1957-08-22 Floyd Patterson w co 6 (15) Pete Rademacher, Sick’s Stadium, Seattle, Washington, USA - WORLD

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1957-08-22 Floyd Patterson w co 6 (15) Pete Rademacher, Sick’s Stadium, Seattle, Washington, USA - WORLD. Referee: Tommy Loughran. Rademacher, the 1956 Olympic champion, made history by becoming the first man to contest a world heavyweight title when making his professional debut against Patterson. A big outsider as you would expect, Rademacher (202) did reasonably well for two rounds, but was downed for ‘nine’ in the third before somehow holding Patterson (187¼) off in fourth. The fifth round was a disaster for Rademacher, being dropped four times in all, but he came out for the sixth as though nothing had happened. After surprising Patterson with a solid left and his bravery, Rademacher was decked coming out of a clinch and on rising he was soon down again, courtesy of a left hook. Almost up and ready to go again, Rademacher was counted out with just three seconds of the session remaining.

Paterson remained inactive for almost a year due to his manager, Cus D’Amato, being unprepared to allow fighters associated with the International Boxing Club, whom he considered to hold an unfair monopoly, to challenge for the title. The two men most affected by this state of affairs were Eddie Machen and Willie Pastrano, the future light heavyweight champion. Despite pressure being brought to bear by the NBA, the NYSAC, World Championship Committee and other powerful bodies, the fact that prospective rivals for the title failed to take advantage of the situation, such as Machen and Zora Folley, who drew over 12 rounds at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, California in an unofficial eliminator on 9 April 1958, merely helped D’Amato’s stance.

The situation changed when Roy Harris returned to boxing after finishing a reserve hitch in the Army and in June 1958 a match was made for the Autumn. This followed an ultimatum by the World Championship Committee, which stated that Patterson had to meet either Machen, Folley, Pastrano or Harris by the end of September. With good reason, there were many in boxing who thought that D’Amato used his arguments with the IBC as a tool to get Patterson easier options and certainly The Ring magazine thought this to be the case when Harris was selected for the champion’s next defence. Hailed by D’Amato as a victory, in January 1959 the US Supreme Court confirmed the decision of the Federal Tribunal made on 24 June 1957 to dissolve the IBC in New York and Chicago.