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Making a tribute thread to one of Europes best.
(July 22, 1916 – October 27, 1949)
Marcel Cerdan was born in Sidi Bel-Abbes, Algeria. He would have a life that was marked by his sporting achievements, social lifestyle, and ultimately, his own, personal tragedy.
Cerdan began boxing professionally on November 4, 1934 in Meknes, Morocco, by beating Marcel Bucchianeri by a decision in six. He ran a streak of 47 wins in a row between that first bout and January 4 of 1939, when he lost for the first time, to Harry Cresner by a disqualification in five rounds at London. Among the fighters he beat during that streak were Al Baker, and Aisa Attaf, beaten twice by knockout. Cerdan campaigned heavily in Morocco and Algeria during that part of his career, and began to campaign also at his parent's home country of France. In 1938, in what could perhaps be considered a territorial oddity, he beat Omar Kouidri by a decision in 12 at Casablanca to claim the French welterweight title.
After his first loss, Cerdan put up a string of 5 wins that led him to challenge Saviello Turiello for Europe's welterweight title in Milan, Italy. He won the European title by a decision in 15 to continue his ascent towards the championship (back then, it was considered essential to own at least, a continental title belt to earn a world title shot, nowadays, even though having a continental belt does help get a world title try, having a continental belt isn't considered as important as before).
That winning streak eventually grew to reach 23 wins in a row, but then, he suffered a defeat to Victor Buttin by a disqualification in eight in Algiers.
For his next bout he put the title on the line against a boxer who is the namesake of a Hollywood star: (boxer) Jose Ferrer. He knocked out Ferrer in one round, and won four more bouts in a row before facing another guy with a namesake: James Toney, who shared that name with another boxer who would become world Middleweight champion five decades later. Cerdan knocked out this James Toney in two rounds to keep this new win streak alive. The new streak would reach 37 wins before being stopped. In between, he joined the American allies in World War II during 1944 and he won the inter-allied championship. He also went up in weight to the Middleweight division, and won the French title by beating Assane Douf by a knockout in three. He later claimed the European title by beating Leon Foquet by a knockout in one for the vacant title. He retained that title a couple of times before losing it to Cyrille Delannoit by a decision in 15 at Brussels, Belgium. Soon, he went back to Belgium and re-took the title by beating Delannoit, also by decision.
Finally, after the rematch with Delannoit, Cerdan was given a world title opportunity and he travelled to the United States, where he beat world Middleweight champion Tony Zale. Cerdan became a world champion by knocking Zale out in the 12th round at New Jersey on September 21 of 1948.
For his first defense, Cerdan returned to the States, where he fought Jake LaMotta in Detroit. Cerdan was knocked down in round one and his shoulder was dislocated, having to surrender after the tenth round. It would sadly be the last fight of Cerdan's life: A contract was signed for a rematch and Cerdan went to training camp for it, but while flying to the United States to fight the rematch, Cerdan's Air France flight, flown on a SuperConstellation, went down in the Azores and everybody in it died including the famous violinist Ginette Neveu (1919-1949). Days later, LaMotta expressed words of condolences, praising Cerdan as a human being.
Their fight was one of a handful of fights depicted on LaMotta's biographical movie Raging Bull in 1980.
In 1983, Cerdan and Piaf had their own lives turned into a big screen biography. The movie, titled Edith and Marcel starred Marcel Cerdan Jr. in the role of his father.
Cerdan's record was 106 wins and 4 losses, with 61 wins by knockout.
He is a member, along with LaMotta and Zale, of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame.
Following his death on October 27, 1949, Marcel Cerdan was interred in the Cimetière du Sud, Perpignan, Languedoc-Roussillon, France.
.Rated Number 23 by Bert Sugar in Bert's 100 greastest fighters book.
.Rated Numbe 77 by The Ring Magazine in their 80 greatest fighters of the 80 years.
Marcel Cerdans Style/Career
Cerdan was a heavy handed boxer/puncher, whose strength, work rate, power and chin made him one of the greats of the 40's. His first 75 fights were at welterweight where he won the European title and lost only twice and both were disqualification defeats. After World War 2, he moved up to middlweight and went 33-2 with one of those losses coming on a disputed decision, which he late reversed, and the other a 10 round stoppage to Jake Lamotta in 49 after Cerdan dislocated his shoulder in thefirst round. Elite middlweights he beat were Georgie Abrams, and Holman Williams, before finnaly getting at world title shot at Tony Zale in his 107th fight. He over powered Zale in 12 rounds giving him a serve beating.
.When Cerdan held the European title it had much much more worth than it does now, and was conisdered a much more pestgious title.
.His first 94 fights were fought in Europe and Africa, and could of been past his best when he finnaly fought in the U.S.A.
.Was schuelded to battle Lamotta in a rematch before he died.
Held Wins Over
.Was involded in 1948 Ring Fight Of The Year With Tony Zale.
.France welterweight title
.France middleweight title
.EBU (European) welterweight title
.EBU (European) middleweight title
.National Boxing Association World middleweight title ~
World Middleweight Title
Global ID 9033
birth date 1916-07-22
death date 1949-10-27
alias Casablanca Clouter
residence Paris, Paris, France
birth place Sidi Bel-Abbes, Algeria
birth name Marcellin Cerdan
height 5′ 8″ / 173cm
won 111 (KO 65) + lost 4 (KO 1) + drawn 0 = 115
rounds boxed 756 : KO% 56.52
Last edited by .SOUTHPAW16BF; 07-08-2009 at 03:51 PM.