1955-09-21 Rocky Marciano w co 9 (15) Archie Moore, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD
1955-09-21 Rocky Marciano w co 9 (15) Archie Moore, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Harry Kessler. Looking to become the first light heavyweight champion to take the heavyweight title Moore (188) gave it a real go, flooring Marciano (188¼) for a count of ‘four’ in the second with a right to the jaw. Boxing with great verve and a brilliant defence Moore made life extremely difficult for Marciano, but once the champion began to batter him against the ropes the end was in sight. Put down twice in the sixth, Moore tried to clear his head. However, by the end of the seventh his right eye was almost closed, and in the eighth he was floored by a right to the jaw before being saved by the bell. Coming into the ninth Marciano rolled all over Moore, who was eventually counted out on the 1.19 mark after taking a well-timed left hook to the jaw that smashed him to the floor and left him in a heap in his own corner.
Marciano retired as undefeated champion in April 1956, and with Moore recognised by both the NBA and EBU as the leading challenger, having already eliminated Cuba’s Nino Valdes on points over 15 rounds at Cashman Field, Las Vegas, Nevada on 2 May, in order to find his opponent the NYSAC set up another eliminator between Floyd Patterson and Tommy Jackson, won on points by the former over 12 rounds at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC on 8 June 1956. Another contest of some significance saw Moore beat James J. Parker (w rsc 9 at the Maple Leaf Stadium, Toronto, Canada on 25 July 1956) in a fight the promoter had sought world title billing for but had been denied by the Canadian Boxing Federation. In his previous five contests Parker had lost to Valdes, drawn with Earl Walls and the 7'2" Ewart Potgieter, and beaten Johnny Arthur and Heinz Neuhaus, hardly the form of an aspiring world champion. Incidentally, at 94", South Africa's Potgieter would appear to have one of the longest reaches ever seen in a boxing ring.
Patterson, with the peek-a-boo style and fast hands, was an Olympic middleweight champion at the age of 17 in 1952. He had already participated in 31 pro contests, losing just once, to Joey Maxim. Prior to meeting Jackson, Patterson had beaten Dick Wagner (twice), Gordon Wallace, Wes Bascom, Yvon Durelle (twice), Jacques Royer-Crecy, Tommy Harrison, Jimmy Slade (twice), Willie Troy, Archie McBride, Dave Whitlock and Jimmy Walls, all seasoned fighters.