This week in boxing history, PBC celebrates a three-division titleholder, recalls the crowning of a super middleweight champion, highlights a title defense by “The Hitman,” marvels at a Knockout of the Year and honors a blood-stained Fight of the Year.
April 24, 1931 – Tony Canzoneri knocked out Jack “Kid” Berg in Round 3 to retain the world lightweight title and claim the world super lightweight title at Chicago Stadium in the second of their three meetings.
Canzoneri became a three-division champion with the victory, as well as the first boxer in history to hold world titles in two weight divisions simultaneously.
April 24, 2015 – Badou Jack edged Anthony Dirrell by majority decision to win the WBC world super middleweight title at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion.
Fighting in the main event of a PBC on Spike broadcast, Jack controlled the second half of the bout to hand Dirrell his first career loss.
April 25, 1981 – Thomas Hearns stopped Randy Shields in Round 12 to retain his WBA world welterweight title at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.
Hearns, making the second defense of his championship, used his superior reach and power to dominate the action. Shields fought gamely but was cut above both eyes by the ninth round, leading referee Bobby Ferrara to stop the fight after Round 12 on the advice of ringside physicians.
April 25, 1998 – Roy Jones Jr. knocked out Virgil Hill in Round 4 of their light heavyweight non-title bout at Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Jones relinquished his WBC light heavyweight championship earlier that year as part of a planned move to heavyweight, but changed his mind to face Hill, a former unified light heavyweight world titleholder. Jones handed Hill his first stoppage loss with a crushing right to the body that The Ring named Knockout of the Year.
April 26, 2014 – Lucas Matthysse knocked out John Molina Jr. in Round 11 of their super lightweight non-title bout at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Matthysse was knocked down in Rounds 2 and 5, and cut over his left eye in Round 3 by an accidental headbutt before flooring Molina in Rounds 8, 10 and 11 to emerge victorious in The Ring’s Fight of the Year.