This week in boxing history, PBC looks at a pair of heavyweight title bouts, relives a fantastic finish, replays a controversial ending and traces the start of a storied trilogy between Hall of Fame fighters.
October 18, 1991 – Ray Mercer knocked out Tommy Morrison in the fifth round in Atlantic City to defend his WBO heavyweight title.
October 19, 1985 – With a finish right out of a Rocky script, Lee Roy Murphy beat Chisanda Mutti with a 12th-round KO in their cruiserweight title fight in Fontvieille, Monaco.
After both fighters simultaneously landed punches and fell together to the canvas in the 12th, Murphy struggled to his feet while Mutti was unable to beat referee Larry Hazzard’s count.
October 20, 1979 – John Tate defeated Gerrie Coetzee by 15-round unanimous decision in Pretoria, South Africa, to win the vacant WBA heavyweight title.
October 22, 1966 – Carlos Ortiz defeated Sugar Ramos by fifth-round TKO in Mexico City to retain his WBA and WBC world lightweight titles.
Referee Billy Conn stopped the fight in the fifth, which The Ring named Round of the Year, due to a cut over Ramos’ eye. The decision prompted angry fans to throw debris into the ring, and WBC President Luis Spota declared the title vacant and ordered a rematch.
October 23, 1962 – Dick Tiger earned a 15-round unanimous decision over Gene Fullmer in San Francisco to earn the WBA world middleweight title.
It was the first of three consecutive bouts between the fighters, with Tiger sandwiching two wins around a split draw.