1946-02-01 Marty Servo w co 4 (15) Freddie Cochrane, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD

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1946-02-01 Marty Servo w co 4 (15) Freddie Red Cochrane, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Eddie Joseph. Staggered by a heavy left hook in the opening round although the champion fought back strongly, in the second he was doubled over by savage blows to the body as Servo (143) went to work on him. Increasing the pace in the third, Servo was now stalking Cochrane (145), who continued to hit back gamely, but in the fourth a succession of heavy blows to the head had the latter reeling before a series of straight lefts drove him into the ropes in a bewildered state. Cochrane was now an easy mark for Servo and a left hook followed by a right cross dropped him glassy eyed, with his head reclining on the bottom rope, to be counted out at 2.54 of the session.

Having won the title, Servo was contractually committed to defend against Sugar Ray Robinson, the leading contender, within 90 days and a date was set for 24 May. Strangely, bearing that in mind, Servo accepted a non-title fight in NYC on 29 March against the future middleweight champion, Rocky Graziano, where he would spot his heavy-hitting opponent almost a stone in weight. It turned into a nightmare as the game Servo was stopped in the second round and suffered a badly injured nose, which caused the Robinson fight to be postponed due to surgery.

The NYSAC then gave Servo until 6 September to defend his title and the fight was re-scheduled for that date. Because he was unable to take in a warm-up contest as per the contract binding him to the Robinson fight, Servo was forced to take in a couple of ten-round exhibition bouts behind closed doors, on 1 and 15 August, to get himself match fit. However, with the nose still giving him problems he felt he was not ready for Robinson and asked for another postponent, which immediately saw him stripped by the NYSAC, while Mike Jacobs, the Madison Square Garden promoter, made an announcement not even mentioning Robinson, that Beau Jack would meet Tommy Bell for the vacant title on 20 December. He later suggested Robinson against Johnny Greco, Tippy Larkin or Bell, but when negotiations got underway it appeared that only the latter fancied a match against Robinson, having already travelled ten close rounds with him.

Meanwhile, the NBA categorically stated that titles should be won and lost in the ring and continued to recognise Servo, giving him until 1 December to defend. Bringing matters to a head, Servo sportingly announced his retirement on 25 September, stating that his nose had refused to heal and there was no way he could make even the latter date. By then, the NYSAC had matched Robinson and Bell for their version of the title on 20 December, while the NBA fancied a Jack v Robinson sortee.