History | Jun 05 2018

On This Day: From Gene Tunney to Miguel Cotto, via Archie Moore and Roy Jones Jnr

Here we celebrate Miguel Cotto and the other heroes who have made June 5 a boxing day to remember
miguel cotto
Miguel Cotto  |  Jake Roth/USA Today Sports

BACK in 1925, heavyweight contender Gene Tunney – handsome in both looks and boxing skills – was chasing a shot at formidable king, Jack Dempsey. On June 5 1925 he was matched with ageing but dangerous  Tommy Gibbons, who was enjoying an unbeaten streak since losing a 15-round decision to Dempsey two years before. This proved to be a heck of a test for Tunney as he was dazed by his hard-punching rival in the eighth before knocking him out in the 12th. Press play on the clip below, crack open a can of cool lager, and wash it down with the magic of one of boxing’s finest ever technicians.

BY 1952 the heavyweights were trying to come to terms with the end of the Joe Louis era, and unknowingly preparing for the arrival of Rocky Marciano. Sandwiched between those reigns was the rivalry between Jersey Joe Walcott and Ezzard Charles. Two gifted fighters who deserve their place among the finest of all-time clashed for a fourth time on this day in 1952, with Charles leading by two fights to one. But Jersey Joe, who had caused a shock by knocking out Charles last time, by edging the decision to level the series.