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Thread: From The Phillyboxing Site

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    From The Phillyboxing Site

    Philly Boxing History

    APRIL 7, 1984






    SANDOVAL STOPS CHANDLER IN AC FOR BANTAM TITLE

    All good things must come to an end. On this day in 1984, Joltin' Jeff Chandler lost his WBA Bantamweight Title to Richie Sandoval by TKO in the 15th round. Jeff made nine successful title defenses before falling short in this bout. A champ since 1980, Chandler ended his career with a record of 33-2-2 with 18 KOs. He never fought again after this loss, due to cataract problems. In 2000, Chandler became a Hall of Famer, and is one of Philly's all-time best boxers.


    OTHER FIGHT RESULTS ON THIS DATE:
    1932 - George Godfrey KO2 Fighting Bob Lawson at the Auditorium in Wilmington, DE

    1970 - Perry Abney KO6 Freddie Cobb at the Blue Horizon in Philadelphia

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    From The Phillyboxing Site

    Philly Boxing History

    APRIL 9, 1936




    TONY CANZONERI FINALLY TAKES ONE FROM JADICK

    On this day in 1936, Tony Canzoneri won a ten round decision over Philadelphia's Johnny Jadick. It was their third meeting in the ring. This time however, no title was on the line and both fighters were toward the end of their careers. But the win for Canzoneri was a decisive, unanimous decision, and served as a bit of revenge for the battler from Slidell, Louisiana.

    The other two bouts between the pair occurred in 1932. In the first fight on January 18th, Canzoneri brought his World Jr. Lightweight belt to the Philadelphia Arena to defend it against local hero Jadick. The odds on Jadick were pretty long, and although he had to pick himself off the mat in the first, Johnny took the fight to Canzoneri and won the title with a ten round decision. Six months later on July 18, the rematch was staged outdoors outdoors at the Baker Bowl. With Canzoneri out to prove the first fight a fluke, Jadick pulled another upset and repeated his decision victory over the ten round limit

    to defend his title.
    Their third bout, celebrated today, came four years later at New York's St. Nicholas Palace. Jadick was on the decline having lost most of his recent bouts. After the loss to Canzoneri, he would fight only sixteen more times (no so many bouts in those days), winning only one in that stretch. He ended his career with a record of 104-58-10 (15 KO). Canzoneri fought on for another three years and dropped two title fights to Lou Ambers in his final campaign. His final record wound up 137-24-10 (44 KO).


    OTHER FIGHT RESULTS ON THIS DATE:
    1926 - Johnny Jadick W8 Harry Scott at Philadelphia

    1928 - Pete Nebo W10 Johnny Murray at Philadelphia
    1929 - Lew Massey W10 Sammy Tisch at the 22nd Engineers Armory in New York
    1934 - Benny Bass KO3 Jimmy Leto at the Philadelphia Arena
    1934 - Tony Morgano W10 Eddie Shea at the Philadelphia Arena
    1934 - Harry Serody KO9 Joe Glick at the Philadelphia Arena
    1973 - Richie Kates W10 Paul Cardoza at the Philadelphia Arena

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    Re: From The Phillyboxing Site

    Philly Boxing History

    APRIL 11, 1966






    JUDGES HELP PERCY PAST RODRIGUEZ

    On this day in 1966, South Philly's Percy Manning somehow won a ten round decision over former welterweight champion Luis Rodriguez. The fight was staged at the Arena before 4,018 fans. Rodriguez had the reputation of a real "Philly Killer". Over the course of his long and distinguished career, Luis dampened the dreams of a number of Philadelphia standouts including Charley Scott, Sugar Hart, Candy McFarland, George Benton, and Bennie Briscoe (twice). Rodriguez entered the ring against Manning with a stellar 71-4 record. Manning had been a good young prospect a couple of years prior, but recent KO losses to Dick Turner, Kitten Hayward, and Bennie Briscoe helped to label him as damaged goods with an "iffy" chin. Still his 16-3 record looked pretty good on paper, and his last fight, a decision win over Jose Stable, was nothing to sneeze at. However, anyone who knew these two fighters, truly believed that Rodriguez would steamroll the 23 year old Manning. But it didn't happen.

    Rodriguez pressed the fight and seemed to pile up the points, but his attack was only so successful. He seemed to be lacking his usual prowess and had to settle for single-punch-scoring as the fight wore on. To his credit, Manning did everything he could to survive - he held, he ran, he a threw a few punches. In the third round, Percy even slammed Luis with a few hard shots that backed up the Cuban. But overall, little action unfolded on this evening in Philly. The two danced the night away, and Percy escaped the chin test that most thought he would be ill prepared for.

    After ten rounds, it appeared Luis would add another Philadelphian to his win log. But two of the three judges disagreed. Bob Polis scored the bout 5-2-3 for Manning, while Earl Vann penned Percy the winner with a 6-4 score. Only judge Jim Weston called Rodriguez the winner with his 6-2-2 tally. Officially it was a split-hometown-decision.

    A little more than a year later, the pair would face off again, this time in Caracas, Venezuela. In the second meeting Luis Rodriguez plowed his way through Percy in a single round for the steamrolling everyone expected before. For Rodriguez, things were making sense again.


    OTHER RESULTS ON THIS DATE:
    1940 - Tony Morgano W8 Lew Feldman at the Olympia A.C. in Philadelphia

    1940 - Ellis Phillips KO2 Pat Celli at the Olympia A.C. in Philadelphia
    1946 - Sandy Saddler W8 Johnny Wolgast at Atlantic City
    1946 - Santa Bucca W8 Doug Ratford at Atlantic City
    1947 - Billy Fox TKO7 George Kochan at St. Nicholas Arena in New York
    1960 - Isaac Logart W10 Candy McFarland at St. Nicholas Arena in New York
    1966 - Herbie Lee W6 Mario Saurennann at the Philadelphia Arena
    1966 - Roger Russell KO1 Gene Welborn at the Philadelphia Arena
    1967 - Joe Frazier KO5 Jefferson Davis at Miami Beach, FL

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    From The Phillyboxing Site

    Philly Boxing History

    APRIL 12, 1948




    BIVINS FRYS CHICKEN

    On this day in 1948, Jimmy Bivins, the Cleveland Cleaver, knocked out Billy "Chicken" Thompson at the Philadelphia Arena. The newspaper reports of the day described the fight as a brutal one-sided slaughter. The bout ended in round seven when referee Charley Daggert called an end after Thompson went down for the second time in the round and the sixth time overall. Bivins hammered away at his opponent and succeeded at everything he tried. Chicken showed a valiant heart but little else as he failed to land solidly in the entire bout.

    Jimmy Bivins was a superb fighting machine who dreamed of facing Joe Louis for the world heavyweight championship. Although he was named the "Duration Champ" while Louis served in the Army, he didn't face the Brown Bomber until Joe was an ex-champion. Still Louis won the decision. Bivins entered the Hall of Fame in 1999 with a record of 86-25-1 (31 KO).

    Chicken Thompson died of ring injuries after his next bout (vs. Johnny Haynes), later that same year. He was just 21.



    FIGHT RESULTS ON THIS DATE:
    1924 - Jimmy Sacco W10 Nate Goldman at the Armory A.C. in Philadelphia

    1926 - Johnny Jadick W6 Young Joe Souza at Philadelphia
    1927 - Ace Hudkins W10 Lew Tendler at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles
    1935 - Benny Bass W10 Mike Marshall at the Cambria A.C. in Philadelphia
    1951 - Carmen Basilio W10 Eddie Giosa at the Syracuse State Fair Coliseum
    1951 - Joey Giardello W8 Roy Wouters at the Met in Philadelphia
    1956 - Jimmy Soo W8 Ray Portilla at the Cambria A.C. in Philadelphia

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    Re: From The Phillyboxing Site

    Philly Boxing History

    APRIL 13, 1959




    ORTIZ TOPS MATTHEWS

    On this day in 1959, Carlos Ortiz scored a thrilling TKO over Len Matthews at 2:21 of the sixth round of their scheduled 10-rounder. The lightweight bout played out before 6,881 spectators at the Arena.

    Going into the fight with a 16-1-1 (13 KO) record, the young Matthews had captured the imagination of the boxing community with his fast hands and heavy punching style. Even though Ortiz had an edge in experience (28-2 /10 KO), Matthews was the betting favorite.

    Ortiz jumped out to an early lead in the first two rounds. He landed several quick shots, while Len focused on the body. In the third, Carlos appeared to tire, giving Matthews an opportunity to surge. Len evened the scorecard in rounds three and four with his fast, hard shots and cut even the New Yorker over the eye. But it was a give and take battle. Matthews' face began to swell a bit and blood trickled from his mouth. In the fifth, Ortiz kept busy and flashed his quick jab throughout the session. The next round proved to be the end, as Ortiz suddenly hurt Matthews along the ropes and went in for the kill. Len fought back but a pair of crushing left hooks by Ortiz had Matthews helpless. Referee Pete Pantaleo jumped in to stop it. The fast-paced scuffle was over but it was forged in the memories of all those lucky enough to have watched. The writers of the day called the classic bout "brutal" and "savage".
    In his next outing, Ortiz won the vacant jr. welterweight title with a second round TKO of Kenny Lane. His career featured much more title play in both the jr. welter and lightweight divisions. He ended with a 61-7-1 (30 KO) record and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991. Ortiz often cited this fight with Matthews as his toughest ever.

    Matthews continued to thrill fans for another five years in the ring. Although he was one of the best young prospects and the ultimate crowd-pleaser, he never did vie for the championship even though he fought his way to the number one contender spot after his bout with Ortiz. He ended his career in 1964 with a record of 42-10-3 with 29 KOs.


    FIGHT RESULTS ON THIS DATE:
    1960 - Garnet "Sugar" Hart TKO5 Rocky Kalingo at Chicago Stadium

    1976 - Jeff Chandler W4 Chico Vivas at the Blue Horizon in Philadelphia (Jeff's 2nd pro bout)
    DEATHS:
    1988 - Willie Reddish
    Last edited by kikibalt; 04-13-2007 at 08:11 AM.

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    Re: From The Phillyboxing Site

    Philly Boxing History

    April 16, 1951




    GIL TURNER UPSETS JACK IN 1951 FIGHT OF THE YEAR

    By Lanse McCurley (Phila. Daily News)

    The harder fists of youth won another battle of the generations as what the long ring wars have of left Beau Jack faded before the stronger attack of young Gil Turner before more than 6,000 people at the Arena last night. But it wasn't all youth which won, there was planning in the way the youngster tore into the veteran of the whirlwind style instead of waiting for the fury to come to him. Referee Charley Daggert and Judges Frank Knaresboro and Zack Clayton were unanimous in giving the decision to Turner. A crowd of 6,094 spectators paid $18,884.35 to see the duel. They got a bargain.

    Turner swept into attack with confidence instead of the fear many experts had predicted would be his,


    carried the pace for almost the entire battle, and as early as the the first round, and later, in the second, fifth and sixth rounds, clearly had his famous rival on queer street.

    But he could never pin the bobbing, weaving Jack hard enough to drop him, and even as late as the seventh, Beau fought back to his best round of the night, his only one. But his old fury showed only in the early stages of the fight. Later, his legs would no longer carry him in and out with the speed needed to make his style effective.

    In the seventh, the fading warrior hit Turner with a right that carried his last bit of strength, and Gil merely shrugged it off, although the pain made him grimace and he had nothing nothing but admiration for his senior rival after the bout. The battle was magnificent.
    Last edited by kikibalt; 04-16-2007 at 08:33 AM.

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    From The Phillyboxing Site

    Philly Boxing History

    APRIL 20, 1960




    CLOSE CALL
    Joey Frustrated In Middleweight Title Bid

    Joey Giardello finally got his long awaited crack at the title on this day in 1960. But the long wait and the long trip out to Bozeman, Montana proved to be a big frustration for the South Philly contender.

    Going in to the fight, champion Fullmer was the 12-5 betting favorite and was expected by some to even score a stoppage over Giardello. But Joey made the trip with every intention of bringing the belt back to the east coast with him. Although he failed to do that, Giardello came about as close as he possibly could in his first-ever 15 round encounter.

    By all accounts of the nationally televised contest, the fight was rough and tough, filled with head butts, mauling, wrestling, and even some punching.

    Joey jumped out to a pretty good start, winning several of the early rounds. But Fullmer was never that far behind. The fourth round was particularly nasty as both fighters landed seemingly intentional head butts. In the middle rounds, Giardello coasted a bit, perhaps saving


    himself for the never-never-land of the coming championship rounds. In that final third of the bout, a refreshed Joey started quickly and began piling up the points. However, Fullmer staged a late surge to take the final few rounds.

    The official scorecard was deadlocked. Referee Harry Kessler had it 144-142 for Joey. Judge Jay Evans scored the bout 145-142 for Fullmer. Finally, judge Billy McFarland called it a 145-145 draw. The decision was disputed by many, but just as many felt that Fullmer pulled the draw out with his final rush. With the split decision tie, Fullmer retained his NBA middleweight crown and assured Joey, who proved himself to be a little too tough for his own good, another long wait for a second championship chance.

    Giardello fought 16 more times over the next three years before finally being granted another title fight. On December 7, 1963, Giardello took the crown from Dick Tiger in Atlantic City.


    BIRTHDAYS:
    1923 - Billy Fox

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    Gypsy Joe Harris


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    Re: From The Phillyboxing Site


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    From The Phillyboxing Site

    Philly Boxing History

    APRIL 24, 1961






    JOHNSON KOs CLAY IN 2 TO DEFEND TITLE

    On this day in 1961, Harold Johnson disposed of an overmatched Von Clay in his first defense of the National Boxing Association (NBA) light-heavyweight title. Johnson beat Clay in convincing fashion, sending him to the canvas four times in a span of less than two rounds at The Arena. Johnson, who weighed 174, put Clay, a fellow Philadelphian, to the canvas once in the first round and three more times in the second, forcing an automatic stoppage.

    Johnson came into the ring with a 63-7 record and 16 years of ring experience. Clay, 175, had a 13-3-2 record in four years of fighting. The disparity in experience was evident from the start, as Johnson found a home for sneaky rights to Clay's noggin over and over. The time of the stoppage was 2:25 of round number two.

    Johnson chose the familiar turf of The Arena as the venue for the first defense of the title he won in Miami Beach two months prior with a 9-round TKO over Jesse Bowdry.

    Mike Dunn


    OTHER RESULTS ON THIS DATE:
    1939 - Willie Reddish KO8 Gus Dorazio at the Philadelphia Arena

    1961 - Stanley "Kitten" Hayward W6 Gaylord Barnes at the Philadelphia Arena
    1961 - Johnny Alford KO1 Johnny Clyde at the Philadelphia Arena

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    From The Phillyboxing Site




    Johnny Kilbane

    New York City

    1923

    Philadelphia Jack O'Brien's Gym Roof



    Pictured :

    1. Philadelphia Jack O'Brien

    2. Jimmy Dime (Kilbane's Manager)

    3. Tommy Kilbane

    4. Johnny Kilbane

    5.?

    6. ? Eugene Criqui?

    7. Joey Sanders

    8. ?

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    Re: From The Phillyboxing Site

    Philly Boxing History

    April 26, 1949




    JOHNSON NEAR KO BY MOORE

    By Matt Ring (The Bulletin - 1949)

    The light-heavyweight class has known far better boxers than Archie Moore in the last 20 years, but few who could have surpassed the exhibition of power punching with which the 32-year-old veteran from Toledo, O., trounced the previously undefeated Harold Johnson, of Manayunk, at Convention Hall last night.

    That Moore failed to score a


    knockout was not so much due to lack of accuracy or potency of his punching as it was to the stamina and gameness of his 21-year-old opponent.

    Even so, Johnson barley managed to last the ten-round limit. He was knocked down twice in the seventh round and was out on his feet through most of the tenth.

    To some of the 6,018 spectators, who paid $15,106.60, it looked as if Moore "let up" on Johnson in the closing minute. He was still swinging haymakers, however, up to the final bell, though missing many of them because Johnson's wobbly head refused to stay in place for him.

    Moore's victory qualified him for the final of the National Boxing Association's four-man elimination tournament to establish an American light-heavyweight champion. He earned the right to meet the winner of a bout in Cincinnati May 23 between Joey Maxim and former world champion Gus Lesnevich for the national title.


    FIGHT RESULTS ON THIS DATE:
    1926 - Matt Adgie D10 Jack Ketchell at the Philadelphia Arena

    1935 - Eddie Cool W10 Georgie Gibbs at Philadelphia

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    Re: From The Phillyboxing Site

    Philly Boxing History

    April 30, 1976




    OVERWEIGHT ALI WINS CONTROVERSIAL DECISION OVER JIMMY YOUNG

    It was on this date in 1976 that slick Philadelphia stylist Jimmy Young nearly wrested the heavyweight crown from the head of Muhammad Ali. Young, with a 17-4-2 record, came into the ring at the Capitol Centre in Landover, MD, as a heavy underdog. He also came into the ring with a reputation for frustrating opponents and he definitely lived up to that.

    Ali, overweight and overconfident, was often befuddled and out-punched by Young through 15 rounds. The fight wasn't fast with action but was pregnant with drama as many thought Young was building a lead on points with his
    cautious but effective style.

    Young, 209, hurt his own cause in the eyes of the referee and the judges when he leaned out of the ring ropes on numerous occasions to avoid Ali's rushes. While Young seemed to


    frequently beat the aging Ali to the punch, he never really opened up and went after the champ. The 6-foot-2 Young used his jab to keep Ali from dominating and controlling the tempo with his own jab. When Ali came forward, Young used his counter punching skills to frustrate the champion.

    But the old adage about taking the belt away from the champ applied here. Young may have out-punched the champ but he didn't outfight him in the eyes of those who tallied the scorecards. Young's cautious, defense-first approach and his penchant for placing his head and upper torso outside of the ring ropes while Ali was pressing the action cost the challenger dearly.

    At the end of the fight, many in the crowd of 12,472 spectators believed the championship was going to change hands. It wasn't to be, however. When the crowd heard a clear unanimous decision for Ali, the ring was cascaded with boos. Ref Tom Kelly voted 72-65 in Ali's favor while judges Larry Barrett and Terry Moore voted 70-68 and 71-64, respectively. Barrett's scorecard was the only one that seemed to reflect the closeness of the action in the ring.

    Ali weighed 230 pounds, the heaviest of his career. It indicated that he did not take the slippery Young seriously enough and very nearly paid the price of his title. Ali improved to 51-2 overall. by Mike Dunn

    FIGHT RESULTS ON THIS DATE:
    1934 - Tony Falco W10 Pete Nebo at Convention Hall in Philadelphia

    1934 - Harry Serody W10 Lew Feldman at Convention Hall in Philadelphia
    1943 - Bob Montgomery W10 Gene Johnson at the Armory in Scranton, PA
    BIRTHDAYS:
    1952 - Eddie Mustafa Muhammad

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    From The Phillyboxing Site

    Philly Boxing History

    MAY 1, 1964




    HAYWARD OUT GUNS COKES

    On this day in 1964, colorful Kitten Hayward stopped Curtis Cokes of Dallas, TX with three knockdowns in the fourth round of the nationally televised bout. The give-and-take sock-fest is generally regarded as the greatest fight ever staged at the legendary Blue Horizon.

    Both men were rising stars in the welterweight division, with Cokes a step or two ahead of Hayward in the ratings. Emile Griffith was eyeing Curtis as a potential challenger for his title, so long-time Griffith manager-trainer, Gil Clancy worked the Texan's corner just to get a close look at him. What Clancy got was an eye-full of a fierce 24 year old Philly fighting machine named Stanley Hayward.

    The bout itself was electric. Both welters started quickly, with Cokes, 26, taking an early lead with his stiff and straight shots as


    Hayward pressed forward. In the second round, an explosive left hook sent Hayward down. But on this night, the Kitten would not be denied. Hayward rose and began to wage war.

    In the third round, Kitten walked through everything Cokes had, only to land his own bombs to the head and body. He was dancing in the danger zone that had put him down just a round before, but this was the edge that Hayward lived best on in the ring. He was a rough and tumble brawler in his prime years, and the roar of the smallish Blue Horizon crowd and thoughts of all those watching on TV that night pushed Kitten to perform. Above all else, Kitten Hayward was a crowd pleaser. He was an entertainer who could fight.

    However, Cokes was no shrinking violet, and as always, it takes two to make a classic battle. Cokes fired back, trading with Hayward through the third and into the fourth. They matched smacks until a hard right wobbled Cokes and sent him to the ropes. Kitten blasted away, and Cokes dropped hard after a windmill of punches landed. The tough Texan was up at the eight-count and Kitten moved in for the kill. Hayward wailed away, but Cokes wouldn't go down. Perhaps in frustration, Hayward pushed Cokes near the ropes and the groggy visitor went to the mat. Referee Zack Clayton called it knockdown number two. Cokes jumped to his feet. Hayward turned tiger and stormed toward his weakened foe for the finish. Hard shots hailed down on Cokes and he started to sag on the ropes. A Hayward right did the deed, and as a bonus left hook just missed, Cokes dropped to the canvas. Zack Clayton waved the fight over on this third knockdown of Cokes, declaring Hayward the winner and new star of the welters.

    With recent wins over local prospects Percy Manning and Dick Turner, and now this huge victory over a bona fide contender, Stanley "Kitten" Hayward sure looked like the real thing. But his shot at the title didn't come, and he followed up this win with a year of inactivity. Still when Hayward clocked back in the following year, he ran off Philadelphia wins over Vince Shomo, Tito Marshall and another rising welterweight star named Bennie Briscoe. After this impressive string, he again waited for an opportunity to fight for the championship - which by then was held by a certain Texan named Curtis Cokes. The rematch was a natural and seemed to be in the works. However, after ten months off., Hayward signed to fight Gypsy Joe Harris, then a 14-0 Philly Phenom. It was the wrong match at the wrong time and Kitten blew his title chances.

    Hayward would rise again however a couple of years later, and eventually get his title shot. In the end, the Kitten posted a 32-12-4 (18 KO) record.


    FIGHT RESULTS ON THIS DATE:
    1964 - Phil Allen W6 Cash White at Philadelphia's Blue Horizon

    1964 - Mike DeFeo W6 Young Joe Walcott at Philadelphia's Blue Horizon
    1964 - Charley Sgrillo W6 Leon Stowers at Philadelphia's Blue Horizon
    1964 - Johnny Gilmore D6 Jerome Sharpe at Philadelphia's Blue Horizon
    BIRTHDAYS:
    1887 - Promoter Herman Taylor
    1954 - Mike Everett

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    From The Phillyboxing Site

    Philly Boxing History

    MAY 2, 1949




    GIOSA TOO SMART FOR LEW JENKINS



    By Lanse McCurley - Philadelphia Daily News Sports Editor

    Lew Jenkins couldn't get started until it was too late last night so he lost the wind-up at the Arena to an Eddie Giosa who fought a heady and beautiful fight under the guidance of Dan Florio, Joe Walcott's former trainer. Lew started strong in the first round but then decided to wait for a sneak punch and while he waited


    Giosa kept closing in with left hooks that swept him off balance and never permitted him to get set for the lethal punch he packs in both gloves.
    In the ninth and tenth, with time growing short, Jenkins tried to open Eddie's guard and throw the Giosa defense off, but it was too late and when that wicked right that has chilled so many did come across in these two heats, and landed squarely too, the pace had robbed it of its earlier power, and Eddie shook, but never fell.

    Giosa simply outmaneuvered his man, dictated the fight, bossed it, and the boss always looks good. By taking the play, and holding it for so long, he won. But there never was a moment Jenkins wasn't dangerous and never did he appear in better shape.

    Judge Laskey voted 5 for Giosa, 4 for Jenkins, and 1 even. Judge Costella voted 7 for Giosa, 3 for Jenkins. Referee Daggert's slip read 4 for Giosa, 5 for Jenkins, and 1 even.

    In the other fights Jimmy Collins and Lou Joyce fought a draw; Frank Sodano won from Bill Bossio; Joe Giardello beat Emerson Charles, and Willie Davis decisioned Charlie Dodson.


    FIGHT RESULTS ON THIS DATE:
    1927 - Benny Bass W10 Chick Suggs at Philadelphia

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    MAY 3, 1971




    CYCLONE HALTS THE KITTEN - STREAKS TO 19 STRAIGHT

    On this day in 1971, streaking middleweight prospect Eugene "Cyclone" Hart took on Stanley "Kitten" Hayward, the biggest name in his then-blossoming career and came away with a giant victory. It didn't take long for heavy-handed Hart to find his mark. After about 20 seconds, he blasted Hayward with the first of his devastating Philly left hooks, and for all intents and purposes, the match was over. Kitten went down hard, got up, struggled to stay in there, but was swarmed by the young wrecking machine from North Philadelphia.


    Referee Zack Clayton had no choice but to stop it. The time was one minute of the first round. With the win, Hart ran his winning streak and KO streak to 19, and burst onto the middleweight scene. Hayward appeared to be at the end of a long road, with this his worst-ever showing. But Kitten would fight on for six more years - with plenty of off time spread throughout that stretch. His final slate would read 32-12-4 with 18 KOs.
    Cyclone Hart's KO streak would be snapped in his very next fight after being extended to the 10-round limit against Don Fullmer. His unbeaten string would run for four more fights until a KO loss to Nate Collins would end it. Cyclone would end his career with a 30-9-1 record with 1 NC and 28 KOs.


    FIGHT RESULTS ON THIS DATE:
    1971 - Bennie Briscoe KO5 Carlos Marks at the Philadelphia Arena

    1971 - Augie Pantellas KO2 Durango Kid at the Philadelphia Arena

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    May 6, 1955




    ORANGE EATEN BY JOHNSON IS TESTED FOR DRUGS

    On this day in 1955, Manayunk's Harold Johnson lost in controversial fashion in his main event bout at the Arena with Julio Mederos. Johnson had beaten Mederos in a previous match by ten round decision. But this bout was very different. Even before the fight started, as the ring introductions were being made, Harold complained of a headache and of not feeling well. As the fight started, Johnson boxed with his usual finesse, but he was clearly slower and less effective. As the action heated


    up, Johnson was whacked with a few good shots, but he fought back. When the bell ending the first round sounded, Johnson turned to his corner but then began to stagger as he walked. He even shook his head in an attempt to clear the fog he was feeling. As he sat on his stool, both his corner men and the ringside doctor swarmed him. Under harsh questioning, Johnson maintained that he was fine and the bout continued.

    In the second, Johnson seemed to be making a good comeback. He boxed and landed punches on his Cuban foe. The two clinched, and as they came out of it, Johnson fell to one knee - without being hit by a punch. The ref, Dave Beloff, called it a slip and Johnson got up and finished the round without another incident. However, once again, as he turned to go back to his corner, he staggered. This time however, ringside doctor Alfred Ayala, Jr. jumped into Johnson's corner and insisted that the bout be stopped. Mederos was declared the winner by second round TKO. Johnson was taken to Hahnemann Hospital for testing and thankfully he was fine.

    Many in the small Arena crowd of about 500 as well as those watching on national TV were thinking that perhaps the fix was in. The commission had similar concerns, but was also worried that Johnson appeared to have been drugged. A full investigation followed. Johnson explained that his poor performance may have been caused by an orange that he ate which had been given to him by a stranger prior to the fight.

    The story goes like this - earlier in the day, just after the official weigh in at the commissioner's office, Johnson stepped away from his trainer, Skinny Davidson, and encountered a mysterious stranger who was eating an orange. The man struck up a conversation with Harold and then offered him an orange from a brown paper bag he was holding. He said, "Take it; they're good for you." The always gracious Johnson accepted the fruit and put it in his pocket, where it remained throughout the rest of the day. Later, when Johnson prepared to leave for the Arena, he grabbed the orange and brought it along. Shortly before the fight, while still in his dressing room, Johnson ate the orange for a little energy boost. What he got was the exact opposite.

    In the end, the Johnson camp had no other explanation for what had happened. The commission even retrieved a piece of orange peel from the dressing room and gave it a full battery of tests. The investigation, the tests, and the story about the mysterious "swarthy" stranger, all proved inconclusive. So the official decision (TKO 2) stood and no one was charged with any wrong-doing - even though controversy still swirled. Because of the whole fiasco (and especially because the incident played out on national television), PA Governor George Leader slapped on a 90-day boxing ban and the Philly prize rings went silent. Things revved back up by the fall, but no further clarity about the Mederos-Johnson fight ever came. So the legend of the tainted orange lives on.


    BIRTHDAYS ON THIS DATE:
    1934 - Jimmy Beecham

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