On Second Thought: Much Ado About Archies Beard, Daily Racing Form, 1955-06-15


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On Second Thought Much Ado About Archie s Beard By BARNEY NAGLER NEW YORK, N. Y., June 14.— Julie Hel-fand has been chairman of the New York Athletic Commission for almost six months now and, by and large, he has handled the as-;signment i effectively. He has put the pressure ; on undercover , operators. He has waved a big stick in the direction of the miscreants in the racket. And he has -given every indication of knowing what its all about. That is. he cave ! every indication of same until today when Archie Moore, the light-heavyweight champion, posed a few problems for him. As it was, Moore actually showed up to pose with Helfand and Bobo Olson, the balding middleweight boss who goes questing for Moores heavier title at the Polo Grounds a week from Wednesday night. The occasion was the official signing of contracts for the bout, a most unimportant event, except that in this instance it disclosed several chinks in Helfands awareness of whats what in boxing. Moore started it all by turning up wearing a chin and lip decoration loosely described as a beard. Inquisitive visitors wanted to know if Moore would be asked to shave the beard before the bout. "I dont know," Helfand said, "is it a rule that he must shave?" "Theyve always insisted on it," somebody suggested. "Well, then I guess its so. Whats the rule book say about it." A man produced a rule book and when inspection of same disclosed no statute concerned with hirsute adornments, Helfand was trapped. Only when one of his deputies said that a fighter had to be clean-shaven, by tradition, on the day of a fight was Helfand taken off the spot. "There it is," he said confidently. He wasnt safe for long. Another visitor put another question to him. "I understand," the man said, "that Olson is going to keep his middleweight title even if he beats Moore and becomes light-heavy-| weight champ." "I wouldnt know about that," Helfand said. "The rules say he must give up his original title if he wins another," another said, pointing to page 39 in the rule book. "Oh, its covered, is it?" Helfand said. Surprises never cease. Of course, what Helfand didnt know was that the discussion was academic inasmuch as the word is out that Olsons brainbund, Sid Flaherty, has decided that his man will surrender the light-heavyweight championship if he wins it and attempt to keep the middleweight title. Already, Sugar Ray Robinson, whose quasi-retirement led to Olsons crowning, has been signed to take on Rocky Castel-lani, in San Francisco, July 15, the survivor to fight Olson for the championship no matter what. This rude development overshadowed the penmanship of Moore and Olson. It an took the play away from the question of Moores weight. He is required to make 175 pounds at noon next Wednesday. Reportedly, he scaled 196% when he fought Nino Valdes in Las Vegas the first week in May. Intelligence operators suggested today that Moore really didnt hit 196 in Las Vegas. Indeed, his poundage was 186, a weight of another heft. Apparently, hes simply cloaking his true weight by way of misleading Olson. "Its the most important fight of my career," he told Helfand, for the benefit of newsreel cameras at the contract-signing. "With the problem of taking all this weight off, Ill do my best June 22." Theres no doubt it will. Bettors arent worried that he wont. The price in his favor is now 9-11 to 5, and rising, with the liklihood itll go to 2% to 1 by fight time. Seems the bettors know the score. Right now even Helfand does. Hes still learning. The feeling here is that hell make the grade. /

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1955061501/drf1955061501_2_2
Local Identifier: drf1955061501_2_2
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800