Gene Fullmer vs. Benny Paret
1961-12-09 : Gene Fullmer 159¾ lbs beat Benny Kid Paret 156¾ lbs by KO at 2:30 in round 10 of 15
- Location: Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Referee: Harold Krause 42-39
- Judge: Bill Stremmell 43-34
- Judge: John Romero 42-39
- NBA World Middleweight Title
In this grueling battle, almost every punch would be thrown from the inside, with the boxers' noses mere inches away from each other most of the fight.. Fullmer, the world middleweight champion, continually came forward while Paret, the world welterweight champion, fought much of the fight with his back against the ropes. Throughout the early and middle rounds the fight was very close, with both fighters having their own rallies and both faces becoming more disfigured. In the tenth, Fullmer's solid shots finally had an effect and Paret went down early in the round. Referee Krause mistakenly gave Paret a standing eight count even though this had been ruled off before the fight. The fans booed, and even Paret looked upset that this had been given. After the knockdown, Fullmer came at him, but Paret came back with one of his best rallies of the fight. This slightly stunned Fullmer but not enough to wobble him, and afterward Paret looked spent. Fullmer landed 7 unanswered rights to the head before one more to the body and Paret went down again. This time Krause gave no standing eight count, and Fullmer came in to finish the job. He landed two more punches to the body and then one huge right to jaw that put Paret down for the 10 count. Fullmer stated afterward that this was one of his most grueling fights. Paret appeared to have swelling above and below both eyes by the end.
Three and a half months later, in Paret’s next fight, he would lose his life in an epic battle with Emile Griffith.