Marcel Cerdan vs. Jake LaMotta

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LaMotta (right) throws a right at Cerdan

Marcel Cerdan 159 lbs lost to Jake LaMotta 158 lbs by RTD in round 9 of 15

  • Date: 1949-06-16
  • Location: Briggs Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, USA
  • Referee: Johnny Weber
  • World Middleweight Championship
  • Photo #2
  • The fight was postponed one day because of rain.
  • Cerdan was a 2 to 1 favorite.
  • There was a crowd of 22,183 at Briggs Stadium.
  • The gross gate was $150,762 and the net gate was $127,810.
  • Cerdan got $51,124 and LaMotta was paid $19,171.50.
  • Cerdan injured his left shoulder when he was thrown to the canvas by LaMotta in the first round.
  • Red Smith reported: "In spite of his injury and in spite of a severe beating in the first round ... Cerdan won the second round big and the third and fifth by lesser margins. A master at handling his opponent, turning him, tying him up, slipping or blocking his punches, and setting him up, Cerdan could do none of this one-handed. He couldn't even stick his left out to ward off his foe ... it is difficult to believe LaMotta would have a chance with a two-handed Cerdan."
  • After the fight, LaMotta had a sizeable swelling on top of his left hand, around the middle finger. He said, "I don't know which round I hurt the left ... maybe the third or fourth ... I think it is a fracture." Despite the injured hand, LaMotta landed 104 blows in the ninth round, whereas Cerdan scarcely threw a punch.
  • Cerdan's corner stopped the fight after the ninth round.
  • Cerdan and LaMotta had a rematch scheduled for September 28, 1949, but LaMotta injured his shoulder six days before the fight and it was rescheduled for December 2.
  • Cerdan was killed in a plane crash in the Azores on October 27, 1949. He was on his way back to the United States to train for the rematch.
  • LaMotta testified before a Senate subcommittee in 1960 that he agreed to throw his 1947 fight against Billy Fox and pay the mob $20,000 in order to get a shot at the middleweight title.

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