Posts Tagged ‘Marcel Cerdan’

Mendy Defends Against Madni

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World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental Light Welterweight Champion Yvan Mendy, 22-2-1 (11), will make the second defense of his championship on December 16, taking on Belgian Challenger Tarik Madni at the Salle Marcel Cerdan in Thourotte, France.

Having won the WBF title in June 2010 with a dominating performance against tough Britt Peter McDonagh, 26-year-old Mendy successfully defended against Ugandan 2004 Olympian, and former African Champion, Sam Rukundo last December.

Since then he has been plagued by some bad luck, drawing with and losing a close decision to Abdoulaye Soukouna in French national title bouts. Soukouane also holds a 2008 victory over Mendy, thus being the only man to blemish his countryman’s record.

In November Mendy returned with a victory in a non title fight against Serbian Mladen Zivkov, and he is reportedly determined on putting the Soukouane-disappointments behind him and focused on achieving greater things in the future.

Tarik Madni, 15-2 (0), is somewhat in the same situation as his opponent on the 16th. After winning his first fourteen bouts, the Belgian suffered two straight setbacks, albeit against formidable opposition, and is now going for redemption after scoring a tune-up victory in November.

Both losses on Madni’s record came in Ukraine. Last year he dropped a decision to Volodymyr Kravets (22-0) for the IBC title, and this past summer he lost a ten-rounder against Viktor Postol (13-0). While not carrying much of a punch himself, Madni proved against these hard-hitters that there is nothing wrong with his chin and durability.

No shame in losing to top-notch opponents such as Kravets and Postol, and Madni got back to winning ways in January by defeating former Georgian champion Khakhaber Avetisian. But at 36 years of age, he has limited time to fulfill his potential and capture a professional title. With that in mind, Madni is bound to give it his best shot against Mendy.

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Boxers Of Yesteryear – Jake La Motta

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One of the most notorious characters in the history of modern boxing is without a doubt Jake LaMotta, who won the middleweight world title in 1949 in Detroit against Frenchman Marcel Cerdan and in 1980 was immortalised by Martin Scorsese, in his 1980 biopic Raging Bull. In this blockbuster film actor Robert De Niro, plays the emotional self-destructive LaMotta and his journey through life, portraying the violence and temper that leads LaMotta to the top in the ring and destroys his life outside it. (Robert DeNiro received an Oscar for this part)

Giacobbe LaMotta an Italian – American was born July 10, 1921 and is better known as Jake LaMotta, “The Bronx Bull” or “The Raging Bull”.

LaMotta was born in New York City, in an immigrant Bronx slum near the Pelham Parkway and Morris Park area. He was forced by his father into fighting other children to entertain neighborhood adults, who threw pocket change into the ring. LaMotta’s father collected the money and used it to help pay the rent.

As a young man LaMotta skills with his fists earned him the amateur light heavyweight championship’s Diamond Belt. In 1941, at the age of 19, LaMotta turned professional.

LaMotta, who compiled a record of 83 wins, 19 losses and 4 draws with 30 wins by way of knockout, was the first man to beat Sugar Ray Robinson, when he dropped Robinson in the first round and outpointed him over the course of ten rounds during the second fight of their legendary six bout rivalry. LaMotta lost five of those.

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La Motta had declined the Mob and their overtures in his early days as a prize fighter. This was a time when boxing was less a legitimate sport than an extension of the criminal underworld, with many fighters forced to hand over 50 per cent of their purses to the shadowy figures that haunted the gyms of the big cities. – It was only after seven years as a leading contender without a sniff of a title shot that La Motta finally fell into line, throwing a bout with Billy FoxWithin two years he was given a shot at Marcel Cerdan for the middleweight championship of the world.

In 1948, he was knocked out in four rounds by Billy Fox. The fight with Fox would come back to haunt him back later in life.

LaMotta won the world title in 1949 in Detroit against Frenchman Marcel Cerdan, who was the world champion. Cerdan, called by many boxing critics the greatest champion ever from France, dislocated his arm in the first round and gave up before the start of the tenth, the official scoring being LaMotta winner by a knockout in ten because the bell had already rung to begin that round when Cerdan announced he was quitting. A rematch was signed, but while Cerdan was flying back to the United States to fight the rematch, his Air France Caravelle crashed at the Azores, killing everyone on board. LaMotta met two challengers and beat them, and then he was challenged by Robinson on their rivalry’s sixth fight. Held on February 14, 1951, the fight became known as boxing’s version of The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Robinson won by a technical knockout in the thirteenth round, when the fight was stopped with LaMotta laying on the ropes. LaMotta approached him afterwards and muttered You couldn’t drop me! You never dropped me! to Robinson’s ears.

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LaMotta is recognized as having one of the best chins in boxing. He rolled with punches, minimizing their force and damage when they landed, but he was also able to absorb many blows. In the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, his sixth bout with Robinson, LaMotta suffered numerous sickening blows to the head. Commentators could be heard saying “No man can take this kind of punishment!” But LaMotta did not go down. The fight was stopped by the referee in the 13th round, declaring it a TKO victory for Robinson. — LaMotta was one of the first boxers to adopt the “bully” style of fighting, in that he always stayed close and in punching range of his opponent, by stalking him around the ring, and sacrificed taking punches himself in order to land his own shots. Due to his aggressive, unrelenting style he was known as “The Bronx Bull. He boasted “No son-of-a-bitch ever knocked me off my feet”, but that claim was ended in December 1952 at the hands of Danny Nardico when Nardico caught him with a hard right in the seventh round. LaMotta fell into the ropes and went down. After regaining his footing, he was unable to come out for the next round.

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In 1953, LaMotta shocked the sports world when he was called to testify by the FBI in the hearings they were holding against some mafia groups. LaMotta said during the hearing, perhaps not realizing that he was also harming his own image, that he had thrown the fight in 1948 with Billy Fox in exchange for a shot against world champion Cerdan. This fight haunted him ever since, and it is a subject he refuses to talk about in public to this day.

After retirement, he bought a few bars and became a stage actor and stand up comedian. Then in 1980, Hollywood beckoned with Raging Bull. This movie allowed the violent and problematic LaMotta who once even went as far as beating his own brother, manager Joey LaMotta, accusing him and his wife (Vicky LaMotta, who once posed for Playboy magazine) of having an affair, to cash in on his narcissistic violent tendencies.

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Legend has it that after attending the premiere with his already ex-wife, LaMotta told her he could not believe he was that bad.

Another plane crash would affect LaMott’a life in 1998, when his son, Jake LaMotta Jr., a noted chef, died in the Swissair flight that crashed in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Today, LaMotta does many tours across the United States to banquets and lectures he holds, and a series of books about his life, his fights with Robinson and other matters about his life have been published. LaMotta is also an avid autograph signer.

During his career jake LaMotta defeated such men as Robinson, Marcel Cerdan, Fritzie Zivic, Holman Williams, Bob Satterfield, Tony Janiro, Laurent Dauthuille, Anton Raadik, Tommy Yarosz, Robert Villemain, Dick Wagner and Tiberio Mitri

Herb Goldman ranked LaMotta as the #7 All-Time Middleweight; Jake was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1985 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 – In 2004, The Ring named LaMotta the 5th greatest middleweight of all-time. He was ranked 52nd on Ring Magazine’s List of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years.

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Boxers Of Yesteryear – Marcel Cerdan

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A great boxer of yesteryear who even nowadays is a stalwart in most people’s lists of the top ten middleweight boxers ever and yet is rarely discussed at length or fully appreciated for his boxing abilities is MARCEL “Casablanca Clouter” CERDAN, who is still considered as one of Europe’s great champions though his career was interrupted by World War II and ultimately cut short when he was killed in a plane crash en route to America for a world title rematch.

During his eventful career the Algerian-born Frenchman lost just four of his one hundred and ten contests, (two were by foul) and won European titles at 147 and 160 lbs before going on to capture a World title at 160 lbs. Cerdan, the French pied noir world boxing champion is still considered by many boxing experts and fans to be France’s greatest boxer, and beyond. His life was marked by his sporting achievements, social lifestyle and ultimately, tragedy.

Marcellin “Marcel” Cerdan was born on July 22, 1916 (Died October 28, 1949) in Sidi Bel Abbès (in what was then French Algeria). Marcel had two brothers – all of whom had a boxing pedigree.

His fighting prowess was such that after he began boxing professionally on November 4, 1934 in Meknes, Morocco, beating Marcel Bucchianeri by a decision in six rounds. Cerdan then ran a streak of 47 wins in a row.

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The Casablanca Clouter was in no way a deception he had powerful arms and shoulders, he was barrel chested and rugged looking. He was every inch a furious fighting man at 5’ 7” and 158lbs, a thinking man’s puncher whose strength and hitting power were allied to an imaginative mind and excellent footwork. (He had also playing league soccer for Casablanca). Cerdan was durable, tenacious, and could fire his damaging punches in rapid-fire bursts of varying permutations. He would set up opponents with vicious digs to the body and fast cracks to the jaw and required the minimum of leverage for his payoff punches.

Cerdan campaigned heavily in the French territories of Algeria and Morocco during that part of his career, as well as in metropolitan France, his parents’ place of birth.

Paris was calling. The boxing fans in the French capital quickly picked up on the exciting exploits of the young Cerdan and demanded to see him. Cerdan bulled and powered his way to 28 successive wins.

Than in January 4, 1939, he tasted defeat for the first time, to Harry Craster by a disqualification in five rounds in London.

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After his first loss, Cerdan recorded five consecutive wins, which led him to challenge Saviello Turiello for Europe’s welterweight title in Milan, Italy. He won the European title by a decision in 15 rounds to continue his ascent towards the championship (back then, it was considered essential to own at least a Continental title belt to earn a world title shot; nowadays, it is not considered as important).

Cerdan’s winning streak eventually reached 23 bouts before he suffered a defeat to Victor Buttin by disqualification in eight rounds in Algiers.

For his next bout, Cerdan put his title on the line against José Ferrer (namesake of the Hollywood star). He knocked out Ferrer in one round, and won four more bouts in a row before facing another boxer with a namesake: James Toney, who shared that name with another boxer who would become world Middleweight champion five decades later. Cerdan knocked out Toney in two rounds to keep this new winning streak alive. The new streak would reach 37 wins.

altCerdan’s career was significantly interrupted by the Second World War. He was approaching his twenty-third birthday when he joined the French army shortly after dethroning Saviero Turiello for the European welterweight title. Marcel’s progress was halted for more than eighteen months until France fell to Germany and he returned to the ring in 1941. In between, he joined the American allies in World War II during 1944, and he won the Inter-Allied Championship.

The Clouter quickly made up for lost time. He won the French middleweight title and barrelled through the ranks with a series of exciting victories until gaining his first big break in 1946. Before a crowd of 10,000 at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, Cerdan gained an emphatic decision over that most able and cagey of craftsmen, Holman Williams. What made that triumph all the more impressive was that Marcel had battled through much of the fight with a broken hand that prevented him from throwing his destructive, one-two combinations with their usual steam and venom.

He also went up in weight to the Middleweight division, and won the French title by beating Assane Douf by a knockout in three rounds. He later claimed the vacant European title by beating Léon Foquet by a knockout in one round. He retained that title a couple of times before losing it to Cyrille Delannoit by a decision in 15 at Brussels, Belgium. Soon, he went back to Belgium and re-took the title by beating Delannoit, also by decision.

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Finally, after the rematch with Delannoit, Cerdan was given a world title opportunity and he travelled to the United States, where he beat world Middleweight champion Tony Zale. Cerdan became a world champion by knocking Zale out in the 12th round in Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, New Jersey on September 21, 1948.

There is a school of thought that Tony Zale was past his best and ready for the taking when Cerdan tore the middleweight championship from his grip at the Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City in 1948. There is undoubtedly an element of truth to that theory, since thirty-four year old Tony was a veteran of 86 bouts by that time and had consistently faced top class opposition. Let us remember too that Zale had lost four years of his career to the Second World War, in which he served as a sailor.

Yet prior to defending against Cerdan, Tony had never looked fresher or more devastating in concluding his vicious trilogy with Rocky Graziano at the Ruppert Stadium in Newark. Stunning Rocky repeatedly with hard and precise punches, Zale brought the curtain down in classic style in the third round with a memorable one-two of a jolt to the body and a smash to the jaw.

Zale was the 8 to 5 favourite against Cerdan, yet the French ace dismantled him with a potent mix of surgical precision and brutality. Marcel was a revelation and the American crowd applauded his hard-edged artistry.

It was four o’clock in the morning in Paris when Cerdan’s many fans received the news that their man was the new middleweight champion of the world. In the Montmartre section of town, a big crowd gathered and celebrated joyously. In nightclubs and little street cafes, Cerdan was toasted. People poured onto the streets to discuss the fight after hearing the broadcast on French radio.

In the Roosevelt Stadium, Cerdan was dazed and uncertain how to react as the stunned pro-Zale crowd gradually drank in the greatness they had seen and gave a roar of appreciation for the new monarch. Accompanied by a phalanx of police offers, Marcel took a good ten minutes to hustle his way through the long tunnel from the baseball dugout to his dressing room.

“I go home in about two weeks but then I come back here,” said the overjoyed Cerdan in his broken English. He would come back to lose in the cruelest of circumstances. And then he would never come back again.

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After two non-title wins in 1949, he lost the crown in bizarre circumstances on June 16th to the legendary Jake LaMotta via a 10th-round technical knockout. Cerdan, who injured his shoulder when the two fell to the canvas during a first round scuffle, fought one-armed, until he finally retired in his corner after completing the 10th round. Most agree that had it not been for the dislocation, Cerdan would have mauled LaMotta.

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It would be the last fight of Cerdan’s life. A contract was signed for a rematch and Cerdan went to training camp for it, but before camp began he boarded an Air France flight to visit Piaf  (1) in New York, where she was singing. The Lockheed L-749 Constellation crashed into the Monte Redondo (São Miguel Island, Azores), killing all 11 crew members and 37 passengers on board, including Cerdan and the famous French violinist Ginette Neveu, while approaching the intermediate stop airport at Santa Maria.Days later, LaMotta expressed words of condolences, praising Cerdan as a great human being. Cerdan was interred in the Cimetière du Sud, Perpignan, Languedoc-Roussillon, France.

Cerdan’s record was 113 wins and 4 losses, with 66 wins by knockout.

Personal — (1) Although married with three children, during the previous two years Cerdan had become involved with the famous French singer Edith Piaf she was his mistress.

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During 1949 Piaf travelled between France and America, and Cedan, fought in Europe. Alone in the States, Edith grew bored and asked Marcel to join her – as soon as possible. Rather than travel by boat on October 27, 1949, he took a plane, which crashed, killing him. Edith, devastated, considered that she had killed him, and resorted to spiritualism and mysticism, and to ease her ‘fault’ installed his wife and children in a hotel. Nothing helped however, and eventually she took refuge in drugs and alcohol. Though she was to continue to work and enjoy success, she never recovered the equilibrium and happiness she had found with Marcel.

Marcel Cerdan, Jr. was the son of former Middleweight Boxing Champion Marcel Cerdan, Sr. who was killed in an airplane crash on October 27, 1949. Young Marcel lived with his father’s legend shadowing him and he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. After a brief amateur boxing career, he turned professional on 21 January 1965, knocking out Antonio Zuniga in 1 round in Neuilly, France. Fighting in such cities as Paris, Tarbes, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Lille, and Evreaux he knocked out such fighters as Mac Drevet KO 5, Andre Leguy KO 6, Claude Malezieux KO 1, Robert DiMartino KO3, and Jaime Aparici KO 2. Over the next few years he was undefeated in almost 50 straight fights. His impressive record earned him a bout in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, but his U.S. debut ended in a bitter defeat. Cerdan continued to fight for a few more years, but a loss to Canada’s Clyde Gray ended his days as a title contender.

In 1983, Cerdan and Piaf had their lives turned into a big screen biography by Claude Lelouch. The film, Édith et Marcel, starred Marcel Cerdan, Jr. in the role of his father and Évelyne Bouix as Piaf. He is portrayed by actor Jean-Pierre Martins in the 2007 Piaf biopic La Môme (entitled La Vie en Rose in English-speaking countries).

Herb Goldman ranked Cerdan as the #5 All-Time Middleweight; Cerdan was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1962 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991

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Boxers of Yesteryear 1940’s Era

The 1940’s were difficult years for boxing in Europe and in many ways reflected worldwide situations that affected other endeavors as well. World War II raged early in the decade.

Because of the war, many world championship divisions were frozen. Sometimes, a title bout was held five years after the last title bout in that division had been held.

Carbo

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In the 1940’s notwithstanding the war years, boxing in America was in its heyday and was big money, mainly because of gambling, and was ruled by gangland boxing czar Frankie Carbo.

In Europe it was a different story for boxing – The European Boxing Union went through difficulties during World War II. Because one of the organization’s most important rules is that every fighter that fights for an EBU title must be a national and a resident of a European country, and all fights must be held in Europe, it became very hard, if not almost impossible, for the European Boxing Union to stage fights. As a consequence, the European Boxing Union suffered financial difficulties during this period.

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Joe Louis

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Joe Louis was the heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1948, in part because major boxing titles were frozen from 1941 to 1946 as four thousand professional boxers joined the military. Louis not only enlisted, he donated over $100,000 to war relief efforts in 1942. Sugar Ray Robinson, Ike Williams and Willie Pep were other big names in boxing. (Louis defended his title 25 times)

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Boxing Highlights of the 1940’s

1941 – January 13 – Anton Christoforidis becomes the first Greek world boxing champion in history, beating Melio Bettina by a fifteen round decision for the National Boxing Association’s vacant world Light-Heavyweight title, in Cleveland.

Christoforidis was born in Messenia prefecture, Greece. His first bout was against Francisco Garcia Lluch in Paris, France which he won by decision. He made his United States debut on January 5, 1940 in Madison Square Garden defeating Willie Pavlovich. At that point Christoforidis settled in Geneva, Ohio.

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1941 – May 23 – In an extremely controversial bout, Joe Louis retains his world Heavyweight title with a seventh round disqualification win over Max Baer’s brother, Buddy Baer. After the bell to end round six, Louis landed a blow that dropped Baer. Said time-keeper Billy Dechard: Joe hit Baer at least three seconds after the bell sounded. Looking for a disqualification win, Baer’s manager announced his fighter would not come out for round seven, and Baer wound up getting disqualified instead. The controversial fight took place in Washington, DC.

Louis’s cultural impact was felt well outside the ring. He is widely regarded as the first African American to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, and was also a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II.

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1941 - July 29 – Freddie Cochrane wins the world Welterweight title, defeating Fritzie Zivoc with a fifteen round decision, in Newark.

Cochrane turned pro in 1933 and was considered the World Welterweight champion in 1941 after beating Fritzie Zivic. Although he technically held the title for more than four years, he did not successfully defend it once due to World War II. In 1945 he fought a war with legendary Rocky Graziano in what was proclaimed 1945 Fight of the Year by Ring Magazine.

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1942 – June 20- Freddie Mills conquers the British version of the world Light-Heavyweight title with a second round knockout over Len Harvey, in London.

Although Mills was not a stylish boxer, he had the necessary talent to gain the world light-heavyweight championship. In handing out punishment he was often prepared to take much punishment himself, something that boxers cannot continue to do over a long career. To make matters worse, he was often matched against heavyweights, conceding large weight advantages to his opponents.

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1943 – February 5- In their second of their classic six fight rivalry, Jake LaMotta defeats Sugar..Ray..Robinson by a ten round unanimous decision, in Detroit. This fight would be portrayed 37 years later in LaMotta’s biographic movie, Raging Bull.

LaMotta, who compiled a record of 83 wins, 19 losses and four draws with 30 wins by way of knockout, was the first man to beat Sugar Ray Robinson, knocking him down in the first round of their first fight and then outpointing him over the course of 10 rounds during the second fight of their legendary six-bout rivalry.

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Jackie Paterson 1943 – June 19- Jackie Patterson wins the world’s Flyweight title with a first round knockout of defending champion Peter Kane, in Glasgow, Scotland.

Jackie Paterson (5 September 1920, Springside, Ayrshire – 19 November 1966) was a Scottish boxer who was world flyweight boxing champion. He was also British champion at flyweight and bantamweight.

He was a southpaw with a knockout punch in either hand, his most lethal weapon being his left hook. He was comparatively broadly built for a flyweight, and often struggled to make the eight stone flyweight limit. In the latter stages of his career, he fought as a bantamweight.

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1944 – March 3 - The third chapter of the Bob Montgomery-Beau Jack rivalry, as Montgomery beats Jack by a fifteen round decision, at New York.

1944 – August 4 - Beau Jack wins a ten round decision over arch-rival Bob Montgomery in New York. A few w Joe Louis eeks later, they were both drafted on the same day by the Army.

1945: because of the events of World War II during this year, there were only two world championship boxing bouts in 1945.

1945 – February – Willie Pep retains his world Featherweight title with a fifteen round decision over Phil Terranova, in New York.

Guglielmo Papaleo (September 19, 1922 – November 23, 2006) was an Italian-American boxer who was better known as Willie Pep. Pep boxed a total of 1956 rounds in the 241 bouts during his 26 year career, a considerable number of rounds and fights even for a fighter of his era. His final record was 229-11-1 with 65 knockouts.

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1945 – September 28- Rocky Graziano stops Harold Green in two rounds at New York. Green later claimed he was paid to lose the fight.

1946 – December 20- Sugar Ray Robinson becomes world champion for the first time, defeating Tommy Bell by a fifteen round unanimous decision for the vacant world Welterweight championship, in New York.

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1947 – July 16- Rocky Graziano becomes world Middleweight champion, knocking out Tony Zale in round six of the second chapter of their boxing rivalry.

Rocky Graziano, born Thomas Rocco Barbella in New York City (1 January 1919 – May 22, 1990), was an outstanding Italian-American boxer. Graziano was considered one of the greatest knockout artists in boxing history, often displaying the capacity to take his opponent out with a single punch. He was ranked 23rd on Ring Magazine’s list of the greatest punchers of all time.

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1947 – December 5- Joe Louis retains his world Heavyweight title for the 24th. time, with a fifteen round split decision over Jersey Joe Walcott, in New York.

1948 – February 20- Tragedy strikes, as Ezzard Charles defeats Sam Baroudi in Chicago, by a knockout in round ten. Baroudi died as a consequence of the blows suffered, on February 21.

1948 – June 25- Joe Louis retains his world Heavyweight title for the twenty-fifth and final time, this time knocking out Jersey Joe Walcott in round eleven of their New York rematch. Louis would retire, officially leaving the title, in 1949.

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1948 – September 23- Marcel Cerdan conquers the world Middleweight title with a twelfth round knockout win over Tony Zale, in Jersey City.

Marcellin “Marcel” Cerdan (July 22, 1916 – October 28, 1949 ) was a French pied noir world boxing champion who was considered by many boxing experts and fans to be France’s as well as Europe’s greatest boxer, and beyond to be one of the best to have learned his craft in Africa. His life was marked by his sporting achievements, social

lifestyle and ultimately, tragedy.Cerdan’s record was 113 wins and 4 losses, with 66 wins by knockout.

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1949 – June 16- Jake LaMotta wins the world Middleweight championship, knocking out Marcel Cerdan in ten rounds, at Detroit.

LaMotta, who compiled a record of 83 wins, 19 losses and four draws with 30 wins by way of knockout, was the first man to beat Sugar Ray Robinson, knocking him down in the first round of their first fight and then outpointing him over the course of 10 rounds during the second fight of their legendary six-bout rivalry.

October 27 – Marcel Cerdan dies when his plane, an Air France Constellation, crashes over the Azores when he was returning to the United States for a rematch with Jake LaMotta.

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1949 – July 11- Sugar Ray Robinson retains the world Welterweight title with a fifteen round unanimous decision over future world champion Kid Gavilan, in Philadelphia.

Robinson was named the greatest fighter of the 20th century by the Associated Press, and the greatest boxer in history by ESPN.com in 2007. The Ring magazine rated him the best pound for pound boxer of all-time in 1997, and its “Fighter of the Decade” for the 1950s. Muhammad Ali, who repeatedly called himself “The Greatest” throughout his career, ranked Robinson as the greatest boxer of all time.

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