Marcel Cerdan

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Name: Marcel Cerdan
Alias: Le Bombardier Marocain
Birth Name: Marcellin Cerdan
Hometown: Paris, Paris, France
Birthplace: Sidi Bel-Abbes, Algeria
Died: 1949-10-27 (Age:33)
Height: 169cm
Reach: 175cm
Pro Boxer: Record


Marcel Cerdan, known as the "Casablanca Clouter," turned professional at the age of 18 in 1934 and won his first 46 fights. His first defeat was a fifth-round disqualification loss against Englishman Harry Craster on January 9, 1939 in London. Four bouts and six weeks later, Cerdan beat his first world-ranked opponent, Saverio Turiello, in a welterweight contest in Paris. Then he beat Turiello again, this time for the European Welterweight Title on June 3, 1939.

With the outbreak of WWII and the early fall of France, Cerdan didn't resume his career until 1941 in North Africa. But by the end of the year, he was back fighting on the mainland, which was occupied by Germany. A disqualification loss to Victor Buttin, whom he later knocked out, is the only blemish in his 28 fights from 1941 to 1944. He continued his winning ways through the next two years, including a ten-round decision win over Holman Williams in Paris and a ten-round decision win over Georgie Abrams in his New York debut.

Cerdan won the vacant European Middleweight Title with a first-round knockout of Leon Fouquet on February 2, 1947. He lost the title to Cyrille Delannoit by a fifteen-round decision on May 23, 1948. The two had a rematch on July 10, 1948, and Cerdan regained the title with a fifteen-round decision victory.

On September 21, 1948, Cerdan fought World Middleweight Champion Tony Zale in Jersey City, New Jersey. The 33-year-old challenger dominated the "Man of Steel" and won by a twelfth-round TKO. After two non-title wins, Cerdan lost the crown on June 16, 1949 to Jake LaMotta via a tenth-round TKO. Cerdan, who injured his shoulder when the two fell to the canvas during a first-round scuffle, fought one-armed until he retired in his corner after the tenth round.

En route to America for a rematch with LaMotta later that fall, Cerdan was killed when his plane crashed in the Azores.


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Preceded by:
Tony Zale
World Middleweight Champion
1948 Sep 21 – 1949 Jun 16
Succeeded by:
Jake LaMotta