1961-12-09 Gene Fullmer w co 10 (15) Benny Kid Paret, Convention Centre, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - NBA

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1961-12-09 Gene Fullmer w co 10 (15) Benny Kid Paret, Convention Centre, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - NBA. Referee: Harry Krause. Setting up a non-stop attack from the opening bell, Fullmer (159¾) took on the welterweight champion in defence of his title with a view to wearing his lighter rival down. Although Paret (156¾) tried to stay with Fullmer the task was just too much as he was backed into the ropes for long periods by barrages of blows from both hands. Up until the tenth there had been no knockdowns, but in the early part of that session Paret was dropped by a left hook to the head, immediately being downed again when back on his feet. Unwisely getting up at ‘two’, Paret was quickly put down for the full count, completed on the 2.30 mark. Many people blamed the shellacking that Paret received in this one for his demise in his very next fight, against Emile Griffith.

Shortly after his successful defence, it was reported that Fullmer, who had been cut over both eyes, would be defending his title against Denny Moyer in May. However, within days of that announcement, after promoter Sam Silverman said that he had lined up Paul Pender to fight Fullmer during the second week in June no more was heard of Pender v Moyer. Unfortunately, when Pender was involved in a road accident in mid-May, which left him with a severe scalp injury, the Fullmer fight was postponed until 28 August.

Around the same time, the NBA instructed Fullmer that he had to defend his title against Dick Tiger by 5 August or risk being stripped. With no mention of Fullmer’s proposed fight with Pender, the NBA stated that Fullmer and Tiger had signed to meet on 27 August, while Pender was talking of a defence against the European champion, Laszlo Papp. This was followed by Jose Torres saying that he was due to fight Pender in Boston, Massachusetts on 19 October. Then, in mid-August, it was reported that the Fullmer v Tiger meeting was being moved on to October in order to allow both men, who had remained inactive while all this was going on, to prepare properly.