1956-06-05 Archie Moore w rsc 10 (15) Yolande Pompey, The Arena, Harringay, London, England - WORLD

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1956-06-05 Archie Moore w rsc 10 (15) Yolande Pompey, The Arena, Harringay, London, England - WORLD. Referee: Jack Hart. Having taken 32lbs off in just over three weeks it was clear that the champion would have to conserve as much energy as he could and that would have explained his slow start against Pompey (171¼). By the end of the seventh, Pompey was well in front and boxing well, but by the end of the eighth, Moore (174½) was beginning to get going and the round ended with him cornering and hurting the challenger. Pompey was now cut on the left eye and having taken a battering in the ninth he walked back to his corner with his right eye swollen. Moore was soon at work in the tenth and having dropped Pompey for counts of ‘eight’, ‘nine’ and ‘eight’ from heavy rights and lefts to the head, the latter was not fighting back when the referee rescued him with 2.50 on the clock.

Having eliminated Nino Valdes and James J. Parker to become the number-one contender for the heavyweight title, following Rocky Marciano’s retirement Moore was matched against Floyd Patterson to decide the new champion. After being knocked out in the fifth round at The Stadium, Chicago, Illinois on 30 November it was back to the light heavies for Moore.

Despite Moore again looking to fight on his own terms, it was announced in February 1957 that Chuck Spieser would be meeting Tony Anthony to decide whom he would be fighting in his next title defence. Said to satisfy both the NBA and NYSAC, Anthony scored a third-round kayo at the Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan on 5 April 1957 and went forward to meet Moore on 5 June. However, the top rated man in The Ring magazine ratings at that time was Gerhard Hecht, Germany’s European champion, and on 25 January 1957, Pompey knocked him out inside two rounds at the Sports Palace, Berlin, Germany in what was seen as another eliminator. The World Championship Committee were then asked to adjudicate on behalf of Pompey, but before they reached a conclusion he lost on points over ten rounds to Willi Hoepner at the Ernest Merck Hall, Hamburg, Germany on 10 May.

At the end of May, however, an over-the-weight Moore was in Germany, booked to fight a heavyweight on 2 June with no intention of meeting Anthony on 5 June. In Moore’s absence, Anthony drew over ten rounds at the Olympia Stadium, Detroit on 14 June with the soon to be crowned British Empire champion, Yvon Durelle. Surprisingly, the Canadian was completely ignored by the World Championship Committee when they met two days later and decided that Moore must sign to meet Anthony by 7 July or be stripped and a fight between the latter and Pompey or Harold Johnson would be considered for the vacant title.

Even though Moore had still to sign up for Anthony, having broken the deadline, the NBA stated that they were prepared to give him another week, while the World Boxing Committee declared the title vacant. The Committee then had a change of heart after Moore signed for 20 September on the proviso that he could make the weight and then had to put up with Moore continuing to look for a further postponement right up to the day of the fight.