This week in boxing history, PBC looks back as two world champions defend their titles in devastating fashion, a future champ suffers a disputed defeat, the youngest champ ever conquers a second division and two battle-tested former titleholders go the distance.
January 9, 1942 – Joe Louis knocked out Buddy Baer in the first round of their rematch to retain his world heavyweight championship at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Making his 20th title defense, Louis knocked Baer down three times in the bout, which served as a benefit for the Navy Relief Fund one month after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
January 13, 1976 – Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts gave Marvin Hagler his first career loss in a controversial 10-round majority decision at the Philadelphia Spectrum.
A pacing Hagler swung his right hand in disgust when the decision went in favor of the local fighter, and the Philly crowd actually gave the future undisputed world middleweight champion a warm ovation after Watts left the ring. More than four years later, Hagler avenged the defeat with a second-round stoppage of Watts in Portland, Maine.
January 14, 1979 – Wilfred Benitez beat Carlos Palomino in a 15-round split decision in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to earn the WBC welterweight championship.
Benitez became a two-division champion at the age of 20 by overwhelming Palomino, who was making his eighth title defense.
January 14, 1984 – Ray Mancini scored a third-round TKO of Bobby Chacon to retain his WBA lightweight title at Lawlor Events Center in Reno, Nevada.
Mancini battered Chacon so severely that the challenger thanked referee Richard Steele in the ring for stopping the fight.
January 14, 1995 – Vinny Pazienza defeated Roberto Duran by 12-round unanimous decision in a super middleweight bout at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
Fighting for the second time in six months, the 32-year-old Pazienza wore down the 43-year-old Duran in the latter rounds of the pay-pay-view bout.