16 May 2008 | sol1218
Tales from the Ring
(There are Spoilers) The movie "Ringside" is very similar to the 1940 boxing drama "City of Conquest" in it having two brothers with totally opposite vocations.
Joe O'Hara, Tom Brown, is a professional prizefighter who takes his profession of beating his opponent into submission as part of the job even if it, in reverse, happens to him. Joe's brother Mike, Don "Red" Barry, who had since quit the ring and became an up and coming concert pianist takes again up boxing after Joe was blinded in a bout with Middleweight Champion Tiger Johnson, John I Cason. Both thirsting for revenge as well as make enough money for his brother to get an eye operation to restore his sight Mike enters the boxing ring with the pseudonym Kid Cobra.
Running up a winning streak of 19 straight victories Mike makes sure that he doesn't knock out his opponents opting to win on points to give everyone, including Tiger Johnson, the impression that he has cream-puffs in his gloves not hands of stone. It's when Mike gets his title shot at the Middleweight Crown that he plans to use his fists to punish and pulverize the unsuspecting Tiger Johnson for what he did to his brother Joe. We also have Mike falling in love with his brother's girlfriend and fiancée Janet, Sheila Ryan, while Joe is laid up blind in his left eye in the hospital.
With the Middleweight Title now on the line Mike's secret identity is exposed by boxing gambler and tipster Swinger Markham, Tony Canzoneri. It was Markham who also tipped off Tiger Johnson's handlers that Joe had an injurer left eye which Johnson took full advantage of in his defense of his hard won title. This news of Kid Cobra's true identity brings Mike's brother Joe rushing from his hospital bed to the boxing arena to plead with him not to kill or seriously injure Tiger Jonhnson for his or anyone else's sake.
Even though Mike was supposed to be the sensitive and non-violent, in him being a musician, type he developed a vicious hatred to the point of killing someone in his attempt to avenge his brother. Joe being in the boxing business, from the point of taking and giving punches, had a far more honest feeling about what Tiger Johnson did to him. Being in the ring to win you have to be able to take as well as give punches and it's up to the referee the ring doctor or the fighter's, who's being badly beaten, handlers or even the winning fighter himself to have the fight stopped.
By grudgingly following his brother's Joe's advice Mike not only became the Middleweight Champion of the World but was thus able to pay for Joe's eye operation. Mike was also able to live with himself in not killing or seriously injuring an opponent in the ring which would haunted him , if not right away but later, for the rest of his life.
P.S "Ringside" also featured the former 1930's Lightwieght Champion of the World Tony Canzoneri, looking like a miniature Two Ton Tony Galento, as the "heavy" in the film playing Swinger Markham.