1947-08-04 Ike Williams w co 6 (15) Bob Montgomery, Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - WORLD

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1947-08-04 Ike Williams w co 6 (15) Bob Montgomery, Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - WORLD. Referee: Charley Daggert. In a fight that would finally unite the championship, Williams (133¾), cut over the left eye in the second, had the better of all the rounds leading up to the finish as he jabbed the crouching Montgomery (133¾) with regularity. While Montgomery, who was recognised as the titleholder in New York and Pennsylvania, concentrated on the midsection, the NBA’s Williams gave a master class of box-fighting against a highly dangerous opponent. Halfway through the sixth Williams picked up the fight with a vengeance when dropping Montgomery for ‘nine’ with a sledge-hammer right, it being a miracle that the latter was still in the contest. Back on his feet but unable to defend himself properly, Montgomery was subjected to all manner of blows before sinking to the canvas where he was counted out in the act of rising on the 2.37 mark.

With the pair due to meet again in a return, this time in Madison Square Garden on 20 February 1948, Montgomery decided to retire at the end of December following two consecutive defeats at the hands of Livio Minelli and Joey Angelo.

Having lifted the European title from Roberto Proietti after winning on points over 15 rounds at The Arena, Harringay, London on 17 February, Billy Thompson was rated at number five by The Ring magazine and looking towards a crack at Williams. The euphoria did not last long for the British and European champion, and after losing a non-title bout against Andre Famechon just over a month later he was dropped from the top-ten rankings.

The leading challengers at the time were Johnny Bratton, Freddie Dawson, Gene Burton and Enrique Bolanos. All that changed when Bratton lost two fights in a row, to Minelli and Beau Jack, while Dawson, who was reckoned by many good judges to have licked Ike Williams in a non-title fight, was then beaten by Johnny Williams and Burton lost to Bernard Docusen. However, by mid-April after it was generally agreed that Bolanos was the most logical contender the match was made for 25 May.