Wrestling Now a Favorite.
Originally Published in The Constitution, Atlanta, GA, Sunday January 12, 1902, Page 17.
Boxing, otherwise and more descriptively known as prize fighting, has been "up against it" locally in the past year. Wrestling, which is the 'next crookedest sport to bicycle racing, has taken its place, if not in the public favor, at least in public patronage. But even in New York there is no need for" a good fighter to starve. He can always rent his name to a saloon for a pretty price, and outside of this he can still make a little money at the ring game. The repeal of the Horton law didn't put a stop to prize fighting: it only put a stop to public prize fighting. No week passes without the meeting of one or more pairs of pretty well qualified opponents in the roped arena. These affairs are usually managed by one of the standard athletic clubs, and admittance is for members and friends only. Of course the police are not concerned with what goes on inside the house of a respectable club. It isn't always the athletic clubs, however, that go in for this sort of thing. Bob Fitzsimmons and Tom Sharkey met for a few rounds of argument recently before an up-town club of theatrical men and swatted each, other with right good will in a limited round bout. Another organization is trying to get Sharkey to exchange the compliments of the season with Joe Choyaski, the veteran heavyweight. It is said that a certain -rich down-town club is now negotiating for a Jeffries-Fitzsimmons encounter in private, but the price would have to be very big, for this bout in public would be the greatest paying contest of the day. Besides these genuine fights the present legal restrictions give opportunity for promoters of fake contests in out-of-the-way places in New Jersey or Long Island. The promoter collects a crowd of would-be sports, sells them tickets with adjurations to secrecy attached, for $2 each, lugs them off by trolley to some unheated barn, introduces two second-rate mixed-ale fighters who have already "fixed-up" the fight between them, gouges a dollar more out of each of his dupes on the ground that the fighters won't go on without it, turns the pair loose, gives them $25 each at the end of the bout and pockets a neat little profit of from $100 to $250.
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