1949-06-16 Jake LaMotta w rtd 10 (15) Marcel Cerdan, Briggs Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, USA - WORLD
1949-06-16 Jake LaMotta w rtd 10 (15) Marcel Cerdan, Briggs Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, USA - WORLD. Referee: Johnny Weber. Outfought in every department, body punches sickening him, from the fourth onwards the champion was unable to throw punches with any effect due to torn ligaments in his left shoulder. Cerdan (159½) had won just one session, the second, and was at the mercy of LaMotta (158½), despite the latter having injured his left hand in the fifth, when he slumped on to his stool at the end of the ninth. He had been blasted from head to body in that round, Nat Fleischer of The Ring magazine, counting 104 blows that were not returned. Once it was clear that the referee was not going to stop the fight, the Frenchman was retired after the bell rang to start the tenth. Blaming his injury on being pushed to the floor in the first round, Cerdan stated that he would be back.
With LaMotta and Cerdan matched in a return, the latter was killed in a plane crash over the Azores on 27 October, while on his way to America for the fight.
By now, Sugar Ray Robinson was recognised as the outstanding challenger, having recently beaten Steve Belloise (w co 7 on 24 August at the Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NYC, New York) in an eliminating bout. Then, in May 1950, following LaMotta’s inability to sign for a defence against Robinson, the Pennsylvanian Boxing Commission decided to match the welterweight champion against Robert Villemain for their version of the title. This took into account the fact that Villemain had easily outpointed LaMotta over ten rounds at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC) on 9 December 1949.
Meanwhile, LaMotta was matched to fight Rocky Graziano on 28 June 1950. Unfortunately, Graziano suffered a broken thumb in the week leading up to the fight and had to withdraw, his place being taken by the Italian, Tiberio Mitri, with the date being moved on two weeks.