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Old 07-09-2007, 11:35 AM   #45
East Side Guru
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Default Re: Who is the most forgotten World Champ??

Allow me to offer a perfect candidate for this thread:

Petey Sarron.

Sarron is little more than a footnote today, and usually only to astute boxing historians who recognize him as the sacrifial lamb Henry Armstrong kayoed to win the World Featherweight Championship. Petey was something more than that.

In an era where boxers of Italian, African, Irish, Native American, Jewish, and a variety of other distinct ethnicities attained social prominence as boxing contenders and hero champions to their communities, Petey Sarron unseated Hall of Famer Freddie Miller in 1936, becoming boxing history's very first World Champion of Syrian extract, over 45 years before Mustafa Hamsho was prevented from becoming the second by the Hagler roadblock.

Sarron was an excellent amateur boxer, and was an alternate member of the 1924 US Olympic Boxing Team in Paris.

Petey Sarron/Freddie Miller was one of boxing's very best rivalries, and it concluded with Sarron successfull defending the FW title against Miller to permanently even their superb series at 3-3. In 150 matches, Petey was only stopped by Armstrong.

(Even this remarkable achievement of Sarron's was overshadowed by Miller not suffering a stoppage loss through his first 250 fights! After Freddie was finally TKOed by novice Herschel Joiner in his 251st match, he announced his retirement at age 29. Imagine a 29 year old boxer with no kayo losses in his first 250 matches today! Could RJJ, SRL, DLH, Toney or PBF ever turn THAT trick?)

After Petey was dethroned by Armstrong (who like Joe Louis was of African-American/Native American mixed lineage), he concluded his career with an 11 bout winning streak until he retired at age 32, following a decision loss to yet another Hall of Famer, Sammy Angott. While proud of his heritage, Petey also served in the US military during WWII (as was typical of age eligible boxers during that conflict). After the war, Petey worked as a referee, and became Secretary of the Miami Boxing Commission in late 1953. (Anybody who wonders if Jews and Arabs could ever co-exist peacefully, should study Miami sociology from the late 1940s to early 1960s. It might have served as a perfect model for Israeli/Palestinian power sharing and co-operaton.)

A borderline boxing HOFer himself, Petey was enshrined in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1977. A great guy, Petey passed away at age 87, 13 years ago last Saturday.

With admittedly considerable bias, I submit the name of Petey Sarron as a classic example of a forgotten champion.
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