"The Champ" guest stars Michael Ansara, former star as Native Americans in the very popular BROKEN ARROW (as Cochise) and LAW OF THE PLAINSMAN, as a character introduced in two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN (his sole appearance on THE REBEL). Cast here as aging fighter Docker Mason, a former champ reduced in stature due to age and a reliance on the bottle, Johnny Yuma an old friend since the war days, buying his contract from his manager Jake Wiley (Edward Kemmer, second of three), an inveterate gambler with a predilection for losing. Docker is set to battle the Frontier Kid (Chuck Hicks) for a purse of $500, and for 20 grueling rounds seems to be getting the upper hand, only for the younger fighter to prevail in the end. Worse than losing is Johnny's news that Wiley made a fortune betting against Docker, and is currently losing all of it to card sharp Ace Linhart (William Harlow, second of seven), who also knows of the duplicity. In order to keep Ace from squealing, Wiley kills him by smashing a bottle over his head, begging Docker to silence Johnny as the only witness to the crime. The star of Bert I. Gordon's 1958 "Earth vs the Spider," Edward Kemmer had played a benevolent doctor in "Lady of Quality," while here plays a more sinister role.
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