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Slants on Sports

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Art Lasky, the potato-picking heavyweight from Minnesota and points west, arrived in town last week as the supercargo on a transcontinental plane. Besides being something of a fighter the orthodox Jewish heavy in the business is a picture fiend and an air ##und. He never misses a change to snap a photo or grab a ride on a plane. He has missed quite a number of chances, however, to put a fight in the bag for himself. His arrival in New York recalls the last fight he had in this burg and the chance he missed against Hamas some three months ago.

Art stepped into the ring at Madison Square Garden and proceeded to knock the pride of Penn State all over the ring and back to the latter’s home town in Passaic. By the time the fight was over the former Nittany Lion, Steve Hamas, was groggy, bleary-eyed, punch-drunk, and barely able to stand on his feet. The Garden judiciary board, true to form, disagreed. The referee awarded the fight to Hamas. The house almost collapsed at this succotash decision.


Lasky’s a good kid. He can fight—when he wants to. He packs dynamite in his mitts and when he lands it’s cream and berries for his opponent. Although the fight with Hamas was a thrilling affair, Lasky toyed with Ma Hamas’ lad like a relief worker on snow duty. It seemed as if Art could knock him colder than yesterday with a little extra exertion. At times, Steve threw all caution to the winds, but Art, as steady as a calendar and as cool as a cucumber, kept plowing into his rival’s mid-section—ribs, chin and heart— with stinging left hooks and right jabs that could be deadly but apparently had all their fatality removed.

The fifteenth round was a pug’s picnic. Both scrappers stood on their heels in the middle of the ring and traded punches. Hamas weakened under the terrific impacts, gave ground, inch by inch, and was ready to drop as the bell marked the end of the fight. His manager poured a pail of water on his head to keep him from falling.

From our point of vantage Lasky appeared to be playing for an opening in the first, second, third, fourth and fifth rounds. Of course, he was walloping Hamas aplenty but the haymaker wasn’t produced.


Art takes on Jimmy Braddock tomorrow night. Art should win and win by a knockout. If he loses he’s washed up as a serious contender for the crown. At the same time a “duke” over the 30-year old fighter, who began boxing some ten years ago, won’t mean very much either. Unless Art puts Jimmy to bed sometimes before the bout is over the Lasky clan had better go back to potato picking.

Art had a fight with the Windbag of the Windy City last November. It lasted the full length. Levinsky took the decision. Then ### waltzed with the Kingfish for one round and flattened him in the second. Ergo, Lasky must redeem himself in the eyes of the fight fans here by showing his stuff. Lasky knows this. He told us as much yesterday. That’s why we’re expecting some fireworks at the Garden tomorrow night—and we hope it doesn’t prove to be a dud.


Lasky is no stranger to readers of this column. He has figured prominently on this page before. We feel, however, that it won’t hurt the Lasky fans to brush up on his background.

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 earning in a string of gas stations. He is 25 years old and first saw the light of day in Grassville, Minn. Stands six feet, two and one-half inches. Fighting weight, 208 pounds. His parents emigrated from Russia after a pogrom in their town.

Never trains on high holidays. Originally worked as a farm hand in Minnesota and was a champ potato picker. It was brother Maurice who induced him to go into the fight business after Art walloped the daylights out of him in one of those friendly kid-battles. Now managed by Maurice and Gig Rooney.

Lasky has had forty-six bouts, scoring thirty-three knockouts. Has never been knocked off his feet either in the gym or in the ring. Wears a size fourteen shoe —which probably accounts for his stability—the same as Carneras but the brogans are not as large in width as Primo’s. “Mine are canoes and Carnera’s are rowboats,” explains Art.

Art fought his first battle on May 21, 1930, in Waterloo, Iowa. He knocked out Percy Campbell in two rounds.

Before the last Levinsky-Lasky-scrap Art had the distinction of having set Levinsky on the road to ring oblivion. Since then Art became the man who started the King on the trail again.

At all events the fight tomorrow should be a humdinger.


Edna Schwartz is being touted as the next successor to Kit Klein…. Her time for the 440- and 880-yard straightaway speed skating is near championship records…. Maxie Baer was the clown of the evening when he tapped Jimmy Maloney—the traffic cop—in a four-round go….Barney Ross showed grand form in winning the “duke” over Frankie Klick at Miami…. Milt Sandler is expected to cop the Milrose 600 Saturday night…. Threats, counter-threats, innuendoes and personalities are being tossed back and forth as the State Boxing Commission is defending its stand on decisions in the last few weeks…. Max Baer says “Dempsey could have licked me.” …. Dempsey says, “Stocks in my restaurant are now being sold.” … Some good basketball games are uncorked at the Jewish Community House in Bensonhurst….. The 92nd street grapplers are the best amateur heave-and-grunters in the midtown area…. Murray Adelman, the captain of the matmen, is the 126-pound senior metropolitan champion…. He is slated for a berth on the American Maccabi team to the second Maccabiad that will be held in Palestine next April.

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