For cinema goers, the image of a boxer being coerced into losing a fight or consoled in the aftermath, is all too familiar. A convenient vehicle deployed by film makers, since the advent of ‘talkies’ in the 1920’s. From John Wayne to Charlie Chaplin, actors have been knitting their brows as earnest pugs buckling beneath the guilt that ensues. Electing to forgo the integrity they cherished, in exchange for easy money or the promise of richer fruit down the line, is a choice much easier to reject in theory and detached from the starkness of life as a prizefighter from the 1930s to the late 1950s.
As Brando immortalised in The Godfather, fighters, like others in position of influence and value, were made offers they couldn’t refuse.Continue reading ““I coulda had class”. Fighters, films and the fix”