Al Hostak vs. Tony Zale (2nd meeting)

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1940-07-19 : Tony Zale 158 lbs beat Al Hostak 158½ lbs by TKO in round 13 of 15

  • Location: Civic Stadium, Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Referee: Benny Leonard

The Seattle Daily Times description of this title contest is as follows (written by Alex Shults):

Tony Zale, a good journeyman fighter, climbed into the ring last night at Civic Stadium with Al Hostak, a middleweight champion who fought in his sleep.
There could be only one result.
When Zale danced out, he was the new champion. When Hostak stumbled down the steps the title that has been his for most of two years was gone. "I'll never fight again," mumbled Hostak in his dressing room when Zale and his camp following dropped in to pay their respects. The crowd of 8,500 fans, who paid $25,000 for a fight, only to be given a sham of a battle, were willing to agree with Hostak. He never should tie on the padded mittens again if last night?s showing was his best. Hostak wasn't even the shell of the man who battered Freddy Steele into defeat just two years ago.
Something has happened to the terrific puncher.
Either Al suffered terribly from the beating he took from Zale in Chicago last winter, when he shattered his hands and lost a non-title fight, or his camp decided the middleweight title was more valuable to lose than defend. Three days ago this newspaper predicted a Hostak defeat.
Man In a Dream
The Georgetown Bomber walked like a man in a dream. Hostak looked like a well-paddled child when he weighed in yesterday afternoon and before the battle last night his father, George Hostak , and Manager Eddie Marino, seemed like characters from a wake. The KNEW that Hostak wouldn't win.
Whence came their despair?
It couldn't have come from the scant gate, for although only 8,500 fans paid but $25,000, that means a payoff of some $21,000, there would have been more championship fights and bigger gates if Hostak had won. Hostak KNEW, when he entered the ring, that his title was gone. Only once, during ten rounds, did the Georgetown Bomber look like himself.
Finally Collapses
Hostak wandered out of his corner in the first round peering through half-opened eyes, as though looking for defeat. After that the battle went on, round after round, with Hostak falling farther behind until he finally collapsed through mutual consent in the thirteenth for a technical knockout. Hostak seemed satisfied to slink off to the dressing rooms; Manager Eddie Marino hopped into the ring in token of surrender, and the crowd, booing Hostak's lack of battle desire, was willing to have the farce ended. In a word, Hostak never performed so poorly before the home crowd and his greatest boosters were sick at the finish. Hostak's mumblings after the battle was over, whether caused by the discouragement of defeat, by the idea that he had become ring impotent, or because of mismanagement, were based on logic. If that was Hostak's best, he should stick to his guns with the statement: "?I'll never fight again."

Sam Pian and Art Winch, managers of Zale, agreed that they're bound to fight in Seattle again in ninety days. "But if Hostak wants another chance, Chicago is the spot for it," said Pian. "We'd draw twice the crowd was last night."

Marino declined to comment, until he had viewed matters further. "We have to take the bitter with the sweet," he said.
Death Knell Sounded
Last night's match appeared to sound the death knell of championship boxing in Seattle. The crowd and the gate receipts were far under expectations. The middleweight title has flown from the Northwest, and the desire for combat somehow is missing.

Hostak blinked his eyes like a lad just awakened from a sound sleep while being introduced. He had weighed in at 158 pounds in the afternoon... a full two pounds under what he weighed unofficially the day before. Where did those two pounds go? Worry, that's all. Then went round after round when Hostak didn't even try to throw punches.
For some reason Hostak didn't want to win.
The crowd groaned at first, thinking Hostak was laying back. And then it booed without reservations. When Al dropped his hand in anguish in the eleventh he lost the last of his boxing friends. There wasn?t a sign of a break when Dr. H. T. Buckner examined the hand after the brawl. After that the war wasn't a contest. It was more like the Belgium blietzkrieg [sic]. Hostak went down for nine. His eyes were cut. A right to the ribs floored him. Finally he fell and slipped, and lost.
Fight Stopped
There was a minute and twenty seconds gone in the thirteenth when Referee Benny Leonard stopped the fight, with Marino climbing in from the corner in token of surrender. Leonard, by the way, did a poor job for a referee brought across the country for the fight. He gave Zale every break, and let fouls go along with no desire to correct them. Hostak butted and Zale butted back. But the worst foul of them all came when Zale hit low in the eleventh. That hurt Hostak and took the last of the fight out of the softening champion. (End of article on the Hostak-Zale portion of the card.)

Some discriminating souvenir-hunter made off with Tony Zale?s shoes last night, while the Chicago swatter was winning the middleweight title from Al Hostak in Civic Stadium. The dressing-room marauder also got Sam Pian's hat and Art Winch's necktie. Sam and Art are Zale's managers. So the new champion had to go home after the fight still wearing the shoes that carried him to victory in the ring.