Pete Rademacher

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Pete Rademacher
Real name Thomas Peter Rademacher
Rated at Heavyweight
Nationality United StatesAmerican
Born (1928-11-20) November 20, 1928 (age 88)
Tieton, Washington, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 23
Wins 15
Wins by KO 8
Losses 7
Draws 1
No contests 0

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.[1]

Amateur career[edit]

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.

Olympic results[edit]

Rademacher also attended college, playing offensive line on the football team for Washington State.

Professional career[edit]

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 knocked Rademacher down seven times, defeating 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[edit]

15 Wins (8 knockouts, 7 decisions), 7 Losses (6 knockouts, 1 decision), 1 Draw [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Win 87-12 United States Bobo Olson UD 10 03/04/1962 United States Honolulu Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
Loss 29-1 Germany Karl Mildenberger PTS 10 20/01/1962 Germany Westfalenhallen, Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia
Win 35-8-1 United States Buddy Turman TKO 9 30/11/1961 United States Fair Park Coliseum, Dallas, Texas
Loss 181-22-9 United States Archie Moore TKO 6 23/10/1961 United States Baltimore Coliseum, Baltimore, Maryland Referee stopped the bout at 2:10 of the sixth round.
Loss 19-5-1 United States George Logan KO 2 17/08/1961 United States Boise, Idaho Pete knocked out at 2:40 of the second round.
Loss 17-0 United States Doug Jones KO 5 29/04/1961 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York City
Win 12-17-3 United States Dan Vanderford KO 1 14/04/1961 United States Gastonia, North Carolina
Win 27-13-2 United States Harvey Taylor KO 1 22/02/1961 United States Yakima, Washington Taylor knocked out at 2:47 of the first round.
Win 35-10-1 United States Donnie Fleeman UD 10 23/01/1961 United States Seattle Civic Ice Arena, Seattle, Washington 100-92, 100-91, 100-91.
Win 44-23-7 Germany Willi Besmanoff UD 10 13/12/1960 United States Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio 47-43, 48-42, 49-42.
Win 17-3-1 United States Kirk Barrow SD 10 08/12/1960 United States Spokane Coliseum, Spokane, Washington 99-90, 97-95, 96-99.
Win 17-3-1 Canada George Chuvalo UD 10 19/07/1960 Canada Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
Win 42-1 United States LaMar Clark TKO 10 29/06/1960 United States Derks Field, Salt Lake City, Utah Referee stopped the bout at 2:27 of the tenth round.
Loss 22-6 United Kingdom Brian London KO 7 26/04/1960 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London Pete knocked out at 0:15 of the seventh round.
Draw 20-3-3 Germany Ulli Ritter PTS 10 08/04/1960 Germany Sportpalast, Schoeneberg, Berlin
Win 13-0 Germany Ulli Nitzschke KO 7 06/02/1960 Germany Festhalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Hesse
Win 8-12-1 United States Johnny York PTS 8 09/12/1959 United States Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Win 3-4 United States Buddy Keener KO 1 12/11/1959 United States Columbus, Ohio
Win 13-12 United States Calvin Butler UD 10 29/09/1959 United States Miami Beach Auditorium, Miami Beach, Florida 99-93, 99-91, 99-92.
Win 18-13-2 United States Ralph Schneider TKO 3 17/09/1959 United States Greenville Memorial Auditorium, Greenville, South Carolina Rocky Marciano refereed the fight.
Win 20-11-1 United States Eldridge Thompson TKO 5 13/08/1959 United States Columbus, Ohio
Loss 40-2-2 United States Zora Folley KO 4 25/07/1958 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California Pete knocked out at 1:15 of the fourth round.
Loss 32-1 United States Floyd Patterson KO 6 22/08/1957 United States Sick's Stadium, Seattle, Washington World Heavyweight Title. Pete knocked out at 2:57 of the sixth round.

Later life[edit]

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 gasoline-powered one wheel "unicycle" he rides in local parades.


External links[edit]