At The Ringside, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-04


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AT THE RINGSIDE By Barney Nagler INDIANAPOLIS, May 2.— Oh, they did it up grand at the Fairgrounds Coliseum last night. The organist struggled with Sir Edward Elgars "pomp and circumstance as the British lion, Brian London, came into the ring to fight Floyd Patters on for the world hea v y w ei g h t c h a m p i onship. And then, a moment later the titleholder sneaked into the ring to "East Side, West Side." A musicologist in the working press said, "Them lyrics, dont they say London Bridge Is Falling Down?" They do, indeed, and not long afterward, Brian London was falling down dead tired from being hit in the gut for almost 31 minutes. He went out at 51 seconds of the 11th round of a thing scheduled for 15. Patterson put him there by hitting him with plural left-right combinations to the jaw, followed by two head punches, one smack in the middle of the blokes forehead. He went down quietly, without rebuttal, and lay on his back as referee Frank Sikora earned fare for the trip from Chicago by counting 10, correctly. Presently, they bundled 208-pound Brian into a blue and red robe and helped him down the stairs. As he came by the working press, he saw Ingemar Johansson, the amiable Swede, who fights Patterson next, at Yankee Stadium, June 25, providing a federal court doesnt hit him between the eyes with a breach of contract writ in suit by Eddie Machen. Said London to Johansson: "I wish you have more luck than I did." AAA Luck would not have helped the blighter from Blackpool. He came utterly without equipment. His record showed 26 fights in England before his advent here. It included 19 knockouts. He must have scored it with darts. He could no more beat Patterson with his fists than Johanssons kid sister could. Indeed, he even punches like Johanssons kid sister. Or, to put it in another field, like a pussycat pawing at a hanging drape. Only twice during the night, in the third round and in the seventh, did London throw formful punches. In the third, he hit the champion with a straight right. Floyd blinked. In the seventh, he hammered Pattersons chin with an uppercut. Thats all. While the lard-carrier was swatting air, Patterson was delivering himself of a most punishing body assault. British-trained to the core, London fought with gloves protecting his huge chin. Patterson hit him in the wide open spaces. Now, his mid-section was something to behold. Acres and acres of white blubber coming in; rate pounded cutlet going out. Patterson smashed his gloves into the midriff. London just grabbed. He was not moved to persuasive argument. He just licked his chops and took a beating. He was cut under the right eye in the seventh, and under the left in the tenth. He was so inept, referee Sikora did not give London a single round. Too bad. Sikora might have given him a few extra points for British pluck. A A A For Patterson it was a workout, a tuneup. In this regard, nobody can protest. From the outset, the champions control officer, Cus DAmato, had called it "just a tuneup." He gulled nobody. The customers in the place — some 10,000 of them — should have know this. Instead, they came to see a fight and saw a champion of the world get in some licks in preparation for a more important contest coming up. Patterson simply is not going to be a killer-type. He is ensnared by his personality and immured by his style. He is not moved by anger. Killer-punchers are. And he punches too swiftly to harness power. He still leaps in with his jabs. The swiftness of his attack is startling and not totally effective. In the first round — and only in the opening round — Patterson came out fiercely intent on knocking London out quickly. He smashed away for a minute or so and when nothing happened, he appeared to be willing to turn this one into an old gym workout against a fat fellow who is jolly well nice to have around because he is not too ambitious and takes a punch like a big bag. Thereafter, Patterson just worked on the range: target practice. The fat boy would not go down. Once, charming rascal that he is, he took a punch to the teeth and instead of hitting back, said to the champion, "Blimey, that was a good one." Later, Continued on Page Fifty-Five I AT THE RINGSIDE By BARNEY NAGLER Continued from Page Two in his dressing room, London was asked how Patterson had answered. "Oh, the bloke just said haw, haw, and hit me with a beauty," the victim said with a smile. He added, "hes a great champion." Is he? Patterson has defended the title four times since winning it by knocking out Archie Moore in 1956. He was superb in that two-punch, five- in the 10th. He was knocked down by Pete Rademacher, who avowed his amateurism as though this anointed him for beatification. And even j Roy Harris knocked him down. London cannot make the same claim. He didnt even bruise Patterson, but thats not | the point. A heavyweight champion is supposed to be a belter. A real good champion, that is: Louis, Marciano. This one will have to be accepted as he is : a young man with fast hands, the ability to get a job done somehow. He is not a surgeon. He is , encumbered by small skills. It may be that Johansson will take the | title from him. The Swede is a solid right- I hand hitter. He appears superbly condi- 1 tioned and extremely confident. Dont they all before they get clouted? The event last night was Indianas first title bout. The crowd of 10.000 paid a gross of 22,000, a net of 03,111.56, lowest gate for a Patterson defense. The Gillette Safety Razor Co., through NBC, paid 00,000 for the TV rights. DAmato guaranteed London 70,000. It was a good deal until Cecil Rhodes Jr., the vanishing promoter walked out of the picture with 5,000 of the TV fee. DAmato also guaranteed London 0,000. plus 5,-000 in training expenses. Additionally, he is to pay Harry Levene, a British promoter. 0,000 for producing the body, i.e., London. His costs come to 10,000. His income is made up of 00.000— the TV fee — plus a guaranteed 5,000 from the net gate. He stands to lose some 5,-000. Such deficit financing has not been heard of since World War II. But then DAmato can afford to lose the small battles. Hes waiting to win the big war. Patterson-Johansson may well be a million-dollar event, not even Cus will find ways of dissipating his swag from that one unsigned.

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