By Teodoro Medina Reynoso PhilBoxing.com Thu, 09 Jul 2020
Dempsey drops Carpienter, July 2, 1921, New Jersey.
Hopefully, July 2020 will see the continuous and steady return of professional boxing in the United States after the still ongoing coronavirus pandemic forced a full stop to the sport events in general, and many other routinary human endeavors and activities for that matter, last March.
Actually pro boxing in the US has made an auspicious comeback a week earlier with American Joshua Franco winning the WBA super flyweight regular title over Australia's Andrew Moloney last June 24, 2020. That will go down as a historical footnote as the first world championship fight to be held at the end of the pandemic lockdown.
The current month though will still be characterized by the general wait and see attitude by both organizers and fans in the US and elsewhere as authorities attempt to ease boxing and sports as a whole to a new normal in line with established health and medical protocols.
Thus far in the month has seen publicized fights involving some prominent names as ex two division world champion Jose Pedraza as well as the up and coming Jose Zepeda, Robeisy Ramirez and Luis Alberto Lopez who all won against mostly rated opponents.
If plans fall into place, July will see another world championship bout involving Jamel Herring defending his WBO super featherweight crown versus Jonathan Equendo on July 14 and the return to the ring of heavyweights Carlos Takam and Agit Kabayel as well as Filipinos Reymart Gaballo and John Vincent Moralde.
PART 1: July in Boxing History (July 2-10)
July in the previous history of boxing, however was replete with some memorable events and milestones in the careers of some of the fightsport's most respected and endeared figures as Jack Dempsey, Ruben Olivares, Larry Holmes, Alexis Arguello and Aaron Pryor, among others.
Below are the precedent and record setting as well as significant fights that transpired between July 2-10 of various years:
July 2, 1921-In boxing’s first ever million dollar gate, World Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey made the third defense of his title after stopping Light Heavyweight World Champion Georges Carpentier in the fourth round at Boyle’s Thirty Acres in Jersey City, New Jersey. The 26 year old Dempsey entered with a record of 54-4-11, 41 KO’s while the 27 year old Carpentier of France came in with a record of 84-10-5, 52 KO’s.
July 3, 1993- Lineal and WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Sung Kil Moon made the ninth defense of his title after beating Carlos Gabriel Salazar by 12 round split decision at the Education Culture Center in Seoul, Korea. Two judges scored the bout for Moon, 116-111 and 116-112, with one judge favoring Salazar 115-114. This would be the final victory of Moons career, as he fought just once more before hanging his gloves. Salazar would go on to become a two-time World Champion, winning titles in both the Super Flyweight and Flyweight divisions.
Pryor knocks down Kameda.
July 4, 1982- International Boxing Hall of Fame member and WBC and lineal Jr Welterweight Champion of the World Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor made the fifth defense of his title after stopping Akio Kameda at 1:44 of round six at the Riverfront Colosseum in Cincinnati, Ohio . The 26 year old Pryor had to climb up a first round flash knockdown to drop the 25 year old Kameda twice in round two and again in the third. Pryor improved to 31-0, 29 KO’s, while Kameda lost for the first time (17-1, 14 KO’s).
July 5, 1975- Puerto Rico's Alfredo Escalera won the WBC Super Featherweight World Championship after stopping defending Japanese titlist Kuniaki Shibata at 2:56 of round two at the Kasamatsu Athletic Park Gym in Hitachinaka, Japan. The 28 year old Shibata was making his fourth defense of the title and entered with a record of 44-5-3, 25 KO’s. The 23 year old Escalera entered with a record of 29-7-1, 18 KO’s and this was his first World Championship bout. Escalera would go on to make 10 successful title defenses before losing to future International Boxing Hall of Fame member Alexis Arguello in 1978.
July 6, 1979- World Boxing Association Flyweight World Champion Betulio Gonzalez made the third defense of his title in his third reign after stopping ex titlist Shoji Oguma at 1:12 of round 12 at the Tochigi Prefectural Gym in Utsunomiya, Japan. This was an immediate rematch after the pair fought to a 15 round draw in January. The 29 year old Gonzalez was up on the cards at the time of the stoppage with scores of 107-105 twice and 106-104. With the victory, Gonzalez improved his record to 65-7-3, 44 KO’s while the 27 year old Oguma fell to 31-8-1, 18 KO’s.
July 7, 1980- World Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes tied Joe Louis’ record with his seventh straight title win via stoppage after referee Davey Pearl ruled that Scott LeDoux was not fit to continue due to a severe cut under his left eyelid at 2:05 of round seven at the Metropolitan Sports Center in Bloomington, Minnesota . The 30 year old Holmes led 60-53 on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage and improved to 35-0, 26 KO’s. LeDoux, 31, fell to 26-9-4, 17 KO’s.
July 8, 1979- International Boxing Hall of Fame member and World Boxing Council Super Featherweight World Champion Alexis Arguello made the fifth defense of his title after stopping Rafael Limon at 1:40 of round 11 at the Felt Forum in New York . A cut over Limon’s right eye prompted referee in charge Tony Perez to call a halt to the bout. The 27 year old Arguello led on all three scorecards 7-1, 7-2, and 6-2. Arguello improved to 59-5, 49 KO’s while the 25 year old Limon dropped to 43-9-2, 32 KO’s.
July 9, 1988- International Boxing Hall of Fame member Orlando Canizales won the IBF World Bantamweight championship after stopping Kelvin Seabrooks at 1:03 of round 15 at the Sands Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Canizales scored knockdowns in round one and 15 and led on the scorecards 138-127, 138-128, and 137-128 at the time of the stoppage. The 25 year old Seabrooks was making the fourth defense of the title and fell to 26-14, 21 KO’s. The 22 year old Canizales improved to 20-1-1, 17 KO’s and would go on to defend the title a Bantamweight record 16 times.
July 10, 1970- World Boxing Council Super Lightweight World Champion Bruno Arcari made the first defense of the title he won in January over Filipino Pedro Adigue when his challenger Rene Roque was disqualified for head butting at 1:29 of round six at Stadio Beach, Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. The 28 year old Arcari improved to 40-2, 22 KO’s, while the 28 year old Roque dropped to 43-8-6, 6 KO’s. Arcari would go on to make nine successful defenses before vacating the belt to move up to welterweight.
To be continued...
The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone 09215309477.