• U.S.

Sport: Little Man

2 minute read

Knocked into a cocked hat last week was the old sport axiom that a good, big man can always beat a good, little man. Henry Armstrong, Negro fisticuffer, is a little man. No fight fan will deny that he is a good man: he won the world’s featherweight (126 lb. max.) championship, then fattened up and won the welterweight (147 lb.) championship, then turned to the lightweight division and won that championship (135 lb.) too—all within ten months. Ceferino Garcia, Filipino welterweight, is also a good man in the ring: he has a paralyzing ”bolo” punch (a right uppercut), knocked out nine opponents this year. An overgrown welterweight, he is practically a middleweight.

Last week, in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden, Ceferino Garcia challenged Henry Armstrong for his welterweight crown. Many of the 15,000 spectators expected the Filipino, 13 pounds heavier, with an advantage in height and reach also, to land just one sound bolo punch, and the onetime triple champion, who had recently abandoned his featherweight crown, would have only one crown left. But Little Man Armstrong, looking like a pygmy, showed them that his famed strategy of getting in close and pounding away with both fists—fast, furiously and from all angles—is hard to solve, harder to beat. By the time Garcia succeeded in landing his bolo (in the twelfth round) it had lost its hop.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com