1955-09-21 Rocky Marciano w co 9 (15) Archie Moore, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD
1955-09-21 Rocky Marciano w co 9 (15) Archie Moore, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Harry Kessler. Looking to become the first light heavyweight champion to take the heavyweight title, Moore (188) gave it a real go and in the second round he floored Marciano (188¼) for a count of ‘four’ with a right to the jaw. Boxing with great verve and a brilliant defence, Moore made life extremely difficult for Marciano, but once the champion began to batter him against the ropes the end was in sight. Put down twice in the sixth, Moore tried to clear his head but by the end of the seventh his right eye was almost closed and in the eighth he was floored by a right to the jaw before being saved by the bell. Coming into the ninth Marciano rolled all over Moore, who was eventually counted out on the 1.19 mark after taking a well-timed left hook to the jaw that smashed him to the floor and left him in a heap in his own corner.
Marciano retired as undefeated champion in April 1956 and, with Moore recognised by both the NBA and EBU as the leading challenger, having already eliminated Cuba’s Nino Valdes on points over 15 rounds at Cashman Field, Las Vegas, Nevada on 2 May, in order to find his opponent the NYSAC set up another eliminator between Floyd Patterson and Tommy Jackson, won on points by the former over 12 rounds on 8 June 1956 at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC. Another contest of some significance saw Moore beat James J. Parker (w rsc 9 on 25 July 1956 at the Maple Leaf Stadium, Toronto, Canada) in a fight the promoter had sought world title billing for. Fortunately, the Canadian Boxing Federation saw sense and refused to give it their official backing.
Patterson, with the peek-a-boo style and fast hands, was an Olympic middleweight champion at the age of 17 in 1952 and had 31 pro contests, losing just once, to Joey Maxim. Prior to meeting Jackson, Patterson had beaten Dick Wagner (twice), Gordon Wallace, Wes Bascom, Yvon Durelle (twice), Jacques Royer-Crecy, Tommy Harrison, Jimmy Slade (twice), Willie Troy, Archie McBride, Dave Whitlock and Jimmy Walls, all seasoned fighters.