Sports Close-Ups, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-08


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i SPORTS CLOSE-UPS by « and**«*«■ NEW YORK, May 7.— Weve never feltj 1 ! that even in amateur sporting circles, there was any consideration that came ahead of the obligation to the paying customers. And there shouldnt be any. The other day in Vienna, Chile was playing the Austrians in one of the elimination rounds of the Davis Cup. Chile won a match to take a 3-1 lead. It left a match to play but since • Chile was by then the winner, it was merely academic whether the remaining match match was played and won— or lost. Accordingly, Chiles star, Luis Ayala, who was scheduled to play the Austrian champion, Franz Saiko, in the remaining match, begged off and the lesser member of the Chilean troupe was delegated to play Saiko. This quite naturally displeased the fans who opened with a lengthy barrage of bottles and assorted debris which held up play for so long, eventually the final match was forfeited. It just doesnt seem right to us that this sort of stuff is allowed. The fans who support the game are entitled to the best tennis available even if the matches become meaningless because of the scores. This is just one of the permissible didoes in tennis which mark it as lousy to so many who follow it luke warmly. AAA We are being told in the wake of the fight between Patterson and London that there are now two schools of thinking concerning it. Some feel itiwas a great fight ! 1 for Patterson who definitely sharpened his attack and defense. Others feel that a London who wouldnt fight and couldnt fight was little more than a boxing bag and that if there was any credit redounding to Patterson, it was difficult to search out. We happen to be somewhere between those extremes though more in the direction of the latter group. We must admit that London was no terror. Still, if, it did take 11 rounds to put him away he couldnt have been quite a 100 per cent palooka. Lets just say he was a stiff workout which was all he was designed to be. It ought to have been obvious that a man as timid and as suspicious as DAmato was taking no chances with this fight and knew beyond any doubt that it would be no more of a fight than it was. Those who persuaded themselves to the contrary were trying to kid themselves. AAA In the same sense, we feel that DAmato did, if he does not now, reach the conclu- sion that Johansson was a safe risk. For all we know, DAmato still believes it to be so. However, for purposes of drumming up customers we are being asked to believe that Johansson is a killer. The thinking is this: how can you judge a man you have never seen. And since you have never seen him, please believe me he is a dangerous hitter with either hand and a fine boxer. Hell be no sitting duck and he couid take his man out in two or three rounds. AAA Unfortunately, Johansson is an unknown quanity and the fear of the unknown is always the toughest kind. Perhaps he is a fine hitter and fine boxer. On this side there ar» few if any recognized authorities who can say positively one way or another. So we are being given a large-sized bottle to buy on which there is the plainly labeled skull and crossbones. No one knows Continued on Page Forty-Nine I SPORTS CLOSE-UPS By IRA SEEBACHER Continued from Page Two whether the bottle is filled or empty or whether if filled, it is as advertised — poison. AAA In a sense, this is entirely absurd. Why should the public be asked to spend millions to learn whether this thing is a hoax or an orthodox drama? Why must we be compelled to spend so vast an amount to learn whether Johansson is the goods or not? Surely there are enough trial horses of the Brian London variety to have afforded the American public some sort of a preliminary look-see at Swedens champion. If he is a good as advertised, there would be little danger of such a fight. But our suspicions become thoroughly aroused by this secret whispering campaign which already has Johansson tabbed as one of the greatest fighters ever to come to these shores from Europe. That he may well be is not the point. That it hasnt been proved and wont be proved until the night of the title fight is the point. And, frankly, it is a raw deal for the American fans.

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