Davey Moore

From Academic Kids

The name Davey Moore will probably forever be linked to fame, fortune and death in the sport of boxing. There have been two world boxing champions named Davey Moore, and both had tragic endings in different ways. Some boxing fans actually say the name of Davey Moore is cursed.

The first Davey Moore (1933-1963) was born in Lexington, Kentucky and he made his professional debut at the age of 20, beating Willie Reese by a decision in six. He won five more bouts and then lost to Russ Tague by a decision, also in 6. He closed out 1953 with a third round knockout win over Eddie Cooper.

In 1954, he boxed ten times, going 8-1-1 with 6 knockout wins. In 1955, he went 5-2, his two losses coming during a three fight Latin American tour that took him to Panama and Cuba. In 1956, he went 2-1, including a four round knockout over Charlie Slaughter in Montreal.

By 1957 Moore would begin an 18 fight winning streak, which ultimately took him to challenge world Featherweight champion Hogan Kid Bassey. He beat Bassey by a 13 round knockout, and then in a rematch by an 11 round knockout. This was in 1959. He also won a fight in England during that time.

In 1960, he had a two fight tour in Venezuela, winning one by knockout, and then having his winning streak interrupted with a seven round knockout loss at the hands of Carlos Hernandez. He fought three times in Mexico that year, and retained his title in Tokyo, beating Kazuo Takayama by a decision in 15.

In 1961, he toured Europe for three fights, visiting Paris, Madrid and Rome. He retained his title with a knockout in one against Danny Valdez and won three more fights in Mexico before returning to Tokyo to beat Takayama, once again by a 15 round decision, to retain the title in their rematch.

In 1962, he won four bouts, returning to Europe to defend his title versus Ollie Maeke, beaten in two rounds in Finland.

After winning one fight in 1963, Moore's luck ran out: He was faced with Sugar Ramos, in a nationally televised fight. The public, which was just recovering from the horror of seeing Benny the "Kid" Paret being pounded to his death on national television just one year before, had to witness as Moore was pounded against his own corner in the fight against Ramos. Several people, except Ramos of course, who was doing his job, have been blamed for not stopping the fight at a timely manner. He lost the fight officially by a knockout in the tenth, and died two days later while fighting for his life at a medical center in the Los Angeles area.

He had a record of 55 wins, 8 losses and 3 draws, with 30 wins by knockout.

Subsequently, Bob Dylan wrote a song named Who Killed Davey Moore?. However, it remained unreleased for many years. Several books and articles have been since published about the tragic fight between Moore and Ramos.

The second Davey Moore (1962-1988) was born in New York, just at the same time as the first Davey Moore was a world boxing champion. As a boxer, he rose quickly through the junior middleweight ranks - perhaps too quickly - some boxing critics and writers say. After winning eight professional fights, five by knockout, the WBA named him their #1 challenger, and in February of 1982, he travelled to Japan, where he knocked out defending champion Tadashi Mihara in six to win the WBA world junior middleweight title.

He defended it against Charlie Weir, knocking him out in five rounds in South Africa in April, and former world champion Ayub Kalule, whom he stopped in ten in New Jersey in July. In the early part of 1983, Moore was scheduled to face a young, rising junior middleweight named Tony Ayala (who was nicknamed Baby Bull). Ayala has often been called a human wrecking ball, he had a boxing record of 22-0 with 19 knockouts. However, Ayala could not control his rage outside the ring, he was convicted of rape and sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Moore started 1983 by beating challenger Gary Guiden, again by knockout, in four. Next, he defended against former two-time world champion Roberto Duran. Moore was confident (and perhaps too much so), thinking that he could easily defeat the aging Duran, but 'Stonehands' showed that experience won out over youth by just mauling Moore, hammering shut one of his eyes, and stopping him in eight rounds in NYC's Madison Square Garden. Moore's career took a downward spiral after that. He won two more fights in a row, including one in Monte Carlo over Wilfredo Benitez, but then he lost in Paris on a disqualification in nine to Louis Acaries. In 1985, he won one more fight and was in line to challenge Carlos Santos for the IBF world junior middleweight title. That fight did not materialize, but eventually he did get to challenge for the IBF title, going against Buster Drayton in August 1986, but in that bout Moore somehow stopped fighting - and lost by TKO - in the tenth round. After that, Moore would fight just a few more times, compiling a mediocre record.

One morning in early June 1988, Moore was leaving his home, when he went out to open the carway's door. He forgot to turn off the car or put it on the parking mode, leaving it on reverse. The car subsequently went backwards, and although Moore tried to get away, he was crushed by his car, dying instantly, and sparking boxing fans to comment that the name of Davey Moore had to carry a curse for boxers.


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