16th – Today in 1900 Matty Matthews regained the World Welterweight title defeating James (Rube) Ferns in 15 at Detroit. In Baltimore in 1902 Young Corbett knocked out Joe Berstein in the eighth round to retain his World Featherweight title. A year later in 1903 Frankie Neil defeated Johnny Reagan at Los Angeles and in doing so retained the World Bantamweight title. In 1903 the vacant World Welterweight crown was lifted by Honey Mellody who took 15 rounds to defeat Joe Walcott. On this day in 1909 Jack Johnson knocked out Stanley Ketchel in the twelfth round. According to the Associated Press at the time the whole climax of the fight was crowded into just 34 seconds. There had been little action the previous rounds that would suggest an outright winner, however after finding themselves in a corner Johnson broke free and dashed at Ketchel who shrank to meet him and drove his right into Johnson’s lowered head. Johnson ducked, took the blow behind the ear and rolled to the canvas. He slowly got up and rushed his opponent, landing a huge blow to Ketchel’s jaw, following it up with a left into the stomach and a right to Ketchel’s head. Ketchel dropped in a head while Johnson sprawling across his beaten rival’s legs, still dazed Johnson clambered up using the ropes and clung on – thus retaining his heavyweight title. Luck was obviously not a friend of Ketchel as almost a year afterwards on 15th October 1910 he was shot to death by Walter Dipley, who was jealous over how much attention his own girlfriend paid the boxer. Swedish professional boxer Ingemar Johnasson was born on this day in 1932. He held the world heavyweight title from 1959 to 1960, and was the fifth heavyweight champion born outside the United States. Johansson won the title by defeating Floyd Patterson via a third-round stoppage, after flooring him seven times in that round. For this achievement, Johansson was awarded the Hickok Belt as top professional athlete of the year—the only non-American to do so in the belt’s entire 27-year existence—and was named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year and Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. He also held the European heavyweight title twice, from 1956 to 1958 and from 1962 to 1963. As an amateur he won a silver medal in the heavyweight division at the 1952 Summer Olympics. He affectionately named his right fist “toonder and lightning” for its concussive power (it was also called “Ingo’s bingo” and the “Hammer of Thor”), and in 2003 he was ranked at No. 99 on The Ringmagazine’s list of the 100 greatest punchers of all time. He reputedly had recurring bone trouble in his right hand throughout his career as a result. He died on 30 January 2009. Chucho Castillo knocked out Ruben Olivares today in 1970 to win the World Bantamweight Title, when a nasty gash over the left eye spells doom for Olivares. Three world crowns were decided today in 1976 Wilfred Benitez retained his World Super Lightweight title, Samuel Serrano beat Ben Villaflor to win the WBA Super Featherweight title and Alfonso Zamora retained the WBA Bantamweight title. Light Middleweight fighter Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson was born on this day in 1981, as an amateur, Melson won the 48th World Military Boxing Championship gold medal in the 69kg class, and was a three-time United States Army champion, a three-time NCBA All-American boxer, a four-time West Point Brigade Open Boxing Champion, and received the Colonel Marcus Award. He also won gold medals at the All Army Boxing Championships four times and at the Armed Forces Boxing Championships three times. He made it to the quarter-finals in the welterweight 2005 World Amateur Boxing Championships placing 5th in the world, won a bronze medal at the 2005 US Amateur Boxing Championships, a silver medal at the 2006 US Amateur Boxing Championships, and was an Alternate for the 2008 US Olympic Boxing Team. As a professional, he retired with a record of 15–2–1, with 4 of his wins coming by knockout. Melson donates all of the money that he earns in his boxing matches to spinal cord injury research. In 2005, he received the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame “Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.” In 2013, he received the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame “Good Guy” Award. Melson was recently selected to be inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in the 2018 class of inductees. Today in 1982 Eusebio Pedroza retained the WBA Featherweight Title defeating Bernard Taylor in North Carolina. In 1987 Mike Tyson scores a technical KO over Tyrell Biggs to retain his World Heavyweight title. African-American welterweight and middleweight fighter Charley Burley died today in 1992 aged 75. Archie Moore, the light-heavyweight champion who was defeated by Burley in a 1944 middleweight bout, was one of several fighters who called Burley the greatest fighter ever. Burley was the penultimate holder of both the World Coloured Welterweight Championship and the World Coloured Middleweight Championship, the only titles he held. In 1993 Anaclet Wamba knocked out Akim Tafer in Paris to retain the WBC Cruiserweight title. The IBF Flyweight title was retained by Irene Pacheco on this day in 1999. Hungarian southpaw boxer László Papp died today in 2003. He won gold medals in the 1948 Olympics in London, the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, and the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. In his final Olympic competition, he beat José Torres later the professional light-heavyweight world champion, for the gold medal, to become the first boxer in Olympic history to win three successive gold medals. It was a remarkable run of Olympic Boxing supremacy, in that of his 13 Olympic fights, he won 12 of them without losing a round, and dropped only a single round in his last final – to Torres. There would not be another triple gold medallist for 20 years, when Teofilo Stevenson won three, followed by Felix Savon as the latest one of the three men to accomplish the feat.
17th – On this day in 1904 Birmingham born Owen Moran scored a win over George Dixon in London. Moran is recognised by some historians as a world bantamweight champion. Nicknamed, “The Fearless,” Moran utilised an attacking style and strong punch to meet and defeat many of the top fighters of his era. He travelled to American where in 1908 he drew twice with Abe Attell in the featherweight division. He caused a stir when he knocked out former lightweight king Battling Nelson in 11 rounds in 1910. During his career, Moran tangled with such top fighters as Packey McFarland, Harlem Tommy Murphy and Charley White before retiring in 1916 with over 100 fights to his credit and the reputation as one of the finest fighters ever produced in Britain. In 1910 Digger Stanley knocked out Joe Bowker in London to win the vacant British World Bantamweight Title. Jack Britton beat Ted (Kid) Lewis in Boston to retain the World Welterweight title in 1916. On this day in 1929 flyweight Frankie Genaro took 15 rounds to defeat Ernie Jarvis in London to retain the NBA crown. Today in 1938 referee Arthur Donovan took charge when Joey Archibald defeated Mike Belloise in 15 to win the vacant New York World Featherweight title. Ben Villaflor knocked out Kuniaki Shibata in Honolulu today in 1973 for the WBA Super Featherweight crown. On this day in 1997 Ike Quartey retained his WBA Welterweight Title, despite being dropped twice by his opponent Jose Luis Lopez and fading badly down the stretch he seemed to control most of the rounds with his jab. Today in 1999 Yeosam Choi took 12 rounds to dispose of Saman Sorjaturong in Seoul, South Korea to win the WBC Junior Flyweight Title.
18th – On this day in 1915 Tancy Lee was knocked out in the sixteenth round of the World Flyweight title bout by Joe Symonds in London. Today in 1958 American Thomas “Tommy” Hearns was born. He competed from 1977 to 2006 and was nicknamed the “Motor City Cobra”, and more famously “The Hitman”, Hearns’ tall and slender build allowed him to move up over fifty pounds in his career and become the first boxer in history to win world titles in four weight divisions: welterweight light middleweight, middleweight, and light heavyweight. By later winning a super middleweight title, he also became the first to win world titles in five weight divisions. Hearns was named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine in 1980 and 1984; the latter following his one-punch knockout of Roberto Durán. Hearns was known as a devastating puncher throughout his career, even at cruiserweight, despite having climbed up five weight classes. On June 10, 2012, Hearns was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Born on this day 1960 was Richard Sandoval, a retired American professional and former Lineal and WBA Bantamweight Champion. Sandoval was a silver medallist at the 1979 Pan American Games and was a US Olympian during his amateur career. He’s also the younger brother of title contender Alberto Sandoval. Richie Sandoval made his professional boxing debut on 5th November 1980, beating Gerardo Pedroza in Las Vegas, Nevada by a knockout in two rounds. He won his first ten fights by knockout, including two over fringe contender Javier Barajas. For his eleventh fight, Sandoval met Harold Petty, a boxer still fighting professionally at the age of 42 who challenged twice for world titles. On 28th January 1982, he outpointed the undefeated Petty over ten rounds, going on to seven more wins that year, including another ten-round points victory over Petty. Sandoval had five wins in 1983, the year in which his friend Davila won the WBC Bantamweight title by knocking out Kiko Bejines, who died days later. This introduced Sandoval to the darker side of boxing as he saw how hard it was for Davila to recover. After retiring he went touring across the United States with Davila, as each had been through both sides of a tragic boxing bout. They went on television talk-shows and public appearances to explain to the general public how a boxer feels (in Davila’s case) after an opponent has died, and how a boxer can be so close to death in an instant after a fight (in Sandoval’s case), and then having to deal with the fact that he or she will never be able to box again. Sandoval and Davila remain friends. Danish boxer John Gutenko known as Kid Williams died on this day in 1963 aged 69. He held the Bantamweight World Championship during his career and statistical boxing website BoxRec lists him as the #2 ranked bantamweight of all time while The Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer placed him at #3. Williams was inducted into the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame in 1970 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996. Williams got a title shot in 1914 against Johnny Coulon whom he knocked out in three rounds. He fought against many champions but defended just twice, fighting boxers like Pete Herman, Johnny Kilbane and Memphis Pal Moore. Upon losing the title in 1917 to Herman, he fought pugilists like Joe Dundee, Joe Lynch, Francisco Guilledo also known as Pancho Villa, and Frankie Genaro before retiring in 1929. Today in 1974 Susumu Hanagata knocked out Chartchai Chionoi, in Yokohama to win the WBA Flyweight title. In 1980 Shoji Oguma defeated Chan Hee Park in Japan to retain his WBC Flyweight Title. The newly created WBC Strawweight title was won by Hiroki Ioka on this day in 1987. On this day in 1989 Luisito Espinosa knocked out Kaokor Galaxy in Bangkok to claim the WBA Bantamweight title. Today in 1991 Ray Mercer knocked out Tommy Morrison in the fifth round in Atlantic City to defend his WBO heavyweight title. British middleweight Adrian Dodson was banned from boxing for 18 months in 1999 and fined $1,500.00 for biting Canadian opponent Alain Bonnamie on the stomach during a bout in London on October 5th. In 2000 promoter Cedric Kushner was fined $100,000.00 by the New York State Athletic Commission for paying bribes to the IBF. The vacant WBC Featherweight title was won by Jin Chi who beat Michael Brodie in Manchester today in 2003. England. For vacant WBC Featherweight Title. On this day in 2008 Bernard (The Executioner) Hopkins defeated Kelly Pavlik in Atlantic City in a non-title fight.
19th – On this day in 1917 Harry Greb beat Len Rowlands in Milwaukee. Greb won the newspaper decision according to the Milwaukee Free-Press and the Pittsburgh Post. According to the Post, Rowlands put up a “classy” defence against Greb for four rounds, but then tired. However, he fought back as hard as he could. Greb split open Rowlands’ cheek in the 7th round. Today in 1926 Tod Morgan defeated Johnny Dundee in San Francisco to retain the World Super Featherweight crown. American professional Evander Holyfield was born today in 1962. He reigned as the undisputed champion in both the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions, being the first and to date only boxer in history to do so, which earned him the nickname of “The Real Deal”. Holyfield is the only four-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBA, WBC, IBF, and lineal titles from 1990 to 1992; the WBA, IBF, and lineal titles again from 1993 to 1994; the WBA title from 1996 to 1999; the IBF title from 1997 to 1999; and the WBA title for a fourth time from 2000 to 2001.As an amateur, Holyfield represented the United States at the 1984 Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the light division. He turned professional at the age of 21, moving up to cruiserweight in 1985 and won his first world championship the following year, defeating Dwight Muhammad Qawi for the WBA title. Holyfield then went on to defeat Ricky Parkey and Carlos de León to win the WBC, IBF, and lineal titles, thus becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champion. He moved up to heavyweight in 1988, later defeating Buster Douglas in 1990 to claim the undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF, and lineal heavyweight titles. He successfully defended the undisputed heavyweight title three times, scoring victories over former champions George Foreman and Larry Holmes, before suffering his first professional loss to Riddick Bowe in 1992. Holyfield regained the crown in a rematch one year later, defeating Bowe for the WBA and IBF titles (Bowe having relinquished the WBC title beforehand). Holyfield later lost these titles in an upset against Michael Moorer in 1994. Holyfield was forced to retire in 1994 upon medical advice, only to return a year later with a clean bill of health. In 1996 he went on to defeat Mike Tyson and reclaim the WBA title, in what was named by The Ring magazine as the Fight of the Year and Upset of the Year. This made Holyfield the first boxer since Muhammad Ali to win the world heavyweight title three times. Holyfield won a 1997 rematch against Tyson, which saw the latter disqualified in round three for biting Holyfield on his ears. During this reign as champion, he also avenged his loss to Michael Moorer and reclaimed the IBF title. In 1999 he faced Lennox Lewis in a unification fight for the undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF, and lineal titles, which ended in a controversial split draw. Holyfield was defeated in a rematch eight months later. The following year, he defeated John Ruiz for the vacant WBA title, becoming the first boxer in history to win a version of the heavyweight title four times. Holyfield lost a rematch against Ruiz seven months later and faced him for the third time in a draw. Holyfield retired in 2014, and is ranked number 77 on The Ring’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. Boxing Scene also ranked him the greatest cruiserweight of all time. Jorge Luis González was born today in 1964, (although that is a disputed date), a former heavyweight boxing contender and prospect born in Havana, Cuba. He won the gold medal at the 1983 Pan American Games and the 1987 Pan American Games and the former WBO Latino Heavyweight Champion. González compiled an Amateur Record of 220-13. He reached the US and turned professional in Miami in June 1991. His progress as a professional was severely hindered by González’s refusal to co-operate with trainers or training, feeling as a top Cuban amateur there was nothing he could be taught. He went through several different trainers during his first few years as a pro. At 6’7, he towered over his opposition, and the majority of his fights featured the huge Gonzalez crudely clubbing his victims to defeat. Although he was criticised for not fighting anyone of note, at the time he was a genuinely feared contender and top-class opponents were reticent to fight him. In 1997 hot prospect and equally giant Michael Grant blew him away in one round, although in 1999 a new and improved González resurfaced, in-shape and more polished, bombing out Alex Stewart in two rounds and outpointing ex-champ Greg Page over ten. In 1999 González was involved in a heated sparring session with a South Florida based kickboxer Mike Vieira during which González was reportedly knocked out after the training session an enraged González allegedly attacked Vieira which incited a melee that spilled out of the Dania Florida gym authorities responded but no arrests were made. A Mike Tyson fight failed to materialise as Tyson-lookalike Cliff Couser demolished the Cuban in three rounds in 2000. In 2001 González lost to Joe Mesi in four, and his career was effectively dead in 2002 when last minute sub Derek Bryant walked over him in one round. Two years later in 1966 Meldrick Taylor was born in America. He is a two-weight world champion, having held the IBF junior welterweight title from 1988 to 1990, and the WBA welterweight title from 1991 to 1992. As an amateur, Taylor won a gold medal in the featherweight division at the 1984 Olympics. Taylor, one of many boxing champions hailing from the city of Philadelphia, learned his craft in the gyms of his hometown and posted a 99-4 record as an amateur fighter. In 1984, Taylor earned a spot on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team at the age of 17, and claimed the gold medal in the featherweight division. Following his victory, he joined the professional ranks. Today in 1969 Bernabe Villacampo defeated Hiroyuki Ebihara in Osaka to win the WBA Flyweight Title. In 1978 Ruslan Chagaev was born in Uzbekistan, the two-time WBA heavyweight champion, having held the full world title from 2007 to 2009, and the Regular title from 2014 to 2016. To date, Chagaev remains the only Asian boxer in the history of the sport to hold a heavyweight world title by any of the four major sanctioning bodies. In 2007 he defeated then-unbeaten Nikolai Valuev to win the WBA heavyweight title for the first time, and would make two successful defences. Due to injuries and being unable to grant Valuev a rematch in 2009, the WBA stripped Chagaev of the title. He went on to suffer his first professional loss in the same year to unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Chagaev won the WBA (Regular) heavyweight title for a second time by defeating Fres Oquendo in 2014. He made one successful defence, but lost the title to Lucas Browne in 2016. However, after Browne failed a drug test, the WBA reinstated Chagaev as champion, but he was once again stripped of the title in July after failing to pay sanctioning fees. On 28th July 2016 he announced his retirement from boxing due to ongoing eye injuries. As an amateur, Chagaev won gold medals at the 2001 World Championships and 1999 Asian Championships, in the heavyweight and super-heavyweight divisions respectively. Today in 1983 Bruce Curry beat Leroy Haley in Las Vegas to retain the WBC Super Lightweight title. Marvellous Marvin Hagler knocked out Mustafa Hamsho in the third round of the World Middleweight title bout in New York City today in 1984. A year later in 1985 with a finish right out of a Rocky script, Lee Roy Murphy beat Chisanda Mutti with a 12th-round knockout in their cruiserweight title fight in Fontvieille, Monaco. After both fighters simultaneously landed punches and fell together to the canvas in the 12th, Murphy struggled to his feet while Mutti was unable to beat referee Larry Hazzard’s count. In 1991 Charles Williams took only two rounds to knock out Freddie Delgado in Williamsburg and thereby retained his IBF Light Heavyweight crown and on the same day in Manila Israel Contreras knocked out Luisito Espinosa to take the WBA Bantamweight title. In 1998 the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted 4-1 to relicense former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. Tyson’s boxing license had been revoked after he was disqualified for biting Evander Holyfield’s ear on 28th June 1997 in a WBA heavyweight title bout in Las Vegas. On this day in 2002 Jose Antonio Aguirre retained his WBC Strawweight title over Juan Palacios in Mexico. Today in 2007 Lucian Bute knocked out Alejandro Berrioto in Montreal and retained his IBF Super Middleweight Title.
20th – On this day in 1901 George Dixon defeated Abe Attell at Cripple Creek, Colorado. In 1939 Henry Armstrong knocked out Ritchie Fontaine in Seattle and retained his World Welterweight title. Armstrong bounced Fontaine to the canvas seven times before the towel came in from Richie’s corner in two minutes and three seconds of the third. It was Armstrong’s 3rd title defence in 11-days. Today in 1947 Dado Marino was to lose the bout for the vacant NBA Flyweight title to Rinty Monaghan in London. In 1954 in a “dull fight with an even worse decision” Pete Pantaleo refereed the World Welterweight title bout in Philadelphia where Johnny Saxton disposed of Kid Gavilan in the fifeenth. Today in 1955 American welterweight boxing champion Aaron Pryor was born in Cincinnati. He was a two-time light welterweight world champion, having held the WBA title from 1980 to 1983, and the IBF title from 1984 to 1985. Additionally, he held the Ring magazine title from 1980 to 1983, and the lineal title from 1983 to 1986. Pryor was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996, and in 1999 was voted by the Associated Press as the world’s best light welterweight of the 20th century. Pryor died on 9th October 2016, after suffering from heart disease. English boxer who twice won the World Welterweight championship, Ted “Kid” Lewis, born Gershon Mendeloff on 28th October 1893, died on this day in 1970.Lewis is often grouped alongside the all-time greats, with ESPN ranking him 41st on their list of the 50 Greatest Boxers of All-Time and boxing historian Bert Sugar placing him 46th in his Top 100 Fighters catalogue. Statistical boxing website BoxRec ranks Lewis as the 17th best welterweight of all-time and the 7th best UK boxer ever. He is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame. After retiring from boxing he acted as a bodyguard and local election candidate for Oswald Mosley’s New Party. However, Lewis fell out with Mosley when his subsequent political movement, the British Union of Fascists became openly anti-Semitic. Today in 1979 John Tate defeated Gerrie Coetzee by a 15th-round unanimous decision in Pretoria, South Africa, to win the vacant WBA heavyweight title. In 1982 Leroy Haley beat Juan Jose Giminez in Cleveland. to retain the WBC Super Lightweight title. Sung Kil Moon defeated Kenji Matsumura in Seoul, retaining his WBC Super Flyweight title today in 1990. In 2000 Mike Tyson scored a win over Andrew Golota, who quit after just two-rounds of action. Subsequently when Tyson tested positive for marijuana the result was changed to a no-contest. Felix Sturm defeated Randy Griffin today in Germany in 2007 for the WBA Middleweight title and Cristian Mijares knocked out Franck Gorjux to retain the WBC Super Flyweight Title.
21st – On this day in 1902 Jack Johnson knocked out Frank Childs in the 12th in Los Angeles. Today in 1930 (Slapsie) Maxie Rosenbloom defeated Abie Bain in their World Light Heavyweight title bout in New York City. In 1933: Primo Carnera beat Paolino Uzcudun in Rome, retaining his World Heavyweight championship crown. The vacant World Midleweight title was won on this day in 1953 by Bobo Olson who beat Randy Turpin in New York city. Turpin was down in the 9th and 10th. Scoring 9-4-2, 11-4, 8-7. On this day in 1961 Duilio Loi defeated Eddie Perkins in Milan, thus retaining his World Super Lightweight title. Dick Tiger was the victor over Joey Giardello in New York City on this day in 1965 for his efforts he was rewarded with the World Middleweight crown. The following year, 1966, Sandro Lopopolo retained his World Super Lightweight crown after knocking out Vicente Rivas in the eighth round in their bout which took place in Rome. Tokoyo was the venue for the 1972 defeat of Matt Donovan by Koichi Wajima to win the World Super Welterweight title. On this day in 1973 Eder Jofre knocked out Vicente Saldivar in the fourth round of the WBC Featherweight title bout in Brazil. Today in 1979 Sung Jun Kim defeated Rey Melendez in Seoul and retained the WBC Junior Flyweight Title. It took just 2mins 21secs of the third round for the IBF World Light Heavyweight title to be retained by Charles Williams on this day in 1988. Williams would ultimately be IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion for 6 years between 1987-1993. Known as “Prince” Charles he lost his title to Henry Maske in 1993. The following year he moved down to Super Middleweight to take on title holder James Toney but was knocked out in the 12th round. Williams retired in 1996. British boxer Glenn “Gentleman” McCrory retained the IBF Cruiserweight title today in 1989 in the championship bout against South African challenger Siza Makhatini. McCrory retired in 1993 with a record of won 30, lost 8, drawn 1. He now works as a pundit for Sky Sports as well as gaining a professional trainers license and opening his own gym. In 2000 Mexican Strawweight boxer Jose Aguirre retained his WBC title in Mexico City by knocking out Mongolian Erdene Chuluun.
22nd -Born today in 1907 in Sicily Vince Dundee (born Vincent Lazzaro). The Lazzara family emigrated from Sicily to the United States and lived in Baltimore. Following in the footsteps of his older brother, former World Welterweight Champion Joe Dundee, he changed his name to Dundee and became a professional boxer. In 1933, after nearly 11 years in the ring, Dundee defeated Lou Brouillard over 15 rounds to capture the New York State middleweight title of the world. Dundee lost his claim to the crown when he was outpointed by Teddy Yarosz on 11th September 1934. He retired with a record of 118 wins (28 knockouts), 20 losses and 13 draws and not long afterwards survived an accident with a train that hurled his car several hundred feet. He later was stricken with Multiple Sclerosis and died in 1949 at the age of 41 in a Californian hospital of MS. This day in 1917 saw the death at 54 of boxings first three-division champion Bob Fitzsimmons. A British professional boxer, he also achieved fame for beating Gentleman Jim Corbett, (the man who beat John L. Sullivan), and he is in The Guinness Book of World Records as the lightest heavyweight champion. Nicknamed “Ruby Robert” and “The Freckled Wonder”, he took pride in his lack of scars and appeared in the ring wearing heavy woollen underwear to conceal the disparity between his trunk and leg-development. He was also known for his pure fighting skills due to dislike of training for fights, which cost him at times in his career. Considered one of the hardest punchers in boxing history, Fitzsimmons is ranked as No. 8 on Ring Magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. American light heavyweight and world middleweight champion Henry Greb died aged 32 today in 1926. In September 1926 he had his right eye removed and replaced with a glass prosthesis. Having declined a job as Jack Dempsey’s sparring partner in preparation for Dempsey-Tunney I (Greb declaring: “I’d feel like a burglar taking Jack’s money. Nobody can get him in good enough condition to whip Gene”), He checked into an Atlantic City clinic for surgery to repair damage to his nose and respiratory tract caused by his ring career and several car crashes. However, complications occurred and he died of heart failure, never waking up from the aesthetic. Today in 1966 Carlos Ortiz defeated Sugar Ramos by a fifth-round technical knockout in Mexico City to retain his WBA and WBC world lightweight titles. Referee Billy Conn stopped the fight in the fifth, which The Ring named Round of the Year, due to a cut over Ramos’ eye. The decision prompted angry fans to throw debris into the ring, and WBC President Luis Spota declared the title vacant and ordered a rematch. The first Russian professional boxing champion, flyweight Yuri Arbachakov was born today in 1966. He was an amateur boxing star in the Soviet Union, winning both world and European amateur championships during his amateur career, and lost only 21 of 186 amateur fights. Arbachakov emigrated to Japan as part of the perestroika program, along with Orzubek Nazarov. He trained with the Kyoei boxing gym, and fought almost all of his fights in Japan. He made his professional debut in February 1990, under the name “Yuri Chakov”, in the bantamweight division. In 1991, his gym changed his ring name to “Yuri Ebihara,” (after former world champion Hiroyuki Ebihara) and in July of that year, he won the Japanese flyweight title in his seventh professional bout, by 1st-round knockout. He defended the title once before returning it. In June 1992, he challenged Muangchai Kittikasem for the WBC and lineal flyweight titles, and won by 8th-round knockout. He would go on to defend his titles nine times over five years. After winning the world titles, he took out “Ebihara” from his ring name, and began fighting as “Yuri Arbachakov.” He made this change because “Ebi” closely resembles the Russian word for “Fuck.” In August 1996, he made his 9th defence by 8th-round KO, but injured his right hand during the fight. The injury forced him into a long period of inactivity. His 10th defence was scheduled for Novemberm1997, over a year since his last fight. Chatchai Sasakul had become the WBC flyweight interim champion during Arbachakov’s inactivity, and the two had previously fought in September 1995, with Arbachakov emerging victorious by decision. However, Sasakul won the rematch by 12-round decision, and Arbachakov announced his retirement after the fight. His professional record was 23-1-0 (16KOs). Today in 1970 Japanese fighter Masao Ohba became the WBA flyweight champion defeating the reigning champion Berkrerk Chartvanchai in Tokyo. Ohba retained the championship for an impressive five title defences and sadly died in a car accident in January 1973 at the age of just 23, still holding his world title. On this day in 1977 Saensak Muangsurin defeated Saoul Mamby at the Nakhon Ratchasima open0-air stadium in Thailand to retain his WBC Super Lightweight Title. The result was a highly questionable split decision! Puerto Rican Kermit Cintrón was born today in 1979, he held the IBF welterweight title from 2006 to 2008, and challenged once for the WBC super welterweight title in 2011. Sammy Angott, who was born in Salvatore Engotti in Pittsburgh Pennsylvannia on 17th January 1915, died today in 1980 aged 65. He was known as a clever boxer who liked to follow up a clean punch by grabbing his opponent, causing him to be known as “The Clutch.” In his career, Angott met the best fighters in the welterweight and lightweight divisions. He retired with a record of 94 wins (23 KOs), 29 losses and 8 draws. He was knocked out just once in his career, by Beau Jack in 1946. Today in 1983 Eusebio Pedroza beat Jose Caba at St. Vincent in Italy to retain his WBA Featherweight Title. Today in 2004 light heavyweight James Butler, 31, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Sam Kellerman with a hammer and the arson of his home. Sam was the 29-year-old brother of the boxing commentator and television personality Max Kellerman. Bulter was sentenced to 29 years and four months in prison. On this day in 2013 Junior featherweight 26-year-old Francisco “Frankie” Leal, who had suffered an eighth-round knockout loss a few days earlier to Raul Hirales in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, died from a brain injury suffered in the bout. Leal faced Mexican countryman Hirales on the Omar Chavez-Joachim Alcine undercard in a fight televised across Mexico and America. Hirales dominated the fight and knocked Leal down in the sixth round with a clean right hand. Then, in the final moments of the eighth round, Hirales connected with another clean right hand to the head, and Leal went down again. He initially beat the referee’s count but immediately collapsed, and the fight was waved off with 10 seconds left in the round. Leal, nicknamed “Little Soldier,” was immediately surrounded by doctors. He was taken from the ring on a stretcher and slipped into a coma. He was admitted to a hospital in Cabo San Lucas but later was transferred to San Diego, where he died.