1949-12-05 Ike Williams w pts 15 Freddie Dawson, Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - WORLD

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1949-12-05 Ike Williams w pts 15 Freddie Dawson, Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - WORLD. Referee: Charley Daggert. Scorecards: 8-7, 8-7, 9-6. Boxing cautiously for the opening six rounds, the challenger made a difficult target for Williams (135) and when the pair came to close quarters there was far too much mauling and holding. However, in the seventh at least Dawson (134) began to throw a few more punches, especially the left jab, but all the aggression was still with the champion. Although Dawson had the better of it in the eighth, he picked up a deep gash on the left cheekbone when heads came together and the ninth session reverted into a mauling affair. The final third of the contest, apart from the 14th, saw Dawson edging it as the jaded Williams tired, but he failed to put in enough work needed to take the decision and really had only himself to blame.

At this moment in time the outstanding challenger was Canada’s Arthur King, who was ranked number one in The Ring magazine, having gone 19 straight after beating Joe Brown at the end of 1947. Clamouring for a title shot without success, King maintained his winning streak until losing to the little-known Bobby Lloyd and Rudy Cruz before dropping out of the ratings in December 1950.

In January 1951, having gone over a year without making a title defence while boxing as a welterweight, the NBA ordered Williams to put his title on the line by 31 March or risk being stripped, naming John L. Davis and Dawson as the two logical contenders. Since November 1950 Davis had been ranked number one by The Ring magazine, having racked up wins over Carlos Chavez, Art Aragon, Bernard Docusen and Dawson, but five fights later he was forced to retire having suffered a detached retina.

At the end of March, Frankie Palermo, Williams’ manager, informed the NBA that his fighter would be defending against Jimmy Carter in May, whereupon the Association suspended the champion for employing elusive tactics in electing to fight a man whom they failed to recognise as a worthy challenger. On 23 May, the Californian Boxing Commission also suspended Williams, who was scheduled to defend against Aragon on 19 June, for going through with the Carter fight ahead of the latter world title defence.