History | Mar 24 2018

On This Day: The tragic encounter between Emile Griffith and Benny ‘Kid’ Paret

Benny 'Kid' Paret never regained consciousness from the 12-round beating by Emile Griffith at Madison Square Garden in 1962
Emile Griffith

THE BBC’s understandable decision to pull a planned recording of the ill-fated bout between welterweight champion Benny “Kid” Paret and Emile Griffith on March 24, 1962 meant the shockwaves – felt so strongly in America where the fight was televised live – didn’t impact to the same degree here.

At the weigh-in Paret enraged Griffith, labelling him a “Maricon” – Spanish for homosexual.

Our fight report (BN March 30, 1962) made for grim reading: “In the 12th round Paret was tagged with a right to the jaw, driven into a neutral corner and pummelled with right after right to the head. The Cuban’s head was outside the ring, between the top and second ropes, and he was trapped while Griffith still punched away with both hands.