The moment of truth is at hand in D.C. Armory tonight for 20 boxers with visions of a future full of Sugar (Ray, no doubt) plums as professional practitioners of the manly art - and for the folks who are trying to bring "Starplex" into the ringdom's big leagues.
Cliches aside, the Schlitz Parade of Future Champions gets under way in the Armory with a card of 10 four-rounders starting at 7:30. Entrants are either brand-new pro fighters or those with some punch-for-pay experience but unranked in the top 30 of their weight divisions nationally. Armory manager-boxing director Willis Johnson expects enough contestants to carry the tournaments through every other-Wednesday dates into May. First-round winners receive $120, losers $80, under the legal D.C. minimum of $20 per round boxed; second-round split, $180-$120; third round, $360-180, and on up.
For $5 ringside, $3 general admission, $1.50 youngsters 12 and under, customers get access to nickel soft drinks, dime popcorn, 20-cent beer, two-bit hot dogs, and action featuring such as, top-billed tonight, Odell Leonard vs. Sylvester Harris and Keith Broom vs. William Herbert, middleweights, Dave Johnson vs. Tito Fontano and George Williams vs. Robert Papich, heavies . . .
Heavyweights?Promoters Joe Quinones and Joan Seligman take center stage in Baltimore Civic Center today when they trumpet plans for a "World Walk-On" heavyweight fight tourney. Here's how Quinones advertised it in the Baltimore Sun: "Wanted: 1,024 heavyweight, ages 18 to 35, with no previous pro experience. Seeking lumberjacks and loggers, teamsters and truckers, steel workers and stonemasons, barroom brawlers and back alley bullies with fighting ambition to win $50,000 grand prize. Entry fee of $275. Apply to Pro Productions, Ltd., c/o Baltimore Civic Center, Baltimore, Md." (Or was that Syn columnist Alan Goldstein's wording?). Anyway, this one is projected for April 28-May 14, and lots of luck finding 1,024 guys upward of 175 pounds with $275 to invest . . .