Good info on status of the Heavyweight Division in 1965 (Terrell v Machen)

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Longhhorn71, Jan 9, 2019.



  1. Longhhorn71

    Longhhorn71 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Good info on status of the Heavyweight Division in 1965
    (plus Terrell v Machen "hugfest")

    1965-03-05 :
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    192 lbs lost to
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    199 lbs by UD in round 15 of 15

    • Location: International Amphitheatre, Chicago, Illinois, USA
    • Referee:
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      67-72
    • Judge:
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      66-72
    • Judge:
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      67-70
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      Heavyweight Title
      (Vacant title)

    Ernie In Decision Over Eddie Machen
    Associated Press, March 7, 1965

    Ernie Terrell is the World Boxing Association’s heavyweight champion today but whether the title means anything after his lustily booed tug-of-war with Eddie Machen Friday night remains a big question mark.

    Terrell wants to fight the winner of the Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston title fight, set for Boston May 25. The WBA, which dethroned Clay for signing for the return with Liston, wants him to fight Floyd Patterson, the ex-champion, next.

    But the towering Terrell, prompted by Manager Julie Isaacson, said he won’t fight Patterson because "he never gave anyone a chance."

    And sources close to Patterson said he’s just going to wait on the Clay-Liston outcome hoping that Clay will win again.

    Terrell and Isaacson were scheduled to meet with the WBA’s executive committee today to discuss the next step.

    "We hope to straighten out the mess," said Merv McKenzie of Toronto, the WBA president. Pitching for the home town, he suggested a Terrell scrap with Canadian champion George Chuvalo in Toronto might be the answer. Chuvalo was beaten by Patterson in a thriller in New York, Feb. 1.

    As for the fight, Joe Louis, the old champion who was brought to help the 6-foot-6, guitar-strumming Terrell polish up his skills, summed it up in his usual terse and honest manner:

    "It wasn’t a good fight. Terrell looked like an amateur and Machen didn’t help any."

    Terrell’s snapping left jabs piled up enough points to earn him the unanimous, if unpopular, decision in the 15-rounder at the International Amphitheatre. Ringside writers voted 112-3 for the towering, 25-year-old Chicagoan over the 6-foot, 32-year-old veteran from Redding. Calif.

    The boos rolled out long and loudly after the verdict was announced. Referee Sonny Weisman had it 72-67 on the five-point a round must system. Judge William Doty had it 70-67 and Judge Dr. A. Duxler had it 72-66. The Associated Press had Terrell in front 71-67 on points and 8-4 with three even in rounds. On rounds Weisman had it 8-3-4, Doty, 8-5-2, and Duxler 9-3-3.

    Their styles, the six-inch difference in height and the seven-inch spread in reach, helped make it a miserable show, constantly marred by holding and spinning. Both were on the deck from shoves, pushes and slips but there were no knockdowns and nothing close to one.

    Machen, on the verge of being stabbed blind by Terrell’s stinging, fast-firing left jabs to the face in the early rounds, kept bending low to avoid the punches and tried to get inside.

    Terrell simply smothered Machen with his long arms and then popped him on the side of his body. This was perfectly legal, said referee Weisman, but the fans booed the big man and cheered the 9-5 underdog constantly. When Terrell hit the spinning Machen on the back, the fans jeered and the referee warned Terrell.

    It was the 13th straight victory for Terrell whose record is 37-4. Machen, blowing a big chance for at least the third time, now has a 47-6-2 record.

    Terrell weighed 199 pounds to Machen’s 192. Machen, who said he thought he won, mentioned the possibility of a return bout. Most everyone shuddered.

    Notes
    • Eddie Machen was apparently floored by Terrell with a right early in the tenth round, but the referee ruled it a slip.
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  2. red cobra

    red cobra Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Wow...another "I didn't know that" factoid from the misty past!!
     
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  3. red cobra

    red cobra Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Just brought the bout up on You Tube...checked the 10th round...looked more like a slip to me, but really,,,i could be wrong...what I saw was so awkward and ugly that I almost went into a stupor while watching.
     
  4. The Funny Man 7

    The Funny Man 7 Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Thanks for posting. Both of these guys occupy a less explored part of boxing history.

    I feel like Ernie Terrell was sort of like the Martin VanBueren of the heavyweight championship.
     
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  5. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Member Full Member

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  6. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Member Full Member

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    Just to add a little context to the discussion of the Terrell-Machen fight, here's an excerpt (with footnotes at the bottom of the excerpt) from the third volume of my series "The One Is Jack Hurley":

    "Despite his ring inactivity, much had happened to Clay since he won the heavyweight title on February 25, 1964. Only two days afterward, he announced he was a member of a Black Muslim sect of the Islamic faith. On March 7, he proclaimed he was renouncing his birth name because it was a slave name passed down to him from his great-grandfather’s plantation master. Henceforth, he would be known as “Muhammad Ali,” a name of great significance to followers of Islam.

    These announcements sent shock waves through the sports world. Many white Americans perceived the Black Muslims as a violent and anti-American separatist group who hated white people and advocated that black people overthrow the existing social order.

    One person particularly upset by these declarations was World Boxing Association (WBA) president Edward Lassman. On March 23, he called Clay “a detriment to the boxing world’ and argued that his “conduct is provoking world-wide criticism and setting up a poor example for the youth of the world.” Lassman said he would take the matter up with the WBA’s executive committee and urge it to declare the heavyweight title vacant.

    Lassman’s statement initially was met with criticism. Past WBA president Dr. Charles P. Larson said the comment “smacks of thought control and is far more dangerous, in my belief, than Clay’s assignment with the Black Muslims.” Lassman was put off for awhile, but his cause received a boost when it was learned Cassius had signed an agreement prior to the first Liston fight giving Sonny’s promotional firm the right to stage the new champion’s first defense and to name his foe. Naturally enough, the firm chose Sonny as challenger.

    The agreement had been drafted carefully in an effort to avoid the rule against return bout clauses, which the WBA enacted after the third Patterson-Johansson bout, but the clever wording failed to deter the WBA from its resolve. At its annual meeting on August 28, 1964, its members made a determination that the agreement violated the return bout rule. As a result, they voted to strip Clay of his championship and made plans for an elimination tournament to decide on a new heavyweight titleholder.

    The members failed to explain why the rule suddenly was being invoked when it had been ignored earlier in the case of the far less desirable Liston-Patterson rematch. Nor was any weight given to the fact that the agreement was a valid contract for which Clay might have been sued if he refused to go through with the match. Also ignored was the public’s obvious wish to see the bout in preference to any other, and the fact that Liston still was listed as the No. 1 contender by every rating agency except the WBA.

    The WBA designated Ernie Terrell, Cleveland Williams, Floyd Patterson, and Doug Jones as its four top contenders and proposed an elimination tournament to crown a new champion. From the beginning, the proposal ran into trouble. Patterson declined to participate because he was next in line to fight Clay after the Clay-Liston rematch. Jones fell out of favor when he lost to unrated Billy Daniels. Williams became unavailable when he was shot in the stomach during a dispute with a Texas policeman. 1

    With three contenders bowing out before the tourney even began, the WBA abandoned its elimination series and instead decided to appoint the winner of a match between Terrell and shop-worn Eddie Machen as its champion. The bout was held in Ernie’s home city of Chicago on March 5, 1965, and, after 15 dreary rounds, Terrell was awarded the decision. A crowd of 6,587 fans paid just $47,115, a sign of how lightly boxing fans viewed the WBA’s claim that the fight deserved championship recognition."
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    Grimsley, Will, “Heavyweight Champion Embraces Black-Supremacy Sect” (AP), Seattle Times, February 27, 1964, p. 34. “A New Name” (AP), Seattle Times, March 8, 1964, p. 47. “WBA President’s Action ‘Ridiculous,’” Seattle Times, March 23, 1964, p. 16. “Lassman Backs Down on Clay-Ouster Demand” (AP), Seattle Times, March 24, 1964, p. 12. Smith, op. cit., September 1, 1964, p. 12. Daniel Dan, “Where Do our Heavies Stand Now?” Ring Magazine, February 1965, pp. 6-8. The World Boxing Association (WBA) was the successor organization to the National Boxing Association (NBA). The membership of the NBA voted for the name change on August 22, 1962, at its annual meeting held that year in Tacoma, Washington.


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    “Buck, Al, “Terrell Winner, – So What?” Ring Magazine, May, 1965, pp. 23-24. The most persuasive evidence that the Terrell-Machen fight lacked the appeal usually associated with a heavyweight title fight was the fact that Terrell himself had to bear the entire financial risk of the show in order to find a promoter willing to stage it. Under the terms of the fight contract, Ernie received 60 percent of net receipts, out of which he agreed to pay Machen’s guarantees of a $20,000 purse plus $5,000 in expenses. The only receipts generated by the show came from the live gate since there was no interest by the networks or the closed-circuit firms in televising the bout. A final accounting determined that Ernie lost $2,500 on the bout. As a result, promoter Irving Schoenwald, Hurley’s ex-partner at Marigold Gardens and the Chicago Stadium, came out smelling like a rose and was the only party besides Machen to make a profit on the show.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  7. Longhhorn71

    Longhhorn71 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Excellent info.
     
  8. red cobra

    red cobra Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Haha...excellent analogy!! I always liked and respected Terrell...and of course Machen.
     
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  9. jowcol

    jowcol Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Even as an 11 year old I was shocked by this unexpected WBA 'curveball'??
    Terrell was, indeed, the 'Octopus' especially against smaller fighters. To his credit, he had a pretty good set of whiskers, a good jab and a stiff right hand so no one is going to walk thru him.
    At the time I thought it ridiculous because...who would he challenge for the 'title'?
    The cast?
    Machen: I love Eddie but he got his butt handed to him nine months earlier by Patterson.
    Chuvalo: Again, Patterson had simply outworked him a short time before and given Ernie's ability to take a punch, Ernie simply had to jab, paw, and hold to cop an easy UD.
    Jones: Just...too...small!
    Good thread!
     
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  10. edward morbius

    edward morbius Boxing Addict booted Full Member

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    Less like Martin Van Buren, who was in fact a legit president, than someone like Lewis Cass or Horatio Seymour or Alf Landon. "World champion" Terrell strikes me as sounding like "President" Landon.
     
  11. The Funny Man 7

    The Funny Man 7 Boxing Addict Full Member

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    You're right that my analogy was off. I confused MVB with John Quincy Adams, who was elected in 1824 under weird circumstances ahead of Andrew Jackson, who had a plurality in the electoral college thanks to a political bargain with Henry Clay, if I recall correctly.

    The analogy was meant to highlight the fact that Terrell's 'championship', like Quincy Adams' presidency, was the product of political manuevers that were defied merit/popular opinion. That would have been apparent if I'd remember which president was elected in 1824.
     
  12. Reinhardt

    Reinhardt Well-Known Member Full Member

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    In a sense was Machen the Jimmy Young of his time?
     
  13. edward morbius

    edward morbius Boxing Addict booted Full Member

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    I don't think so. Jimmy Young beat Foreman, and a lot of observers thought he did enough to beat Ali, although that is of course debatable,

    Machen consistendly lost the big ones. Folley (2), Johansson, Liston, Johnson, Williams, Patterson. 0-5-2--He always came up short when it most counted, and the Terrell fight fell right into this rut with not only a loss, but a dull, uninspired effort.

    You could go back to Maxim, but he was fading. Baker & Valdes were aging second-tier guys. Jackson performed so poorly a lot of boxing commissions banned him, so who knows, but that probably is Eddie's biggest win.
     
  14. edward morbius

    edward morbius Boxing Addict booted Full Member

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    It is easy and valid to criticize a champion's behavior, but this whole situation shows that getting the politicians involved might be a cure that is worse than the disease.

    And this one was really odd. Williams & Patterson as two of the four tournament participants because it was so outrageous for Liston to get a return go. Together they hadn't lasted 7 rounds in four fights with Liston.
     
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  15. edward morbius

    edward morbius Boxing Addict booted Full Member

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    "political manuevers that defied merit/popular opinion."

    No doubt about popular opinion.

    Merit concerning Adams and Jackson is far harder to judge. The public was always behind the bull-in-the-china-shop Jackson, but his policies were often not enlightened, and in the case of the Trail of Tears, downright distasteful.
     

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