1957-06-24 Hogan Kid Bassey w rsc 10 (15) Cherif Hamia, Sports Palace, Paris, France - WORLD

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1957-06-24 Hogan Kid Bassey w rsc 10 (15) Cherif Hamia, Sports Palace, Paris, France - WORLD. Referee: Rene Schemann. Contested for the vacant title, Bassey (124¼) turned the odds upside down when defeating Hamia (125¾), but had to get off the floor at ‘seven’ from a cracking right hander in the second round and sustain the following bombardment. However, by the fourth his head had cleared and he was again controlling the rounds with excellent left jabs and vicious hooks to the body as Hamia began to lose heart. In the seventh, Hamia, now cut over the right eye, was badly wobbled as Bassey picked and banged his way to an opening which finally arrived in the tenth. In making a last-ditch effort, Hamia, his defences down and caught by a left hook followed by a long right swing and a fusilade of blows went to the floor, taking Bassey down with him. With both men back on their feet, Bassey really went to work, driving Hamia in front of him and raining in punches to send the Frenchman over the middle strand before he was rescued with 28 seconds of the round remaining.

Given until the New Year to fix up a title defence, Bassey, Nigeria’s first ever world champion, vacated his British Empire title in early November and fulfilled a contractual obligation for a Liverpool promoter on 23 January 1958, having already signed up to meet Ricardo Moreno in California. Moreno was coming off a sixth-round kayo win over the top-rated Ike Chesnut and had 29 victories, all inside the distance, to his credit.