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Richard Kimble is working in a menial position at a sports arena when a
boxer's manager fires the cut man and replaces him with Kimble. Actor
James Edwards, as boxer Joe Smith, gives an intense performance as a
man who once dreamed of being a doctor, but decided that boxing would
give him a better chance at a decent life as a black man living in a
white man's world.
An assistant, Dan Digby (actor Hari Rhodes) is against Kimble from the start, because he replaced his friend as cut man, and because Kimble seems to be moving into a position of confidence with Smith.
Smith's wife Laura (actress Ruby Dee) wants her husband to quit boxing and become a doctor, fearing he will be injured or killed in the ring, but this is strongly opposed by Smith's manager Bragan (actor James Dunn), and by Dan. Smith is suffering from the results of past beatings in the ring, making it unwise for him to continue boxing, something quickly picked up by Kimble. Kimble is caught between Smith, Laura, Dan, Bragan, and a policeman posing as a sports reporter, investigating everyone in Smith's camp.
This was actually the second episode filmed, after "Fear in the Desert
City". You can see why it was pushed back a bit. It's not bad but not
all that remarkable, either. Kimble gets a job as a cut man for a boxer
and his medical training tells him that he really should quit the ring
before he gets seriously hurt. But he's got a shot at the title. The
boxer, played by James Edwards, one of many excellent but underused
black actors from those days, always wanted to be a doctor and Kimble
urges him to return to school. Meanwhile a reporter who is actually an
undercover agent for the boxing commission is suspicious that Kimble
might be working for criminals who want Edwards to throw the fight.
James Edwards died of a heart attack at the age of 51. He was already 45 when he played this role but doesn't look it. Edwards made a big splash in 1949 with Home of the Brave, a story of a black man and his experiences in the Army during WW2. He also played one of the boxers in Robert Wise's "The Set-up" A very handsome man, he started dating some Hollywood actresses, including Lana Turner, who he slapped during an argument in a restaurant. Ooops .
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