Boxing History - 1950's

The 1950's


Feb 8 - Jersey Joe Walcott KOs Harold Johnson, three rounds, Philadelphia. In 1936, Walcott had KO's Phil Johnson, Harold's father, also in three rounds, same city.

Sept 4 - Dave Sands, already Australian middleweight and light heavyweight champion, defeats Alf Gallagher, 15 rounds, Sydney, to win Australian heavyweight title.

Sept 8 - Sandy Sandler regains featherweight title when Willie Pep is unable to answer bell for round eight due to a dislocated shoulder, Bronx.

Sept 13 - Jake LaMotta, far behind, KOs Laurent Dauthuille with just 13 seconds remaining in the 15th round, Detroit, to retain middleweight title.

Sept 27 - Ezzard Charles gains recognition as undisputed heavyweight champion by defeating a comebacking Joe Louis, 15 rounds, New York.

Nov 13 - Rocky Marciano defeats Ted Lowry, 10 rounds, Providence. Lowry also lasted 10 rounds against Marciano in October 1949, giving him the distinction of being the only fighter to do so twice.


Feb 14 - Ray Robinson stops Jake LaMotta, who absorbs a terrible beating but somehow manages to stay on his feet in round 13, to win the middleweight title, Chicago. The last of their six meetings.

March 7 - Ezzard Charles defeats Jersey Joe Walcott, 15 rounds, Detroit, to retain heavyweight title.

June 16 - Future four division champion Roberto Duran is born in Guarare, Panama.

July 10 - Randy Turpin upsets Ray Robinson over 15 rounds, London, to win middleweight title; Robinson's second loss in 133 fights.

July 18 - Jersey Joe Walcott, in fifth try at a heavyweight title, KOs Ezzard Charles, seven rounds, Pittsburgh, to win title. He becomes the oldest to win the title at age 37.

Sept 12 - Ray Robinson Stops Randy Turpin, 10 rounds, new York, to regain middleweight title.

Sept 26 - Sandy Saddler retains featherweight title when Willie Pep is unable to come out for 10th rounds, New York, The bout is marred by fouling, including a couple of falls, afterward New York State Athletic Commission suspends both fighters.

Oct 3 - Dave Sands, out on his feet in the final round, survives to defeat Bobo Olson, 10 rounds, Chicago.

Oct 26 - Rocky Marciano KOs Joe Louis, eight rounds, New York. Joe retires after the bout, this time permanently.


March 13 - Ray Robinson defeats Bobo Olson, 15 rounds, san Francisco, to retain middleweight title.

April 16 - Ray Robinson KOs Rocky Graziano, three rounds, Chicago, to retain middleweight title.

June 25 - Joey Maxim retains light heavyweight title when middleweight champion Ray Robinson collapses from heat exhaustion and dehydration and is unable to come out for round 14, New York. The defeat will be the only time in the 26 year career of Robinson that he is unable to finish a fight.

Aug 11 - Dave Sands, 26, British Empire middleweight champion and Australian middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight champion, dies when his land rover goes into a ditch new Newcastle, Australia.

Sept 17 - Rocky Graziano ends career, losing to Chuck Davey, 10 rounds, Chicago.

Sept 23 - Rocky Marciano, down in the first and cut over both eyes and on scalp, KOs Jersey Joe Walcott with a  single right to the jaw, 13 rounds, Philadelphia, to win heavyweight title.

Dec 17 - Archie Moore defeats Joey Maxim, 15 rounds, St. Louis, to win light heavyweight title.

Dec 18 - Middleweight champion Ray Robinson, 31 , announces retirement from boxing. 

Dec 31 - Danny Nardico does the unthinkable, he floors Jake LaMotta in the seventh round of their bout, first time in 103 fights that LaMotta has been down. Nardico wins when LaMotta is unable to answer bell for round eight, Coral Gables, Fla.


Jan 12 - Carmen Basilio defeats Ike Williams, 10 rounds, Syracuse.

Feb 11 - Kid Gavilan KOs Chuck Davey, 10 rounds, Chicago, to retain welterweight title.

March 3 - Former heavyweight champion James J. Jeffries, 77, dies in Burbank, Calif.

April 17 - Tim Sharkey, last surviving heavyweight contender from 1890s, dies at age 79, San Francisco.

May 15 - Rocky Marciano KOs Jersey Joe Walcott, one round, Chicago, to retain heavyweight title.

July 11 - Future heavyweight champion Leon Spinks born, St Louis.

Sept 18 - Kid Gavilan, floored in the second, rallies for a split 15 round decision over Carmen Basilio, Syracuse to retain welterweight title.

Oct 21 - Bobo Olson defeats Randy Turpin, 15 rounds, to win vacant middleweight title, New York.


Feb 7 - Former lightweight champion Battling Nelson, 71 , dies in Chicago.

Feb 26 - Lulu Perez KOs Willie Pep, two rounds, New York. Rumors persist afterward of a possible fix, but nothing is proven.

April 2 - Bobo Olson defeats welterweight champion Kid Gavilan, 15 rounds, Chicago to retain middleweight title.

April 14 - Jake LaMotta ends career with a 10 round decision loss to Billy Kilgore, Miami beach.

May 2 - In a bout fight in the aftermath of a typhoon, Jimmy Carruthers defeats Chamren Songkitrat, 12 rounds, Bangkok, to retain bantamweight title. Both boxers fight with their bare feet to keep from slipping on wet canvas, the bout is stopped twice due to broken glass from exploding ring lights. Two weeks later, Carruthers, just 25, announces retirement from boxing.

May 23 - Future middleweight champion Marvin Hagler is born in Newark, NJ.

June 7 - Ex light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim hands 19 year old Floyd Patterson his first defeat, taking eight round decision, Brooklyn.

Sept 17 - Rocky Marciano, suffering a badly split nose, comes back to KO Ezzard Charles, eight rounds, Bronx, New York, to retain heavyweight title.

Oct 20 - Ex welterweight and middleweight champion Ray Robinson announces return to the ring.

Nov 26 - Pascual Perez defeats Yoshi Shirai, 15 rounds, Tokyo, to win flyweight title.


Jan 19 - Ralph (Tiger) Jones, a loser in his 5 previous bouts, upsets Ray Robinson, 10 rounds, Chicago.

Feb 16 - Bobo Olson defeats Ralph (Tiger) Jones, 10 rounds, Chicago.

April 13 - Bobo Olson defeats Joey Maxim, 10 rounds, San Francisco, Cali.

April 14 - Ex lightweight champion Ad Wolgast, committed to a sanitarium since 1927, dies at age 67, Camarillo, Calif.

May 2 - In the first important bout held in Las Vegas, light heavyweight champion Archie Moore defeats heavyweight Nino Valdes, 15 rounds.

June 10 - Carmen Basilio stops Tony DeMarco, 12 rounds, to win welterweight title, Syracuse.

June 21 - Light heavyweight champion Archie Moore KOs middleweight champion Bobo Olson, three rounds, New York, to retain his title.

Sept 21 - In a classic clash between two great champions, Rocky Marciano gets off teh deck in the second round, the floors light heavyweight champion Archie Moore five times , knocking him out in the ninth round, Bronx. Marcian's' 49th consecutive victory and his last.

Dec 9 - Ray Robinson, a 3-1 underdog, KOs Bobo Olson, two rounds, Chicago, to regain middleweight title he had given up three years before. The win represents the start of Robinson's third reign as champion.


Jan 12 - Sam Langford, considered by boxing historians as the greatest fighter never to win a world championship, dies at age 73, Cambridge, Mass.

April 27 - Heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano, 32 , announces retirement. he leaves the ring with 49-0 record, the only heavyweight champion to retire unbeaten throughout career.

May 17 - Future five time division champion Ray Charles Leonard is born.

July 13 - Future heavyweight champion Michael Spinks is born, St. Louis.

July 25 - Light heavyweight champion Archie Moore KOs heavyweight contender James J. Parker, nine rounds, Toronto.

Sept 30 Ingemar Johannson KOs Franco Cavicchi, 13 rounds, Bologna , Italy, to win European heavyweight title.

Nov 30 - Floyd Patterson KOs Archie Moore, five rounds, Chicago, to win vacant heavyweight title. At 21, Patterson is youngest to win crown, at 42, Moore is oldest to fight for it.


Jan 2 - Gene Fullmer defeats Ray Robinson, 15 rounds, New York, to win middleweight title.

Jan 21 - Featherweight champion sandy Sadler, inactive since suffering an eye injury in an auto accident, announces retirement.

May 1 - Ray Robinson lands "the perfect punch", a left hook to the jaw , to KO Gene Fullmer, five rounds, Chicago, to win the middleweight title for a record 4th time.

Aug 21 - Floyd Patterson defends heavyweight title against Olympic heavyweight champ Pete Rademacher, making pro debut. The challenger wins first round, floors Patterson in the second, but Patterson comes back to KO Rademacher, six rounds, Seattle.

Sept 23 - Welterweight champion Carmine Basilio defeats Ray Robinson, 15 rounds, Bronx, to win middleweight title.


May 25 - Ray Robinson wins middleweight title for unprecedented 5th time by defeating Carmen Basilio on a 15 round split decision, Chicago.

Sept 15 - George Chuvalo KOs James J Parker, one round, Toronto, to win vacant heavyweight title.

Sept 20 - Featherweight champion Hogan (Kid) Bassey KOs Willie Pep, nine rounds, Boston, non-title.

Dec 10 - In the greatess fight of his career, Archie Moore, down three time sin the first round and once in the fifth, come back to floor Yvon Durelles three times before KOing him in 11 rounds, Montreal, to retain light heavyweight title.

Dec 31- Former heavyweight contender Harry Wills, dies, age 69, New York.


Jan 12 - Henry Cooper defeats Brian London, 15 rounds, London, to win British and Empire heavyweight titles.

March 12 - Carlos Ortiz wins vacant junior welter title when Kenny Lane is unable to answer bell for third round, New York.

March 18 - Davey Moore stops Hogan (Kid) Basey, 14 rounds, Los Angeles, to win featherweight title.

April 15 - In a punchers' duel between two hardest punchers in the heavyweight division, Sonny Liston flattens Cleveland Williams, three rounds, Miami beach.

June 26 - Ingemar Johannson floors Floyd Patterson seven times in the third round, stopping him to win the heavyweight title, Bronx, New York.

Aug 28 - Gene Fullmer stops Carmen Basilio, 14 rounds, San Francisco, to win vacant NBA middleweight title.

Sept 26 - Future welterweight champion Benny (Kid) Paret draws over ten rounds with future light heavyweight champion Jose Torres, San Juan.

Nov 21 - Former heavyweight champion Max Baer dies, age 50, Hollywood, Calif.