 UP. — Percy Bassett, the 26-year-old Philadelphianwho held the "interim" world featherweight title while Sandy Saddler was in the Army, will fly home tonight to undergo an operation to save his eyesight. He may never fight again. Dr. Louis Negre, a Paris opthalmologist who examined Bassett, said the boxer was suffering from a "very serious" case of retina detachment of the right eye. "I have very, very grave doubts whether Bassett will ever return to the ring," Negre said. Bassett currently is rated the top challenger for Saddlers crown. Quincell McCall, Bassetts manager, said the boxer would undergo an operation at Philadelphias Wills Hospital. "A few days ago, Percy began to complain of his eyes bothering him," McCall said. "I took him to a French doctor Negre who said his eyesight could only be saved if he was operated on immediately. "French doctors urged us to have the operation performed in Paris right away, but we decided to rush home to have it done by American doctors." Won First Bout by KO Bassett began his professional boxing career by knocking out Joe Camaraia at Atlantic City, N. J., in three rounds. Of his 77 fights, he won 64, lost 12 and drew in one. He has a good knockout punch and scored 41 of his victories by kayoes. In his last start, Bassett defeated French lightweight champion Seraphin Ferrer by a technical knockout when the latters manager threw in the sponge in the 10th round of their bout here April 24. After that fight, French promoter Gilbert Benaim announced that Bassett would continue his European tour with bouts against Italian lightweight champion Di-ulio Loi and Spanish featherweight Fred Galiana. "These fights are off now," Mc-, Call said. McCall said Bassetts eye trouble developed "suddenly." But French boxing men indicated the Philadelphia fighters eye be-gain bothering him after he was knocked out by Joe Lopez in the third round at Sacramento, Calif., February 22. Bassett lpst the fight because of an eye injury. "We were surprised to see Bassett wearing eye classes when he arrived here for his bout with Ferrer," one French observer said. "When we asked McCall about the glasses, he said Bassetts right eye had been causing him trouble ever since he lost his fight to Lopez."