Marciano 17-5 Choice over Charles: Showers Threaten Championship Tiff, Daily Racing Form, 1954-06-17


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Marciano 17-5 Choice Over Charles Showers ThVeaten 3 Championship Tiff Rocky to Scale About 185, Ez 189 for Fifteen Rounder In Yankee Stadium Tonight By JACK CUDDY United Press Sporti Writer NEW YORK, N. Y., June 16. A forecast of probable showers "Thursday afternoon and evening" dampened hopes of a 00,000 gate for the Rocky Marciano-Ezzard Charles heavyweight championship fight at Yankee Stadium. Managing director Harry Markson of the International Boxing Club said today, "The fight will be staged if the weather clears by 10:30 p. m. EDT, or even if theres a slight drizzle. We will have a protective canopy over the ring." Markson and promoter Jim Norris were determined to put on the scheduled 15-round bout Thursday night "if at all pos-ble" because a postponement would mean a weeks delay a re-scheduling for Thursday, June 24. The ticket sale had exceeded 00,000 this morning, but cloudy, coolish weather and the unfavorable forecast slowed up the sale. In addition, seats in 61 theatres in 45 cities had been practically sold out for theatre-TV of the fight. The seats total- ed about 88,000. It will not be televised to homes. But it will be broadcast nationally over ABC. Meanwhile, champion and challenger broke camp in the Catskill mountains and came into New York to await the weigh-in at Madison Square Garden Thursday noon. Both motored into the city. Rocky had : planned to fly by helicopter, but he took an automobile from Grossinger, N. Y., instead, because of the foggy weather. Unbeaten Marciano planned to scale 185 pounds for his third defense of the crown. ! Charles expected to register about 189 for his attempt to become the first man to recapture the heavyweight title. Rocky was favored at 17-5 to achieve his 46th consecutive professional victory. The divisions first perfect-record champion in the Queensberry era also sought his 41st knockout. It was 11-5 he would score a 1 Btayo, and 6-1 against Essard doing like-Kvise. 1 W The two major questions in the bout I were: 1 Was Rocky stale after five months of training at Grossinger, N. Y., , and 2 Did Charles performances during : the past two years indicate he was "washed up"? Charles A supple, light-footed negro from Cincinnati has advantages in height, ; weight, reach, skill and experience. But the muscular Italian blockbuster from Brockton, Mass., has advantages in punch, ruggedness, stamina and will to win. And, 1 1 I , : ; at 29, Rocky is three years younger than Ezzard. Charles, who won the vacant crown in 1949 and lost it on a knockout to Jersey Joe Walcott in 1951, is confronted by the rings most famous jinx. Ex-heavyweight champions "never come back." None ever recaptured the crown although eight tried it. It is Charles second attempt to regain it. He tried once against Walcott. Previously only Jim Corbett had two recapture chances. He failed twice against Jim -Jeffries. Others who had single at- tempts "were Bob Fitzsimmons, Jeffries, Jack Dempsey, Max Schmeling, Joe Louis and Walcott. Marciano, too, faces a mild jinx. Only six of the 17 heavy champs since John L. Sullivan survived their third defense. The half dozen who made successful thirds were Jack Johnson, Tommy Burns, Jeffries, Dempsey, Louis and Charles. Marciano, swarthy son of a former Brockton shoemaker, won the titley knocking out ancient Walcott in September, 1952. He defended twice on a first-round kayo over Walcott and an eleventh-round TKO over Roland LaStarza. He hasnt fought since the LaStarza triumph, last Sept. 24. Some observers fear he may be ring-rusty. It was to prevent rust that he trained five months. Charles showed lack of fire while trying to recapture the title from Walcott at Philadelphia in June, 1952. Two months later he dropped a decision to Rex Layne. He then .registered nine victories, but lacked animation in losing decisions to Nino Vadles and Harold Johnson last summer. Since then he knocked out two glass-chinned opponents: Coley Wallace and Bob Satterfield. Against five mutuel opponents Rockys record was by far the more impressive. The opponents were Walcott, Layne, Bernie Reynolds, Louis and Fredie Beshore. Only against Reynolds was Ezzard better. He stiffened Bernie in two heats; Rocky required three. As champion, Rocky will receive 40 per cent of all net receipts from gate, theatre-TV, radio and movies. His total purse should exceed 00,000. Charles will get 20 per cent. The fight contract calls for a return title bout within 90 days if Ezzard upsets Rocky and takes the crown Thursday night. ,

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