1948-06-10 Tony Zale w co 3 (15) Rocky Graziano, Ruppert Stadium, Newark, New Jersey, USA - WORLD

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1948-06-10 Tony Zale w co 3 (15) Rocky Graziano, Ruppert Stadium, Newark, New Jersey, USA - WORLD. Referee: Paul Cavalier. Making a great start, Zale (158¾) had the champion over in the middle of the opening round after a cracking left hook had done the damage before having to withstand a battery of blows coming his way in the second. Although badly hurt at times Zale regrouped to come back strongly in the third. From the moment a powerful straight left had Graziano (158½) reeling there was no way back, and after being belted from head to body non-stop a right to the jaw had him down for ‘seven’. On rising, Graziano was quickly set upon, a solid right to the jaw eventually sending him down to be counted out at 1.08 of the session.

Having regained the title, Zale was contracted to meet the winner of the European title fight between Marcel Cerdan and Cyrille Delannoit within six months. Cerdan, who beat Delannoit (w pts 15 at the Sports Palace, Brussels, Belgium on 10 July), had been knocking on the middleweight door for several years and was a welcome challenger. Prior to meeting Zale, Cerdan had run up 111 contests with just three defeats, having beaten many good men including Omar Kouidri (six times), Eddie Ran, Cleto Locatelli (twice), Gustave Humery (twice), Al Baker (twice), Saverio Turiello (twice), Felix Wouters, Larry Cisneros (twice), Joe DiMartino, Edouard Tenet (twice), Assane Diouf, Robert Charron, Holman Williams, Georgie Abrams, Harold Green, Anton Raadik, Giovanni Manca and Laverne Roach, just to name a few.