Saturday, August 13, 2022  |



10: Budd Schulberg quotes


A weekly boxing list compiled by Michael Rosenthal. This week: 10 quotes by the late Budd Schulberg, the screenwriter who gave us On the Waterfront, covered boxing and was devoted to the sport his entire life. He began attending fights in 1920.

1. “As much as I love boxing, I hate it. And as much as I hate it, I love it.”
2. “Very few fighters get the consideration of racehorses, which are put out to pasture to grow old with dignity and comfort when they haven't got it anymore.”
3. “Boxing is a mental sport. Think of a prizefight as a chess game of mind and body, and you are a little closer to it than if you compare it to a bloody brawl in an alley.”
4. “I could have had class. I could have been a contender.” (On the Waterfront)
5. “Fights can be dumped in a dozen ways. Sometimes everybody but the fighter knows. Sometimes only the fighter knows.”
6. “What do you care what a bunch of bloodthirsty, screaming people think of you? Did you ever get a look at their faces? They pay a few lousy bucks hoping to see a man get killed. To hell with them! Think of yourself. Get your money and get out of this rotten business.” (The Harder They Fall)
7. “Boxing has always been a sport that best reflects life, with its one-on-one struggles that we can all relate to. In our daily lives, we have to constantly rise up and meet challenges, and boxing sums that up best for me.” (New York Times)
8. “I’ve seen all the greats, and (Sugar Ray) Robinson was the greatest of them all.” (New York Times)
9. “As a boxing writer, I’d rank myself as one of the very best, maybe just below Damon Runyon. I think what has helped me achieve success is the fact that I have always been a realist, I have always paid attention to details, always observed very carefully what was going on and tried to capture things as they actually happened. (New York Times)
10. It will abolish itself if it persists in its program of anarchy, chaos and criminal neglect of the thousands who turn to it for escape from the dark corner of discrimination and want in which they find themselves trapped. Boxing is at the crossroads. … Either it will lift itself or is lifted to some standard of conscience and regard for the boys on whom it feeds, or it will be nine, ten, and out, having lost through apathy and inhumanity its right to survive.” (1964 essay)

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]