1949-12-05 Ike Williams w pts 15 Freddie Dawson, Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - WORLD

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1949-12-05 Ike Williams w pts 15 Freddie Dawson, Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - WORLD. Referee: Charley Daggert. Scorecards: 8-7, 8-7, 9-6. Boxing cautiously for the opening six rounds, with the challenger making a difficult target for Williams (135) when the pair came to close quarters there was far too much mauling and holding. However, in the seventh at least Dawson (134) began to throw a few more punches, especially the left jab, but all the aggression was still with the champion. Although Dawson had the better of it in the eighth, after he picked up a deep gash on the left cheekbone when heads came together the ninth session reverted into a mauling affair. The final third of the contest, apart from the 14th, saw Dawson edging it as the jaded Williams tired, but failing to put in enough work needed to take the decision he really had only himself to blame.

At this moment in time the two outstanding challengers were Maxie Docusen and Arthur King, who were ranked number one and two in The Ring magazine. Docusen, the brother of Bernard, was on 68 undefeated, having beaten Chuck Burton, Alfredo Escobar (four times), Buddy Jacklich (three times), Simon Vergara, Robert Takeshita, Mario Trigo (twice), John L. Davis, Manuel Ortiz, Carlos Chavez and Enrique Bolanos, the last win being for the latter’s Californian State title. There seemed to be nothing in the way of Docusen before he was shockingly stopped inside nine rounds by Guillermo Gimenez on 30 January 1950. Eleven wins and five defeats later Docusen had retired. King, who was on 19 straight after beating Joe Brown at the end of 1947, had been clamouring for a title shot without success. Although he maintained his winning streak until losing to the little-known Bobby Lloyd and Rudy Cruz, he dropped out of the ratings in December 1950.

In January 1951, having gone over a year without making a title defence while boxing as a welterweight, the NBA ordered Williams to put his title on the line by 31 March or risk being stripped, naming John L. Davis and Dawson as the two logical contenders. Since November 1950 Davis had been ranked number one by The Ring magazine, having racked up wins over Carlos Chavez, Art Aragon, Bernard Docusen and Dawson, but five fights later he was forced to retire having suffered a detached retina.

At the end of March, Frankie Palermo, Williams’ manager, informed the NBA that his fighter would be defending against Jimmy Carter in May, whereupon the Association suspended the champion for employing elusive tactics in electing to fight a man whom they failed to recognise as a worthy challenger. On 23 May, the Californian Boxing Commission also suspended Williams, who was scheduled to defend against Aragon on 19 June, for going through with the Carter fight ahead of the latter world title defence. Despite losing two of his last three Carter had a record of 46 wins from 64 contests, beating men of the calibre of Phil Burton, Archie Whitewater, Mario Trigo, Wallace Bud Smith and Percy Bassett, and drawing with Sandy Saddler.