|In June 1928 A.R. placed his hand upon a bible, swore to tell
the truth, and proceeded to perjure himself: "I don't bet on
football or boxing."
He didn't lie about football. Football made him uncomfortable.
Twenty-two men running around in a dozen different
directions. Too many variables; too much to fix. But A.R. lied
about boxing. In his crowd, boxers were everywhere.
Everyone followed boxing. Everyone bet on boxing.
Boxing meant big money. Not for everyone, but certainly to A.
R. and his political friends, people who protected you and
made things happen or not happen. Boxing was
an enterprise the law often frowned on, and when that
happened those making or enforcing the law often grew
rich—especially in Tammany's New York.
He ran a saloon on 14th
Street, between 3rd & 4th
Avenues, that figured in the
Rosenthal slaying. Before
Sharkey ran the joint it was
Sunny's, and Rothstein
gambled there as a youth.
"The Ghetto Wizard"
A.R. had 10% of his
|Abe "The Little Champ" |
in fixing the 1919 World
Series. Did he work with
Rothstein to fix the first
|Jack "The Manassa |
Mauler" Dempsey in
questioned Abe Attell and
Arnold Rothstein's role in
his first loss to Tunney. A.R.
bet $125,000 on the
underdog Tunney in the
first Dempsey-Tunney fight
and won $500,000.
|Billy Gibson, Gene Tunney,|
Jack Dempsey's Open Letter to Gene Tunney
The following appeared in the September 19, 1927 Chicago
Herald and Examiner:
As the story comes to me, Attell went to see you in your camp at
Stroudsburg. After a lengthy conference with you he raced back to
Philadelphia with your pure and innocent manager, Billy Gibson. And
then Attell hurried along and had a meeting with ["Boo Boo" ] Hoff.
As I understand it, Hoff is something of a political power in
Philadelphia. He is supposed to be a rather mighty figure in boxing
affairs, and the old saying goes that "Whatever "Boo Boo" wants"
well, that's what 'Boo Boo' gets."
Attell, the tool for the gambling clique; "Boo Boo" Hoff, the political
and boxing power in Philadelphia, and Gibson, your manager, had
various meetings, all secret. And then you arrived in Philadelphia for
the next chapter in the story finds you in a meeting with Hoff and
Gibson--one that lasted until about 6 on the fight night.
Since then I learned that some sort of written contract was entered
into involving Hoff, Gibson and yourself. Stories about it differ
considerably. But the document itself has been made public. It strikes
me as a strange document--one that puzzles the public as it puzzles
me, and it is one that I think should be explained.
The contract stated, in substance, that Gibson borrowed $20,000
from Hoff and that Gibson agreed to pay back the $20,000 and
nothing elseâ€”if you did not win the fight. But it contains a peculiar
clause to the effect that if you won the fight Gibson was to pay back
Hoff the $20,000 and, as a sort of bonus or something like that, that
you were to give Hoff 20 percent of all your earnings as champion.
You signed as a party to the agreement.
Can't we all have a little explanation about this?
You knew that if you won the title it would be worth at least
$1,000,000 to you. Why were you agreeable to paying Hoff
approximately $200,000 bonus for a loan of $20,000? What could
Hoff do to help you on to victory that would be worth $200,000?
Arnold Rothstein's Boxing Chronology
1884 — Abe Attell born in San Francisco (Feb. 22).
1893 -- Max "Boo Boo" Hoff born in Philadelphia.
1900 -- Abe Attell's first pro fight, beats Kid Lennett (Aug. 19).
1901-- Abe Attell defeats George Dixon in 15-round decision,
claims featherweight title (Oct. 28).
1904 -- Travels to Saratoga Springs, NY with Abe Attell;
1908 -- Atell defeats Tommy Sullivan, becomes undisputed
featherweight champion (Apr. 30).
1909 -- Monte Attell (Abe's brother) wins the bantamweight title.
1912 -- Attell loses title to Johnny Kilbane (Feb. 22).
1914 -- Willie Ritchie loses lightweight crown to Freddie Welsh
in London (July 7).
1917 -- Attell's last fight (Jan. 8).
1919 -- Fixes 1919 World Series with Abe Attell
1920 -- Benny Leonard defeats Ritchie Mitchell in NYC, after
predicted first-round knockout to A.R. (Jan 14).
-- Rothstein helps Abe Attell escape justice in Black Sox
-- Former Mrs. Abe Attell arrested for $1,477,000 NYC Bond
1921 - Abe Attell opens the Ming Toy Bootery in NYC.
1922 - Gasoline-soaked rags found at stairwell of Ming Toy
— Ming Toy Bootery bankrupt (July)
— Dempsey-Firpo heavyweight fight; A.R. helps Lucky
Luciano select a new wardrobe for the event (Sept. 14).
1923 — Gene Tunney loses to Harry Greb; Abe Attell in
Tunney's corner (May)
1924 — Harry Greb-Mickey "The Toy Bulldog" Walker fight
1925 — Boo Boo Hoff lends $20,000 to Billy Gibson and
Gene Tunney for 20% share of Tunney.
— Presence ringside at first Dempsey-Tunney fight causes
controversy; wins $500,000 (Sept. 23).
— Mickey Walker-Dave Shade fight at Yankee Stadium; A.R.
win $80,000 on Walker (Sept).
— Harry Greb dies following eye surgery (Oct. 20).
— Attell investigated in matter of Peacock Club on 147 W.
48th Street (Nov.).
1926 — First Jack Dempsey-Gene Tunney fight, at
Philadelphia; A.R. wins $500,000 in Tunney upset (Sept. 23)
1927 -- Dempsey questions Hoff loan to Gibson and Tunney
— Dempsey-Tunney rematch at Soldier Field Chicago, the
"Long Count" (September 22).
1928 — Tex Rickard predicts Rothstein's murder.
1929 — Tex Rickard dies of appendicitis (Jan 6)
1941 — Boo Boo Hoff dies broke.
1970 — Abe Attell dies at New Paltz, New York (Feb. 6).
1978 — Gene Tunney dies at Greenwich, Connecticut (Nov. 7)
1983 —Jack Dempsey dies in New York City (May 31).