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Old 03-19-2012, 08:16 AM   #1
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Default Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

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Marciano fought Charles in mid-1954 for the first time. Who was the #1 contender at that moment?

Some say that Charles was the #1 contender.

However, The Ring ratings had Nino Valdes as the #1 contender at the end of 1953 and 1954. I don't think Valdes lost that ranking precisely during mid-1954, or he did? It would be strange. Especially because Valdes didn't lose a fight in that year.

It seems like Valdes was the #1 contender when Rocky fought Ezzard, who was #2.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

Valdes i'd assume. He beat charles fairly comfortably by all reports.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

Nino Valdes was the #1 ranked contender from;
August 1953 thru May 1955
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

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Old 03-19-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

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Old 03-19-2012, 01:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

Actually, Charles was the #1 contender when he fought Marciano. And Valdes was not the #1 contender from August, 1953. He was only #4 at that time.

Ring Rankings in October, 1953, issue to August 18.

Champ--Rocky Marciano

1--Roland LaStarza
2--Ezzard Charles
3--Dan Bucceroni
4--Nino Valdes
5--Tommy Harrison
6--Bob Satterfield
7--Heinz Neuhaus
8--Don ****ell
9--Earl Walls
10-Harry Matthews

Losses by LaStarza, Charles, and Bucceroni and Valdes wins put Nino at #1 at the end of the year, but he fell out of the #1 spot in early 1954 when his management avoided a rematch with Charles, Charles ko'd Satterfield in the elimination fight Valdes skirted, and Valdes looked bad in barely beating Archie McBride. Charles then took over the #1 spot again.

Ring Magazine rankings August, 1954 issue

Champ--Rocky Marciano

1--Ezzard Charles
2--Nino Valdes
3--Don ****ell
4--Jimmy Slade
5--Roland LaStarza
6--Hurricane Jackson
7--Dan Bucceroni
8--Bob Baker
9--Earl Walls
10-Heinz Neuhaus

After the two Marciano-Charles fights, Valdes regained the #1 ranking after ko'ing Jackson. However, Archie Moore, who had beaten Valdes and ko'd Harold Johnson and Baker, began demanding a fight with Marciano, and was viewed by most as the real #1 contender. He was matched with Valdes in May, 1955 and beat him again, dropping Valdes out of the top spot permanently. Of Marciano's opponents, LaStarza, Charles, and Moore were all rated above Valdes when he fought them. Only ****ell, at #2, was rated under Valdes.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by edward morbius View Post
After the two Marciano-Charles fights, Valdes regained the #1 ranking after ko'ing Jackson. However, Archie Moore, who had beaten Valdes and ko'd Harold Johnson and Baker, began demanding a fight with Marciano, and was viewed by most as the real #1 contender. He was matched with Valdes in May, 1955 and beat him again, dropping Valdes out of the top spot permanently. Of Marciano's opponents, LaStarza, Charles, and Moore were all rated above Valdes when he fought them. Only ****ell, at #2, was rated under Valdes.
Okay...so that explains why Marciano never fought Valdes. Funny how, from time to time, people start threads to the effect of "Marciano feared Valdes and ducked him...etc., etc."
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

I think if you dig deeper, you will find that the IBC had rated Nino Valdes #1,,,,,,

Ezzard Charles had lost back-to-fights in August and September 1953,
to Nino Valdes and Harold Johnson.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senor Pepe' View Post
I think if you dig deeper, you will find that the IBC had rated Nino Valdes #1,,,,,,

Ezzard Charles had lost back-to-fights in August and September 1953.
"Ezzard Charles had lost back-to-back fights in August and September 1953"

And Valdes had lost four in a row earlier in 1953.

Interestingly, Harold Johnson beat both of them, but Charles gave Johnson the much closer fight.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

Ezzard Charles was the #1 Ranked Heavyweight on the night he fought Nino Valdes,
In August 1953.

The IBC was hoping that Ezzard Charles would get picked off.

As for Nino,,,,,,,right place at the right time,,,,,,despite his 4-bout losing streak.
He leap-frogged in the IBC ratings.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

Some interesting developments in this thread.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

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Originally Posted by lufcrazy View Post
Some interesting developments in this thread.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

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Old 03-19-2012, 03:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senor Pepe' View Post
Ezzard Charles was the #1 Ranked Heavyweight on the night he fought Nino Valdes,
In August 1953.

The IBC was hoping that Ezzard Charles would get picked off.

As for Nino,,,,,,,right place at the right time,,,,,,despite his 4-bout losing streak.
He leap-frogged in the IBC ratings.
"The IBC was hoping that Ezzard Charles would get picked off."

What is the proof of this? If this is true, why did they match Charles with Marciano?

It seems to me that Charles was much easier to sell at the box office than Valdes, which would matter to a promotion group.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: Who was the #1 contender when Rocky Marciano fought Ezzard Charles?

ed mor,

In an after fight interview with Jimmy Brown, Ezzard Charles trainer.

The IBC was looking to slot someone else in, instead of Ezzard Charles.

But, Ezzard's manager Tom Tannas had a signed agreement to fight the
winner of the Marciano - LaStarza title fight.
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