Alfredo Escalera vs. Tyrone Everett

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Alfredo Escalera (left) vs. Tyrone Everett

1976-11-30 : Alfredo Escalera 128½ lbs beat Tyrone Everett 130 lbs by SD in round 15 of 15

Notes

  • The fight was televised live at two closed-circuit locations in New York and one in San Francisco. It was also shown live on home television in Puerto Rico.
  • Escalera was guaranteed $90,000 against an option of 40 percent of the live gate and ancillary rights, and Everett was guaranteed $15,000 against 15 percent.
  • There was a crowd of 16,109 at the Spectrum. It is still the record for the largest indoor attendance at a Pennsylvania boxing match.
  • The decision is widely recognized as one of the most disgraceful in the history of boxing.
  • Tom Cushman of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote:
"Tyrone Everett won the junior lightweight championship of the world last night. Won it with a whirling, artistic, courageous performance that brushed against the edges of brilliance. Tyrone was standing tall, proud, bleeding in his corner after the 15 rounds, waiting for the championship belt to be draped around his waist, when they snatched it from him. Picked him so clean it’s a wonder they didn’t take his shoes and trunks along with everything else."
  • The Ring included the fight in a list of the top 5 worst robberies ever.
  • In the 2010 book The Ultimate Book of Boxing Lists by Bert Sugar and Teddy Atlas, veteran boxing judge Harold Lederman listed the verdict as the most controversial decision of all-time. He stated it "may be history's worst decision."
  • In a 2014 ESPN.com article, Bad decisions keep hurting boxing, Nigel Collins wrote:
"The Escalera-Everett decision was especially egregious because all indications were that it was bought and paid for by underworld characters left over from the 1940s and '50s, when the International Boxing Club controlled much of the sport. The IBC had ties to New York's Lucchese family via Frankie Carbo, a former gunman for Murder Inc. who became boxing's de facto czar. The feds caught up with Carbo in 1961, and he was convicted on conspiracy and extortion charges and sentenced to 25 years behind bars. He eventually obtained an early release due to poor health and died in November 1976, the same month as the Escalera-Everett fight. Unfortunately, Carbo henchman Frank 'Blinky' Palermo, also an ex-con, and his associate 'Honest' Bill Daly were still lurking in boxing's darkest crevices. Both spent fight week in Philly. J. Russell Peltz, who promoted Escalera-Everett, encountered Palermo a few days after the fight and asked him if he thought it was fixed. Blinky replied: 'You can buy Lou Tress for a cup of coffee.' (Note: This quote originally appeared in Tom Cushman's book, 'Muhammad Ali and the Greatest Heavyweight Generation' and was confirmed by Peltz specifically for this column.)"
  • Escalera and Everett were scheduled to have a rematch in June 1977 in Puerto Rico, but Everett was murdered by his girlfriend on May 26.


Unofficial scorecards

  • AP: 146-139 Everett
  • UPI: 146-141 Everett


Confusion, disbelief from fight
United Press International, December 1, 1976

The disbelief of a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission threw the result of the World Boxing Council junior lightweight championship fight into a confusing spectacle.

To the amazement of a partisan crowd of 16,019 and many ringside observers, champion Alfredo Escalera retained his 130-pound crown last night with a 15-round split decision over previously unbeaten Tyrone Everett of Philadelphia.

While Everett's infuriated manager, Frank Gelb, knocked aside reporters and photographers to look at the official scorecards, an unidentified commission member instructed the public address announcer to "tell the crowd it (the decision) is not official," according to Chairman Howard McCall.

However, despite the mass confusion, the result was official. Judge Lou Tress of Philadelphia scored the fight 145-143 and Judge Ismael Fernandez of Puerto Rico scored it 146-143, both in favor of Escalera. Referee Ray Solis of Mexico gave Everett the nod, 148-146.

UPI scored the fight 146-141 in favor of Everett.

The state Athletic Commission decided to hold up both boxers’ purses until it met with WBC officials. But after a 90-minute delay, Escalera had his monetary guarantee and the seventh successful defense of his title in his pocket.

The Carolina, P.R., native admitted he was "a little scared" before the decision was announced but he was confident of victory from the seventh round even though many ringside observers had Everett winning as many as 10 rounds.

"He ran, ran, ran," said Escalera, who briefly taunted his opponent in two rounds. "You can't win that way. I fought a cautious fight because it’s his home town and I had to fight him that way. To become a champ you’ve got to hit to win and he didn’t hit me."

There were no knockdowns in the fight. Escalera rocked Everett with a right hand in the fifth but the challenger snapped the champ’s head back twice in the eighth round, Everett’s best of the fight.

Everett, who held a 1¾-pound weight advantage at 130 pounds, held on from the 13th round on as Escalera opened up a massive cut between the challenger's eyebrow and hairline with a butt.

Everett, who suffered his first loss in 35 fights, was barely consolable after the loss "I won the fight," he said. "You could see how I handled him. I planned the fight and fought the fight I had planned. He never really hurt me. The butt hit a blood vessel but the blood didn’t bother me."

Everett followed his plan to stick Escalera and move out of the range of the champion's devastating right hand. He put together several good combinations in the middle rounds while being hit sparingly despite a two-inch disadvantage in reach.

Escalera, who improved his record to 36-7-2, is now expected to fight Samuel Serrano for the World Boxing Association half of the title. However, Gelb has asked to meet with the state Athletic Commission and WBC representatives and a decision could be made ordering a rematch within 90 days.

"I'll fight him in Puerto Rico in January if he wants to," Escalera quipped, "because I need the money."


Judges Scored Blood, Not Punches, Everett Contends
The Associated Press, December 2, 1976

A rematch within 90 days between junior lightweight boxing champ Alfredo Escalera and Philadelphia's Tyrone Everett has been requested by the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission, Chairman Howard McCall said Wednesday.

Escalera defeated Everett in a hotly contested title bout here Tuesday night that ended with the local fans on their feet hooting and stomping their displeasure at the split decision and with Everett's manager, Frank Gelb, filing a protest with the athletic commission.

McCall said the state commission was powerless to change the disputed split decision.

Everett contends a popped blood vessel sealed his defeat.

"The judges scored the blood instead of the punches in the last three rounds," said the challenger.

A blood vessel in Everett's forehead broke near the hairline at the start of the 13th round when the two fighters bumped heads, according to Everett's cut man. The local fighter wore a mask of blood until the final bell.

Escalera, 24, of Puerto Rico, won the last three rounds all the cards of the three scoring officials to pull away from the previous unbeaten Philadelphian. The judges had the two fighters almost dead even going into the l3th.