Gene Tunney vs. Erminio Spalla

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1924-06-26 : Gene Tunney 183 lbs beat Erminio Spalla 191 lbs by TKO in round 7 of 12

Tunney was familiar with Spalla, having seen him in action in Tunney's days as a marine in boxing tournaments. Tunney, on this occasion, was making a hop in weight in search of the biggest financial opportunity of his career against Jack Dempsey. Spalla, although not a large heavyweight, was arguably the strongest fighter Tunney had stepped into the ring with to that point, and let the "Fighting Marine" understand that in the very first round. The shot, a right hand, was Spalla's best punch of the fight. Tunney soon began to time Spalla's wild rushes with punches that might of knocked out many of Tunney's previous, much lighter adversaries. But Spalla eventually caved in. Spalla, wielding split lips as well as a claret from the nose, turned the bout into an ugly brawl in the seventh when the frustrated Italian wrestled Tunney to the canvas. Immediately after the tumble, the referee awarded Tunney the inevitable victory, not by disqualification as Spalla's cornermen believed at first, but on a technical knockout.

Resource: Gene Tunney: The Enigma of the Ring by Nat Fleischer