Name: Zora Folley
Birth Name: Zora Bell Folley
Hometown: Chandler, Arizona, USA
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, USA
Died: 1972-07-07 (Age:41)
Pro Boxer: Record
Amateur Boxer: Record
Trainer: Cal Woods (circa 1955), Johnny Hart
Manager: Al Fenn
Zora Folley Photo Gallery
Zora Folley was born in Dallas, Texas in 1931 and moved with his family to Chandler, Arizona in 1942. In 1948, Folley joined the United States army and began boxing as an amateur, winning the 6th Army championship within a year, eventually earning the All-Army and All-Service titles. While a serviceman, Folley earned the rank of sergeant and fought in Korea, where he earned five battles stars. He began boxing professionally after his discharge in 1953.
A longtime top contender, Folley fought many of the best heavyweights of his era--including Sonny Liston, George Chuvalo, Bob Foster, Oscar Bonavena, Eddie Machen, Nino Valdes, Doug Jones, Pete Rademacher. He pursued a world title fight with Floyd Patterson for years, but could never get the Patterson side to agree. His lone shot at a world title came in 1967 when he was knocked out in the seventh round by Muhammad Ali.
Folley, the father of nine children, worked as a car salesman in Chandler, Arizona after leaving the ring and was a member of the local city council.
He died in 1972, hitting his head near a motel swimming pool. The police sergeant said Folley had been engaged in some friendly roughhousing, when he fell and struck his head shortly after midnight. Folley, who had been joined by three friends, allegedly was attempting to throw another man in the pool when he slipped. He was rushed to Pima County Hospital for surgery and was pronounced dead 55 minutes after falling. The death was officially ruled an accident, but some are skeptical. A motel clerk on the scene was quoted as saying she, "found him with a large bump on his forehead, a hole on the top of his head and another wound in the back of his head." He is buried at City of Mesa Cemetery in Mesa, Arizona.