Rocky Marciano vs. Harry (Kid) Matthews

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1952-07-28 : Rocky Marciano 187½ lbs beat Harry Matthews 179 lbs by KO at 2:04 in round 2 of 10

  • Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, USA
  • Referee: Ray Miller

Photo #2, Photo #3

Over 25,000 fans crowded into Yankee Stadium to watch these two heavyweights fight an eliminator bout for a shot at the title, then held by Jersey Joe Walcott.

Matthews, with 58 knockouts, had a seemingly easy opening stanza with the heavily-favored 41-0 Marciano. Matthews avoided the ropes and stayed in center ring, landing combinations, slipping over power punches, and tying Marciano up time and time again. Using his reach, height, and range to his advantage, Matthews seemed to frustrate Marciano's efforts.

Round 2 was much the same, except, at times, Matthews held his hands low. Just past the two-minute mark, Marciano landed a left jab, followed by two left-hooks that left Matthews slumped over the ropes on the floor in his own corner, knocked out.

Odds: Marciano 11-to-5 favorite (New York Times)