For Compromised and Injured Fighters Entering Big Fights: History Tells a Dismal Story

Kurt’s Weekly Newsletter

October 20, 2018

After watching last Saturday’s fight between Bud Crawford and Jose Benevides Jr., it appears Benevides entered the fight with a leg injury, which prevented him from being able to perform to his potential. It was clear he lacked power in his right hand due to his leg injury. His shuffling forward and backwards was awkward, to say the least. With limited mobility, Benevides was a sitting duck for Crawford. This was all due to an event which occurred a couple years ago, when he was shot. But at the fight last Saturday, Benevides looked handicapped. Gamblers that set the betting line in Las Vegas had him as a 30-1 underdog, even though he had a 27-0 record.  They were correct. Benevides took a systematic beating and was finally TKOed in the 12th round. I give Benevides a lot of credit for putting up a good fight until his fateful 12th the round.

I decided to put together a list of fighters who went into a major fight with a substantial ailment or injury preventing them from having a reasonable chance of winning. In no particular order, here are thirteen examples:

1. Muhammad Ali  vs Cleveland Williams (1966)

Result: 3rd round TKO

Williams enter fight 2 years after being shot and badly injured by a highway patrol cop. He took a terrible beating in this matchup , never landing a single punch on Ali. Total massacre.

2. Muhammad Ali  vs Joe Frazier III (1975)

Result: 14th round TKO

Frazier was reportedly blind in his left eye. He took hundreds of punches to the head. It was such a bad beating, he did not fight for the next 5 years. He would have one more fight, which ended in a draw.

3. Larry Holmes vs Muhammad Ali (1980)

Result: 10th round  TKO

Ali entered the ring on cocktail of drugs for various aliments. Ali took one of worst beatings ever seen in a heavyweight title fight.  Painful to watch fight.

4. Jack  Dempsey vs. Billy Miske (1920)

Result: 3rd round TKO

Miske entered the fight with advanced Bright’s disease. He was swiftly KO’d in three rounds. Miske would die three years later.

5. Joe Louis vs John Henry Lewis (1939)

Result: 1st round KO

Lewis was going  blind in one eye and was quickly KO’d in the first round. He never fought again.

6. Oscar DeLa Hoya vs Julio Cesar Chavez I (1996)

Result: 4th round  TKO

Chavez entered the ring with a badly cut left eye, covered with makeup. After the first jab DeLaHoya landed on Chavez’s eye in first round, blood started streaming down his face. By the end of first round his entire face covered in blood.  He took a beating until the fight was stopped in 4th round.

7. Kid Gavilan vs Tony Janiro (1951)

Result: 4th round  TKO

Janiro  had  a badly damaged knee going into the fight. He could barley stand up. Janiro was knocked down several times and stumbled around the ring constantly. He looked helpless, until referee finally stopped the massacre.

8. Arthur Perkly vs Luther McCarty (1913)

Result: 1st round KO

McCarty was best young heavyweight prospect  in 1913  and  most likely would have become a heavyweight champion in the future.  This fight was a tune up for McCarty.  A few hours before fight McCarty was thrown off  a horse he was riding, injuring his neck. He entered the ring with  a severely damaged neck. Midway through first round Perkly landed a light punch to McCarty’s head fatally injuring him.

9. Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao (2015)

Result: W12

Pacman reportedly had an injured shoulder going into this fight. He could not throw his usual volume of hard punches. Lost decision. He was outworked, according to Las Vegas judges.

10.  Roy Jones vs Tony Thornton (1995)

Result: 3rd round TKO

Thornton who worked full time for US Postal Service entered  fight with badly injured arm. How he passed the pre-fight physical is a mystery.  He took a bad beating, while the fight did last. It was mercifully stopped in the 3rd round.

11. Jimmy Ellis vs Jerry Quarry (1968)

Result: W15

Quarry had a broken bone in his back. He fought a very lackluster fight. He was unable to get off. Losing this fight altered Quarry’s career trajectory.

12. Miguel Cotto vs Sergio Martinez (2014)

Result: 10th round TKO

Martinez had an injured knee. He was never “in” the fight from first round on. This fight was the end of his career.

13. Emile Griffith vs Gypsy Joe Harris (1968)

Result: W12

Harris was blind in one eye. Griffith took advantage and won an easy decision over unbeaten Harris, who never fought again.