Boxing, Boxing History, Mainstream

Archie Moore – All-Time KO King of Boxing

 

 

ARCHIE MOORE fought for an incredible 27 years and knocked out more opponents — 131 victims — than anyone else in the history of boxing. He became the light heavyweight champion at the age of 39 and is the only man to have fought both Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali.

Moore, who turned pro in 1936, debuted in the world rankings as a middleweight in the early 1940s. By 1945, Moore moved up to light heavyweight and although he was continually passed over for a title shot, he remained a fixture in the 175-pound rankings. Finally, in 1952, four days after his 39th birthday, Moore secured a shot against light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim. He won the title by decision and held onto it for nearly a decade.

In 1955, Moore attempted to win the heavyweight title from Rocky Marciano. Although he dropped Marciano early in the fight, Marciano rallied and stopped Moore in the ninth round. A year later, after Marciano retired, Moore met Floyd Patterson for the vacant heavyweight crown but was stopped in five.

Although he fell to bigger men, Moore was nearly unbeatable at light heavyweight. He made nine title defenses and engaged in memorable contests with Maxim, Yvon Durelle and Harold Johnson. In his first fight with Durelle, the Canadian challenger dropped more three times in the first round and once in the fifth round. But Archie responded by dropping Durelle in the seventh and knocking him out in the 11th round.

Moore would eventually be stripped of the light heavyweight title by the NBA and the New York State Athletic Commission. So he simply continued to battle bigger men. He knocked out former Olympic heavyweight champion Pete Rademacher in 1961 and was stopped by Ali in 1962. Moore’s age is listed as 49 at the time of the Ali fight, but some ring experts insist he was actually older since his date of birth has been disputed. Moore retired after one fight — a third-round TKO of Mike DiBiase — in 1963.

All totaled, Moore fought nine world champions and seven Hall-of-Famers. He had multi-fight series with some of the game’s top fighters. He won four of five fights from Jimmy Bivins and Harold Johnson, he won all three fights against Maxim and lost all three of his fights against Ezzard Charles.

Moore remained active in boxing as a trainer. He once worked with a young Ali and later with heavyweight champion George Foreman.

 

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