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    Philly Boxing History

    JUNE 29, 1970



    LISTON'S LAST STAND
    Sonny TKOs Wepner in Final Bout

    On this day in 1970, unbeknownst to all those watching, Sonny Liston fought the last bout of his storied boxing career at the Jersey City Armory. His opponent was the ever-tough Chuck Wepner of Bayonne, NJ. The fight was a rough, bloody beat down that saw Liston rebound from his loss to Leotis Martin six months prior. Sonny pounded Wepner throughout and finally stopped the Jersey tough guy in round ten. With his career seemingly back on track, Liston went home to Las Vegas to wait for his next match. Six months later, he was found dead (12/30/70). The cause of death still raises questions today.

    Sonny Liston posted an overall record of 50 wins (39 KOs) and 4 losses. His only losses came at the fists of Muhammad Ali (twice), Leotis Martin and early in his career, to Marty Marshall. Sonny beat Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight championship in 1962 and held it until 1964.



    FIGHT RESULTS ON THIS DATE:
    1931 - Maxie Rosenbloom W10 Billy Jones at the Arena in Philadelphia
    1931 - Al Ettore W10 Pete Latzo at the Arena in Philadelphia

    1931 - Tony Morgano TKO7 Steve Smith Pete Latzo at the Arena in Philadelphia
    1938 - Tommy Forte KO2 Joe Transparenti at Cambria Stadium in Philadelphia
    1948 - Red Applegate W10 Billy Fox at Elizabeth, NJ
    1954 - Sonny Liston W8 Johnny Summerlin at Motor City Arena in Detroit
    1956 - Yama Bahama W10 Gil Turner at New York
    1985 - Curtis Parker W10 Ricky Stackhouse at the Sands Hotel Casino in Atlantic City
    1985 - Meldrick Taylor TKO3 Hugo Carrizo at Bellaria, Italy (Meldrick's 6th Pro Bout)

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    this day in 2003, Philly boxing legend Wesley Mouzon died at age 75. In his fighting days as a teenage lightweight sensation, Wes fought and beat many outstanding boxers of the 1940s. None of his matches were more acclaimed than his non-title fight with 135 pound king Bob Montgomery in 1946. The Shibe Park contest was a real shocker as the 19 year old knocked out the champ in just two rounds. They rematched three months later at Convention Hall, with Montgomery retaining his title by KO in the 8th. Wes never fought again due to a detached retina but launched a successful second career as a boxing trainer.

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    GIARDELLO WALLOPS BALDONI IN NY

    On this day in 1956, South Philadelphia's up and coming middleweight Joey Giar-dello won an impressive victory over Toni Baldoni of Wilkes-Barre, PA at the St. Nicholas Arena in New York. The end came quickly when Joey lowered the boom on Baldoni in the very first round. Giardello smacked his foe with a hard right hand square on the chin to produce the knockdown, and referee Ray Miller counted him out at 2:46 of the first. The win raised Joey's record to 65-13-5, and this KO was his 26th.

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    MONTGOMERY STOPS REASONER IN BIG EASY

    On this day in 1943, newly crowned lightweight champ, Bob Montgomery, traveled to New Orleans to take on Al Reasoner in a non-title bout at Pelican Stadium. The Bobcat was in prime form and dropped his foe three times in round five and then twice more in round six. The last knockdown was for keeps, ending the fight at 2:15. The win upped Bob's record to 52-6-3 with 28 KOs. ALSO ON THIS DAY - South Philly's heavyweight tough guy, Gus Dorazio was born Gustavo Vincolota in 1916.

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    THE ANIMAL KOS RAMSEY

    On this day in 1983, Frank "The Animal" Fletcher beat Curtis Ramsey by a knockout in round 8. The fight was held at Fletcher's home field of the Sands Casino in Atlantic City. This bout was sandwiched between 2 key career loses. In his prior bout, Frank lost his USBA middleweight belt to Wilford Scypion by decision. After the Ramsey KO, Fletcher traveled to Las Vegas to fight Juan Roldan in a bout that would serve as an eliminator for a shot at Hagler's world crown. Fletcher fell to Roldan in six rounds and retired three fights later.

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    BENTON ELECTED TO WORLD BOXING HALL OF FAME

    Congratulations to George Benton who was elected to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in California. Benton, known as "The Professor", will be inducted as a boxing trainer at the annual ceremony held in October. Other inductees this year include Larry Holmes, Ricardo Lopez, Yaqui Lopez, Gerald McClellan, Efren Torres, Joe Cortez, Steve Albert, Dick Sadler, Jose Vasques Dela Torre, & Lily Rodriguez. You can find ticket & other information about this event at the web site address: www.WBHF.org.

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    TOPPI STADIUM

    Today's featured fight card took place at one of Philly Boxing History's all-time great venues, Toppi Stadium, a 5,000-seat seasonal outdoor arena located at Broad and Packer Streets in South Philadelphia. The main event featured Honeychile Johnson winning an 8 round split decision over Joe Bonadies. In the semi-windup Dan Bucceroni scored a 2nd round TKO over Doc Bee. Danny Womber decisioned Cus Cosby in 6. Romeo Gagliardi won by TKO 4 over Red Schultz. Toppi Stadium is gone now and in its place stands Chickie & Pete's.

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    JOHNSON SCORES 10TH KO

    On this day in 1947, Harold Johnson beat Tommy Ruth by KO in round number six to push his young undefeated pro record to 12-0 with 10 KOs. The bout was an undercard match to the George Larover - Bobby Maloney main event at Philadelphia's Arena. The main event, won by LaRover, also ended by KO in the sixth. Johnson dropped Ruth in round five for a count of nine and then finished him with a body punch at 1:17 of the following session. At this point in his career, Harold was still about thirteen years away from becoming champion.

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    From The Phillyboxing Site

    BENTON ELECTED TO WORLD BOXING HALL OF FAME

    Congratulations to George Benton who was elected to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in California. Benton, known as "The Professor", will be inducted as a boxing trainer at the annual ceremony held in October. Other inductees this year include Larry Holmes, Ricardo Lopez, Yaqui Lopez, Gerald McClellan, Efren Torres, Joe Cortez, Steve Albert, Dick Sadler, Jose Vasques Dela Torre, & Lily Rodriguez. You can find ticket & other information about this event at the web site address: www.WBHF.org.

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    TURNER HALTS FUSARI

    On this day in 1951, 20 year old welterweight sensation, Gil Turner stop-ped contender Charley Fusari at :58 seconds of round eleven before 14,627 fans at Shibe Park. It was the undefeated youngster's 22nd victory and 20th KO. But it wasn't easy for Turner. Fusari managed to shake Gil up along the way before the end. But it was Gil's usual relentless, all action attack that eventually won the contest. Finally a left hook and right hand dropped Fusari in round 11. Referee Zack Clayton counted Fusari out as he gamely struggled to get up.

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    HENRY HANK WINS FIRST OF TWO AGAINST GIARDELLO

    On this day in 1961, Joey Giardello and Henry Hank fought the first of their two battles. In this one, staged at the Convention Arena in Detroit, MI, Hank took the unanimous decision over ten rounds. Although this was a good action fight between two busy boxers, the match paled in comparison to their rematch six months later. In the second fight (1/30/62), Joey would win a majority decision in a grueling, bloody Philadelphia war that was named Ring magazine's fight of the year for 1962.

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    Re: From The Phillyboxing Site

    Quote Originally Posted by kikibalt

    On this day in 1961, Joey Giardello and Henry Hank fought the first of their two battles. In this one, staged at the Convention Arena in Detroit, MI, Hank took the unanimous decision over ten rounds. Although this was a good action fight between two busy boxers, the match paled in comparison to their rematch six months later. In the second fight (1/30/62), Joey would win a majority decision in a grueling, bloody Philadelphia war that was named Ring magazine's fight of the year for 1962.
    On January 30, 1962, they met at Convention Hall in Philadelphia before 6,000fans.

    The Ring’s coverage of their epic battle follows:
    One of the hardest fought, bloodiest fights seen in many months was the middleweight setto between 31 year old Joey Giardello of Philadelphia and 26 year old Henry Hank of Detroit fought before 6,000 fans at the Convention Hall in Philadelphia.
    “Giardello took a frightful pasting in the first round. He was knocked back on his heels by the fury of Henry’s attack. In the second a left hook split open a deep wound in Joey’s upper lip and it bled profusely for the remainder of the contest.
    Joey showed plenty of courage and came back to carry the fight to Hank in the next three rounds. He outboxed Hank, who has a tendency to “loaf”. Henry landed the harder blows but he fought in spurts late in each round while Joey kept his jabs and rights to the body working most of the time. Hank picked up the pace and had a shade the better of it in the sixth with a strong closing rally.
    The seventh was one of the best rounds of the fight. Both got off good flurries but Hank had Joey in trouble when he corned him against the ropes and pounded away.
    Giardello came fighting back to hold a slight edge in the eighth and ninth as once again Hank let him take the play away from him.
    The final round was a humdinger as Hank went all out. Joey tried to match him punch for punch, but didn’t have the fire power or stamina left and it was a good round for Henry.
    The officials scored it 47-46, 46-45 for Giardello and 46-46 for a draw.
    Some fans didn’t like the verdict.

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    WILLIAMS UPSET BY COSTNER

    On this day in 1950, lightweight king Ike Williams took on Camden's George "Sugar" Costner in a non-title bout at Shibe Park. 9,800 fans showed up on a summer Wednesday night to watch a busy outdoor boxing card. Percy Bassett & Honeychile Johnson won their 10 rounders, while Eddie Giosa lost his. In the main event, Costner pulled a shocker by beating Williams up and down for 10 rounds. Ike looked ready to go on several occasions, but his experience & pride kept him upright. In the end the decision was unanimous for Costner.

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    SAAD MUHAMMAD WINS ANOTHER THRILLER

    On this day in 1980, 175 pound champ Matthew Saad made the 4th defense of his title in a grueling thriller against old foe Yaqui Lopez. The well-matched pair pounded each other in a see-saw battle. Lopez almost won it in round 7 when he hammered Saad with countless un-answered shots. But before the round was over, Saad roared back. Finally in round 14, after 4 knockdowns, the fight was stopped in Saad's favor. The nationally televised fight was even better than their 1978 match at the Spectrum.

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    A BIG SHIBE PARK SHOW

    On this day in 1919, Shibe Park was the site for a big North Philly outdoor fight card, and 18,000 fans came out to watch the action. In the main event, Lew Tendler soundly beat Joe Welling over six rounds. 4 years later he would face Benny Leonard for the 1st time. In the semi-windup, Joe Tiplitz scored an upset KO over George Chaney with a mighty left uppercut in round 3. Kid Lewis was dropped twice by Steve Latzo but got up to win. Harry Greb won a newspaper decision over Battling Levinsky and Eddie May beat Harry Pierce.

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    WATTS SCORES UNLIKELY KO

    On this day in 1974, Bobby "Boogaloo" Watts scored a shocking KO for such a non-puncher as he. His opponent was KO-king Eugene "Cyclone" Hart in a scheduled 10-rounder at the Spectrum before a crowd of 5,185. Watts was the underdog & on paper it seemed that any KO would be fashioned by Cyclone. But the actual fight was very different & produced quite a surprise. In round one Watts nailed Hart with a left hook and a straight right that knocked him through the ropes. He was counted out on the concrete floor at 2:49 of the round.

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    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO
    JOEY GIARDELLO

    Former middleweight champion Joey Giardello celebrates his 77th birthday today. He was born Carmine Tillelli in New York in 1930. He eventually came to South Philadelphia and began his boxing career. After years of toiling through the ranks and waiting for his opportunity, Giardello finally won the 160-pound world title in 1963 by beating Dick Tiger in Atlantic City. But long before this win Joey he had already proven himself as one of our city's all-time best. Happy Birthday Joey G!!!

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    BORN ON THIS DAY:
    MIDGET WOLGAST

    On this day in 1910, Midget Wolgast was born Joseph Robert Loscalzo in South Philadelphia. He began his fighting career at age 15. His greatest asset in the ring was his amazing speed and it earned him the nickname "Greased Lightning". He began piling up the pro fights, often fighting two, three or more times per month. By age 19, he claimed the vacant NYSAC world flyweight title and held it until 1935, when he lost to Small Montana. His overall record was 151-35-16 (15 KO). He died on 10/19/55

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    WITHERSPOON DEFENDS TITLE AGAINST BRUNO AT WEMBLEY

    On this day in 1986, Terrible Tim Witherspoon made the first defense of his second title run against the UK's Frank Bruno. The bout was staged at Wembley Stadium in London. Two years before, Witherspoon had won and lost the WBC belt. Against Bruno he was the WBA king and entered the hostile waters of England to take on one of their most popular fighters ever. Frank looked good early, but Witherspoon wore him down and finally stopped an exhausted Bruno in the eleventh round.

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    HOPKINS STOPS JOHNSON IN MIDDLEWEIGHT DEFENSE

    On this day in 1997, Bernard Hopkins made the fifth defense of his IBF middleweight championship with an eleventh round TKO of Glen Johnson. Hopkins would of course go on to unify the 160-pound crown and ultimately set a new record of 20 middleweight defenses before losing his title. The celebration of this fight of ten years ago comes on the eve of Bernard's first defense of his linear & Ring Magazine light heavyweight bout against Winky Wright. At 42, Hopkins is still going.

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    LIL' ABNER KAYOS FOE

    On this day in 1971, Lil Abner scored a first round knockout in his 15th pro bout. The win raised his record to 9-5-1 (8 KO). His victim this time was Jose Camerino at the Scranton, PA Catholic Youth Center, which was a hot bed of ring action in the 1970s. Abner was born Perry Abney in 1947. The Germantown jr. middleweight was an exciting fan favorite who always came to fight. He had a reckless style and was always looking to plant his explosive left hook on his opponent's chin. Overall, he scored 20 KOs in his 24 pro wins.

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    TURNER BEATS FLANAGAN
    FOR THE SECOND TIME

    On this day in 1957, North Philly welterweight Gil Turner took another unanimous ten round decision over Del Flanagan. This bout was staged at Midway Stadium in St. Paul, MN before a crowd of 6,996. Turner scored a knockdown in the first round but Flanagan managed to stick it out for the full distance. Boland Abrams also made the trip out to MN and won a TKO in 2 over John Foster. Gil & Del would fight again in 1958 in Turner's final bout with Del finally winning a decision.

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    SPECTRUM WAR OF ALL WARS

    On this day in 1977, Matthew Saad Muhammad (then Matt Franklin) and Marvin Johnson waged perhaps the most sensational Spectrum war ever. It was scheduled for 12 rounds with the NABF light heavyweight championship at stake. 6,459 fortunate fans were on hand to watch the grueling, dramatic action. The ebbs and flows of this fight happened in each and every round. Both fighters dished out and received an extraordinary amount of punishment. In the end Matthew finally knocked out an exhausted Johnson at 1:12 of the 12th.

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    GALENTO BATTERS ETTORE

    On this day in 1937, Tony Galento easily stopped Al Ettore before 10,000 fans at the Nutley Velodrome in Newark, NJ. Ettore failed to win a round & had to show much heart to make it as far as he did in the scheduled 12 rounder. Galento started the pounding in round 1. Ettore landed a few in the 2nd but got dropped in the 3rd. In the 5th, Galento knocked Ettore out of the ring but Al came back for more. Tony was happy to accom-modate Ettore's willingness. In round 8, after another trip out of the ring, ref Gene Roman stepped in to save Al at 2:55.

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    1951: Toppi Stadium Card



    On this day in 1951, Toppi Stadium was the site for another outdoor boxing show in South Philly. A crowd of 3,030 fans paid a gate of $5,755 to watch the 8-round main event between middleweights Marvin Edelman and Jimmy Flood. Edelman took the decision by a unanimous verdict. The win ran Marvin's record to 14-1. In the semi-windup, welterweight Charley Spicer scored a TKO over Emmett Morris at 1:06 of round three of a scheduled six rounder. Also on the card, Joey Fisher TKO'd Jimmy Verne at 2:08 of the 1st round.

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    MATTHEWS TOPS MCFARLAND

    On this day in 1959, two Philly lightweight prospects faced off in, of all places, NY's Madison Square Garden. Candy McFarland made the trip to NY in great company. Working his corner were George Gainsford & Sugar Ray Robinson. Candy was sure of a win, even saying "How can I lose?". But he had to face the great Len Matthews that night, so it was no certain victory. Matthews showed his skill, speed & power in the fight, dropping Candy in the tenth and taking a lopsided ten round decision to up his record to 19-2-1 (13).

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    MIKE ROSSMAN TAKES REMATCH WITH NIXON

    On this day in 1975, Mike Rossman, the Jewish Bomber, rebounded from his 10-round points loss of 3 months prior to Mike Nixon by scoring a TKO in 7 rounds in their rematch. This second time around, they fought at the Tropicana Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. The win raised Rossman's record to 22-1-1 with 13 KOs. In his very next bout, Rossman would begin his rivalry with Mike Quarry, but was still a full 3 years away from his career highlight - a TKO title winning effort against Victor Galindez

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