1959-08-28 Gene Fullmer w rtd 14 (15) Carmen Basilio, Cow Palace, San Francisco, California, USA - NBA
1959-08-28 Gene Fullmer w rtd 14 (15) Carmen Basilio, Cow Palace, San Francisco, California, USA - NBA. Referee: Jack Downey. In a contest for the vacant NBA title, Fullmer (159½) ultimately proved to be stronger than Basilio (156), who was eventually retired in the 14th after his corner had asked the referee to stop the fight 36 seconds into the session. Fighting in an unusual fashion, for the first eight rounds Fullmer would retreat to the ropes before catching Basilio coming in. From the ninth, however, Fullmer made the running, switching his attacks from head to body, and by the 13th he had his man well under control. It was all Fullmer in the 14th and after a crashing right had sent Basilio into the ropes, with latter desperately trying to remain upright under a torrent of punches time was called.
The NBA committed the winner to meet Spider Webb within 90 days or face being stripped. Fullmer had already posted a victory over Webb before he won the title, but the latter was now the leading challenger, having won 33 of 37 contests. Webb’s victims included Jimmy Martinez (twice), Bobby Boyd (twice), Holly Mims, Rory Calhoun (twice), Charley Cotton, Pat McAteer, Neal Rivers (twice), Wilf Greaves, Randy Sandy, Charley Joseph, Willie Vaughn, Jimmy Beecham, Dick Tiger, Franz Szuzina, Joey Giardello and Terry Downes, all good men. Fast moving with classy skills and a sharp puncher to boot, Webb relished the opportunity to get back in the ring with Fullmer, especially with the title at stake.