An champion light-heavyweight boxer batters a young challenger so severely that the youthful pugilist suffers brain damage. Remorseful, the champion decides to rig a rematch in a small gym ...
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An champion light-heavyweight boxer batters a young challenger so severely that the youthful pugilist suffers brain damage. Remorseful, the champion decides to rig a rematch in a small gym and allow the punch drunk fighter the chance to achieve his dream of winning a boxing "title". Written by
This is an interesting but mostly forgotten episode from 1950s anthology television. It's a supposedly true story about events in the life of real-life boxing champion Benny Leonard--though I was unable to find any mention of this story on the internet. The story just seems too good to be true, if you ask me.
The film begins during the time period when Leonard was about to become the Lightweight boxing champ as well as just after this. In one particular fight, his opponent (played by Michael Landon!) is badly outclassed and Leonard naturally beats the guy. And, right after this fight, Leonard goes off to fight in WWI. On his return, he bumps into this same boxer only to see that the guy is 'punch'--not quite right in his brain (probably due to the effects of boxing). Landon's character is not exactly rational any more and was convinced he was going to be the next champ--even though his career was clearly over by then. So, in a sweet gesture, Leonard arranges for a re-match in which everyone there BUT the punchy fighter knew it was rigged. And, since the guy was so out of touch, he actually believed in the end that he had just defeated Benny Leonard and was the champ! If this is true and such a match was arranged in private with sportscasters and promoters helping him with the ruse, he was a heck of a guy! Plus, according to the story, Leonard paid the guy's bills when he was then hospitalized in a sanitarium! See what I'm saying?! It just seemed too good to be true! But, it also made for a very entertaining show--one that might even bring a small tear to your eyes! But understand, this is NOT "Requiem For a Heavyweight" (another TV play about boxing--but one that is among the best shows ever written for television)! The acting, writing and production was very nice--and well worth seeing if you can find a copy.
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