Saddler Balks at 00,000 Title Purse for Willie Pep: Hope for Feather Champion to Collect Biggest Bundle Before Retirement Fades, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-01


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►- ■ . HHHPHMPHHIIHRVB LnanananV *w-JamKKKHKm - vMt-A l- • and -.. ■•»»! •t Jt Tk ♦ — Saddler Balks at 00,000 Title Purse for Willie Pep Hope for Feather Champion To Collect Biggest Bundle Before Retirement Fades By BARNEY NAGLER NEW YORK, N. Y., April 29.— It isnt just any mans experience to have 00,000 within his grasp and to smile when the hundred grand flutters away. I met such a man yesterday, a fellow named Lou Vis-cusi, a large, round-faced guy with a toothsome grin and the happy job of managing Willie Pep, world featherweight champ. Mr. Viscusi has been offered — and has accepted — 00,000 for a title defense by Pep against Sandy Saddler, the skinny New Yorker who once took the title from Pep and after a short time lost it back to him in Madison Square Garden a year ago last February. One of the first matchmaking gestures by the newly formed International Boxing Club a year ago was to get Viscusis name on a contract for a Pep-Saddler match. In a Chicago office Viscusi signed the contract for the match. In large, round figures, the 00,000 was represented as Peps purse. "That contract still stands," Viscusi said yesterday, "and Id be happy if Saddler should accept whatever the IBC wants to give him for the shot. It isnt every day a guy can lay his hands on a hundred grand. I can hardly wait. But if it doesnt come, so what? We had fun." Wants More Money Saddlers agent, Charley Johnston, has turned down the match because of the short dough involved for his side. He has said, "There cant be a match without Sandy. Pep would look siHy shadow boxing by himself." The IBC wants the Pep-Saddler match as one of its outdoor attractions this summer. An off-the-cuff check underlines it as the fight that would draw the biggest house, and bring the most profit. Oddly, Viscusis revelation was the first that he had signed for the 00,000. It had been hinted in the past, but never before underlined by the man who wielded the pen. Viscusis heavy demand — and 00,000 comes under this heading — doubtless was prompted by the realization that it could be Peps last fight. Willie, who fought brilliantly, was hard-pressed to retrieve the title from Pep in their second fight. He was slashed in this endeavor and considerably chagrined, but managed to regain the big prize. Now, Viscusi figures, there should be a top price placed on his boys rush into the den of danger. Willie has been around a long time, surviving many danger-laden incidents, including a plane crash in which he suffered a fractured ankle and internal injuries. Defended Championship Thre« Times Pep defended. his championship thrice recently, fending off the challenges of Charley Riley, out in St. Louis; Eddie Compo, in Waterbury, Conn, and Ray Famechon, the Frenchman, at the Garden. He can fight such citizens any night In any given week without too much effort. It is a perilous adventure, however, stepping into the ring with Saddler, a punishing left hooker of deadly purpose. Perhaps Viscusi might have relented in his huge demands if he hadnt had a run-in with Johnston after the first Pep-Saddler match, which produced an upset and the rich return. Somewhere along the circuitous road traveled during negotiations for that match Viscusi was promised an additional ,000 or so. When the fight was over and Pep had been clipped, the extra money wasnt forthcoming. Johnston blamed Sol Strauss, the lawyer-man who was running the late unlamented 20th Century Sporting Club at the time. Strauss, hiding behind legal immunity, chided Johnston and said he wasnt the man who had promised the extra touch. In the excitement, Viscusi glared at , Johnston, with inevitable consequences. 1 The men came to look upon each other as j sharp citizens disposed toward Yankee trading. They were both right. So now, when Pep could wind up with JOHNNY OSTROWSKI— Who was to have gone to the Yankees in the trade involving Dick Wakefield, will remain in a Pale Hose uniform at least for the time being. the richest purse any featherweight has ever taken down, there is the possibility that the lush purse will never come into his possession. It is too bad. This Is one surefire boxoffice match. All the others are cold potatoes by comparison. When last seen Mr. Viscusi was still looking for the 00,000.

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