Boxing writer, gentleman, friend: Royce Feour played roles well

Updated December 29, 2018 - 4:59 pm

Here’s something you might not know about Royce Feour, the Review-Journal’s legendary boxing writer who was 79 when he died on Christmas:

He appeared in a couple of movies.

Naturally, they were about boxing.

In “Play It to the Bone,” he is credited as “Ringside Sportswriter.” In “Triumph and Tragedy: The Ray Mancini Story,” he appears as “Himself.”

That he has his own Internet Movie Database entry in which he is listed as Royce Feour, actor, would elicit a hearty laugh from him. And nobody, with the possible exception of Frank Gorshin and Cesar Romero in the old “Batman” TV series, laughed more heartily than Royce Feour. There was the Riddler, the Joker, the Roycester. When something tickled Royce Feour’s funny bone, they could hear it in Gotham City.

The movie people decided he should be in those boxing flicks. How can you make an authentic boxing movie without Royce Feour playing Himself?

That’s the first word that comes to mind when paying homage to the dean of Las Vegas sports writers: Authenticity. Royce Feour had bunches of it.

Did you see the photo in his obituary, in which he, alone, is seated and interviewing light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver, while other Ringside Sportswriters are standing behind him in deference?

That’s authenticity. Bunches of it.

Ringside Sportswriter, gentleman, friend. These were roles that Royce Feour played to the bone. They all came so naturally to him.

When I heard he had died, it floored me like one of Tommy Hearns’ punches.

I recalled one of the first times we spoke. It was at the old Silver Slipper on the Strip. They used to hold fights there on the second floor — of the ham and egg variety, as Rocky Balboa would have put it. The Slipper still was a place for boxing people to congregate. It was dark and it was loud, even without the boxing writers. And there was a lounge that bordered on tacky.

One night after a big fight in town, I bumped into Royce there. He was with Ringside Sportswriters from New York and possibly London, none of whom seemed interested in getting to know the new kid. The out-of-town writers were chasing a good time, and with the dean of Las Vegas sports writers as their escort, it appeared they had caught it after filing their stories.

Royce Feour seemed happy to see the new kid.

I was with Mitch Halpern, before he would become a boxing referee. It was Mitch, me, Royce and Cook E. Jarr (and his Krums), not necessarily in that order, and in a little while the sun would be coming up outside the Silver Slipper on the Strip.

We laughed so loud they could have heard us in Gotham City.

Freezing pinstripes

The tradition continues: South Point Arena general manager Steve Stallworth sent a photo from the frigid Pinstripe Bowl (23 degrees at kickoff, wind chill of 12) at Yankee Stadium, where he and his family attended their 15th college football bowl game.

Only about 82 more to go.

Wisconsin froze out Miami 35-3. The Stallworths, who represented Las Vegas with Golden Knights and UNLV stocking caps, also will take in Sunday’s Cowboys vs. Giants game, provided the patriarch can find a fur-lined hoodie and a cup of hot chocolate.

Now they call it

Before Boston College, Boise State and bowl officials elected not to wait out a thunderstorm, thereby rendering nonplayoff college football bowl games even more irrelevant, the First Responder Bowl at Cotton Bowl Stadium was known as the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

On New Year’s Day 2014, UNLV played in it.

The Rebels lost to North Texas 36-14. It was mostly sunny, although when a few clouds moved in, the Rebels and Mean Green decided to play anyway.

0:01

The NFL home-field advantage is worth about 2.6 or 2.7 points. In the less-scientific 1960s, legendary Las Vegas oddsmaker Bob Martin used a field goal.

“At Las Vegas Sports Consultants, we computed it at between 2.6 and 3.1 each year between 1982 and 2000,” wrote Michael Roxborough, another oddsmaker of some repute, on his Twitter account. “A rare constant in sports odds.”

Another given in Roxy’s and Bob Martin’s day was that books did not have to refund wagers when thunderstorms were in the forecast.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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