WEIGH-IN: The Selling of a Middleweight by Fraser Scott

WEIGH-IN: The Selling of a Middleweight

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The story of a nice young middle-class white boxer from suburban Seattle who nosedived once he became enmeshed in the crooked deals, payoffs, and threats which continue to plague the sport. Scott, called Society Red, turned pro at twenty in 1968 after two years of college and two regional Golden Gloves Championships under his belt. His motivation: ""No team endeavor could conjure up the spectacle of violence and pain that one man facing another half-naked in the canvas ring could. . . ."" Under the tutelage of his sympathetic black ""mother-trainer""-manager Joe West, he was prepped and prodded into learning ""how to roll with punches, counter, foul, and win."" After a successful debut, the pugilist had to sign an illegal return-bout contract -- giving up a piece of himself should he win -- in order to fight then middleweight champ Nine Benvenuti. Fraser was thereafter beaten in the Rome title contest, apparently due to a partisan referee. When Society decided to fix a fight with a sparring partner stand-in using an assumed name, ""the long slide had begun."" He's in no condition for a Paris bout. . .he's later told to take a dive in Johannesburg (he does). . . and he finally is forced to fake an injury so he can lose to Carlos Monzon in two rounds. His future in the arena down the drain at 23, Scott quit the game after revealing that some of his matches were fixed (since most of them were on foreign soil, little could be rectified). ""A prizefighter has to be a macho stud of lowered consciousness to be successful."" But Society was a loser anyway. He may have been manipulated and manhandled by sharpies but his own lack of integrity was obviously a factor. The ring smells as bad as ever -- nonetheless, this is a forthright account that probably should be read. More appropriately entitled: The Harder They Take a Fall.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1974
Publisher: T.Y. Crowell