Death for Boxing If Tex is Ousted

Damon Runyon

Richmond Times-Dispatch/January 5, 1924

Rickard is Made Object of Attack Initiated by Jealous Promoters


NEW YORK, Jan. 4. Various legislators are making threatening gestures at Albany against the boxing game. These gestures are quite unnecessary. If the administration wishes to do away with boxing it stands to reason that boxing will be disposed of without gesture.

If the administration sees no objection to boxing, then boxing will remain; and it is the opinion of the writer that the administration will see no objection to boxing.

It might be well for the legislators who are gesturing to suggest some method of replacing the not inconsiderable revenue that comes to the state from boxing, if boxing is to be done away with.

Some of the legislators, and others, seem to be mainly disturbed because they think Tex Rickard has a boxing monopoly in this city. His monopoly certainly did not include the biggest bouts presented here last summer, such as the Leonard-Tendler Villa-Wilde, Kilbane-Criqui, Criqui-Dundee bouts. He promoted an open-air show on Manhattan island for his own profit—the Dempsey-Firpo bout. He promoted the milk-fund show for charity. They called him in at the last minute to take over the Greb-Wilson show, which was not his promotion.

Rickard’s monopoly last summer wan on success only. Other promoters had the monopoly on the failures.

The writer agrees with W.O. McGeehan of the Herald that if Rickard is displaced the cauliflower industry in this state will die a sure and rapid death. He has insisted on absolute honesty in all his promotions. Whatever may be said of Rickard, he was never connected with a boxing swindle.

He has given his plants and his organization and personal services to charity time and time again. He has done more for boxing than any other man in the history of the game.

If making money out of one’s own enterprise and hard work is a crime, Rickard is perhaps guilty; but he has an investment of $1,000,000 in property, a heavy tax list and a long roll of employees behind him as an answer to the apparently very serious charge that he is an “outsider” in New York gathering a profit.


One of the greatest pugilistic prospects that he has ever seen is Paul Berlenback, the middleweight protégé of old Dan Hickey, boxing instructor of the New York Athletic Club.

The writer saw Berlenback in action at the Lenox Club against one K. O. Jaffe, a hard-hitting fighter of considerable experience. Berlenback stopped Jaffe in the seventh round.

Hickey’s protégé is a rip-tearing fellow, who punches constantly with both hands. He seems to have natural instinct for body punching. He knocked Jaffe out with a left hook to the chin, but he first gave the veteran a furious hammering about the body.

The writer likes to see a man under strong fire before passing judgment on him.

As Berlenback was giving Jaffe a sound thumping in the early rounds, with Jaffe devoting most of his attention to holding, we remarked to Sid Mercer, who sat next to us: “He looks good, but how will be look if he’s hit?”

Just then Jaffe cut loose a fierce right-hand smash that landed on Berlenback’s chin, knocking him back on his heels and jarring him thoroughly. Berlenback shook his head, then tore clear across the ring after Jaffe, punching with greater fury than ever. The smash seemed to arouse him to his best efforts. It proved he tan “take it.”



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