Through Ken Hissner: One of the most horrific deaths in a plane crash that shocked the boxing world occurred on October 27, 1949. Former world middleweight champion Marcel Cerdan of France was on his way to America for a rematch with Jake “Bronx Bull” LaMotta when his plane crashed into the Azores mountain. causing his death at the age of 33.
Cerdan had lost his title to LaMotta on June 16, 1949, due to a shoulder injury late in the ninth round. He and LaMotta fell to the canvas in a first-round brawl, and he fought one-armed until he retired to his corner after the tenth round. He finished with a 110-4 record with 65 saves.
In 1981, after meeting IBHOF trainer Cus D’Amato and his boxer Kevin Rooney in Scranton, Pennsylvania, this writer was invited to the Catskills by D’Amato. Arriving in New York, I met manager Jim Jacobs who worked with D’Amato, and we had lunch.
Jacobs, known for his “Greatest Fight Films of the Century,” told me, “Of all the movies I’ve had and watched, the worst decision was for Willie Pastrano to take the light heavyweight title. to world champion Harold Johnson by split decision.”
The weird thing was, however, that Johnson never got a rematch, but D’Amato fighter Jose “Chegui” Torres did and destroyed Pastrano, knocking him down in the sixth, and he didn’t. couldn’t come out for the tenth round.
On that trip to Catskills, D’Amato told me he wouldn’t allow his fighter Floyd Patterson to fight Johnson. He also said the crowd had Pastrano and told him the only way to fight Torres was if he didn’t work around the corner.
It was then that he came up with the system of calling the numbers to the coach to indicate how Torres should play.
This writer told Jacobs about the worst decision I’ve ever seen and in person was in November 1976 when undefeated Philadelphia southpaw Tyrone Everett lost a split decision in a world title fight to Alfredo” WBC light welterweight champion Petro” Escalera of Puerto Rico setting up an indoor match. record with a crowd of 16,019 in attendance at the Philadelphia Spectrum.
This writer scored it 13-2 in rounds for Everett. The Mexican referee had it for Everett while the Puerto Rican judge for Escalera and Philadelphia judge Lou Tress for Escalera. Tress would never judge a fight again. I guess he was paid enough to retire.
Four months later, in March 1977, Escalera defended his title against Ronnie McGarvey, while two months later Everett was shot in May after posting a pair of wins. He was never able to secure a rematch with Escalera.
Another Philadelphia boxer, Joey Giardello, tried to win the NBA middleweight title from champion Gene Fullmer, which ended in a split-decision draw in April 1960 in Bozeman, Montana. Fullmer, known for his brutal tactics, would not give Giardello a rematch.
In December 1962, Fullmer lost his title to Dick Tiger. In a rematch they fought to a draw, and in a third match Tiger stopped Fullmer, ending his career.
In August of that year, Giardello lost to fellow Philadelphia boxer George Benton. Four wins later he took the title from Tiger in December 1963. This writer remembers Benton being ushered into the ring before a fight all the way to Giardello as if he was putting money in his trunks for a rematch that he would never get.
After a pair of non-title wins, Giardello, almost a year to the day after winning the title, defeated Rubin “Hurricane” Carter in December 1964.
Carter had defeated Benton by split decision in May 1963, crushing his chances of a title fight with Giardello. Although Carter lost several fights later to Joey Archer, he picked up three wins and got his title fight with Giardello losing by decision.
In September 2017, WBC, WBA and IBF world middleweight champion Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin was held to a split-decision draw with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Golovkin, in this writer’s opinion, was down 3-2 in rounds when he chased a running Alvarez around the ring for seven rounds in which he should have won a decision. Judge Adalaide Byrd had it 118-110 for Alvarez and was suspended for a month.
While Alvarez was inactive, Golovkin knocked out Vanes Martirosyan eight months later waiting for Alvarez to be ready for their rematch. Four months later, Alvarez won a majority decision in September 2018, a year after their first fight.
Instead of Alvarez giving Golovkin a rematch like he was given, he opted to move up to super middleweight three months later in December, stopping Rocky Fielding for his WBA title.
In May, Alvarez returned to middleweight. Instead of giving Golovkin a rematch in May 2019, he defended himself against Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs, whom Golovkin had defeated before his first fight with Alvarez. How about a rematch with Golovkin instead of one of his victims?
The following month in June after Alvarez defeated Jacobs, Golovkin stopped Steve Rolls weighing 163. In October, he again won the vacant IBF middleweight title by defeating Sergiy Derevyancheko.
The following month in November, Alvarez decided to give up his two middleweight titles and skip two weight classes to knock out Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev in November for the WBO light heavyweight title.
A year later, he returned to super middleweight making four defenses without ever considering a rematch with Golovkin.
We can go on and on about rematches and I’m sure there have been worse ones, but the precedent still sticks in this writer’s mind.