The prejudice against southpaws, held so firmly by prizefighters of orthodox right-handed style, is a sound indication that all is not rotten in boxing. Any boxer of strict upbringing follows a moral code handed down from Jim Figg and written on the tablets of Pierce Egan. The code commands that a jab be delivered with the left hand and a cross with the right. Thrown into the intimacy of the ring against a man who perversely jabs with his right and crosses with his left, who sticks his right foot forward when in all decency he should have his left out front, the proper boxer will feel unclean and hate himself in the morning.
Thus we have the judgment of Lightweight Champion Joe Brown, a fellow of good instincts, who says: "They should take all southpaws and drop them in the river."
Joe took a vow the other night after engaging southpaw Kenny Lane in a title defense witnessed by 11,500 sporting sinners, 10,994 of whom paid $69,203.50 in sordid cash to lick their lips at a spectacle that, in all truth, was exciting. The gate was a record sum for Houston, which segregates the toilets of white and colored but ignores the southpaw problem.
Joe's vow was brief and sincere. "No more southpaws for me," he said, holding up his left glove in forgivable confusion.
August 3, 1958
It is believed here that his regeneration is now solidly established and that never again will Joe Brown consent to enter the ring against a southpaw, especially Kenny Lane, unless the price makes it morally right. Lane clunked him good in a very close fight and furthermore withstood some of Brown's finer punches with saucy indifference, whamming him back with right hooks and left crosses until you would have thought the forces of righteousness would surely be defeated at this prelude to Armageddon.
The experience must have left a bad taste in Brown's mouth because he began immediately to talk of taking on welterweights in his next crusade. As for Lane, he howled that he had been robbed. His part-time manager, Jack Kearns, did not quite make this claim, holding only that he had given the fighter the bad advice to coast through the 15th round and thus cost his boy the fight. Later he confessed under torture that it is better for a manager to take the blame for a lost fight than let his fighter's reputation suffer.
A couple of nights later at Los Angeles, the Rademacher-Zora Folley fight was not so inspiring as the Brown-Lane affair, although again good style and good punching came through. Zora Folley had the style. The Veep was tense, awkward and feckless.
He was either trying to counter-punch a counterpuncher or he was remembering those seven knockdowns at Seattle and scheming to avoid a repetition by changing his style—an awkward word in this connotation. Folley promptly turned stalker, which is against his nature, and knocked Rademacher down four times in four rounds. Rademacher now has an EKA (earned knockdown average) of 5.5 in two fights, and the International Boxing Club is asking waivers on him.
There are a couple of television fights coming up which will be worth watching for essentially the same reason. They will present promising newcomers against old hands on the TV screen. At Chicago Stadium on August 6 (a Wednesday) Sonny Liston, whose maiden TV appearance last May resulted in a knockout of Julio Mederos, as anticipated, will take on the much-tougher Wayne Bethea, who this year has won over Young Jack Johnson and lost to Nino Valdes. A couple of nights later (Friday, August 8) unbeaten but nationally invisible Gene Armstrong will fight none other than Rory Calhoun, an enormous step up in class for Armstrong, even though his 14-fight streak includes victories over Charley Joseph, Rudy Sawyer and Randy Sandy. Boxer Armstrong has only one TKO victory on his record and will be up against one of the heavier punchers so that it seems sensible to pick Calhoun. Glancing at the other side of the coin, we will choose newcomer Liston over veteran Bethea.