The Saturday night fights on ABC were good shows. But once again they were proof of how difficult it is for TV sportscasters to be both reporters and advertising salesmen. That's the main difference between newspapermen and the videots. Newspapermen report stories without any idea how the advertising department is doing. But TV sportcasters must do the reporting and sell the show, too - because they must make it exciting enought that sponsors will pay big money for commercials.

That's why Chris Schenkel, on ABC that night, continually referred to the Norton-Young fight as an elimination with the winner to meet Muhammad Ali. That just isn't so. Ali, in fact, told Howard Cosell he would ignore any order to fight the winner. And then Schenkel, two minutes later, repeated his bit.

Not once did anyone on ABC say that Ali is supposed to have signed contract to fight the winner of a Leon-Spinks-Alfio Righetti fight. Could that silence have been caused by the fact CBS, not ABC, will televise such a fight?

Speaking of questions that need no answers how about this: Why did ABC pay Ring magazine $70,000 - as it told Congress last week - for help with records and ratings for its scandalous U.S. Boxing Championships when the network could have bought a copy of Ring with its ratings for $12.