1961-07-11 Terry Downes w rtd 9 (15) Paul Pender, The Arena, Wembley, London, England - NY/EBU

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1961-07-11 Terry Downes w rtd 9 (15) Paul Pender, The Arena, Wembley, London, England - NY/EBU. Referee: Ike Powell. In what was a return match the champion started well when opening up the old injury on Downes’ nose with a left jab in the second round, but the Englishman shrugged it off and began throwing left jabs of his own. Maintaining a relentless pursuit of Pender (159), Downes (158¾) varied his work to such a degree that the former often became flummoxed. By the fourth Downes was pushing Pender before him, and while he was forced to take some heavy counters he kept up the charge. As the fight wore on a back-pedalling Pender appeared to be waiting to catch Downes as the latter charged in, although too often he failed to take any chance that came his way. The eighth round saw the beginning of the end. Cut over both eyes, Pender went mad, but with Downes now walking through his man despite his left eye being almost closed at the end of the ninth session the champion was retired on his stool.

With the return clause in place for 23 September, negotiations to conclude the rubber were arduous due to Pender continuing to get the champion’s share of the gate and purse. Then, having agreed a deal in mid-August a few days later Downes broke a thumb when falling down stairs at home which resulted in an operation. Following that, with the fight put back until early in the New Year when Downes requested a warm-up bout in January 1962 he was suspended by the Massachusetts boxing authority. In the meantime, with the new date being some time in March or April, Pender turned down a match against Gene Fullmer, the NBA champion, which would have enabled the winner to unify the title against Downes.

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