This Day in Boxing

Willie Pastrano Beats Wayne Thornton This Day May 4, 1963



Willie Pastrano Beats Wayne Thornton This Day May 4, 1963



  • Willie Pastrano 177½ lbs
  • Wayne Thornton 175¼ lbs by MD in round 10 of 10
  • Location: Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  • Referee: Harold Krause 47-45
  • Judge: Ralph Mosa 47-44
  • Judge: Pat Deskin 46-46



Willie Pastrano piled up a big early lead Saturday night, then survived the late-round bull-like rushes of young Wayne Thornton to win a split decision in their nationally-televised light heavyweight fight. The win evened the three-fight series between the two fighters at one win apiece plus one draw. Pastrano, who weighed in at 177½ pounds, danced and jabbed his way to a wide point margin through the first six rounds, then took a beating from the 23-year-old Fresno, Calif., fighter in the closing stanzas.

Referee Harry Krauss had it 47-45 under tho Nevada five-point-must scoring system. Judge Ralph Mossa had it 47-44 for Pastrano but Judge Pat Deskin had it even. It was a thriller for the vacationing Las Vegas crowd which cheered the footwork and jabbing of Pastrano through the first part of the fight, then roared for Thornton when he came storming back in the late rounds to land solidly to the body and head with wild lefts and rights.

There were no knockdowns and neither fighter was marked although Thornton bled from the nose after an exchange in the third round. This was the best round of the bout for Pastrano, noted for his fancy-Dan performances, who slugged toe-to-toe with his younger foe. It wasn’t until the sixth round that Thornton was able to land solidly, but from then on he connected repeatedly and in the eighth and ninth rounds staggered the Miami Beach veteran. Thornton weighed 175¼.

After the fight, Thornton said he should not have gotten less than a draw. “I pressed the fight all the way,” he said. “But I must admit I had a bad night.” On the other hand, Pastrano said his performance was the best of his three bouts with Thornton.


Unofficial Scorecards:

Associated Press: 46-45 Pastrano

United Press International: 47-45 Pastrano

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