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TEXT I Who Killed Benny Paret?

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1 TEXT I Who Killed Benny Paret?
Unit 9 TEXT I Who Killed Benny Paret?

2 Pre-reading Information
1. Boxing Sport of fighting with fists, also called pugilism and prizefighting. 2. Early History Depicted on the walls of tombs at Beni Hasan in Egypt, dating from about 2000 to 1500 B.C., boxing is one of the oldest forms of competition. A part of the ancient Olympic games, the sport was exhausting and brutal. The Greeks fought without regard for weight differentials and without interruption, a match ending only when a fighter lost consciousness or raised his hand in resignation. Boxers wound heavy strips of leather around their hands and wrists. Under Roman rule, these thongs (the caestus) were laced with metal, ensuring an abundance of blood. Statues of maimed boxers from late antiquity attest to the carnage. After the demise of the Olympics, boxing survived as a common sport. It persisted at local fairs and religious festivals throughout medieval Europe and was especially popular in the west and north of England, where it was often a combination of wrestling and street fighting. 3. The Organization of Boxing In early 18th-century England, boxing, with the aid of royal patronage in the form of betting or offering prizes, became organized. James Figg, the first British champion (1719–30), opened a School of Arms, which attracted numerous young men to instruction in swordplay, cudgeling, and boxing—the “manly arts of self-defense.” After delivering a fatal blow in a bout, Jack Broughton drew up (1743) the first set of rules. Though fights still ended only in knockout or resignation, Broughton’s rules moderated the sport and served as the basis for the later London Prize-ring Rules (1838) and Queensbury Rules (1867). The latter called for boxing gloves, a limited number of 3-min rounds, the forbidding of gouging and wrestling, a count of 10 sec before a floored boxer is disqualified, and various other features of modern boxing.

3 4. Boxing in the United States
Until late in the 19th cent., American fighters established their own rules, which were few. Early matches, some of them free-for-alls, featured biting and gouging as well as punching. In most instances they were also illegal. In 1888, John L. Sullivan, a bare-knuckle champion and America’s first sports celebrity, won a clandestine 75-round match. New York legalized boxing in 1896, and other states soon followed suit. Although the reign (1910–15) of the first African-American heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson, disturbed the segregated society of the time, and although many continued to question boxing’s social purpose, its inclusion in the Olympic games in 1904, its use for military training in World War I, its emergence as a source of discipline for youth, its regulation by state commissions, and its suggestion of national vitality strengthened its claims to legitimacy and bolstered its popularity through the 1920s and 30s. Heavyweight (over 190 lb/86.3 kg) champions Jack Dempsey (1919–26) and Joe Louis (1937–49) were national heroes, Louis becoming one of the first black athletes to gain wide popularity. Since World War II, boxing has proceeded amid corruption and, at times, chaos. Rising admission prices, restriction of title fights to closed-circuit television, the proliferation of organizations claiming to sanction fights and proclaim champions, financial scandals, ring injuries and deaths, monopolistic practices by promoters, and claims of exploitation of lower-class fighters have threatened its appeal, yet the sport continues to attract huge audiences and investment. Great fighters like Muhammad Ali elicit admiration and fascination, while controversy surrounds others like the repeatedly imprisoned Mike Tyson. Lennox Lewis is generally regarded as the current world heavyweight champion.

4 5. Amateur Boxing Amateur boxing, while not free from debate, has in recent decades taken steps to ensure safety and objective judging. The Golden Gloves national tournament has long been a stepping stone for young fighters, but the Olympics are the most visible forum for amateurs. Olympic boxers wear eight-ounce gloves and padded head gear and fight just three rounds of three min. Judges use electronic devices to record the scoring punches that determine the winner.

5 Background Knowledge 2. The Saturday Review: (1924- )
An American weekly journal, until 1952 subtitled ‘of literature,’ still emphasizes book reviews and literary comment, but also deals with drama, recorded music, motion pictures, photography, travel, education and science. Editors have been Canby ( ), De Voto (1936-8, George Stevens ( ), and Norman Cousins (1940- ). The present article first appeared in the magazine on 5th May, 1962. 1.The writer: Norman Cousins (1912-*), editor of The Saturday Review (1940- ), in which he expresses his humanitarian concern with democratic ideals, international understanding and world unity. His books include The Democratic Chance (1942), Who Speaks for Man? (1952), and The Last Defense in a Nuclear Age (1960).

6 3.The rules of a boxing match (From Text III)
The rules which now govern professional boxing were issued by the British Board of Control in For championships the ring is from 14 to 20 feet square and the gloves weigh 6 ounces. Fifteen rounds of 3 minutes’ duration are fought, with a minute interval between each. The bout is won by a blow to the chin, heart, or solar plexus which knocks out the opponent for not less than 10 seconds – or a boxer may win on “points”, which are scored for the number of blows or style of fighting. The winner of each round is given 5 points, the loser whatever proportion to this total he has earned. Points are scored for clean hits with the closed glove of either hand, and for skilful defensive work. Where two men are otherwise equal, the attacker benefits. Each boxer has a second whose duty it is to look after him between rounds, cooling him with a towel, sponging his face, and giving him advice – it is an old boxing saying that a good second is half the battle.

7 4.The Death of Benny Paret
The following account is entitled The Death of Benny Paret by Norman Mailer who watched the welterweight championship fight between Benny Paret and Emile Griffith as he sat at ringside the fateful night of March 25, 1962, the night of Paret’s last fight. Paret was a Cuban, a proud club fighter who had become welterweight champion because of his unusual ability to take a punch. His style of fighting was to take three punches to the head in order to give back two. At the end of ten rounds, he would still be bouncing, his opponent would have a headache. But in the last two years, over the fifteen-round fights, he had started to take some bad maulings. This fight had its turns. Griffith won most of the early rounds, but Paret knocked Griffith down in the sixth. Griffith had trouble getting up, but made it, came alive and was dominating Paret again before the round was over. Then Paret began to wilt. In the middle of the eighth round, after a clubbing punch had turned his back to Griffith,Paret walked three disgusted steps away, showing his hindquarters. For a champion, he took much too long to turn back around. It was the first hint of weakness Paret had ever shown, and it must have inspired a particular shame, because he fought the rest of the fight as if he were seeking to demonstrate that he could take more punishment than any man alive. In the twelfth, Griffith caught him. Paret got trapped in a corner. Trying to duck away, his left arm and his head became tangled on the wrong side of the top rope. Griffith was in like a cat ready to rip the life out of a huge boxed rat. He hit him eighteen right hands in a row, an act which took perhaps three or four seconds, Griffith making a pent-up whimpering

8 sound all the while he attacked, the right hand whipping like a piston rod which has broken through the crankcase, or like a baseball bat demolishing a pumpkin. I was sitting in the second row of that corner—they were not ten feet away from me, and like everybody else, I was hypnotized. I had never seen one man hit another so hard and so many times. Over the referee’s face came a look of woe as if some spasm had passed its way through him, and then he leaped on Griffith to pull him away. It was the act of a brave man. Griffith was uncontrollable. His trainer leaped into the ring, his manager, his cut man, there were four people holding Griffith, but he was off on an orgy, he had left the Garden, he was back on a hoodlum’s street. If he had been able to break loose from his handlers and the referee, he would have jumped Paret to the floor and whaled on him there. And Paret? Paret died on his feet. As he took those eighteen punches something happened to everyone who was in psychic range of the event. Some part of his death reached out to us. One felt it hover in the air. He was still standing in the ropes, trapped as he had been before, he gave some little half-smile of regret, as if he were saying, “I didn’t know I was going to die just yet,” and then, his head leaning back but still erect, his death came to breathe about him. He began to pass away. As he passed, so his limbs descended beneath him, and he sank slowly to the floor. He went down more slowly than any fighter had ever gone down, he went down like a large ship which turns on end and slides second by second into its grave. As he went down, the sound of Griffith’s punches echoed in the mind like a heavy ax in the distance chopping into a wet log.

9 Prizefight and terms related
1.prizefight: n.also spelt with a hyphen, prize-fight (in former times) a public boxing match for a money prize, in which the two men fought with bare hands AmE a professional boxing match 2.prizefighter: n. boxer prizefighting: n. 3.arena: n. an enclosed area used for sports, public entertainment 4.bout: n. a boxing match 5.canvas: n. Canvas is strong, heavy cloth usually made of cotton or linen. It is used for making things such as tents, sails, and bags. Here it is the canvas-covered mat, which forms the floor of the ring. 6.clean hit: an attack which is given fairly and according to the rules 7.count out: When a referee counts out a boxer who has been knocked down, he counts to ten before the boxer can get up, so that the boxer loses the match. v. move with one’s feet or body to dodge the blows of the opponent but seldom attack v. move suddenly out of the way or out of reach in order to avoid being hit 10.feint: n. a misleading action or movement especially in boxing intended to confuse or deceive your opponent.Feint is also used as a verb e.g. The two bulls, after a great deal of skillful feinting, withdrew to opposite ends of the field. 11.fight: n. a boxing match 12.fight manager: n. manager in charge of prizefighters and taking care of the prizefighter’s training and other activities

10 13.jab: v. strike quickly from a short distance
n. a sudden forceful push with something pointed 14.knockout: n. in boxing, wrestling, etc. A knockout is a blow that makes your opponent fall to the ground and unable to stand up before the referee has counted to ten. 15.mauler: n. a prizefighter who savagely attacks his opponent to injure him badly 16.mouthpiece: n. The mouthpiece of a prizefighter is a rubber guard held in the mouth by a boxer to prevent chipped teeth or cut lips resulting from hard blows, or a plate or strip of soft waxy substance used by boxers to protect the teeth and gums. 17.parry: v. To parry a blow from your opponent who is attacking you, you push aside the opponent’s arm with your own arm so that you are not hurt. 18.prizefight promoter: n. also a boxing promoter, one who helps to organize and finance the boxing match 19.referee: n. a judge in charge of some games. (USAGE)Referee is used in connection with basketball, boxing, football, hockey, lacrosse, rugby, snooker, squash, and wrestling. Umpire is used in connection with badminton, baseball, cricket, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. 20.ring: n. boxing ring, the small square central space closed in with ropes in which people box or wrestle 21.round: n. in boxing, wrestling, any of the periods of fighting in a match, separated by short rests. (boxer’s) second: n. a person who helps someone who is fighting in a boxing match 22.slugger: n. a person who hits very hard 23.weave: v. to move along or make one’s way by turning and changing direction frequently

11  Language Points  1 .  beat (1) the usual path followed by sb. on duty (esp. a police man) (警察)巡逻路线 The cop walks his beat daily. 这名警察每天在规定值巡路线上巡逻。 (2)a particular news source that a reporter is responsible for covering 负责采访的领域 The local authorities decided to remove the reporter from the White House beat. 当地政府决定撤回一名专门采访白宫的记者。 This fledgling newspaper reporter is on the social security beat. 这位年青的新闻记者负责采访社会安全消息。 2 . all the way from…to… 完全地,一直 Prices of pens vary all the way from 5 dollars to 500 dollars. 钢笔的价钱从5美元到500美元不等。 People came all the way from the neighboring cities to watch the prize-fight. 人们从附近城市一路过来观看这场职业拳击赛。 3. wind up: to cause to be finished 使…结束 He wound up his speech with a quotation. 他以一句引语结束他的演讲。 It’s time for him to wind up his speech . 他该结束演说了。 He wound up his business and personal affairs before joining the army. 他把公私事务料理妥帖才去参军。 4. literally (1) exactly 确实地,真正地 I am literally penniless. 我确实身无分文了。.

12 The cold that winter literally froze us stiff.
那年冬天的寒冷确实把我们冻僵了。 (2) word by word 逐字地,照着原文    It is impossible to translate all proverbs literally. 谚语不可能都逐字直译。 5.look into: to examine the meaning or causes of 调查,考察 A committee was set up to look into the company’s account. 成立了委员会调查公司的帐。 The police are looking into the matter. 警方正在调查这件事。 6.lie with 取决于,是…的职权 The decision lies with you. 决定应由你做出。 It lies with you to accept or reject the proposal. 你来决定是接受或拒绝这项提案。 7.  boo  v. to express disapproval (of) or strong disagreement (with), esp. by saying “BOO”作嘘声表反对 The speaker was booed off the platform. 演讲者被赶下台。 He sang so badly that the audience booed him. 他唱得极糟糕,被观众作嘘声喝倒彩。 8.mores: social customs and standards 风俗,习惯 Social mores change with the passing of time. 社会风俗习惯随着时光流逝而改变。 Mores differ from place to place. 各地的风俗不同。 9.promote: v. help/encourage sth. to happen, increase, or spread a) to give sb. a higher position or rank OPPOSITE demote b) to help actively in forming or arranging (a business, concert, play, etc.) c) to bring goods to public notice in order to encourage people to buy

13 e.g. The young army officer is promoted to (the rank of) captain.
We don’t have to sacrifice environmental protection to promote economic growth. A big advertising campaign is being held to promote a new kind oftoothpaste. Milk promotes health. promoter: n. a person whose job is to promote events, activities, goods, etc. 10. be adroit at: Someone who is adroit is quick and skillful in way they think and behave. e.g. Jamie is adroit at flattering others. adroitly adv. e.g. The politician sidestepped the question very adroitly. adroitness n. e.g. She suggested with adroitness that I should leave. 11.coma: n. a state of deep unconsciousness, usually caused by a serious head injury or by drugs 12.come to: If a person comes to, he recovers/gains consciousness. e.g. That’s about all I remember, until I came to in a life-raft. 13.literally: adv. actually This word is used to indicate that a word or expression which has more than one meaning is being used in its most concrete or basic sense, rather than in a more abstract, figurative sense. e.g. At the last minute, literally overnight, they changed their minds. (USAGE)Literally should be used to mean “exactly as stated”: Their house is literally 10 meters from the sea. (=I am telling the exact truth.) It is often used more generally to give force to an expression, but many teachers feel this is incorrect. He literally exploded with anger. (=His anger was very like an explosion.) 14.a flurry of: A flurry is a short rush of vigorous activity or action. e.g. The decision raised a flurry of objections. A flurry of excitement went round the hall as the party leader came in. 15. certify: v. to declare something is true/correct after some kind of test

14 e.g. The doctor certified the person insane after careful examination.
The old man certified that he witnessed the celebration of the liberation of People’s Republic of China in 1949. To certify someone means to give him a certificate which states that he has successfully completed a course of training for a particular profession. e.g. The pilots are certified by the navy. After four years’ hard work she is now a certified teacher. This is to certify that John Smith has successfully completed his studies required by the graduate school and therefore granted the degree of MA. certificate: n. an official document which states that the facts written on it are true, for example, giving proof of someone’s birth or death, or an official document that someone receives when they have successfully completed a course of study or training 16.exquisitely intricate: very finely made, extremely beautiful in appearance,something containing many detailed parts and thus sometimes difficult to understand e.g. The jade carving is exquisitely intricate. any event(= at all events) You say these phrases after you have been discussing a situation, in order to indicate that the statement you are making is true or likely, in spite of anything that has happened or may happen. e.g. At all events, it seems that the meeting might be cancelled. In any event, I’ll give you a call. (even if I won’t go with you) in the event of …/ in the event that…/ in that event When you say these phrases, you are talking about a possible future situation, especially when you are planning what to do if it does occur; used in formal English. e.g. In the event of a tie, the winner will be decided by the toss of a coin. In the unlikely event that they give you any real trouble, give me a ring. In that event, we would probably take the matter to court.

15 Organization & Development
This piece of writing is a magazine editorial in which the writer gives us a serious account of a single incident – the tragic death of a prizefighter as a result of the society’s questionable mores that regard prizefighting as a means of making money and giving entertainment. The following are the various methods the writer employs to express his viewpoint: 1. The use of an intriguing title, “Who Killed Benny Paret?” This quickly arouses the reader’s curiosity and attracts his attention. 2. The telling use of authoritative “inside” information from the world of boxing. Mike Jacobs, the most powerful figure in the boxing world, is quoted on “how to please the crowd”. The author clarifies and limits the subject by relating his interview with the recognized expert in order to give more weight to his own opinion, as the reader tends to believe and agree to what “Number One” says about a subject in his line. 3. The subtle use of medical evidence in the description of what happens when the human fist delivers a strong blow to the head to give strong support to his statement. 4. The skillfully dismissive way in which he suggests that “investigators” looked into every possible cause except “the real one”. 5. The persuasive argument that the primary responsibility for the boxer’s death lies with “the people who pay to see a man hurt.” (Paras. 7, 8, 9, 10) 6. An attempt to create in the reader a sense of guilt at Jacobs’ portrayal of those who watch boxing and a sharing with the writer of a sense of disgust when he describes in sickening detail the crowd’s excitement at the brutality acted out in the ring for their entertainment. 7. The clever way to issue an implicit challenge to the reader towards the end of the editorial. The writer means to use the detailed description of a helpless boxer being smashed into unconsciousness for the sole amusement of the crowd to put maximum pressure on the reader, making him wish such barbarities to be stopped. As well as the methods given above, the writer uses a varied style to make the reader interested in what he is saying and to persuade him to accept his point of view. The following are the characteristics of his style:

16 1. He quoted economically and judiciously from Mike Jacobs
1. He quoted economically and judiciously from Mike Jacobs. Most of Jacobs phraseology is followed without being directly quoted. The direct quotations are limited only to four key sentences which express with brutal and shocking clarity the reason why a crowd comes to a boxing match. In this way, the reasons are given with an authoritative tone. 2. He matches the flurry of investigations with a furry of statements and questions—one following the other in quick succession. 3. He gives the medical evidence succinctly in a series of mainly short non-complex sentences which compresses a lot of technical information into a very short space so as to avoid the possibility of the reader losing interest or skipping this part. 4. He makes full and good use of journalistic brevity and conciseness. He tells us the following facts within fifty words. who—a young man when—recently what—killed where—in the ring how—hit hard in the head 5. He employs parallelism, one of the basic rhetorical principles, very effectively in order to give emphasis to his points. Examples: You put killers in the ring and the people filled your arena. You hire boxing artists… and you wind up counting your empty seats. You searched for the killers and sluggers and maulers … The time the crowd comes alive is when a man is hit hard over the heart or the head, when his mouthpiece flies out, when blood squirts out of his nose or eyes, when he wobbles under the attack and his pursuer continues to smash him with poleax impact. He was hit hard in the head several times, went down, was counted out and never came out of the coma. The writer’s last use of parallelism is particularly effective. He piles detail upon detail so the reader wishes to stop the seemingly never-ending cruelty and barbarity. Example: Don’t blame it on the referee, don’t even blame it on the fight manager. On the whole, the language is simple, direct and “punching”, and the article is full of short sentences. The writing moves at a brisk pace so as to hold the reader’s attention throughout.

17 6. About the writing Editorial, also leader, leading article (BrE) is an article in a newspaper giving the paper’s opinion on a matter, rather than reporting information. It is often written by or for the editor. This piece of writing is a magazine editorial in which the writer gives the reader a serious account of a single incident – the tragic death of a prizefighter as a result of the society’s questionable mores that regard prizefighting as a means of making money and giving entertainment. In keeping with the seriousness of his purpose – the polemical argument of a problem of human interest: “What caused Benny Paret’s death?” – the writer states his opinion explicitly and unambiguously in order to win the reader over to his point of view. (For specific techniques in writing, see pp listed under “Some Comments on the Text” in SB.

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