One of our panoptic Missouri readers recently mailed us this column from the Joplin Globe, which is a critical appraisal of Martin Kane, our panoptic boxing writer. The column is called "Cauliflower Corner" and it was written by Dave Gregg, who easily qualifies as a panoptic observer.
To me, there's one boxing writer today who's worth his salt: Martin Kane, an associate editor of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, the magazine that has done such yeoman service in boxing's behalf.
Kane is the fellow who was in charge of the "Boxing's Dirty Business" feature in the magazine. He pinpointed the evils of the managers' guild, he spotlighted the boycotting of Welterweight Contender Vince Martinez and, most recently, the gifted journalist did a beautiful job of reporting in covering the IBC-U.S. court battle.
Kane can turn a phrase as neatly as Willie Pep can spin an opponent; his coverage of championship fights usually proves more interesting and entertaining than the fights themselves. Not that he overwrites them, far from it. He simply tells the truth, the whole truth, and tells it in a completely fascinating manner.
Today's sports scribe, perhaps from a lack of ideas or an inability to gain inside information, continually falls back on the hoary crystal ball technique, a euphemism for plain guessing. Not so Martin Kane. He makes predictions, sure. But his predictions are based on sound observation.
The panoptic Mr. Kane was one of the few to pick Patterson to best Archie Moore. He watched Moore train, found that he wasn't in shape and concluded that the old man would run out of gas—which he did. More recently the fight mob went berserk over Philadelphia's Garnett (Sugar) Hart. Certain name writers even went so far as to pen that Hart was ready for Basilio. Kane's calm appraisal of young Hart: "He can't fight on the inside." Walter Byars demonstrated the keenness of Kane's boxing brain by making Hart look like a four-round fighter.
In this day of magic lantern fights between kids who couldn't have got close to a main event without a ticket and writers who couldn't come up with a new angle if it was stuck in their typewriters, Martin Kane is both refreshing and beneficial.
Kane has placed light on the festering sore spots on boxing's much abused carcass, and he might just be the man to heal the poor thing. The manly art would do well to raise more Kanes.