This week in boxing history, PBC flashes back to three world title knockouts, celebrates Sugar Ray Robinson’s first championship and remembers a triumphant moment for the “Hurricane.”
December 19, 1981 – Dwight Braxton stopped Matthew Saad Muhammad in Round 10 to win the WBC light heavyweight title in Atlantic City.
Braxton, who changed his name to Dwight Muhammad Qawi in 1982, dominated the much taller Muhammad from the outset before using a series of punches against the ropes to finish off the champion, who was making his ninth title defense.
December 19, 1998 – Floyd Mayweather Jr. retained his WBC super featherweight title with a second-round TKO of Angel Manfredy in Miami.
The 21-year-old Mayweather, whom The Ring named Fighter of the Year for 1998, overwhelmed Manfredy late in Round 2 with a barrage of punches before referee Frank Santore Jr. stopped the bout.
December 20, 1946 – Sugar Ray Robinson won his first world title, claiming the vacant welterweight championship with a 15-round unanimous decision over Tommy Bell at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Robinson, who waited five years to get his title shot, had been scheduled to fight reigning champion Marty Servo in September, but Servo pulled out of the bout due to a nose injury and subsequently announced his retirement.
December 20, 1963 – Rubin “Hurricane” Carter gained a first-round knockout of welterweight champion Emile Griffith in a non-title fight in Pittsburgh.
It was the biggest victory ever for Carter, who won 20 of his first 24 bouts before losing to middleweight champion Joey Giardello in 1964 in the only title fight of his career.
December 20, 1975 – Roberto Duran retained his WBA lightweight title with a 15th-round knockout of Leoncio Ortiz in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Ortiz stood up to the relentless attack of Duran, who was making his seventh title defense, before falling to a right uppercut in the final 30 seconds of the bout.