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June 22, 2017
June 22, 2017
joe louis

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THE 1938 return bout between heavyweight champion Joe Louis and Germany’s Max Schmeling – the man who had handed Joe his first (and at that time only) defeat – represented much more than simply a revenge opportunity for Louis.

The growing realisation of Hitler’s menacing regime meant even the theme of black versus white became secondary to the opposing ideologies of democracy and totalitarianism.

As political pawns, Louis and Schmeling became personifications of Good and Evil.

“We’re all depending on those muscles for America,” President Roosevelt told Joe. Hitler, meanwhile, cabled Schmeling wishing him every success.

Part of Boxing’s fight report read: “Framed for 15 rounds, this title fight was all over in two minutes and four seconds, the end coming when Arthur Donovan, the referee, had flung out the towel and stopped the fight in favour of the champion by a technical knockout. Scaling 198¾lbs to his rival’s 193lbs, Louis was the first to cut loose after a full 10 seconds of sparring. Joe shot out three quick lefts to the jaw, got in again with another left and sent a right cross to the jaw, causing the German to cover up. The German got in one blow, a long right cross, from which the champion rode away to take it lightly on the chin, but immediately afterwards Louis tore in to score with two hard punches, left and right to the jaw. Schmeling had no chance to fight back against his fiercely-fighting opponent, who again crashed home a left and right to the jaw, which staggered the German to the ropes, where he held on while taking a lacing.

“Schmeling went to the floor, got up at ‘two,’ was put down again and then rose before a count was taken.

“Then came the winning punch – a terrific right hook to the body which sent Schmeling crashing. Louis retired to a neutral corner while the referee, Arthur Donovan, took up the count from timekeeper George Bannon. The count reached ‘eight’ when Max Machon threw in a towel from the German’s corner.”

Thanks to Joe Louis ‘the undercard to World War II,’ as this bout was later described, delivered a massive symbolic defeat to Nazism.

Fifty years later the world learned how Schmeling risked his life hiding Jewish children in his Berlin apartment during the Nazi pogroms.

June 21, 2017
June 21, 2017
lennox lewis

Action Images/Reuters/Mike Blake

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LENNOX LEWIS was set to take on fighter Kirk Johnson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, before the Canadian pulled out just 10 days prior to the event with a chest injury. Vitali Klitschko was added as a late replacement, coming into the fight with a record of 31-1 on June 21, 2003.

THE WBC heavyweight title was at stake, providing the Ukrainian puncher with an opportunity to make some real noise within the division. Klitschko had previously knocked out 31 of his 32 opponents in 33 fights. His only defeat was against the American, Chris Byrd, which was as a result of a shoulder injury that forced him to retire his WBO crown, despite being well ahead on points after nine rounds.

LEWIS appeared to be taking a considerable risk in agreeing to the fight, given the fact that he no longer needed to prove his worth within the game. The British boxer was rapidly approaching his 38th birthday leading up to the fight, facing a 31-year-old opponent who could also boast more than a two-inch height advantage.

HOWEVER, London-born Lewis was a firm favourite for the contest because of his past success and his record of beating better fighters than Klitschko throughout his 14-year career.

OVERWEIGHT and slow to get going, Lewis struggled in the opening couple of rounds, failing to connect with any troubling punches or land his typically reliable jab. Klitschko rocked him with a jab of his own, accompanied by a solid right hand. He rattled Lewis, but then failed to follow up on the encouraging combination.

IN the third round, the tide changed dramatically. Lewis landed a right-hand that sliced open a vicious cut beneath the challenger’s left eyebrow. He continued to work the cut, aggravating it at as much and in as many ways as possible. Seeing the blood begin to pour, Lewis knew that this was his opportunity to avoid an enormous obstacle and utilised every opportunity to open the wound further.

vitali klitschko

THE champ managed to do just that after the towering Ukrainian was stopped by referee Lou Moret on doctor’s orders after six rounds. Despite avid protestations, he was no longer able to see out of his left eye and deemed unfit to continue the fight.

CRITICS believed that Lewis had escaped from what would have been a very tough ending had the fight carried on and Klitschko not been so badly cut. The defending champion appeared heavy and seemed to tire early during the fight. Klitschko agreed: “I was well prepared. I punch him with every jab. I saw his punches come. He’s a good fighter… he makes a great fight. But I know I would have won.”

EMANUEL STEWARD, Lewis’ trainer, was quoted as saying, “When Lennox goes, I want him to be like Hagler and Marciano and not come back.” Steward got his wish, the win over Klitschko turned out to be Lewis’ final fight in what was an illustrious boxing career.

NEGOTIATIONS for a rematch were in the early stages, but Lewis decided to announce his retirement in February, 2004. Injuries ravaged Klitschko after this battle, but he returned in 2008 after four-year break to complete a 13-fight unbeaten end to his career. He relinquished the WBC title in 2013 so he could focus on politics.

June 20, 2017
June 20, 2017
roberto duran

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JUNE 20, 1980 was the date for the first in a trilogy of fights between Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard. The fight was nicknamed the “Brawl in Montreal” and attracted more attention worldwide than any other non-heavyweight contest in history, with the exception of Sugar Ray Robinson’s middleweight match-up against Carmen Basilio in 1956.

THE Olympic Stadium in Montreal was the venue for the fight, the same place that Leonard was crowned Olympic champion in the 1976 Games, capturing the hearts of the American public in the process.

LEONARD was defending his WBC Welterweight belt having earned the title in the previous November, beating Wilfred Benitez on a technical knockout with just seconds remaining in the 15th and final round. He then successfully saw off Dave Green of Great Britain three months prior to arriving in Montreal.

DURAN had struggled with his weight, which fluctuated between fights and made it difficult for him to continue defending his title at lightweight division. He stepped up to welterweight to face the fresh-faced Leonard, with a guaranteed purse of £650,000, the largest amount ever for any non-heavyweight challenger.

BOTH fighters were admired by the watching public, but for very different reasons. Leonard was young, smart and well-groomed, whereas Duran embodied the working class hero; a well-versed brawler who was both rugged and fearless. The media dubbed the contest “boxer vs fighter, youth vs experience, fast hands vs stone hands.”

EXPERT opinions were heavily split leading into the fight. Many believed that Leonard’s speed and guile would be too much for the Panamanian, whereas others preferred Duran’s endurance and ability to wear his opponent down before capitalising in the latter stages.

DEFENDING champion Leonard made the mistake of fighting on Duran’s terms. The American fought toe-to-toe with the heavy-hitting challenger, negating his superior height and reach advantage and playing to the veteran’s strengths. The Panama icon was able to pin Sugar Ray to the ropes and unleash and array of powerful shots to his head and body.

DURING the second round, Leonard was caught with a strong right hand to the head which left him staggering. A flurry of punches helped him to limit the onslaught, but not for very long as Duran forced the 24-year-old back against the ropes and continued to rough him up.

LEONARD fought back well and gained the upper-hand between the fifth and eighth round, but the smaller, more aggressive Duran responded by bullying his way back into control in the ninth, cutting his opponent’s right eye in the process.

THE fight went the distance with Leonard taking the final round, but it was too little too late. Duran had caused enough damage and earned a close but unanimous points decision over the American puncher. The pair would go on to clash two more times, with Leonard winning on both occasions against a lacklustre Duran who was in significantly worse shape than he was in Montreal.

June 19, 2017
June 19, 2017
joe louis

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IT was all going to plan for Joe Louis, on this day (June 19) in 1936, mashing up all-comers, as he marched towards the world heavyweight title in the mid-1930s. There was just the small matter of another faded former champ, Max Schmeling, to deal with before Joe’s inevitable coronation.

But Louis had a mechanical style, albeit a frightfully efficient one. Master boxers like Schmeling (and Billy Conn, Jersey Joe Walcott and Ezzard Charles later in his career) brought trouble to Joe.

In 1936, Louis did not know he had a weakness. He had become so used to winning easily he couldn’t cope when an opponent fought back.

Schmeling, studious in his approach, continually clobbered the “Brown Bomber” with an overhand right.

10-1 favourite Louis could not adjust, but kept trying nonetheless. His heart kept him in the fight until the 12th when he was dropped for the third time. The American could not rise again. The German had won, in what many would declare the Fight of The Year for 1936.

The contest was too one-sided to be a classic but the shocking upset, that came at a time with the world settling in for war, triggered the most eagerly awaited rematch in boxing history. The two protagonists became unwitting symbols for World War II; the sporting arena would never again see such a rivalry.

FACTFILE

RESULT Max Schmeling (Germany) w ko 12 Joe Louis (USA) DATE June 19, 1936 VENUE Yankee Stadium, New York AT STAKE Heavyweight contest AGES Schmeling 30, Louis 23 WEIGHTS Schmeling 14st 2lbs, Louis 13st 10lbs RECORDS Schmeling 48-7-4, Louis 24-0 REFEREE Arthur Donovan FINAL CAREER STATS Schmeling 56-10-4 (40), Louis 66-3-2 (52) AND ALSO They fought again in 1938 and this time Louis won via devastating knockout in just two minutes four seconds.

June 18, 2017
June 18, 2017
joe louis

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JOE LOUIS’ 18th defence of his heavyweight crown in 1941, against the Pittsburgh light-heavyweight Billy Conn, should have been a formality… yet there were plenty of good judges who gave the slick-boxing challenger a real chance. How right they were!

Conn was on a roll of 19 consecutive victories, had won, defended and then relinquished the light-heavyweight championship. He brought thousands of fans with him and promised them if he was hurt he would keep his head and not trade toe-to-toe, as he had done at times in the past.

Conn was rocked by a right in round two but settled down and buckled Louis’ knees with two rights in the fourth. The champion responded in the fifth with body punches that shook Conn up. He weaved to the wrong corner at the bell. In the sixth he withstood another big body attack and blood leaked from an eye.

From the seventh, rather than fade away, Conn seemed to find strength in his legs and by the closing stages of the eighth was moving forward and peppering Louis with fast punches.

Conn won the ninth, Louis the 10th, but the challenger used his speed and poured out punches without getting over-involved in the 11th and 12th.

With three rounds left, referee Eddie Joseph had Conn two rounds up, Marty Monroe saw the challenger three in front, and Bill Healy had it level.

Conn had the momentum, just needed to keep his head, stick to his boxing and the job was done. Jack Blackburn, Louis’ great trainer, told him he needed a knockout and waved smelling salts under his nose.

And so history turned. Conn stopped thinking, found a right that cut Louis’ ear but instead of hitting and moving he charged – straight into the path of a right hand to the chin. Conn was hurt, should have held or kept out away until his head cleared, but instead the red mist came down.

It was bold, brash, thrilling but it was also madness. Eventually a right hand spun Conn round and down. He was still trying to prise himself upwards off his haunches as Eddie Joseph completed the count on one of the most dramatic heavyweight title fights in history – with the clock at two minutes 58 seconds of the 13th round.

Five years on, after the war, they would do it again and Louis would beat a less nimble Conn in eight.

TO SEE WHERE THIS FIGHT RANKS, GET OUR 100 GREAT FIGHTS SPECIAL EDITION

June 18, 2017
June 18, 2017
muhammad ali

Action Images

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CASSIUS Marcellus Clay, the 21-year-old American, known as the Louisville Lip, the Louisville Loudmouth, Gorgeous Cassius, self-described as the handsomest, greatest heavyweight of all time, correctly prophesied the round in which he would defeat Henry Cooper on the famous Cup Final pitch.

But Henry did not FALL in five, as Cassius had predicted. London referee, Tommy Little, rightly intervened because Cooper’s eye, which was cut in the second round, was gradually aggravated and could not be repaired.

It was a dramatic climax to the most feverish big fight in Britain for many, many years.

The televised weigh-in, which took place on the stage of Britain’s most famous variety theatre, the London Palladium, attracted a record crowd.

Unfortunately for promoter Jack Solomons and Cooper and Clay, who were fighting for a  percentage of “the gate”, there had been a steady downpour of rain most of the day and although the weather improved in the evening, there were many empty seats in the 90,000 capacity stadium.

The crowd, who had taken part in community singing to the accompaniment of the band of the Coldstream Guards, broke out into a tremendous roar as the two gladiators entered the darkened stadium.

They were followed from their dressing rooms on opposite sides of the arena by powerful searchlights and ring-centre fanfares by the Coldstream men.

Clay, who considers himself already king of the heavyweights, wore a red and white ankle length dressing gown on the back of which was emblazoned the words:

CASSIUS CLAY

THE GREATEST

And he wore a crown.

Cooper contented himself with a simple blue and white gown which carried the words:

HENRY COOPER

ENGLAND

It looked like a relic from his amateur days, for it resembled an old Amateur Boxing Association gown.

The crowd were cheering Cooper and booing the boastful young braggart Clay, and were imploring Henry to “Give him one! And “Put one on him” as they prepared to go into action.

And Henry duly obliged in a sensational fourth round.

At that stage the Englishman’s cornermen could not properly mend his eye injury and Henry was becoming desperate. He was throwing punches wildly in an effort to try and pull the fight out of the fire.

Clay, who could sense that the end was near, was almost taunting Cooper.

The American youngster held his hands low and instead of moving inside the reckless hooks of the now anxious Cooper, he was just swaying away from them and replying with clusters of counter punches.

But this aggravating swaying nearly caused an explosion in that fourth round.

As Cassius moved back he rolled right into the arc of Cooper’s left hook and down he went.

The Greatest Handsomest Heavyweight of All Time was sprawling in that London ring with the rain pouring steadily and the fans going crazy with excitement. They made so much noise that even few ringsiders could hear the count.

Cooper, his eye bleeding profusely, was waiting to pounce on Clay with what all Britishers were hoping might be the upset punch of the decade. But the somewhat shaken American, his nose now bleeding, rose at four, just before the bell ended the round.

He may have suffered more from pride than physical hurt and he certainly seemed an angry young man when he came up for THE ROUND – the fifth.

Hitherto we thought he had been treating Cooper too casually and had been content to make Henry miss.

Now he shot into top gear. Now we saw those fast punches we had heard so much about.

Peering out of his one sound eye, Cooper was at a tremendous disadvantage. He could not see the stream of rights that Clay pumped into him. He was slow of foot and trying to conduct the battle with only one sound eye. And that is impossible against a fast puncher like Clay.

Although he was fighting back bravely, Henry was becoming an almost helpless target for a fighter who appeared to be just opening up for the last lap.

Before the round was half a minute old Cooper fans were yelling, “Stop it”, and when the round was only 1 minute 15 secs. Old referee Little stepped between them, called Clay off and escorted the gallant Briton to his corner.

Again they cheered Cooper and booed Clay, which we thought was most unfair, for it had been an extremely clean fight.

Clay had been proved right. He won on the fifth round, as he said he would, and although a cut eye stoppage is not a satisfactory victory, it is a manner in which many fights have come to an end.

Henry Cooper did not let us down. He gave the classy Clay a great fight.

In fact he carried the fight to his opponent in the first two rounds when his dangerous left hooks whistled mighty dangerously round Clay’s ears. Clay was forced to hold in the first round and was admonished by the referee, who halted the proceedings and wagged a warning finger at Cass. As they broke away in the first round, Cooper chased his man to the ropes and hooked away furiously with both hands.

Clay did not like this outburst of belligerence from the Bellingham man he had so often described as “A Bum”.

He was forced to back away and more than once looked to the referee for help when Cooper, showing an unusual streak of aggression, hit him at the end of the break.

In the second round Cooper again dominated the attacking and Clay was made to make full use of the ring to avoid Henry’s wild swings.

It was in this round that Cooper’s eye trouble began.

He realised that if he had any chance it was right here and now and he made us feel quite proud as he chased and badgered his American rival.

But Clay, although hurt at times, kept out of danger and by the third round had the fight almost under control.

He allowed the now anxious and impatient Cooper to spend himself. Cassius held his hands temptingly low and Henry almost threw himself at Clay in order to try and land one of those jaw hooks. But the lad from Louisville, now almost tauntingly moved just out of harm’s way, then flashed in suddenly with fast combinations, against which the British champion had no defence.

This was the pattern of the fight in the third round and well into the fourth when Henry hung that historic hook on to the jaw of The Lip.

As we mentioned earlier, Cassius rose and the bell prevented us from seeing if Cooper could have followed up his unexpected advantage or Clay would have been goaded into more positive action.

During the interval it was discovered that Clay’s left glove had burst. We do know that he came out for The Round – the fifth – in a mean mood. He was throwing punches at a fast rate and Cooper’s face was being rather cut up when he was stopped.

After the fight Clay switched from jeering to cheering Cooper.

“He’s no longer a bum,” said Clay. “He hit me harder than anybody else I have met.”

Hard luck, Henry. Congratulations, Cass. It was good seeing you.

Weights – Cooper: 13st 3lbs. Clay: 14st 11lbs.

June 17, 2017
June 17, 2017
rocky marciano

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ROCKY MARCIANO, 29-year-old Brockton Bull, is still world heavyweight champion. But he had to travel 15 blistering, bitterly fought rounds, for the first time in his life, before he won a unanimous points decision from Ezzard Charles, Georgia-born former holder of the title, at the Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York.

The champion suffered a nasty eye injury as early as the fourth round and he bled continuously from the nose. Charles sustained a cut near his right eye and he finished the fight with his face badly swollen. Both needed hospital attention after the battle. Marciano had 10 stitches inserted over his left eye.

It proved to be one of the most exciting and the punishing of world heavyweight fights for some time. Charles gave his all in an attempt to be the first man to regain the elusive title. He boxed with all the old precision, foxed the big hitter whenever he got into his stride, tried to stop the champion with the heaviest punches in his armoury, but all in vain.

Marciano proved once more that not only is he one of the hardest punchers the sport has known, but that he is also one of the toughest.

In defeat, Charles had his greatest hour. He said afterwards that Marciano is not the best fighter he has ever met. “He’s strong and he throws lots of punches, but he didn’t give me as tough a fight as Jersey Joe Walcott did. In fact, all four of my fights with Walcott were tougher. He didn’t hurt me near as much as Walcott.”

Marciano stated afterwards that Ezzard Charles was “The most courageous fighter I ever met. He kinda hindered me at times,” the champion said. “Yep, he hit me some good punches.”

But Rocky got praise from all quarters for the way he fought on to overcome the early eye injury. For 11 rounds the blood ran from the cut and he must have been half blinded for most of the time.

Here indeed is a puncher who can TAKE a punch. A champion who fights like a CHAMPION, and to his critics who before his fight said that the Rock had to knock ’em out to win, Marciano has come through 15 hectic rounds with one of the best boxers at his weight in the world and won a unanimous points decision.

rocky marciano

Only two men have taken Marciano beyond 10 rounds before this, his 46th successive winning contest. When he won the title from Jersey Joe in September, 1952, Rocky scored a knockout in the 13th round.

A year later he left it to the 11th round before stopping Roland LaStarza. This was only the seventh points win of Marciano’s six-and-a-half-year-old pro boxing career.

Total takings from attendance television film and broadcasting rights was in the region of £181,030. Marciano’s share was £89,000, while Charles got approximately £45,000.

Although the fight was close all the way, the decision in favour of Marciano was unanimous. Referee Ruby Goldstein gave Marciano eight rounds, Charles five with two even. Judge Harold Barnes made it Marciano eight rounds, Charles six with one even. While the remaining judge, Artie Aidala was even more emphatic in the champ’s favour, marking his card with nine rounds to the champion, five to Charles with one even. Marciano scaled 13st 5 ½ lbs, Charles 13st 3lbs.

ROUND-BY-ROUND

Round 1. – The champion got off the mark first, short jabbing Charles to the chest, he took a light counter from Charles to the face then tied the challenger up in a clinch as he came forward to use a right hander. Charles backed away and thumped home two rights to the ribs and avoided a right from Marciano. Both men exchanged rights to the head and near the end of the round Charles stopped the bustling champion with another left jab and drew blood from Rocky’s nose. –Charles’ round.

Round 2. – Charles came from his corner and immediately got home to the body with a right. The champion countered to the body with both hands but Charles smothered his punches. At close range Charles jabbed in two quick lefts to the mouth and then hooked two lefts to the side of Marciano’s head. Rattled, Rocky threw a left and a right at Charles’ head but had to take four punches to the head and body as Charles took the initiative. Rocky was off the beam with another long right and the challenger smashed in a left and right to the jaw.  – Charles’ round.

Round 3. – The crowd rose to their feet as both men traded lefts and rights to the head. A right hook sent Charles’ head back on his shoulders. They worked away at close quarters and Marciano kept wiping the blood from his nose. The champion increased the pace near the end and a fast right to the head was partially blocked by Charles, and the coloured man countered with a right to the head. Charles having the better of the in-fighting. – Even round.

Round 4. – Marciano opened up first and thumped a right to the head. But Charles countered smartly and a hard right to face opened a cut on the side of Marciano’s left eye. Another right from Charles caused the blood to flow from the eye injury and Marciano was forced to wipe the blood away, and he appeared to have difficulty in seeing from the damaged optic.

On top and piling on the pressure. Charles whipped up a right uppercut to the jaw, then had the crowd roaring s he drove home four quick punches to the body. Marciano was at a loss to defend himself and, half blinded in the left eye, he was forced to take more lefts and rights to the head as Charles became confident. – Charles’ round.

Round 5. – Charles again scored first as they met in the centre of the ring. A right partially stopped Marciano’s bull-like rush, but the champion brought a left hook into play and Charles gave ground. Two more left hooks from Marciano, then a right to the body, but the Rock missed with a heavy left and after the bell he twice caught Charles to the face bringing only a smile from the still confident challenger. – Marciano’s round.

Round 6. – Marciano came out on a punching spree at the bell smashing home a powerful right to the chin and then followed up with a furious attack to the body that had the crowd yelling. Charles tried to counter but was short, and another right from the champion rocked Charles.

The challenger tried to hold Rocky, who came back to connect with half a dozen vicious blows from all angles. Charles was in trouble for the first time and used all his ring knowledge to keep himself in the fight. Marciano’s eye still bleeding as the round ended. – Marciano’s round.

Round 7. – Charles left his corner to throw a left hook to the body then a right to Marciano’s but eye. Blinking badly as blood still worried the champion’s left eye, Marciano had to fall back as Charles jabbed out a left and the coloured man had partially regained the initiative. Still in the centre of the ring they exchanged punches, but neither man took much out of himself or each other in this round. – Even round.

Round 8. – Rocky was subdued at the start of the session. Charles boxed calmly, jabbing out his left and countering with his right every time Marciano changed position. Missing badly with his heavier blows, Rocky was forced into clinches and Charles had the better of the exchanges, although he came out of one clinch with a slight trickle of blood running from his right eye. – Charles round.

Round 9. – An exchange of rights marked the opening and then Charles jabbed three successive lefts to Marciano’s face and another right to the injured eye. The champion hooked twice to the jaw but there wasn’t a lot of power behind the punches and Charles came in to earn points in the clinches. They traded short rights and Charles’ right eye was swelling visibly by now. The Rock crashed home two rights to the head, then a right uppercut to the chin and Charles countered with a well timed right to the heart. Marciano was on the rampage now and he kept Charles on the defensive to the end of the session. – Marciano’s round.

Round 10. – Off the mark first again Charles jabbed in three successive lefts to the face, then a right to the body and then as Marciano countered, the challenger backpedalled before a typical two-fisted onslaught by the champion. A long right to the jaw from Rocky made Charles’ knees wobble, two following rights sent him backwards and as Marciano charged forward, Charles took another uppercut to the chin and was driven around the ring from an all-out onslaught. – Marciano’s round.

Round 11. – A chopping right from Charles had no effect on Marciano, who came in, head down, smashing forward with his right handers and as Marciano caught him again with a right, Charles jumped in to crash a short right to the point. It was long range stuff this round and both men were hitting out freely without fear or the consequences. – Charles’ round.

Round 12. – Standing his ground, Charles waited for the champion and jabbed hard to the face with his left hand. Marciano was still bleeding from the eye and nose. A wild swing from Rocky nearly aught Charles unawares, but a long right shortly after made Charles gasp and he caught Marciano’s bobbing head with a damaging right cross and followed up with short lefts and rights to the jaw. Back came the champion and he really hurt Charles with one last left to the jaw just before the bell. – Marciano’s round.

Round 13. – Still forcing the pace, Rocky chased his man and swung hard with both hands, but Charles’ defence was still intact and his countering punches caused Rocky’s nose to bleed profusely. Charles again used a left and right as Marciano bore in, but the champ brought up a left uppercut to the jaw which must have hurt. Charles tied his man for a spell in the clinches and just parried two vicious blows from Rocky which were aimed at the head. – Marciano’s round.

Round 14. – Both were showing visible signs of a fast and punishing fight now. Charles shot out a left and right to the face and another right brought a flow of blood from Marciao’s left eye. They exchanged punches with both hands, but Marciano’s were carrying the heavier dig and he kept catching Charles with left uppercuts and hooks. Gamely, the coloured man tried to swap blows but he had nothing in his gloves now and Marciano just shook his head and charged in. – Marciano’s round.

Round 15. – The challenger’s face was now puffed up and he looked very tired. He kept his feet moving, however, and made the champion miss as he charged forwards to throw a vicious right to the head. Both men covered in blood now – Rocky’s blood, but in they went at each other and Charles took a heavy left and right to the head which halted him in his tracks. There was another exciting exchange of blows and Charles was forced back as Marciano used all his artillery at once in an endeavour to land a knockout.

Weary but game, Charles had little to offer now and his hands came down as Rocky battered him against the ropes. But Charles kept his head and he was still there as the final bell brought relief to two tired battered warriors. – Marciano’s round.