Originally Posted by john garfield
lemme see if i can explain myself better, S. The "exhibition's" where no more than agreed upon vaudeville sketches, with the ref included, before a rubber chicken dinner so that the audience would be in a good mood to contribute more for down-and-out-fighters. No one got hurt; it was all for giggles.
The audience was usually all boxing insiders, and the meanest guys were matched in these exhibitions with arch rivals they'd fought 20-30-40 years ago and were willing to cower behind the ref or run around the ring like Charlie Chaplin, or spin like a top from a missed round house and take a ten count.
Those attending loved it. It was all in the interest of charity 'n nostalgia.
Only once in 20 years did I ever see a fighter (a top-rated heavy) go off- script and brutally beat his opponent.
The transgressor, normally low-key 'n charming -- a sometime network analyst -- died some years later of brain damage from all his crowd-pleasing wars in the ring.
I agree, most of these fights are for charity, I think the funniest was Bob Hope vs Marciano....Willie Pep and Sugar Ray as well, I think Ray put his left on Willies head while Willie kept swinging like he was trying to reach Ray's chin,swing in the air in animation