This week in boxing history, PBC flashes back to five world-title knockouts, including a Fight of the Year, the birth of two champions, an American triumph overseas and a storied Puerto Rico-Mexico showdown.
November 30, 1955 – Carmen Basilio scored a 12th-round TKO in a rematch with Tony DeMarco to retain his world welterweight title at the Boston Garden. Basilio had stopped DeMarco 173 days earlier to win the championship.
Basilio floored DeMarco twice in the final round of this bout, which The Ring named Fight of the Year. It was the first of five consecutive years in which Basilio was involved in the Fight of the Year (finishing 3-2).
November 30, 1956 – Floyd Patterson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history at the age of 21, claiming the vacant title with a fifth-round KO of Archie Moore at Chicago Stadium.
The championship had become vacant with Rocky Marciano’s retirement in April. The youngest champion had been Joe Louis, who was 23 when he beat Jim Braddock in 1937. Moore, at age 39, would have become the oldest heavyweight champ.
November 30, 1979 – Sugar Ray Leonard won the WBC welterweight title with a 15th-round stoppage of Wilfred Benitez at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Benitez entered the ring as an unbeaten two-division champion, but Leonard was a 3-1 favorite in what was the richest fight at the time between two non-heavyweights.
December 2, 1907 – American Tommy Burns retained his world heavyweight title with a 10th-round KO of British champion Gunner Moir in London.
The undersized Burns made his seventh title defense in the first world heavyweight championship bout held outside of the United States.
December 3, 1982 – Puerto Rican great Wilfredo Gomez retained his WBC super bantamweight title with a 14th-round TKO of Lupe Pintor at the Superdome in New Orleans.
The Ring selected the third round as Round of the Year, and the fight is one of the most memorable in the storied rivalry between Puerto Rico and Mexico.