Thank you for William Nack's article on Roberto Duran's victory over Davey Moore (He That Was Lost Has Been Found, June 27). Even though Duran had lost to Wilfred Benitez and then to an almost unknown Kirk-land Laing, we Duran fans had never given up hope. Ray Arcel's comment after the Moore fight was perfect: "Ah, he was an artist." If there has been a bigger comeback in boxing, I would like to know of it.
Roberto Duran has finally silenced his critics and laid to rest the no màs chapter of his boxing career. I hope his thrashing of Davey Moore proved once and for all that, pound for pound, he is the best fighter who ever lived.
While I enjoyed William Nack's fine article on the comeback of Roberto Duran, I still wonder what all the hoopla is about. Does beating up an inexperienced "champion" with a mere 12 fights to his credit really make up for the no màs disgrace in New Orleans? No. Is Duran really the Duran of old, and could he avenge his embarrassing loss to Sugar Ray Leonard? No. And can Duran last a full fight with Marvin Hagler, let alone actually win? Seriously now....
You have missed the whole point of Duran's fall from grace. After he quit in the Leonard fight, it was not his fighting skills that were questioned, but his heart. When he beat Davey Moore, he did not show any heart, only the skills and experience that had made him a good fighter. When he is able to take the kind of beating that he inflicted on Moore and keep fighting gamely as Moore did, then and only then will he have redeemed himself.
July 10, 1983
I was horrified by the pictures you printed of the Duran-Moore fight. They showed one man being brutalized and severely injured by another in the name of sport. In view of SI's recent special report suggesting that progressive brain damage is suffered by boxers, including the charismatic Muhammad Ali, I would have thought that you would have discussed Moore's injuries in greater detail.
Those pictures clearly demonstrated that a civilized society should ban boxing altogether, or devise adequate rules and equipment to protect the unfortunate participants.
TOBEY W. KACZENSKY
Roberto Duran's brutal beating of Davey Moore demonstrated that all the headgear, 12-round bouts and mandatory eight-counts in the world cannot undo the damage caused by an inept referee and an overly optimistic corner. Allowing a courageous but thoroughly beaten Moore to accept more punishment when he was plainly unable to summon the strength to hurt Duran only resulted in a sickening spectacle. Ringside physicians must be allowed to intervene to save fighters from the consequences of such callousness.
Lake Grove, N.Y.
Your cover photograph of Roberto Duran "mauling" Davey Moore's face is a perfect example of why professional boxing should be abolished.
MICHAEL E. LENNARTZ
Congratulations to Dan Jenkins for another exceptional article (Lord, Nelson Was Tougher Than the Iron Men, June 27). He captured the drama of this year's U.S. Open while pointing out the one deficiency: a poorly planned, ludicrously brutal layout.
The courses used for the British Open provide a better battle. When at war, one must always have the option of an all-out, desperate charge to victory. Merely hoping to come out even, as players were forced to do at Oakmont, is a no-win proposition.
What makes golf a unique sport is that it pits man against nature, including the elements, and, ultimately, the golf course itself. Consequently, the champions of the game have always been players who had the ability to adapt their individual strengths to the course at hand, while minimizing their relative weaknesses. I found it compelling to watch the world's best golfers do battle with the intricate and often dastardly course at Oakmont Country Club. To suggest that the course eliminated many aspects of the players' game, such as driving and pitching, is to do an injustice to the many talented and complete players on the PGA tour. It seems unfair to hold the course at Oakmont primarily responsible for the less than spectacular scores at the 1983 Open, as many of the media and players have done. Rather, attention should be focused on Larry Nelson, a truly deserving champion, for his sterling play within the limits of his capabilities.
Dr. Gil Morgan's name was conspicuously absent from your U.S. Open story. As the third-place finisher and one of only three men to tame par for the tournament, surely he deserved some mention.
Jules Tygiel's two-part article on Jackie Robinson (Beyond the Point of No Return, June 20 and 27) brought back many memories. As a Brooklyn high school pitcher in the late '40s and a Dodger fanatic, I learned that Robinson and Roy Campanella worked out during the winter at the Harlem YMCA. I wrote to them there and, to my surprise, was invited to work out with them, something I did on a number of Saturday mornings before they left for spring training. It was the thrill of a lifetime. I'll never forget Robinson's determination to advance the cause of his race despite constant threats to his personal safety. Reporters interviewed him at the Y about what might happen to him as the team played its way back home from the South to Brooklyn. No matter how great the impending danger appeared to be, he never wavered or backed down from his mission. As a physician, I have been exposed to many great scientists and healers, but never to a greater man than Jack Roosevelt Robinson.
GERALD (FUZZY) FENDRICK, M.D.
Cherry Hill, N.J.
In a year that marks the 100th anniversary of our great bridge, we Brooklynites are proud that Brooklyn was also where the color barrier was broken in major league baseball. I remember that day in 1947 very well, and I was just as proud then as I am today. As the article says, Jackie Robinson was the ideal man for the job and Brooklyn was the ideal place.
ROBERT E. LEVINE
JOHN BASSETT'S DAUGHTER
I'd like to propose a toast: Here's to life, love, happiness and Carling Bassett. Barry McDermott's article (Here's Carling, Her Daddy's Darling, June 27) was written so well it sounded like a fairy tale. Every kid who ever picked up a tennis racket dreams about everything Carling has accomplished. It's a shame this can't happen more often, but it's a comfort to know that it's happening to someone as loving and caring as Carling.
What a pleasant surprise to open my copy of your June 27 issue and find the article on Carling Bassett and her family. I commend Barry McDermott for an excellent story. I saw Carling almost beat Chris Evert Lloyd, and I agree with Greg Breunich that she will be No. 1 in the world.
It was good to read that Carling Bassett is still a child and that she wants to be treated like one. It's clear that she will soon be a pro tennis star, but as long as she remains the way she is she'll never be a rich brat who takes the world for granted. John McEnroe could take a few lessons. Fine story.
The article on Tampa Bay Bandits owner John Bassett and his daughter Carling was something I would have expected to find in a teen-age magazine, not SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. I was sickened to read about a 15-year-old who plays tennis and holds hands with country club boys. The only interesting part of the story concerned Bassett's obsession with losing money in worthless leagues such as the USFL, which no doubt will fold in the very near future.
HOWARD SUTTON'S SON
Ivan Maisel wrote a fine article about Hal Sutton and his father, Howard (It's a Father-Son Game, June 20). I was an undergraduate at Centenary while Hal was leading the Gents to national prominence in golf. Although he was surrounded by a talented team and had an excellent coach, Floyd Horgen, Hal was definitely, if I may borrow from Reggie Jackson, "the straw that stirred the drink."
In spite of that, however, Hal was gracious to other students. He was not an aloof athlete, but a down-to-earth guy who always had a few minutes to chat. I remember the rest of his family as being the same way: warm, friendly and cordial.
MERRILL C. WAUTLET JR.
THE SAMPSON TWINS
In the June 20 issue, reader Gary Pine told the story of the Barnett brothers, who, among other things, were the first brothers to finish one-two in an NAIA track and field championship event. Other readers might be interested to know that that feat was repeated during this year's championship meet, which was contested in late May. Twin brothers Aaron and Adrian Sampson of Southern Utah State College placed first and second, respectively, in the long jump. Another Southern Utah State trackster, Will James, placed fifth in the same event, giving the Thunderbirds three of the top five long jumpers at this year's meet.
MICHAEL L. CHIDESTER
Cedar City, Utah
Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.