Tag Archives | boxing history

The Gazelle Leaps into the History Books Again (diary entry)


          “Learn from the Fight” Lesson: Floyd Patterson versus Ingemar Johansson Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship 20.06.1960 It had been almost a year to the day that Ingemar Johansson had shocked the world with his upset victory over Floyd Patterson. Johansson became an instant celebrity and was the first Swede to win a world title. He had also handed Patterson both his second career defeat and his first knockout. During a match that Patterson said he had […]

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The Bloody Brawl of Montana (diary entry)


“Learn from the Fight” brought us back to the career of Gene “Cyclone” Fullmer who was still holding the NBA version of the world middleweight title. Having won a controversial unanimous decision over Ellsworth Webb in Fullmer’s home state, he now gave Joey Giardello his first title shot. “Joey Giardello” was born Carmine Orlando Tilelli on 16th July 1930 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Towards the end of World War 2 he decided to join the US Army but was underage […]

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1960 Begins with the Middleweights (diary entry)


01.08.2023 My client resumed her “Learn from the Fight” lessons at the beginning of 1960 and the first notable fight of that year concerned the great Sugar Ray Robinson. He had been through a lot of boxing business and politicking issues in the past year. The International Boxing Club had been dissolved in 1959 following the IBC’s failed appeal against the Supreme Court’s antitrust decision of 1955. James D. Norris and Arthur M. Wirtz no longer had a monopoly on […]

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Two Irresistible Forces (diary entry)


“Learn from the Fight” turned its attention to 1959’s Fight of the Year: Carmen Basilio versus Gene Fullmer. Carmen Basilio versus Gene Fullmer NBA World Middleweight Championship 28.08.1959 The background for this event was very controversial. Carmen Basilio had lost his unanimous world middleweight title to the man he had won it from, Sugar Ray Robinson. The two matches had been a huge success with Basilio shocking everyone by defeating the great Robinson on a split decision and then losing […]

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The Big Controversy & The Big Comeback (diary entry)

carter demarco 2

13.04.2022 Kid Gavilan versus Johnny Saxton Undisputed World Welterweight Championship 20.10.1954 After failing to go up a division to win the Middleweight title from Bobo Olson, Kid Gavilan returned to defend his welterweight title against Johnny Saxton. This would be his ninth defence since uniting the three major versions of the title in a contest with reigning NBA champion Johnny Bratton, where the two vacant Ring and NYSAC versions were also put on the line in 1951. The contest had […]

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Flight of the Gavilán (diary entry)

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23.03.2022 Somewhat inspired by an article published in “Fight City”, I decided to revisit 1953 boxing and analyse a forgotten non-title classic from the career of Gerardo Gonzalez, better known as Kid (aka “The Keed” and “The Cuban Hawk”) Gavilán. The last time we saw him he had made a successful, albeit split-decision, defence of his world welterweight title against Carmen Basilo. However, back in 1951 Gavilán had fought Johnny Bratton twice. The first time they met, Gavilán had taken […]

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Settling and Starting Controversies (diary entry)


16.03.2022 Wednesday’s second lesson was “Learn from the Fight” where we examined two fights in 1953 and 1954. The first saw Rocky Marciano make his second title defence, this time against old rival Roland LaStarza. The second saw the amazing former World Featherweight champion Willie Pep in one of his most controversial fights with Lulu Perez. Rocky Marciano versus Roland LaStarza Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship 24.09.1953 Roland LaStarza was born on 12 May 1927 in the Van Section (that is […]

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Last Men Standing (diary entry)

olson turpin

23.02.2022 Wednesday second lesson was “Learn from the Fight” where we cast the spotlight on Bobo Olson. Olson was a figure in the background just as Sugar Ray Robinson made his campaign for Middleweight dominance. Bobo fought in an era of true greats in his weight division but also upheaval.   Bobo Olson versus Dave Sands Carl “Bobo” Olson (aka “The Hawaiian Swede” and “The Kalihi Kid”) was born in Kalihi, Honolulu, Hawaiian territory, on 11th July 1928 to a […]

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Meanwhile in the ’51 Lightweight Division (diary entry)

williams gatica

18.01.1951   Tonight we caught up with the lightweight division and I was fortunate enough to catch one of the last recorded matches of Ike Williams before we moved onto a new era under Jimmy Carter.   Ike Williams versus Jose Maria Gatica 05.01.1951   By this stage in his career, Ike Williams had a record of 115–15–4. He had defended the title three times since beating Beau Jack in 1948 and a total of five times since he took […]

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The New King (diary entry)

walcott marciano (2)

12.01.2022 Jersey Joe Walcott versus Rocky Marciano Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship 23.09.1952 After his second round knockout rematch with Gino Buovino Rocky Marciano knocked out Bernie Reynolds in round three and Harry Matthews in round two. Jersey Joe Walcott’s unanimous decision against Ezzard Charles was his first title defence before facing Marciano. Both these fighters had had careers of being the underdogs, but now it was accepted they were best two boxers to fight for the heavyweight crown and proven […]

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Gavilán, Marciano & Walcott (diary entry)

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04.01.2022   Tuesday night’s “Learn from the Fight” we stepped back to 1951 as Kid Gavilán challenged Johnny Bratton for the undisputed World Welterweight Championship. Then it was back to Rocky Marciano in 1952 as he fought a rematch against Gino Buovino on his way to the world heavyweight title. Later that year the actual title was being contested in yet another rematch between Jersey Joe Walcott and Ezzard Charles.   Kid Gavilán versus Johnny Bratton World Undisputed Welterweight Championship 18.05.1951 […]

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Great Feuds: Robinson vs Turpin 1 (diary entry)

robinson v turpin 1

30.11.2021 Tuesday night’s “Learn from the Fight” gave us arguably Sugar Ray Robinson’s toughest fight since he first fought Jake La Motta, as he put his world title on the line against the great Randolph Turpin. After his sixth and final bloody match with Jake La Motta, taking the World Middleweight Championship, Sugar Ray Robinson beat Americans Holly Mimms by unanimous decision and Don Ellis in a first round KO before embarking on a European tour. Now a legitimate superstar, […]

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Great Feuds: Return of the Rock (diary entry)

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23.11.2021 “Learn from the Fight” returned to the career of the popular slugger, Rocky Graziano, and three of his fights in 1950 and 1951. This was following his loss of the World Middleweight title to Tony Zale in the conclusion of their trilogy. Zale had since been beaten by Marcel Cerdan and retired. Cerdan had lost the title to Jake LaMotta before being killed in a plane crash. LaMotta lost the title to Robinson in the conclusion of their sextology […]

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Rise of the Mongoose (diary entry)

Moore vs Bivins

04.11.2021 Tonight’s lesson focused on my all-time favourite boxer, “Ancient” Archie “The Ole Mongoose”, Moore. Ring Magazine list him as the third greatest pound-for-pound fighter of all time and fourth greatest puncher of all time. It is contested that Moore might have the biggest string of knockouts in the history of the sport. Welterweight boxer, Billy Bird, whose career ended in 1948 and sadly we have no available footage of fighting, gets the official recognition with 138. Moore’s official record […]

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Great Feuds – St Valentine’s Day Massacre (diary entry)

Robinson vs LaMotta

26.10.21 Tuesday night returned us to the careers of Jake “The Bronx Bull” LaMotta and Sugar Ray Robinson. None of their first five matchups are easy to access, at least the first three were damaged beyond repair, and we have to settle for what many consider to be a legendary sixth contest: The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. This would be the last time the two fighters met and would be a key scene in Martin Scorsese’s biopic on LaMotta, “Raging […]

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Great Feuds – Pep vs Saddler (diary entry)

pep v saddler 1951 (2)

19.10.21 Tuesday night’s “Learn from the Fight” returned to the career of Willie Pep and Sandy Saddler. We were unable to unearth footage from their first two fights when Pep was given the spotlight. However, we had access to highlights from their third encounter and the full fourth encounter. Pep and Saddler are often ranked as the greatest featherweights of all time, respectively the greatest pure out-boxer and slugger of all time and in just about anyone’s top 20 greatest […]

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