Were the criticisms of D'Amato during Patterson's reign justified?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mrkoolkevin, Nov 20, 2017.



  1. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Never wrestle with pigs or argue with fools Full Member

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    Thumbing through some old Ring magazines, I noticed a bunch of stories and columns where writers (including Fleischer) accused D'Amato of being a difficult, dishonest, dislikable weirdo who kept Patterson excessively inactive. Was there anything to this or were the media/boxing establishment just angry with D'Amato for thumbing his nose at them or something?
     
  2. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    They were angry.

    Floyd Patterson was a very popular champion with boxing fans.

    During the Charles-Walcott-Marciano era, purses were kind of low. (I think Charles made $50,000 to fight Pat Valentino.)

    Patterson's reign turned that around.

    I think Patterson's purse for Rademacher was $250,000, for Harris it was $275,000, for London it was $300,000, for each of the Johansson fights it was over $400,000 (per bout). For Liston it was well over a half million.

    Fans liked Floyd.

    Patterson was also supposed to fight Marciano in the late 1950s, after Marciano began training for a comeback, and Floyd kind of waited almost a full year for him after the Rademacher bout. But when Marciano decided not to do it, Patterson fought Harris.

    Nat Fleischer and his magazine rose to prominence when the mobsters were running the sport. Fleischer was right at home with them. When Patterson came along, D'Amato and Patterson sort of turned their backs on all those guys. When people go against the status quo, it's common for the entire system to turn on them (the press included).

    While Fleischer may not have liked what was happening with Floyd and Cus, the fans didn't take it out on Floyd. They kept buying his fights.

    In fact, after Floyd lost to Liston, financially, I believe the Patterson-Chuvalo fight was the highest-grossing non-title fight (live gate and closed circuit buys) in heavyweight history to that point. So even his loss to Liston didn't hurt him with the paying public.
     
  3. klompton2

    klompton2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    The office Fleischer operated out of was owned by the IBC. Fleischer rarely EVER deigned to discuss the completely corrupt IBC or the mobsters who were widely known to work hand in hand with the IBC. Yet he and his magazine routinely criticized D'Amato for refusing to do business with the IBC, trying to break its monopoly, etc. Draw your own conclusions.
     
  4. greynotsoold

    greynotsoold Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Difficult, dishonest, dislikable weirdos are fairly common in boxing. Especially if money is involved.
     
  5. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Never wrestle with pigs or argue with fools Full Member

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    That’s what I was starting to suspect. Thanks for the responses.
     
  6. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    In sporting terms, you can of course hold against that he defended against Rademacher without making room for a deserving contender that year. But other than that he defended against the top guy every year, so the critizism against him and D'Amato is definitely overblown in that sense.

    He defended against Ingo after he had destroyed Machen, and then against Liston. That's hardly taking the easy rout.
     
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  7. reznick

    reznick In the 7.2% Full Member

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    Kevin who are your favorite HWs?
    Do you have a top 5?
     
  8. klompton2

    klompton2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I dont think you can hold Rademacher against him at all. He got paid an astronomical purse to defend against Rademacher less than a month after knocking out his #1 contender. Less than a year later he defended against his #3 while his #1 and #2 were tied up in rematch renegotiations and made it clear he wouldnt defend against them while they were controlled by mob front managers tied to the IBC. By every standard of today and that era he did everything above board in that situation.
     
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  9. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    You're right. I thought Jackson was the year before, but it was only a month between them, as you say.
     
  10. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    I read an article about Ray Robinson where he was discussing Patterson`s manager during that period. He said something to the effect of Cus being the greatest manager of all time. When pressed to explain he noted that 'he' Robinson had to fight 'killers' ' guys that could kill you' and Patterson was making very good $ not fighting that tough of comp. Cus was doing the job for his fighter.
     
  11. klompton2

    klompton2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    When you frame that in the actual context of the day, in which Robinson was getting heavily criticized for not defending his title and then stripped for it then Robinson's whining becomes understandable. He, like Archie Moore, at that time (58, 59, 60) felt that he had paid his dues and should be able to pick and choose who he defended against, when, where, and for how much. It doesnt work like that. Patterson constantly gets/got criticized for supposedly soft opposition but thats simply not the case. You can only half ass argue that he should/could have fought Folley and Machen. But that argument has never really held up under scrutiny if you look at the actual timeline of how things really happened. During the very brief time period when you could actually say that one of those guys was clearly Floyd's toughest competition one of them (I cant remember which) priced himself out of the fight. Thats a fact. Both guys killed any real chance they had by fighting that horrid draw, spending months arguing over a rematch or jockeying for a title shot over each other, and then in the interim turning in poor performances against Johannson and Cooper. Another huge impediment was the fact that both were tied to the mob and the IBC who D'Amato was trying to freeze out (and rightly so). The fact that Patterson defended against two guys who damn near killed Machen and Folley and who were far more threatening than Machen and Folley would have been in the same ring on the same night pretty much dissolves any notion that Patterson was avoiding them or feared them. The heavyweight division has been historically weak below the top 3 or 4 and this era was a shining example of that. When two of the top guys take themselves out of the running by being poor showman, having bad performances, and squabbling with each other over who should go first its very likely that your next best option is probably not going to be a stellar fighter. The only guy I think you could really criticise Patterson for defending against was Tom McNeeley and even then McNeeley was a popular fighter who had just appeared on the cover of several boxing magazines. By that point Liston was the clear #1 contender but when Patterson signed to fight McNeeley the entire top 3-5 ranking had been screwed up because Liston had gotten arrested for impersonating an officer and trying to assault a woman which got him dumped from the rankings. Its actually to Patterson's credit that his next fight was against Liston. He didnt have to take that fight. He had everyone from the President down to local civic organizations begging him not lower the title by fighting a felon who had so recently been embroiled in a seedy controversy such as that.
     
  12. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Never wrestle with pigs or argue with fools Full Member

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    I don’t really have any favorite heavyweights. Ali and Holyfield? Joe Walcott? Most of my favorites to watch are flawed or inconsistent guys like Dokes, Tubbs, and Carl Williams.

    Would probably rate Orlin Norris very high if he didn’t go out the way he did against Tyson and Vitali.

    Why do you ask?
     
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  13. reznick

    reznick In the 7.2% Full Member

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    Interesting.
    Idk, just curious because we disagree a lot on certain things, but I never bothered to ask your preferences so that I can understand your position better.
     
  14. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    The “Cus vs. The Mob” narrative has been shot to pieces. It was his narrative to protect his fighters. He, too, was mobbed up. Tell us who Charlie Black was, and his relationship to Fat Tony Salerno.
     
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  15. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing banned Full Member

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    Not only that.

    Cus D'amato was a leading member of the "Boxing Guild" of managers before it was forced to dissolve by the NY state commission in 1955 because it's corrupt shadowy practices, monopolistic practices, and obscured finances.
    The Boxing Guild was a tool of the mobsters and probably the personal creation of Frank Carbo himself.

    D'amato was actually the guy who collected the money from the other managers. It was never explained where all that money went. D'amato played dumb on the stand over the finances.

    D'amato appeared before the boxing commission's hearings on the Guild in 1954 and 1955 and when he chose to co-operate at all (he mainly refused to) he did so to defend the racket-like practices of the Guild, in particular he defended the freezing/grounding of fighters who wanted to break from their managers. He didn't believe in fighters having any control in choosing their managers when contracts expired.

    The IBC supported the existence of the Guild right up to the last moment too. The whole racket was a mob-influenced set-up. Jim Norris and the IBC prefered to deal with the Guiild rather than individual managers but when the boxing commission banned the Guild, the IBC disowned it. Which was probably the REAL reason D'amato hated Norris so much.

     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017