1948-10-29 Sandy Saddler w co 4 (15) Willie Pep, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD

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1948-10-29 Sandy Saddler w co 4 (15) Willie Pep, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Ruby Goldstein. Strangely uncertain and lacking his normal belief, Pep (125½) was but a shadow of his old self. Although outreached it was still a shock when he was floored twice by the challenger in the third round, first by a left and then by a right to the jaw. Many thought that he had been counted out the first time round when he still had one hand and a knee on the canvas after the referee called ‘ten’, but he was given the benefit of the doubt. Although Pep came out jabbing away in the fourth it did not fool Saddler (124), who stormed into his rival to drop him with a cracking right to the jaw. Pep tried in vain to get up, but with it being to no avail he was counted out on the 2.36 mark.

With Saddler contracted to defend his title against Pep in line with the return clause agreement, at the end of November the next two top-rated men according to The Ring magazine were Ray Famechon and Elis Ask. The unbeaten Finish fighter, Ask, had come from nowhere to hold down the third berth after beating Honore Pratesi, Mickey Francis, Theo Medina, Ronnie Draper, Johnny Molloy and Eddie Miller, having earlier drawn with the latter. However, after being beaten by Molloy in a return by the end of the year he had slipped to eighth in the rankings before moving up a division.