Eddie Machen vs. Ernie Terrell

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1965-03-05 : Eddie Machen 192 lbs lost to Ernie Terrell 199 lbs by UD in round 15 of 15

Ernie In Decision Over Eddie Machen
Associated Press, March 7, 1965

Ernie Terrell is the World Boxing Association’s heavyweight champion today but whether the title means anything after his lustily booed tug-of-war with Eddie Machen Friday night remains a big question mark.

Terrell wants to fight the winner of the Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston title fight, set for Boston May 25. The WBA, which dethroned Clay for signing for the return with Liston, wants him to fight Floyd Patterson, the ex-champion, next.

But the towering Terrell, prompted by Manager Julie Isaacson, said he won’t fight Patterson because "he never gave anyone a chance."

And sources close to Patterson said he’s just going to wait on the Clay-Liston outcome hoping that Clay will win again.

Terrell and Isaacson were scheduled to meet with the WBA’s executive committee today to discuss the next step.

"We hope to straighten out the mess," said Merv McKenzie of Toronto, the WBA president. Pitching for the home town, he suggested a Terrell scrap with Canadian champion George Chuvalo in Toronto might be the answer. Chuvalo was beaten by Patterson in a thriller in New York, Feb. 1.

As for the fight, Joe Louis, the old champion who was brought to help the 6-foot-6, guitar-strumming Terrell polish up his skills, summed it up in his usual terse and honest manner:

"It wasn’t a good fight. Terrell looked like an amateur and Machen didn’t help any."

Terrell’s snapping left jabs piled up enough points to earn him the unanimous, if unpopular, decision in the 15-rounder at the International Amphitheatre. Ringside writers voted 112-3 for the towering, 25-year-old Chicagoan over the 6-foot, 32-year-old veteran from Redding. Calif.

The boos rolled out long and loudly after the verdict was announced. Referee Sonny Weisman had it 72-67 on the five-point a round must system. Judge William Doty had it 70-67 and Judge Dr. A. Duxler had it 72-66. The Associated Press had Terrell in front 71-67 on points and 8-4 with three even in rounds. On rounds Weisman had it 8-3-4, Doty, 8-5-2, and Duxler 9-3-3.

Their styles, the six-inch difference in height and the seven-inch spread in reach, helped make it a miserable show, constantly marred by holding and spinning. Both were on the deck from shoves, pushes and slips but there were no knockdowns and nothing close to one.

Machen, on the verge of being stabbed blind by Terrell’s stinging, fast-firing left jabs to the face in the early rounds, kept bending low to avoid the punches and tried to get inside.

Terrell simply smothered Machen with his long arms and then popped him on the side of his body. This was perfectly legal, said referee Weisman, but the fans booed the big man and cheered the 9-5 underdog constantly. When Terrell hit the spinning Machen on the back, the fans jeered and the referee warned Terrell.

It was the 13th straight victory for Terrell whose record is 37-4. Machen, blowing a big chance for at least the third time, now has a 47-6-2 record.

Terrell weighed 199 pounds to Machen’s 192. Machen, who said he thought he won, mentioned the possibility of a return bout. Most everyone shuddered.