GEORGE BARTON, Minneapolis, Minn.
Past President, NBA
"Boxing will not survive unless the underworld characters who control the principal fighters are eliminated. Only J. Edgar Hoover can do this. I'm certain that the NBA and the N.Y. Athletic Commission, affiliated in a working agreement, can't, much as they have tried."
BILLY BOYETTE, Hadford, Ala.
Airman Second Class
"That's 100% correct. The underworld has a stranglehold on boxing. The fighter doesn't want to go crooked. He has to tie up with a sub rosa manager, usually a racketeer, to get an occasional fight. Lots of good fighters never get a chance because they won't tie up with these characters."
WILL YOLEN, Westport, Conn.
"I'm suspicious of boxing outside of New York. That 'Philadelphia Story' still stinks. I think boxing is clean in New York. I have faith in Bob Christenberry. As he himself said: 'What good does it do to bar a boxer or manager in New York when he will be welcomed elsewhere?' "
"Most of the squawking comes from fans who disagree with decisions of referees. These decisions are matters of human judgment. The Chicago Bears lost a game because of an error in judgment. The important angle is whether boxing bouts are honest. There's no evidence to the contrary."
November 29, 1954
MICHAEL PALLAS, Chicago, III.
"It's true. You can't call a man like Jim Norris a racketeer. But he doesn't control the big boxers. He has to go to the managers to stage bouts. Some of them are racketeers with criminal records. The fact that Norris goes to them keeps them in business. It's nothing to be proud of."
STANLEY AARONSON, Brooklyn, N.Y.
"I think boxing is crooked. I'm sure some fights are fixed. Take the one between Lane and Zulueta. Lane was the underdog, 5-1. All the sportswriters gave the verdict to Zulueta. But Lane won. The best name I've heard to describe this crooked gang is 'Tentacles, Inc.' "
SENATOR ESTES KEFAUVER,
for U.S. Senate
"That's wrong. Our investigation showed that while there were some underground people in a small segment of boxing, we did not find boxing racket-ridden. Furthermore, it is a sport that promoters know must be kept clean if it is not to be legislated out of business."
NAT LEO FLEISCHER, Newton, Mass.
"I think there are some undesirable characters in boxing. But their numbers and activities are greatly exaggerated. Boxing is a small activity, constantly in the limelight and under scrutiny. Scandals are magnified. But a bad apple can spoil a barrel. And a few crooks can kill boxing."
JAMES A. FARLEY, New York, N.Y.
Former U.S. Postmaster
"The N.Y. State Athletic Commission in the regimes of William Muldoon, Justice George E. Brower, Gen. John J. Phelan and myself barred fighters supposed to be controlled by racketeers. We were usually upheld in other states. But now when they are barred they can fight elsewhere."
RAY R. MILLER, Flushing, N.Y.
State boxing referee
"It's not true. I was a pro boxer from 1925-32. Boxing is no more crooked than baseball and basketball. I go to many father-and-son dinners, where son followed father in boxing. They're invited to speak to the kids. They certainly wouldn't be if they were controlled by the underworld."
DAGMAR NORDSTROM, New York, N.Y.
"I love boxing. I've heard that racketeers control the bouts, but who can prove it? I know that Hymie (The Mink) Wollman has a stable of fighters. But this is his hobby. He loses money and he can afford to. He is a millionaire mink specialist, and this is one of the things he likes to do."
NEXT WEEK'S QUESTION:
The President of the New York Touchdown Club says that the higher the scholastic standing of a college, the poorer the football team. Do you agree?