AT the Yankee Stadium, Ray Robinson, world’s middleweight champion, failed in his attempt to win the light-heavyweight title from Joey Maxim, being unable to come out of his corner for the 14th round.
An attendance of nearly 50,000 people sweltered in 104 degrees, the intense heat causing referee Ruby Goldstein to collapse at the end of the 10th, his duties being taken over by Ray Miller, something without precedent in championship boxing. Maxim scaled 12st 5lbs and Robinson 11st 3 1/2lbs.
Round 1: The first big punches were tried by Robinson, but his right twice sailed over Maxim’s head. Robinson hung on grimly in an effort to stop Maxim reaching the body. Suddenly Robinson lashed out with rights and lefts but Maxim met the attack. He met another onslaught with a fine left hook.
Round 2: Maxim landed with two left jabs, but was again tied up inside by Robinson. The referee failed to break the clinch and admonished both men. Maxim landeda left hook to the head but Robinson immediately countered with a left hook. A right cross grazed Maxim’s jaw. Robinson was the aggressor at long range.
Round 3: Robinson tried to force Maxim to drop his guard with long lefts to the body. There were two long spells of clinching before Robinson again roused the crowd with an electrifying burst of punches to the body. Maxim jabbed away with his left, but could not keep Robinson away.
Round 4: A left by Robinson was followed by a right cross which grazed Maxim’s jaw. Maxim was warned for hitting on the break. Robinson continued to make full use of his speed, but there was a good deal of holding in the clinches. Robinson crowded in and
prevented Maxim from getting in his best punch.
Round 5: More lefts by Robinson to the body and Maxim seemed unable to get going. The champion tried two left hooks, but
Robinson fended them off. The crowd shouted disapproval of the prolonged holding and the referee spoke to both men. Maxim failed to stop two hard uppercuts.
Round 6: A long right by Robinson ended high on the head, but drove Maxim back. Maxim scored with a good left jab and followed with his right for almost the first time in the fight but missed. At close-quarters Maxim scored with a left and a right. Robinson appeared to be slowing down.
Round 7: Robinson pierced Maxim’s defence to land hard to the body. More clinching followed and Robinson seemed glad to hold on. More close-quarter work had the crowd impatient. Robinson landed a hard left hook followed by a right which knocked Maxim back on his heels, dazed. Robinson tore in, throwing many punches, but he suddenly wilted.
Round 8: A right uppercut by Robinson snapped back Maxim’s head, and Robinson, after more clinching, landed with a left and right to the head. Maxim had one good bout of close-range punching to the body. The round ended with more booing.
Round 9: The referee again had to break successive clinches. At long range, Robinson reached Maxim’s nose with his left, and scored with a left and right to the head. The action quickened when Maxim landed a hard left hook to the head, and Robinson replied with a similar punch. In a swinging exchange, hooks by both men landed freely.
Round 10: Robinson again resorted to spoiling tactics, but Maxim landed two stiff body punches. Robinson backed away, then suddenly swung a left and a right which failed to do any damage. Maxim continued to chase him and scored with a hard left to the jaw. The referee, exhausted from the heat, had to leave the ring on the advice of a physician. He was replaced by Ray Miller.
Round 11: Robinson was obviously tired. Maxim seemed unaffected, but had no spirit in his fighting. Robinson did some long range skirmishing and the referee had to break up numerous clinches. Maxim pummelled Robinson’s body at close range. One long right landed on Maxim’s jaw.
Round 12: Robinson looked weary as he came out of his corner. The continued back-pedalling was taking its toll. A light hook by Maxim sent Robinson back on his heels. At times Ray’s arms dangled at his side. Maxim landed a couple of lefts and rights, and then the challenger rushed in and almost knocked Maxim down with a shoulder charge. Thereafter Robinson danced out of range.
Round 13: Between rounds Robinson looked exhausted and his seconds poured water over him. Robinson backed away, conjuring up every trick he knew to stay out of range. Maxim got in close with a body attack and drove Robinson around the ring, landing more left hooks without reply. Robinson threw a right and left to the body, but Maxim continued to pepper him. Robinson missed with a right lunge and went to his knees for a count. He rose wearily and at the bell collapsed into his manager’s arms.
When the bell clanged, Maxim came up for the 14th, but Robinson remained sprawled in his chair and seemed unable to find the strength to sit upright. He was examined by the doctor, who signalled to the referee that Robinson was unable to continue. Ray was stated to be suffering from heat exhaustion.