1939-12-11 Al Hostak w co 1 (15) Erich Seelig, The Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, USA - NBA

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1939-12-11 Al Hostak w co 1 (15) Erich Seelig, The Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, USA - NBA. Referee: Tony LaBranche. Making his first defence, Hostak (159) took in a bout of sparring before unleashing a left hook to the jaw which sent Seelig (160) sprawling for a count of ‘nine’. Somehow getting to his feet Seelig was immediately met with a right-hand uppercut that dropped him heavily, and although making every effort to get up he was counted out after just 81 seconds of boxing.

Hostak's next defence would be against the rugged Tony Zale, who had outpointed him in a catchweight affair over ten rounds in January 1940, a victory that was mainly due to the NBA champion injuring his left hand in the fifth after battering his man throughout up until then. Coming into the title fight Zale was ranked at number two, having recently beaten Ben Brown. A pro since 1934, he had recorded 47 wins in 64 contests and was on 11 straight.