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Slants on Sports

We were very much surprised today while we watched Barney Ross, the only triple title holder in pugilistic history, in the last stages of his intensive training campaign for his return battle with Irish Jimmy McLarnin. We wondered whether it could be possible that Barney actually was in better shape for this second fight with the former champion than he had been for the bout on the night of May 28.

We cornered Hype Igoe and remarked that when we were observing Barney in May we did not think it possible for him ever to get into better physical condition. Unless we were looking at the champion with prejudiced eyes he was a faster man, with a more devastating punch and more zip and verve to his timing than he appeared to have in May.

Hype was as much enthusiastic about the “kid” as we were. “McLarnin will have to go some to win his crown back from that youngster. He’s improved 100 per cent and we don’t think McLarnin has come along at the same pace. Jimmy started slipping in May and the three months have not done him any good.”

“Then you think Barney extracted all the poison from this McLarnin lad at their last fight?” this corner interrupted.

“Well, I won’t say yes and I won’t say no. But this Ross does look mighty good to me and I’ve been watching them come along for years.”

Trying to hide our satisfaction, we said, “We were one of the few papers in town to come out for a Ross victory before the fight. You picked McLarnin. How come?”

“Excuse me a minute,” replied Hype, “I’ve got a story to write.”

BARNEY CONFIDENT OF ANOTHER VICTORY

When your sports scribe spoke to the champion he said he felt absolutely confident of another victory over Jimmy McLarnin.

“I was quite sure I would win the fight on May 28 but I was fighting with a different kind of confidence. I’m preparing for this scrap with the same feeling I had after the third round of our last bout. I knew then I had taken the hardest punch Jimmy had to offer. I realized I wasn’t hurt by the dynamite McLarnin was supposed to keep in his mitts and it was then I knew the fight was mine.

“Jimmy is a clever boxer. One of the smartest I’ve ever been up against. Another thing: Despite the fact that I felt I was in good condition for the first battle and seemed to feel I was the better man, right this minute I’m sure I’ll put up an even better show and convince everybody I’m the champion.”

As Barney Ross stripped the sweater from his bronzed body and prepared to enter the ring for a few rounds of hard fighting with his sparring partner, Davey Day, we moved over to Art Winch, one of Barney’s managers.

“Yessir,” chirped Winch, “keep your eye peeled on the champ. He’s got something you didn’t see the last time you were up here.”

The champ warmed up for two rounds and as the gong for the third round sounded he was away to the middle of the ring. With a lightning-like right jab he rocked Day and followed it up with a barrage of lefts and rights to Day’s midsection and chin. Stepping back for a moment for further advice from his corner seemed to be the signal for his sparring mate to drive with a haymaker to the button. Barney took it and shook it off and then sailed in with the blows McLarnin knows all too well. The bell saved Day further punishment.

“Did you see that timing?” sputtered Winch. “Did you see how he drives and covers up and steps in and dodges? And, did you see his hitting power? Golly, I’m glad I’ve got a share in this kid! He’s good and will be better yet.”

MCLARNIN IN GOOD SHAPE FOR THIS FIGHT

Jimmy is a good man but he was turned back by Ross when he was at his best. Last week we watched him go through his training grind and we didn’t notice any marked improvement in him as a fighter. He has stood still where Ross has gone ahead and bettered his boxing finesse. Jimmy still carries a zip in his right hand that would knock some fighters punch-drunk. He proved this when he fought Singer, Terris, Kaplan and Leonard. But, as his last fight with Barney revealed, it wasn’t sufficient to damage Ross to any considerable degree.

McLarnin feels that Louis “Kid” Kaplan was the hardest puncher he ever had to contend with in the ring. When we spoke to Jimmy at Orangeburg last week he said Kaplan hit him twice the force of Ross. And coming from Jimmy this ought to be true. This Irish wildcat is known as the hardest hitter for his inches in the fight game today. There is no doubt that he can hit harder than the present champ. However, needless to say, Barney took everything he had and will, in our estimation, weather these barrages from Jimmy’s mitts tomorrow night.

ONCE AGAIN WE PUT OUR MONEY ON ROSS

Ross has the youth, the height, the reach and the knowledge that he has already beaten Jimmy once before. He has pepper. Not only will he enter the arena with the hopes of winning again but he also has the conviction that he can do it. Not one of the fighters whom McLarnin sent to the land of ring oblivion had the firm conviction that he might take Jimmy for a ride. That is why Singer, Terris, Glick, Kaplan, Fields and Leonard were all washed up when their scraps with McLarnin were over.

To us, as in the last bout, Jimmy is a soap bubble that will be smashed under Barney’s terrific onslaught. Folks, in the fight game there are two factors that make for the final pay-off and Barney possesses both. Barney has the youth and the speed, and that’s why we say Barney Ross will beat Jimmy McLarnin again.

ALL NEW YORK WILL BE THERE

It’s no great surprise that the East Side is all gaga about this second fight and that the seats from the ringside tier to the last row of the bleachers will be taken by a Mr. Ginsberg from Avenue A or a Mr. Kantrowitz from Cherry street. But even the Brooklyn fans are all hopped up about this fight.

The second Ross-McLarnin fracas is the talk of the town. Not since the last time Leonard fought Tendler has there been so much fight talk in the air concerning a welterweight or lightweight championship. Even the fans at the Baer-Carnera tussle weren’t so enthused by the spectacle. However, this fight has gathered such publicity that it looms as a sellout.

The trains from Chi are bringing in the hometown rooters of the Jewish champ. The people in the Bronx are considering attending, which in itself is a moral victory for the Ross camp. Well, so long, folks, we’ll be seeing you in the Ross cheering section.

ART LASKY IN SHAPE FOR STEVE HAMAS

Despite the fact that Maxie Baer will rest on his newly-won heavyweight laurels until some time next spring, the heavy division is boiling over.

With the arrival of Art Lasky from California to start hard training for the most important fight of his career against Steve Hamas, September 27, and Maxie Schmeling’s eight-round kayo over Walter Neusel the top-notch class of the boxing game seems to be in an uproar.

The struggle of the various candidates for first crack at Maxie Baer has enlivened the division as never before. Before June, 1935, when Maxie will step into a ring again, there should be plenty of exciting fisticuffing.

Right now most interest and attention is attached to the scheduled ten-rounder between Lasky and Hamas. Promoter Jimmy Johnston heaved a sigh of relief yesterday when Lasky, the only Jewish “contender” extent, hove into sight. He had the Madison Square ringmaster worried over the week-end because the young Jewish fighter was traveling in style but “dangerously flying” as he did from Los Angeles to New York. When brother Maurice, one of Art’s managers, informed Johnston “all was well,” meaning the fighter had arrived safely, the latter declared, “Well, I’m glad that’s over.”

Lasky, who hasn’t boxed in New York since the night of March 31 in the Garden when he outfought Hans Birkie in eight torrid heats, will do some light work in Stillman’s gym this afternoon. He is in the best possible shape for his forthcoming bout and the few weeks left before the Hamas fight should make for a perfect physical specimen on the night of September 27.

HAS EXCELLENT RECORD

While brother Maurice and Rooney extolled the fistic virtues of the Lasky lad (both agreed that Art has the best left hook in captivity) the scrapper of the family played with his dog “Pooch.”

We inquired after the mongrel’s breeding. “He’s a rat terrier,” Art revealed, “but I’ve lost his pedigree.”

When we asked some one to give us a hasty resume of Lasky’s ring history, Rooney and Maurice spoke as one. “After the Birkie bout Lasky participated in sixteen battles, scoring eleven K. O’s. Charlie Retzlaff was awarded a six-round technical knockout over him on May 12 at St. Paul. They collided with their heads in the first round. Lasky bobbed up with a cut a mile long over his right eye. After a fast exchange in the sixth Retzlaff swished his glove near the injured optic and the next thing Art knew his eyeball was hanging out of the socket. The referee humanely intervened.”

“Art points with pride to the fact that he has met the greatest punchers in Jack Dempsey, King Levinsky and Tiger Jack Fox. Two years ago he stood off Primo Carnera in ten rounds.”

THUMBNAIL SKETCH OF ‘FIGHTING JEW’

Art is an orthodox Jew. At present he is a resident of Los Angeles. He lives with his mother and sister and a younger brother, Eli. He is investing his ring earnings in a string of gas stations. He is twenty-five years old. First saw the light of day at Evansville, Minn. Stands six feet two and one-half inches. Fighting weight is 197 pounds. His parents emigrated to America from Russia in 1904 after a pogrom in their home town.

During the coming Jewish high holidays Lasky will not train. Originally he worked as a farm hand. It was brother Maurice who induced him to go into the fight business after Art walloped the daylight out of him in one of those friendly kid bouts.

Lasky has had forty-four contests, scoring thirty-three knockouts. He has never been knocked off his feet either in the gym or ring. He wears a fourteen shoe, the same size as Carnera but the brogans are not as large in width as the Italian’s. “Mine are canoes and Carnera’s are rowboats,” explains Art.

Lasky fought his first battle on May 21, 1930, at Waterloo, Iowa. He knocked out one Percy Cameron in two rounds. “Funny Napoleon was stopped at Waterloo by Wellington,” interrupted brother Maurice, who has had some schooling, “and Art began his victorious fight career at Waterloo.”

It was Lasky who practically ended the fistic trail of “Leaping Lena’s” keed brudder, King Levinsky.

THE SPORTING CALENDAR

Barney Ross will meet Jimmy McLarnin in defense of his welterweight title at 10 p. m. Tickets may still be purchased at the Garden offices on Fiftieth street and Eighth avenue.

Thirty-two rounds of boxing support this main event.

FORT HAMILTON ARENA BOXING TOMORROW NIGHT

Joe Pennino and Frank Oben clash in the feature ten-rounder at the Hamilton Boxing Club tomorrow night. Al Dunbar and Carmine Macchio of South Brooklyn will fight the eight-round semi-final. There are twenty-five more rounds of boxing on the card to complete the bill.

CONEY ISLAND VELODROME WRESTLING FRIDAY NIGHT

Jim Browning, former world’s champion in the grunt and groan division, meets Sandor Szabo in the feature finish attraction Friday night. In a special attraction, Rudy Dusek meets Eli Fischer, the Jewish star. Gino Garibaldi, Joe Dusek and Scotty McDougal are also on the bill.

SOCCER

The New York Americans will make their initial appearance of the season when they meet the Pawtucket Rangers in an exhibition soccer tilt at Starlight Park on Sunday afternoon. The Rangers won the Eastern and New England championships of the American. Soccer League last season.

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