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Old 02-01-2013, 04:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: Boxing Writers on the Take in the Golden Era

Originally Posted by rantcatrat View Post
Are there any sources for this? In "Boxing's Brainiest Champ and his Upset of the Great Jack Dempsey," Jack Cavanaugh states that quite a few writers in the teens, twenties and thirties accepted bribes for writing positive reviews of boxers and their fights. Was this behavior widespread? What other sources verify that this was common? What writers accepted bribes? Proof? Did any writers own portions of contracts of boxers? I'm interested in the subject and thank the posters at East Side Boxing in advance for their input. I appreciate it.
Originally Posted by rantcatrat View Post
This is all very helpful.

On your recommendations, I'll watch the Humphrey Bogart movie. Thank you for that recommendation.

Were the Ring Magazine's unsavory activities reported at the time in articles and the like?

To give you further example of what I am referring to, in the Jack Cavanaugh book cited above, on page 115, he states that Barney Nagler, a well-respected boxing writer of the time, became "almost apoplectic when he would hear a young sports reporter wax reverentially about Runyon's work. 'He was the crookedest writer around, with his hand in every promoter's pocket and in a lot of managers' and fighters' pockets too.'" Additionally, in Jimmy Breslin's biography of Damon Runyon, he stated that Damon Runyon had ownership rights in fighters and would write favorably about them as a result.
Originally Posted by Senya13 View Post
Barney Nagler only became sporting journalist during Runyon's later years, around 1937 or so. He couldn't know personally what Runyon was doing or writing when he worked in Denver Rocky Mountain News (Nagler wasn't even born yet) or NY American.
Originally Posted by rantcatrat View Post
Hmmm. That is worth noting. Maybe Runyon wasn't on the up-and-up in the late thirties then?
Originally Posted by Senya13 View Post
I don't have the book, but the accusation is supposedly about him during the Pueblo/Denver period, before he became famous as boxing and baseball writer in New York American. In this case, it'd be better to hear what Otto Floto or Emerson ****erson had to say about him, as they were sports editors of Denver Post and Denver Rocky Mountain News at the time Runyon started his writing career in Colorado. Nagler couldn't know Floto as he died in 1929 many years before he started writing sports. I don't know when ****erson died, but I doubt Nagler could be familiar with him either. So his words could be based on gossips rather than actual knowledge.
The evidence is overwhelming!
Both of Gene Tunneys books "Arms For Living" and "A Man Must Fight"
contain many direct associations of boxing writers of his day making it clear they appreciated "gifts" and that his Mgrs Doc Bagley and later Billy Gibson recommending to young Gene they best comply. He did.

I would be strongly influenced by what Barney Nagler had to say about Runyon and mention also, in Breslins book "Damon Runyon A Life" in the opening pages he referred to not only Runyon on the take but all the newspapers of the 1920s containing writers of all stripes who would write most anything when they got paid under the table.
Surely this is known to students of the great crash of 1929.

Lastly, Barney Nagler himself was strongly maligned in Ferdie Paccecios book "Blood In My Coffee" as himself always being the first one with his hand out to Chris Dundee and others.
No heroes, and the Lance Armstrong scandal of today contains much of the SOS!!

Last edited by SLAKKA; 02-02-2013 at 10:42 AM.
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