1950-01-24 Joey Maxim w co 10 (15) Freddie Mills, Exhibition Centre, Earls Court, London, England - WORLD

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1950-01-24 Joey Maxim w co 10 (15) Freddie Mills, Exhibition Centre, Earls Court, London, England - WORLD. Referee: Andrew Smyth. Starting fast, Mills (171½) nearly had his challenger over when landing a heavy overarm right to the jaw in the opening round but was unable to press home the advantage. Although Mills was still dangerous in the second, come the third Maxim (174¼) was beginning to take control, his straight left and knowledge on the inside taking him to the front. With the fight going against him Mills made a final attempt to knock his man out in the eighth, but the American’s speed and extra class saw him through the session. After getting back to business in the ninth, when Maxim began to unload in the tenth a left-right to the chin eventually sent Mills crashing down to be counted out on the 1.54 mark. So hard was the finishing blow that four of Mills’ teeth were embedded in his gumshield.

Having won the title Maxim spent the next 12 months up among the heavyweights before being brought to task in January 1951 by the NBA, who ordered him to defend by 31 March against Bob Murphy, Bob Satterfield or Archie Moore.

By the end of March, Maxim, who was by now contracted to challenge Ezzard Charles for the American version of the heavyweight title on 30 May, was also booked to meet Satterfield in the same town on 27 June. However, because of the beating he received at the hands of Charles (l pts 15 at the Stadium, Chicago, Illinois), Maxim agreed a postponement of the Satterfield fight with the International Boxing Club, who would later substitute Murphy for Satterfield and Chicago for New York, leaving Satterfield on the back burner and the victim of a fight that never happened.

An out-and-out two-fisted slugger, Murphy was at number three in The Ring magazine ratings having beaten 60 of 66 opponents (54 inside the distance). Although he had been outpointed by Harry Matthews who was one place above him in the rankings, he had beaten Milo Savage, Eddie Cotton, Lloyd Marshall, Dave Whitlock (twice), Dick Wagner, Jimmy Beau, Henry Brimm, Dan Bucceroni, Cecil Hudson, Danny Nardico and Jake LaMotta, and would be 5-12 favourite going into the bout.