Kid Gavilan vs. Carmen Basilio

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1953-09-18 : Carmen Basilio 147 lbs lost to Kid Gavilan 146¾ lbs by SD in round 15 of 15

Basilio.Gavilan.1953.09.18.jpg
  • World Welterweight Title
  • Odds: Gavilan opened as 3 1/2-to-1 favorite, and closed as a 5-to-1 favorite.
  • Basilio had the best of the early rounds and dropped Gavilan for a count of nine in the second round, but he let his advantage slip away. This was only the second time Gavilan had ever been floored in his career; Ike Williams did it first in 1948. Gavilan punished Basilio in the 10th, pinning his opponent against the ropes, with punches to the body. Gavilan used the bolo punch several times, but without its usual effectiveness. Basilio's eye was swollen shut by the 14th round.
  • New York Times and New York Daily News both had Gavilan winning by a single round.
  • Referee George Walsh, who gave the widest score in favor of out-of-towner Gavilan (8 to 6 with one even), was pelted with garbage as he left the ring after the bout.
  • The bout was held on the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur, which probably hurt attendance.
  • Attendance: 6,440; Gross: $74,317; Net: $57,159.37

Sources: Syracuse Post-Standard; The Ring Dec. 1953, p.15


  • Unofficial AP scorecard - 6-6-3 Draw
  • Unofficial UP scorecard - 8-6-1 Gavilan
  • Purses: (app. with % of gate and TV monies) Gavilan - $34,000, Basilio - $17,000

Post fight comments

  • "If you can't make the weight, you have to give it up. It all depends on what the doctor says. At 150 lbs. Basilio would have been no problem. Maybe the Kid had better go after the middleweights. He could beat both Bobo Olson and Randy Turpin." -Angel Lopez, Gavilan's manager, claiming Gavilan can no longer make 147 comfortably.
  • "I licked him. I licked him good. I want to fight him again as soon as I can. He never hurt me but he stuck his thumb in my eye with one of those bolos." -Carmen Basilio