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First Southpaw Champion in Boxing’s History!

Image: First Southpaw Champion in Boxing’s History!

By Ken Hissner: This is all about those southpaws that no one wanted to fight. It was difficult getting southpaw sparring partners to prepare against opponents.

Heavyweight champion Michael “Double M” Moorer, 52-4-1 with 40 stoppages out of Monessen, Pennsylvania, won the title in April of 1994. He won a majority decision over Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, 30-1, at Caesars Palace, in Las Vegas.

It was short-lived in his first defense in November, losing to 45-year-old former champion “Big” George Foreman. I could still see Teddy Atlas putting a cell phone in his face in a fight, saying it was a family member calling him. He was a former WBO light heavyweight champion.

As a member of the Flathead tribe Marvin Camel of Missoula, Montana, became the first cruiserweight champion defeating Mate Parlov, 24-2-2, of Croatia, in March of 1980 at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

George “Johnny” Nichols, 82-32-11, won the NBA World title winning a split decision over David Maier, 21-2-1, at the Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL, in March of 1932.

Italy’s Graciano “Rocky” Rocchigiani, 41-6-1, won the IBF Super Middleweight title defeating Vincent Boulware, 19-1, in March of 1988. He would go on to win the light heavyweight title.

Al McCoy of Brooklyn, New York, won the middleweight title knocking out George Chip, 43-23-9, in April of 1914 in Brooklyn, New York.

Maurice Hope of the UK won the WBC Super welterweight title, stopping Italy’s Rocky Mattioli, 53-4-2, at San Remo, Italy. In a rematch in the UK, he stopped Mattioli again.

Italy’s Young Corbett III won the welterweight title defeating Fred Apostoli, 29-2, in February of 1938, in San Francisco. In November, he lost the rematch.

Italy’s 1960 Olympic Silver Medalist Sandro Lopopolo, 58-10-7, won the light welterweight title by majority decision over Carlos Hernandez, 39-5, in Roma, Italy.

Mexico’s Juan Zurita, 131-23-1, won the lightweight title in March of 1944, defeating Sammy Angott, 73-18-6, in L.A.

Flash Elorde, 89-27-2, of the Philippines, won the super featherweight title knocking out Harold Gomes, 48-5, in March of 1960 in the first round at the Cow Palace in California. In 1966 he was stopped in the fourteenth round by my all-time favorite boxer, world lightweight champion Carlos Ortiz.

Freddie Miller, 184-29-5, won the featherweight title stopping Abbie Israel, 54-11-5, in July of 1933, at the Ice Arena in Seattle.

Puerto Rico’s Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez, 44-3-1, won the super bantamweight title by stopping Dong Kyun Yum, 50-2-6, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in May of 1977. He would go on to win the featherweight and super featherweight titles.

Australia’s Jimmy Carruthers, 21-4, won the bantamweight title knocking out Vic Toweel, 26-1-1, in March of 1953 in South Africa.
Japan’s Jiro Watanabe, 26-2, won the world super flyweight title defeating Panama’s Rafael Pedroza, 19-7-1, in Osaka, Japan.

Japan’s Hiroyuki Eibihara, 62-5-1, won the flyweight title knocking out Thailand’s Pone Kingpetch, 26-4, in the first round, in Tokyo, Japan, in September 1963.

Japan’s Yoko Gushikin won the light flyweight title knocking out South Korea’s Sang Il Jung, 8-2-2, in October of 1978 in Tokyo, Japan.

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