Gene Fullmer

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Gene Fullmer
Statistics
Real name Gene Fullmer
Nickname(s) Cyclone
Rated at Middleweight
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Reach 69 in (175 cm)
Nationality  American
Born (1931-07-21) July 21, 1931 (age 83)
West Jordan, Utah, United States
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 64
Wins 55
Wins by KO 24
Losses 6
Draws 3
No contests 0

Gene Fullmer (born July 21, 1931) is a former American middleweight boxer and world champion.

Professional career[edit]

Fullmer began his professional career in 1951 and won his first 29 fights, 19 by knockout. His manager during many years of his career was his mentor, Marv Jenson, who encouraged many youth in West Jordan, Utah, to enter boxing as amateurs.

Middleweight champion[edit]

Fullmer won the world middleweight championship on January 2, 1957, when he upset the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson by soundly winning a unanimous 15-round decision. On May 1, 1957 they fought a rematch. The fight began as expected, with Fullmer using his strength and awkwardness to bull into Robinson and really force him onto his heels. In the fifth round Robinson, while backing up, lashed out with what has been called the perfect left hook. It caught Fullmer flush on the chin and knocked him out.

In 1959, the National Boxing Association withdrew its recognition of Robinson as middleweight champion. Fullmer and fellow former middleweight champion Carmen Basilio fought for the vacant NBA title on August 28, 1959, and Fullmer won the crown when he TKOed Basilio in the 14th round. Meanwhile, Robinson was to lose his version of the middleweight championship to Paul Pender.

Fullmer and Pender never met to settle their claims to the middleweight title, and Pender eventually retired. Meanwhile, Fullmer fought and turned back the challenges of many top contenders, such as Basilio, Spider Webb, Florentino Fernández, and welterweight champion Benny "Kid" Paret. He narrowly escaped being dethroned when he was held to 15-round draws by Robinson and future titleholder Joey Giardello. In their final meeting, a title bout in 1961, Fullmer beat Robinson by unanimous decision.

Losing the title[edit]

Fullmer finally lost the middleweight title to Dick Tiger on October 23, 1962 in a unanimous decision. They fought a rematch on February 23, 1963, which resulted in a draw. Fullmer's attempts to regain the middleweight crown finally ended when he was TKOed in seven rounds by Tiger on August 10, 1963.

Fullmer's final record included 55 wins (24 by KO), 6 losses, and 3 draws.

Professional boxing record[edit]

55 Wins (24 Knockouts), 6 Defeats (2 Knockouts), 3 Draws[1]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Loss 55-6-3 Nigeria Dick Tiger RTD 7 (15), 3:00 1963-08-10 Nigeria Liberty Stadium, Ibadan For WBA & vacant WBC World Middleweight Titles
Draw 55-5-3 Nigeria Dick Tiger PTS 15 1963-02-23 United States Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada For WBA World Middleweight Titles
Loss 55-5-2 Nigeria Dick Tiger UD 15 1962-10-23 United States Candlestick Park, California, California For vacant WBA World Middleweight Title
Win 55-4-2 Cuba Benny Paret KO 10 (15), 2:30 1961-12-09 United States Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained NBA World Middleweight Title
Win 54-4-2 Cuba Florentino Fernández SD 15 1961-08-05 United States Ogden Stadium, Ogden, Utah Retained NBA World Middleweight Title
Win 53-4-2 United States Sugar Ray Robinson UD 15 1961-03-04 United States Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained NBA World Middleweight Title
Draw 52-4-2 United States Sugar Ray Robinson PTS 15 1960-12-03 United States Los Angeles Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California Retained NBA World Middleweight Title
Win 52-4-1 United States Carmen Basilio TKO 12 (15) 1960-06-29 United States Derks Field, Salt Lake City, Utah Retained NBA World Middleweight Title
Draw 51-4-1 United States Joey Giardello PTS 15 1960-04-20 United States Montana St. College Fieldhouse, Bozeman, Montana Retained NBA World Middleweight Title
Win 51-4 United States Spider Webb UD 15 1959-12-04 United States George Nelson Field House, Logan, Utah Retained NBA World Middleweight Title
Win 50-4 United States Carmen Basilio TKO 14 (15), 0:39 1959-08-28 United States Cow Palace, California, California Won vacant NBA World Middleweight Title
The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" (1959)
Win 49-4 Canada Wilf Greaves MD 10 1959-02-20 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 48-4 United States Milo Savage UD 10 1959-01-09 United States Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas
Win 47-4 United States Joe Miceli KO 2 (10), 0:38 1958-11-10 United States Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah
Win 46-4 United States Spider Webb UD 10 1958-09-11 United States Derks Field, Salt Lake City, Utah
Win 45-4 United States Jim Hegerle UD 10 1958-07-07 United States West Jordan Arena, West Jordan, Utah
Win 44-4 United States Milo Savage UD 10 1958-03-03 United States Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah
Win 43-4 United States Neal Rivers MD 10 1957-11-15 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 42-4 United States Chico Vejar UD 10 1957-09-04 United States West Jordan Arena, West Jordan, Utah
Win 41-4 United States Ralph Jones UD 10 1957-06-07 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Loss 40-4 United States Sugar Ray Robinson KO 5 (15), 1:27 1957-05-01 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois Lost World Middleweight Title
Win 40-3 United States Ernie Durando UD 10 1957-02-18 United States Denver Auditorium Arena, Denver, Colorado
Win 39-3 Canada Wilf Greaves UD 10 1957-01-28 United States Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah
Win 38-3 United States Sugar Ray Robinson UD 15 1957-01-02 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Won World Middleweight Title
Win 37-3 United States Moses Ward KO 3 (10) 1956-09-22 United States West Jordan Arena, West Jordan, Utah
Win 36-3 France Charles Humez UD 10 1956-05-25 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 35-3 United States Ralph Jones UD 10 1956-04-20 United States Public Hall, Cleveland, Ohio
Win 34-3 United States Gil Turner SD 10 1956-02-17 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 33-3 United States Rocky Castellani SD 10 1956-01-04 United States Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Loss 32-3 Argentina Eduardo Lausse UD 10 1955-11-25 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Loss 32-2 United States Bobby Boyd UD 10 1955-11-25 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 32-1 United States Al Andrews UD 10 1955-09-12 United States Ogden Stadium, Ogden, Utah
Win 31-1 United States Del Flanagan UD 10 1955-07-26 United States Butte Civic Center, Butte, Montana
Win 30-1 United States Gil Turner PTS 10 1955-06-20 United States West Jordan Park, West Jordan, Utah
Loss 29-1 United States Gil Turner UD 10 1955-04-04 United States Eastern Parkway Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win 29-0 United States Govan Small PTS 10 1955-03-21 United States Salt Lake City, Utah
Win 28-0 United States Paul Pender UD 10 1955-02-14 United States Eastern Parkway Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win 27-0 France Marcel Assire UD 10 1955-01-31 United States Eastern Parkway Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win 26-0 Germany Peter Mueller UD 10 1954-11-15 United States Eastern Parkway Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win 25-0 United States Jackie LaBua UD 10 1954-11-15 United States Eastern Parkway Arena, Brooklyn, New York
Win 24-0 United States Dick Wolfe KO 4 (10), 1:27 1954-08-16 United States West Jordan Park, West Jordan, Utah
Win 23-0 United States Reno Abellira UD 10 1954-07-29 United States West Jordan Arena, West Jordan, Utah
Win 22-0 United States Govan Small PTS 10 1954-07-12 United States West Jordan Arena, West Jordan, Utah
Win 21-0 United States Rio Rico PTS 10 1954-07-12 United States Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah
Win 20-0 United States Andy Anderson RTD 7 (10) 1954-05-17 United States Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah
Win 19-0 United States Charley Cato KO 1 (10), 1:43 1954-04-26 United States Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah
Win 18-0 United States Kid Leon KO 1 1954-02-06 United States West Jordan Junior High, West Jordan, Utah
Win 17-0 Mexico Armando Cotero UD 6 1952-09-20 United States Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California
Win 16-0 United States Mickey Rhodes KO 6 1952-08-08 United States Ogden Stadium, Ogden, Utah
Win 15-0 United States Baby Ray KO 1 1951-10-17 United States Vernal, Utah
Win 14-0 United States Rudy Zadell PTS 6 1951-10-10 United States Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Win 13-0 United States Gary Hanley KO 1 1951-10-03 United States West Jordan, Utah
Win 12-0 United States Garth Panter MD 10 1951-09-25 United States Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah
Win 11-0 United States Sam Healy KO 4 1951-09-14 United States Uintah High School Gym, Vernal, Utah
Win 10-0 United States Charley Cato KO 4 (10) 1951-09-07 United States West Jordan, Utah

Personal[edit]

Fullmer had two brothers who boxed: Don Fullmer, who twice challenged for the World Middleweight Title, and Jay Fullmer, who boxed as a lightweight.

Fullmer was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his living the tenets of his religion, especially the Word of Wisdom, was heavily covered in the press. It was also frequently mentioned that he was a father and that he paid tithing on his boxing winnings.[2]

Fullmer appeared in a cameo role in the 1968 film The Devil's Brigade as a Montana bartender.

Fullmer is featured on the cover of the album Greatest Hits by Alice in Chains.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gene Fullmer's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2011-09-30.
  2. ^ J. B. Haws, The Mormon Image in the American Mind (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 29-30

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Sugar Ray Robinson
World Middleweight Champion
2 January 1957– 1 May 1957
Succeeded by
Sugar Ray Robinson
Preceded by
Sugar Ray Robinson
Stripped
NBA World Middleweight Champion
Later WBA Title

28 August 1959– 23 October 1962
Succeeded by
Dick Tiger
Awards
Preceded by
Floyd Patterson
BWAA Fighter of the Year
1961
Succeeded by
Dick Tiger