Most afternoons as you walk down the corridor Athletic Building you can hear the slapping of skipping ropes and the pounding of punching bags. Turn in through the door of room 314 and you see a long, busy room with a ring at the far end, and about 30 energetic boxers conditioning themselves for next month's intramural championships.
Boxing is the only sport at the University besides sculling and volley ball which is conducted on a strictly intramural basis. Despite the absence of outside competition, however, it is currently attracting about 60 men, a number largely attributable to the enthusiasm of Coach Henry Lamar.
Although most boxing coaches would be more than satisfied with a boxing turnout as large as Lamar's, he would like to see his classes grow still larger, fundamental part of every boy's training.
Lamar, who is Chairman of the Massachusetts Boxing Commission and an ex-A.A.U champion, tries to train boxers rather than fighters. We approach boxing as we would any other scientific sport," he said. "We are not trying to produce lighters out for K.O.'s.
The results of this policy drew praise at the finish of the the intramurals last March, when Joseph Zapustos, Lamar's colleague on the State Boxing Commission and referee of the matches, called them "the finest amateur bouts I've seen in a long while."
The coach is not enthusiastic about men who do not attend his classes entering the intramural championships. He believes that most of the boxers competing win or lose on their conditioning. "And as it is," he says, "Boxing is a misunderstood sport."
His caution is further emphasized during reading and exam periods, when he calls off all sparring to avoid any injuries to hands.
The middle weights--135, 145, and 155 pounds--always attract the most contestants in the interhouse boxing, Lamar said, and this year will prove no exception to the rule. Some of the toughest competition in the 145 class should be provided by Karl Purnell, Dave Muncaster, and Norman Wyner. Dick Stafford is one of the stronger men in the 155 class, and Butch Warren in the 165's.
Bob Murphy, an ex-GI with considerable experience, has been helping Lamar with the newer boxers. He may enter the heavyweight class.