Relentless, menacing, driven, physically and mentally imposing, “The Mongoose” ♛🇺🇸Archie Moore (186-23-10, 132KO👊) cemented himself as a legend among legends, and was one of the best fighters of the Golden-Age in the 1950’s. Moore was well known for his ❌cross-armed defense and relentless nature in pressuring fighters to systematically break them down round by round. He had impeccable power, evidenced by his 132 KO’s, which stands as the second highest knockout total in boxing history.
He was a very intelligent craftsman, and had excellent footwork inside to pivot and put his opponent in compromising positions while it enabled Archie to load up on his shot to drive the power home. As a long time World Champion… Continue reading “Talking Legends:📽️ Archie Moore”→
Even though he was 17 years into his career before receiving his first crack at a world title, boxing fans hadn’t seen Archie Moore’s masterpiece yet.
Turning pro in 1935, Moore honed his craft against the avoided mob known as ‘The Murderer’s Row’, taking colours from everyone’s palette along the way to paint a picture of an extremely dangerous man.
After beating Joey Maxim for the title, ‘The Ol’ Mongoose’ remained highly active, defending his belt while pitting his wits against the best heavyweights of the day. Making his seventh defense in the sixth year of his reign, Moore travelled to Montreal to face the Canadian and British Empie (now Commonwealth) champion Yvon Durelle.
“The Fighting Fisherman” was ranked the number three contender but not seen as a threat to Moore, a 3-1 favorite.
Even with his age disputed by the press, with the United Press International saying ‘he was either 42 or 45’, Moore was seen as a heavy favorite, and was aiming to break a long standing record held by Young Stribling as the boxer with the most knockouts in history.
The Canadian slugger felt he had a chance with the 23-year pro and was ready to go to war. He said prophetically, “One of us will go by the 11th or 12th rounds. I’m going to win or they’re going to carry me out.” The same Associated Press report stated that a win for the Canadian would be “One of the great upsets in fistic annals”.
It nearly was.
Referee Jack Sharkey, the former world heavyweight champion, must’ve felt he was back in his heyday.
Durelle fought in the mold of Jack Dempsey, cutting in on Moore early in the first round and folding him with a heavy right hand. Getting to his feet just before the 10 count and looking in need of a walking frame, Moore had to use all his experience to get out of the round, slipping, catching and parrying what little he could and dragging himself up off the mat twice more as Durelle tried to drown him.
Moore said after the bout that “He caught me clean every time he caught me.”
The champion found his rhythm over the next few rounds, but in the fifth Durelle barged through Moore’s defenses again with a smashing right. This time Archie not only braved the storm but shot his own lightning bolts through the clouds, getting the better of the exchanges as the round came to a close.
From there on it was the savvy veteran setting all the traps. Moore chopped Durelle down in the seventh, 10th, and twice in the 11th, demolishing the brave Canadian with innumerable power punches to score his record breaking 127th inside the distance victory.
The Canadian Press said it was ‘perhaps the most spectacular light-heavyweight title fight in boxing’s history and the Associated Press called it ‘one of the most exciting fights of the last 10 years’.
Just like Moore himself, the quality of this bout has endured for decades, and holds its own with the greatest fights of all time.
“Fighting Charley Burely was almost inhuman, because he kept his punches coming at you like a riveting gun beats a tattoo on a rivet.
He was a human machine gun the way he kept those punches spouting out, and nearly as dangerous. He was the best fighter I ever fought and the best fighter I ever saw.
I recall not being too impressed by Charley, before the fight of course. I knew he had been scaring everybody to death on the coast. There had been stories about how he had chased heavyweights out of the gym, stiffened sparring partners with the big training gloves. But you must take into account that I’ve never been burdened by false modesty.
That night in Hollywood Burley did things I’ve never seen anybody else do … he got away with things that would have got another fighter killed. He kept his hands low and could feint you with his head, his hands, his shoulders, his knees … but the thing that sticks in my mind the most about Burley is the way he defied gravity.
He could lean way back on his heels, it just made you miss. You’d figure this man’s way off balance, he can’t break an egg from that position. Then you’d get the surprise. Burley could knock you dead from that position, and he could do it with either hand. I’ve been beaten in other fights – you look at my record, I’ve been in with a couple of hundred pros – I was bound to drop a few. But I never lost like I lost to Burley.
He had me on the floor many times, but more than that he outboxed me. That’s something I could never understand, because nobody had ever done that to me before. And no one, incidently, has done it since.
I would say, personally, that I think Charley Burley could have beaten (Sugar) Ray Robinson in Ray’s best time.”
“I have watched Marciano fight and I have taken him apart like a watchmaker takes a watch apart. Marciano won’t be able to solve my defensive style, he can’t and won’t hit me. Marciano will miss more punches than he has ever before because I have the right style to beat him. Marciano lacks defense and I will pour it on when he misses.”
“I stepped back a half step, twisted my hip and hit him flush in the face with one of the best right hands I ever threw in my life.”
“Rocky made a great comeback to batter me down. I felt I was in the ring that night with one of the greatest fighters of my time.”
“Only time will reveal the Rock was a great
fighter and a great man.”