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View Full Version : Harry "Kid" Matthews v. Don Cockell



Mr E
04-03-2006, 12:16 PM
Sometimes a lesser fighter just has the better fighter's number.

Take a look at the record of Harry "Kid" Matthews-- 90-7-6. Of his seven losses, 1 was a decision very early on (when he was fighting as a middleweight), 2 were also when he was fighting as a middleweigh to all-time great middles Jack Chase and Eddie Booker. The third, after he put on some weight was to Rocky Marciano. Nothing to be ashamed of, to say the least, about any of these losses. And he was beating everybody else in sight.

But his last 3 losses were to inconsistent, oft-beaten Don Cockell, who, going by the record book, shouldn't have been able to carry his jock.

Does anyone know the story behind these fights and the match-up between these 2 fighters?

Elmer Ray
04-03-2006, 12:54 PM
Sometimes a lesser fighter just has the better fighter's number.

Take a look at the record of Harry "Kid" Matthews-- 90-7-6. Of his seven losses, 1 was a decision very early on (when he was fighting as a middleweight), 2 were also when he was fighting as a middleweigh to all-time great middles Jack Chase and Eddie Booker. The third, after he put on some weight was to Rocky Marciano. Nothing to be ashamed of, to say the least, about any of these losses. And he was beating everybody else in sight.

But his last 3 losses were to inconsistent, oft-beaten Don Cockell, who, going by the record book, shouldn't have been able to carry his jock.

Does anyone know the story behind these fights and the match-up between these 2 fighters?


i think harry was over the hill when he fought cockell, he and his manager jack hurley seemed to lose confidence in mathews after the marciano loss and he just drifted away. he was near 32 during the cockell fights.

Note: he drew with journeyan freddie beshore right after marciano fight which shows he was on the slide. the marciano KO loss was the only time harry was ever put down for the 10 count.


- notice how in there 1953 matchup, it was a very close split decision. i will get a report on this fight. also cockell was a decent fighter with very good handspeed, and he was around 211lb 30lb heavier than harry kid mathews.


i think a prime 49-52 mathews beats cockell

hawk5ins
04-03-2006, 01:02 PM
The White James Toney as far as body shape goes.

Honestly, did Cockell have an ounce of muscle tone in his entire body?

I know he was lighter and presumably in better shape when he was stopped by Turpin, but I can only imagine how absurd it must have been to See Turpin and his physique in the ring with the Marilu Henner (see the Man Who Loved Women, if you are wondering about the obscure reference)of Boxing.

Hawk

Elmer Ray
04-03-2006, 01:19 PM
cockell was badly weight drained when he fought turpin, the affects of his disease were kicking in at the time of the turpin fight and that made him weak.


- dont compare toney to cockell in terms of body shape. cockell had a glandular problem that caused him to gain unessecary weight, but he was still in great shape. cockell could not control how much he gained, toney could.

KOJOE90
04-03-2006, 01:23 PM
The White James Toney as far as body shape goes.

Honestly, did Cockell have an ounce of muscle tone in his entire body?

I know he was lighter and presumably in better shape when he was stopped by Turpin, but I can only imagine how absurd it must have been to See Turpin and his physique in the ring with the Marilu Henner (see the Man Who Loved Women, if you are wondering about the obscure reference)of Boxing.

Hawk


Don Cockells physique was due to a medical condition. He was a very good Light-Heavyweight but developed a glandular problem which meant no matter hard he trained he still just gained excess fat so was forced to move up to Heavyweight.

In one way you could ignore Cockells weight at Heavyweight as he was really just a Light-Heavyweight, forced to fight with excess fat due to a medical problem.

Elmer Ray
04-03-2006, 01:35 PM
i defintley think don cockell was by far the worst of marciano's title challengers. the only reason he got a title shot was because weill wanted to test rocky's nose(cause of the charles fiasco) before he sent rocky in vs a big slugger like valdes, or master boxer sharpshooter like moore. cockell was somehow the # 2 contender and british champ, though he didnt deserve it the # 2 rating.

Elmer Ray
04-03-2006, 01:37 PM
Don Cockells physique was due to a medical condition. He was a very good Light-Heavyweight but developed a glandular problem which meant no matter hard he trained he still just gained excess fat so was forced to move up to Heavyweight.

In one way you could ignore Cockells weight at Heavyweight as he was really just a Light-Heavyweight, forced to fight with excess fat due to a medical problem.

agreed. the reason he was able to be a contender at heavyweight was he was big (211lbs), and had solid boxing skills and remarkable handspeed to go along with his big stature.

hawk5ins
04-03-2006, 02:14 PM
it still was an unsightly picture. I've read all about his medical condition and he still was just as obscene to view as Toney is today.

I wasn't meaning to offend any Cockell "Loyalists."

As far as Toney's weight issues, I wonder if Tommy Lasorda can "weigh" in here and tell us if it is a Weakness or a Sickness?

For those wondering, I'm rerfering to Darryl Strawberry's Drug issue that Tommy commented on years ago.

Hawk

Elmer Ray
04-03-2006, 03:10 PM
i am no cockell loyalist. i dont think much of the guy.


however, james toney got fat because hes a fat pig. don cockell got fat because of a medical condition WHICH HE COUDNLT CONTROL


heres a picture of don cockell at 175

http://www.josportsinc.com/item_images/1032448721.jpg

hawk5ins
04-03-2006, 03:29 PM
That both were unappealing to look at.

Daniel Zaragoza was Ugly as hell. Ron Stander was ugly as hell after he fought Joe Frazier. They both were still ugly. Even if one couldn't help it.

BTW, is there a date for your photo you posted?

The two photos I saw of Cockell and Turpin (who btw, was at LEAST 10 pounds lighter than Don), and neither were of very good quality, Don was NOT looking like the guy in your photo and CERTAINLY did not look dehydrated.

And as far as Body shapes go: Jerry Quarry weighed 198 for Joe Frazier in 1969 and looked cut like a rock. In 1974 he weighed 1 pound less, and looked twice as fat. He had to pull his trunks up to his chest to keep rolls a flab from drooping over.

Jerry had no glandual problem as far as I know. But his body shape from around 1972 or 73 on, was not an appealing sight to behold.

Hawk

Elmer Ray
04-03-2006, 03:59 PM
http://www.josportsinc.com/catalog/view.php?id=1018

hawk5ins
04-03-2006, 04:10 PM
Could be an amateur photo for all we know.

Oh well. Thanks anywho.

Hawk

jim glen
04-03-2006, 06:05 PM
Don Cockell was a L-HW FORCED to fight as a HW because of his "glandular" disease, as KOJOE mentioned and Elmer Ray... what also need be mentioned is that same illness "killed" him eventually. He was still a relativley young man in and around 50.

There were big things hoped for Cockell and alot of top boxing people predicted him to be L-HW Champion of the World! But of course the disease had different plans for him.

He was a very good structured boxer with good movement, I have both fights with him against Turpin and Mathews (maybe even 2 with Mathews), it really is very tragic what happened to him health wise.

Most people don't know his story and think of him as an "out-classed" HW (Marciano), but the truth of the matter is he was a L-HW forced to fight "out of his class" weight wise!

Shame!

Mr E
04-04-2006, 01:55 AM
i think harry was over the hill when he fought cockell, he and his manager jack hurley seemed to lose confidence in mathews after the marciano loss and he just drifted away. he was near 32 during the cockell fights.

Note: he drew with journeyan freddie beshore right after marciano fight which shows he was on the slide. the marciano KO loss was the only time harry was ever put down for the 10 count.


- notice how in there 1953 matchup, it was a very close split decision. i will get a report on this fight. also cockell was a decent fighter with very good handspeed, and he was around 211lb 30lb heavier than harry kid mathews.


i think a prime 49-52 mathews beats cockell

Thanks for the insight.

TKO11
04-04-2006, 07:12 AM
I think everyone is missing what Hawk is saying here. He isn't stating that Cockell was a fat pig, he is stating that he was fat. Nobody is blaming him for it, just saying that seeing his physique is as unappealling as seeing Toney's physique. One thing I'll say for Don though - at least he didn't have rolls of fat on his forehead. At least he was able to keep it below the neck.

Cockell's fight with Marciano is interesting though - by using whatever movement he could muster he was making Marciano look pretty bad. And for a guy who'd been KOed a half dozen times before, he took many flush shots from the Rock before being taken out (as much due to exhaustion as anything). Either Rock's power was on a serious decline or Cockell just had a lot greater ability to absorb punishment than his record suggests.

Elmer Ray
04-04-2006, 12:18 PM
Cockell's fight with Marciano is interesting though - by using whatever movement he could muster he was making Marciano look pretty bad.

then how come rocky won every round on 2 of the judges scorecards?


this was marcianos worst fight, he was decked by a sparring partner in camp. he was unmotivated, he trained less than 2 months for this fight. he looked sloppy, it was his worst fight since lee savold fight. i also noticed signs of aging in this fight with cockell.



* cockell was vomitting blood in his corner between rounds of marciano fight. cockell promised britain he would return home for the title. when a man is motivated to do what ever it takes to stay on his feet and survive, that is one hard man to knockout. britain should be proud of dons courageous preformance.

TKO11
04-04-2006, 01:04 PM
Elmer - I don't get it. I said Marciano looked pretty bad. You asked why then did he win every round on 2 cards. Then you point out that it was his worst fight and that he was unmotivated and looked sloppy.

Is there something for me to explain here?

Elmer Ray
04-04-2006, 03:24 PM
Elmer - I don't get it. I said Marciano looked pretty bad. You asked why then did he win every round on 2 cards. Then you point out that it was his worst fight and that he was unmotivated and looked sloppy.

Is there something for me to explain here?


u said don made him look bad, actually it was marciano who made himself look bad. marciano beat the hell out of don, but looked like crap in the process. theres a difference. u made it look like don was having his way with rocky, which is far from the truth,

hawk5ins
04-04-2006, 04:07 PM
And STILL won virtually every round.

I think you are reading things into TKO's comment as nowhere did he say Cockell was having his way with Rocky. He said he made him look bad.

Lucien Rodriguez made Larry Holmes look bad and Holmes won every round.

Were either Holmes or Rocky at their best when they fought their respecive opponents? Absolutely not. But thier styles and movement DID contribute to Lar and Rocky looking bad. And yet EACH probably pitched a shutout in thier respective efforts.

And Cockell looked fatter for his bout with Rocky than both Larry and Lucien btw.......

Hawk

kikibalt
06-03-2006, 01:59 PM
http://i6.tinypic.com/11ju0sy.jpg

bodyblow
06-03-2006, 02:55 PM
i think harry was over the hill when he fought cockell, he and his manager jack hurley seemed to lose confidence in mathews after the marciano loss and he just drifted away. he was near 32 during the cockell fights.

Note: he drew with journeyan freddie beshore right after marciano fight which shows he was on the slide. the marciano KO loss was the only time harry was ever put down for the 10 count.


- notice how in there 1953 matchup, it was a very close split decision. i will get a report on this fight. also cockell was a decent fighter with very good handspeed, and he was around 211lb 30lb heavier than harry kid mathews.


i think a prime 49-52 mathews beats cockell

Hurley didnt lose confidence in him, he never really had a great belief in his ability to beat the best. Thats why he didnt have Matthews (a natural light heavyweight) face Maxim (who was willing to give Matthews a shot). Hurley didnt think Matthews would beat Maxim and didnt think Maxim would beat Marciano. So as a manager what do you do? Do get Matthews a shot that he cant win against a LHW champ for relative peanuts, or do you get him an elimination bout for the HW championship for his highest career purse? Easy. Money talks and bullshit walks...

Elmer Ray
06-03-2006, 05:00 PM
Thats why he didnt have Matthews (a natural light heavyweight) face Maxim (who was willing to give Matthews a shot).


huh? im pretty sure joey maxim ducked harry kid mathews. mathews upset # 1 contender irish bob murphy by boxing his ears off and maxim GAVE MURPHY A SHOT AT THE TITLE INSTEAD OF MATHEWS. hell murphy was even a favorite going into the maxim fight. maxim ducked harry kid mathews.

bodyblow
06-03-2006, 07:09 PM
Maxim did not duck Matthews. Hurley passed up a shot at Maxim in order to go for the bigger money fight with Marciano.

Elmer Ray
06-04-2006, 05:52 PM
i would give mathews a good chance to beat maxim had that fight taken place around 1951. matthews was a damm good boxer, he completley dominated the very highly touted irish bob murphy

bodyblow
06-04-2006, 07:26 PM
I agree with you but a smart manager weighs risk to reward and Hurley knew Matthews better than you or I. Do you fight for relative peanuts as an underdog for a devalued title or do you fight for big bucks as an underdog for a shot the golden goose? If you lose to Maxim your credibility as a LHW takes a hit. If you lose to Marciano in a fight you werent supposed to win while earning a LOT more money, well, its a no lose situation.

P.S. Maxim had an easier time with Murphy a few months later than Matthews did.

Zevl
06-16-2006, 12:51 AM
http://i6.tinypic.com/14kjtzq.jpg

Zevl
06-16-2006, 12:52 AM
http://i5.tinypic.com/14kjubd.jpg