1935-10-02 George Godfrey w pts 15 Pierre Charles, Sports Palace, Brussels, Belgium - IBU

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1935-10-02 George Godfrey w pts 15 Pierre Charles, Sports Palace, Brussels, Belgium - IBU. Referee: Rene Scheman. Billed for the IBU version of the vacant world title, Godfrey (264½) was far too strong for Charles (226¼), a man he had knocked out inside two rounds back in 1928. It was clear that Charles appeared to be intimidated early on as the American piled up the points with solid left leads. However, little by little Charles got himself into the fight, and following some violent exchanges by round six he was moving away from danger having got his left jab working well. There was no doubt that Godfrey’s sheer weight advantage was gradually taking its toll on the Belgian man, but during the last three sessions Charles staged a grandstand finish, using his speed to score with jabs and countering blows. While Godfrey continued to throw heavy uppercuts from both hands many of them were missing, and at the final bell the majority of the partisan audience thought that Charles had just about won. When the announcement was made that Godfrey had won by two votes to one the crowd erupted in anger, the American being escorted to the dressing room for his own safety.

Godfrey gained nothing by his win after both he and his manager were suspended indefinitely by the IBU for what was classified as ‘Irregular Conduct’ and stripped of the title in May 1936. A little over a year later, Godfrey’s career came to an end when he was halted inside eight rounds by Hank Hankinson at the Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California on 10 August 1937.

Although Nat Fleischer, writing in The Ring magazine, reported that Charles had been handed the title by the IBU he had not, despite remaining the European champion. In their September 1936 ratings the IBU stated that they would recognise the winner of Jim Braddock v Max Schmeling as champion, but with that fight never taking place it was only after an international boxing convention held in Rome during April 1938 that the IBU agreed to stand by one universally recognised champion.