LaMar Clark was a Utah chicken farmer who left the farm to seek his fame and fortune in the boxing ring.
He attended Cedar City High School, where he played football, basketball, baseball.
He embarked on an amateur career and in 1956 captured the Inter-Mountain AAU and Golden Gloves Heavyweight Titles. He was also a quarter-finalist at the Western Golden Gloves in Chicago. In 1957, Clark became the Inter-Mountain AAU Heavyweight Champion, was a quarter-finalist in the National AAU Championships in Boston and won regional Golden Gloves at heavyweight. According to AP reports from December 2, 1958, his final amateur record was 25 wins and 2 losses.
Clark turned professional in the same boxing stable as two-time World Middleweight Champion Gene Fullmer. Clark developed the same mauling and brawling style as the champion. He also sparred with Fullmer's brothers Don and Jay.
After winning his first fight by decision, he went on a whirlwind fighting campaign. He started racking up an impressive string of knockouts over a host of unknowns. Some of his opponents were professional wrestlers, others were local tough-guys. Clark was so confident of his knockout power that he fought six consecutive foes in one night. He knocked out all of them--five in the first round. He also set a record for most consecutive knockouts: winning 44 straight fights by KO. Clark's best victory was over California heavyweight Tony Burton. Burton was 16-3 going into the fight. (Burton went on to an acting career, co-starring in the Rocky films.) However, Clark's knockout streak came to a halt when he was knocked out in an upset to Dominican Heavyweight Champion Bartolo Soni.
Clark had a chance to re-establish his promising career when he faced Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) in Clay's sixth pro bout. However, Clay was too fast for Clark. Clark was not only knocked out, but his nose was broken.
Not yet 28-years-old, Clark retired. However, he will always be remembered for his 44-0 knockout streak.
LaMar Clark died November 5, 2006.
He was credited with two pro bouts in 1955, but this is probably wrong information, as he was known to be an amateur in 1956 and 1957, turning pro only after death of his father in a fire in July 1957, after he and his mother (who also was burned in the fire and required medical treatment) moved from Cedar City to Salt Lake City. For example, in interview in The Daily Review (1958-12-19) it is mentioned that Clark turned pro less than an year ago. Also, his record as it is being reported by AP and UPI in 1958-59, doesn't contain a draw or another points victory other than in his pro debut in January 1958.
The two early bouts were:
1955-07-16 Lamar Clark W-PTS 8 Lee Howard 0-0-0 (location: Cedar City, UT, USA)
1955-07-04 Lamar Clark D-PTS 8 Ted Atherly 0-0-0 (location: Cedar City, UT, USA)
Among his known amateur bouts are:
1957-02-06 won regional Golden Gloves at heavyweight division in Las Vegas. Clark defeated Truman Lukenback (from Salt Lake City) on points.
1957-04-09 lost in quarter-final of National AAU Championships via split decision to reigning champion Jim McCarter (215lb, from Seattle, WA), the bout was held in Boston Garden, with audience of 1120, that booed the decision.
Among Clark's known exhibition bouts was a meeting with pro-wrestler Eric 'The Great' Forsland (of Salt Lake City, promoted by Dave Raynolds) on 1958-12-26 in Salt Lake City. The bout was scheduled for 8 rounds, with grappling allowed. Clark weighed 183, Forsland 220. Clark dazed Forsland with a left to start the fight. Forsland tried a pair of double-fisted ramrod punches and abandoned that in favor of about 60 seconds of grappling. After Clark swatted him into the ropes, Forsland's ankles caught in the second and third strands and held him upside down with his head banging against the floor. While he was in this ungainly position, he was counted out at 1:31 of the first round. (Source: AP)