|Real name||Thomas Peter Rademacher|
November 20, 1928 |
Tieton, Washington, U.S.
|Wins by KO||8|
Thomas Peter "Pete" Rademacher (born November 20, 1928) is a former boxer who made boxing history by being the only man to fight for the world heavyweight championship in his first professional fight. Rademacher first began boxing as a form of rehabilitation during his recovery from Rheumatic fever, which he contracted in military school.
In his amateur career, Rademacher had 79 fights, going 72-7. He won a series of tournaments, including the 1949, 1951, 1952, and 1953 Seattle Golden Gloves (he lost in 1950 to Zora Folley, who he would face several times in his career), and the US Amateur Championship as a heavyweight in 1953—avenging his earlier loss to Folley. He also captured the Chicago Golden Gloves, the All-Army championship, and the Service championship in 1956, before qualifying for the Olympic team. In the Olympics, held in Melbourne, he captured a gold medal in the heavyweight division.
After winning the gold medal, Rademacher started saying that he would be able to become world heavyweight champion in his first professional fight. He made his belief public and was able to lure world Heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson into defending his crown against the debutant Rademacher. It is the only time to date that a fighter making his professional debut has challenged for the world heavyweight title. The bout was refereed by former lightheavyweight champion Tommy Loughran, who himself had contended for the heavy crown once, vs. Primo Carnera, in 1934.
Rademacher dropped Patterson in round two, but Patterson recovered and defeated him by a knockout in six.
Rademacher fought Zora Folley, Brian London, George Chuvalo, Buddy Turman, and the former world light heavyweight champion, Archie Moore. He lost to Moore, Folley and London but beat Chuvalo, Clark, and Turman. His last bout was with former world middleweight champion Carl "Bobo" Olson, whom he beat by decision.
Professional boxing record
|15 Wins (8 knockouts, 7 decisions), 7 Losses (6 knockouts, 1 decision), 1 Draw |
|Win||87-12||Bobo Olson||UD||10||03/04/1962||Honolulu Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii|
|Loss||29-1||Karl Mildenberger||PTS||10||20/01/1962||Westfalenhallen, Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia|
|Win||35-8-1||Buddy Turman||TKO||9||30/11/1961||Fair Park Coliseum, Dallas, Texas|
|Loss||181-22-9||Archie Moore||TKO||6||23/10/1961||Baltimore Coliseum, Baltimore, Maryland||Referee stopped the bout at 2:10 of the sixth round.|
|Loss||19-5-1||George Logan||KO||2||17/08/1961||Boise, Idaho||Pete knocked out at 2:40 of the second round.|
|Loss||17-0||Doug Jones||KO||5||29/04/1961||St. Nicholas Arena, New York City|
|Win||12-17-3||Dan Vanderford||KO||1||14/04/1961||Gastonia, North Carolina|
|Win||27-13-2||Harvey Taylor||KO||1||22/02/1961||Yakima, Washington||Taylor knocked out at 2:47 of the first round.|
|Win||35-10-1||Donnie Fleeman||UD||10||23/01/1961||Seattle Civic Ice Arena, Seattle, Washington||100-92, 100-91, 100-91.|
|Win||44-23-7||Willi Besmanoff||UD||10||13/12/1960||Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio||47-43, 48-42, 49-42.|
|Win||17-3-1||Kirk Barrow||SD||10||08/12/1960||Spokane Coliseum, Spokane, Washington||99-90, 97-95, 96-99.|
|Win||17-3-1||George Chuvalo||UD||10||19/07/1960||Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario|
|Win||42-1||LaMar Clark||TKO||10||29/06/1960||Derks Field, Salt Lake City, Utah||Referee stopped the bout at 2:27 of the tenth round.|
|Loss||22-6||Brian London||KO||7||26/04/1960||Empire Pool, Wembley, London||Pete knocked out at 0:15 of the seventh round.|
|Draw||20-3-3||Ulli Ritter||PTS||10||08/04/1960||Sportpalast, Schoeneberg, Berlin|
|Win||13-0||Ulli Nitzschke||KO||7||06/02/1960||Festhalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Hesse|
|Win||8-12-1||Johnny York||PTS||8||09/12/1959||Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio|
|Win||3-4||Buddy Keener||KO||1||12/11/1959||Columbus, Ohio|
|Win||13-12||Calvin Butler||UD||10||29/09/1959||Miami Beach Auditorium, Miami Beach, Florida||99-93, 99-91, 99-92.|
|Win||18-13-2||Ralph Schneider||TKO||3||17/09/1959||Greenville Memorial Auditorium, Greenville, South Carolina||Rocky Marciano refereed the fight.|
|Win||20-11-1||Eldridge Thompson||TKO||5||13/08/1959||Columbus, Ohio|
|Loss||40-2-2||Zora Folley||KO||4||25/07/1958||Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California||Pete knocked out at 1:15 of the fourth round.|
|Loss||32-1||Floyd Patterson||KO||6||22/08/1957||Sick's Stadium, Seattle, Washington||World Heavyweight Title. Pete knocked out at 2:57 of the sixth round.|
After retirement, he went into business at McNeil Corporation in Akron, Ohio. He retired as President in 1987. In 1996, he and two of his daughters helped carry the Olympic torch around the streets of Cleveland, Ohio.
Rademacher is active in local politics in Medina County, Ohio. He is also well known in northern Ohio for the amazing gasoline-powered one wheel "unicycle" he rides in local parades.