If James D. Norris has anything to say about the fight business—clean, dirty or just slightly soiled—he had better say it to New York District Attorney Frank Hogan and the New York County grand jurors, who have been waiting for more than a year to hear his story.
Why do we bring this up at this time? There are two reasons:
1 Last week in Tampa, Norris, the ex big shot twice removed by the federal courts (from Madison Square Garden and the International Boxing Club), did some loud and unseemly boasting in a public restaurant which gave every indication that he is back in the boxing business right up to his bushy brows and with a vigor that belies the delicate state of his health.
Norris, directing his remarks to Harry Grayson, sports editor of NEA, was in a cavalier mood. He offered to bet any man in the house $5,000 that Champion Floyd Patterson will not fight Ingemar Johansson this year, and then he went freewheeling on to discuss boxing generally and at some length. He proclaimed that Sonny Liston, a heavyweight with rather unfortunate associations in boxing's underworld, is "my fighter," and he said that he, Norris, "will chase Patterson across the country until I corner him and find out whether he can really fight." It was a vigorous, table-pounding talk.
2 Some months back Norris suddenly buttoned his lip and escaped an appearance before a New York grand jury on the strength of medical testimony that he was too sick to testify about what he knows of boxing's dirty business.
In the light of his newly revealed vigor, we repeat that if James D. Norris, the legally declared Sick Man of Boxing, has any boxing tales to tell, he had better tell them to District Attorney Hogan and the grand jury. He could tell plenty.
But we'll bet $5,000 he won't do it.