Zora Folley

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Zora Folley
Zora Folley 1972.jpeg
Statistics
Real name Zora Folley
Nickname(s) Bell
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Nationality American
Born (1931-05-27)May 27, 1931
Dallas, Texas, USA
Died July 7, 1972(1972-07-07) (aged 41)
Tucson, Arizona, USA
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 96
Wins 79
Wins by KO 44
Losses 11
Draws 6

Zora "Bell" Folley (May 27, 1931 – July 7, 1972) was an American heavyweight boxer. He was well skilled with a good defence and also a punch to go with it.

Born in Dallas, Texas, he moved with his family to Chandler, Arizona in 1942, where he grew up playing baseball. Upon joining the U.S. Army in 1948, he entered the boxing ring, and won the 6th Army championship within a year, eventually earning the All-Army and All-Service titles. He fought in the Korean War, earning five battle stars, and was discharged in 1953.

He then signed a professional boxing contract, winning his first pro fight against Jimmy Ingram, then after a draw, won seventeen straight victories until losing to Johnny Summerlin in 6 rounds with a suspected broken jaw after being decked three times. Despite being considered a top contender, Folley never faced heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson. This was partly due to his highly controversial points loss to Henry Cooper in England, in September 1958 (which was later avenged in December 1961 by a two-round knockout.).

Folley beat such contenders as Eddie Machen, George Chuvalo, Bob Cleroux (twice), Oscar Bonavena (the first match was one sided with Bonavena being decked but Oscar got the rematch 3 years later) and Doug Jones. He also had draws with Karl Mildenberger and Eddie Machen (their first fight). Between 1960 and 1962 Folley was knocked out by Sonny Liston, Alejandro Lavorante, and Doug Jones (in the rematch).

It wasn't until March 22, 1967, aged 34, that he faced the world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. Folley was knocked out in the 7th round being somewhat past his best. Folley fought for three more years afterward before being knocked out by Mac Foster in 1970.

Folley served as a member of the Chandler City Council, and raised a family of nine children with his wife Joella. Before their fight, Ali joked that Folley was such a nice man that it posed a real problem because he couldn't possibly get mad at him.[1] Folley was one of the first to call the controversial champion by his Muslim name instead of Cassius Clay. Ali stated he'd respected Folley and was nervous before the match. Folley was the last man to face Ali before Ali's three-year exile from boxing in 1967.

In mysterious circumstances, Folley suffered severe head injuries in a motel swimming pool while visiting a friend in Tucson, Arizona on July 8, 1972, and died at a Tucson hospital within hours. The death was officially ruled to be accidental, but conspiracy theories regarding his death persist.

The city of Chandler dedicated Zora Folley Memorial Park in his honor.

Professional boxing record[edit]

79 Wins (44 knockouts, 35 decisions), 11 Losses (7 knockouts, 4 decisions), 6 Draws [2]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 79–11–6 United States Mac Foster KO 1 29/09/1970 United States Selland Arena, Fresno, California Folley knocked out at 3:04 of the first round.
Win 79–10–6 United States Billy Joiner UD 10 05/11/1969 United States Silver Slipper, Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 78–10–6 United States Tommy "Hurricane" Sims KO 1 16/06/1969 United States Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix, Arizona Sims knocked out at 2:19 of the first round.
Win 77–10–6 United States Sonny Moore TKO 4 30/01/1969 United States Silver Slipper, Las Vegas, Nevada Referee stopped the bout at 2:54 of the fourth round.
Loss 76–10–6 Argentina Oscar Bonavena MD 10 06/07/1968 Argentina Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires
Draw 76–9–6 United States Al "Goulds Terror" Jones SD 10 14/05/1968 United States Miami Beach Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida 47–47, 44–46, 46–44
Draw 76–9–5 United States Roger Russell SD 10 11/03/1968 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia 49–48, 43–47, 48–48
Loss 76–9–4 United Kingdom Brian London PTS 10 13/11/1967 United Kingdom Liverpool Stadium, Liverpool, Merseyside 48.75–49.75
Win 76–8–4 United States Nick Sosa KO 2 04/10/1967 United States Madison Square Garden, Phoenix, Arizona Sosa knocked out at 1:34 of the second round.
Win 75–8–4 United States Wayne Kindred TKO 8 18/09/1967 United States Silver Slipper, Las Vegas, Nevada Referee stopped the bout at 2:50 of the eighth round.
Loss 74–8–4 United States Muhammad Ali KO 7 22/03/1967 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City WBA World Heavyweight Title. Folley knocked out at 1:48 of the seventh round.
Win 74–7–4 United States Floyd Joyner KO 1 17/01/1967 United States Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, Texas Joyner knocked out at 1:40 of the first round.
Win 73–7–4 United States Jefferson Davis UD 10 13/12/1966 United States Houston, Texas 98–93, 99–91, 98–92
Win 72–7–4 United States Henry Clark UD 10 25/10/1966 United States Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento, California
Win 71–7–4 United States Jefferson Davis KO 8 28/06/1966 United States Centennial Coliseum, Reno, Nevada
Win 70–7–4 United States Bob Foster UD 10 06/12/1965 United States New Orleans Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana 9–0, 6–3, 8–1
Win 69–7–4 Argentina Oscar Bonavena UD 10 26/02/1965 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City 9–1, 9–1, 10–0
Win 68–7–4 Germany Gerhard Zech KO 4 14/11/1964 Germany Westfalenhallen, Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia
Draw 67–7–4 Germany Karl Mildenberger PTS 10 17/04/1964 Germany Festhalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Hesse
Win 67–7–3 United States Tod Herring TKO 7 17/03/1964 United States Houston, Texas Referee stopped the bout at 1:34 of the seventh round.
Win 66–7–3 Canada George Chuvalo UD 10 17/01/1964 United States Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio 50–45, 49–42, 47–44
Win 65–7–3 United States Billy Daniels UD 10 17/10/1963 Canada Paul Sauve Arena, Montreal, Quebec 49–44, 48–38, 47–43
Win 64–7–3 United States Tiger Lynch KO 5 19/09/1963 United States Boise, Idaho Lynch knocked out at 1:49 of the fifth round.
Loss 63–7–3 United States Ernie Terrell UD 10 27/07/1963 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City 2–7, 1–7, 3–7
Win 63–6–3 Canada Bob Cleroux UD 10 23/05/1963 Canada Paul Sauve Arena, Montreal, Quebec 50–36, 50–39, 49–39
Draw 62–6–3 United States Dean Bogany TD 5 02/04/1963 United States Bakersfield Civic Auditorium, Bakersfield, California Fight stopped due to an accidental headbut.
Loss 62–6–2 United States Doug Jones KO 7 15/12/1962 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City Folley knocked out at 1:58 of the seventh round.
Win 62–5–2 United States Dave Furch UD 10 19/11/1962 United States Tucson, Arizona 100–91, 100–91, 100–90
Win 61–5–2 United States Al Gonzalez KO 5 29/08/1962 United States Madison Square Garden, Phoenix, Arizona Al knocked out at 1:55 of the fifth round.
Win 60–5–2 United States Doug Jones UD 10 01/08/1962 United States Denver Auditorium Arena, Denver, Colorado 47–45, 47–45, 47–46
Win 59–5–2 United States Paul Andrews TKO 7 12/06/1962 United States Sacramento, California Referee stopped the bout at 2:00 of the seventh round.
Win 58–5–2 Canada Bob Cleroux UD 10 18/04/1962 United States San Francisco Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California 10–0, 9–1, 9–0
Win 57–5–2 United States Mike DeJohn KO 3 15/02/1962 United States Denver Auditorium Arena, Denver, Colorado DeJohn knocked out at 2:24 of the third round.
Win 56–5–2 United Kingdom Henry Cooper KO 2 05/12/1961 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London Cooper knocked out at 1:06 of the second round.
Win 55–5–2 United States Sonny "Policeman" Moore UD 10 28/09/1961 United States El Paso County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas
Win 54–5–2 United States "Big" Ben Marshall KO 2 30/08/1961 United States Madison Square Garden, Phoenix, Arizona Marshall knocked out at 2:41 of the second round.
Loss 53–5–2 Argentina Alejandro Lavorante KO 7 11/05/1961 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles Folley knocked out at 0:35 of the seventh round.
Win 53–4–2 United States Norman Letcher TKO 5 10/02/1961 United States Madison Square Garden, Phoenix, Arizona Referee stopped the bout at 1:12 of the fifth round.
Win 52–4–2 Germany Willi Besmanoff UD 10 16/09/1960 United States SW Washington Fairgrounds, Centralia, Washington 99–94, 98–96, 98–96
Loss 51–4–2 United States Sonny Liston KO 3 18/07/1960 United States Denver Coliseum, Denver, Colorado Folley knocked out at 0:28 of the third round.
Win 51–3–2 United States Clarence Williams UD 10 05/04/1960 United States Sacramento, California
Win 50–3–2 United States Eddie Machen UD 12 18/01/1960 United States Cow Palace, Daly City, California 118–113, 117–114, 119–114
Win 49–3–2 United States Alonzo Johnson UD 10 18/11/1959 United States Caravan Inn East, Phoenix, Arizona 99–96, 99–93, 98–94
Win 48–3–2 United States Monroe Ratliff TKO 2 02/10/1959 United States San Diego Arena, San Diego, California Referee stopped the bout at 1:58 of the second round.
Win 47–3–2 United States Howard "Honeyboy" King MD 10 04/08/1959 United States Sacramento, California 97–93, 95–95, 98–92
Win 46–3–2 United States "Chief" Alvin Williams KO 4 07/07/1959 United States Fresno Memorial Auditorium, Fresno, California
Win 45–3–2 Germany Willi Besmanoff UD 10 07/04/1959 United States Denver, Colorado
Win 44–3–2 United States Hank Thurman UD 10 10/03/1959 United States Madison Square Garden, Phoenix, Arizona 100–81, 100–81, 100–86
Win 43–3–2 Argentina Alex Miteff UD 10 29/01/1959 United States Denver Auditorium Arena, Denver, Colorado
Win 42–3–2 Jamaica Joe Bygraves TKO 9 24/11/1958 United Kingdom Granby Halls, Leicester, Leicestershire Referee stopped the bout at 2:59 of the ninth round.
Loss 41–3–2 United Kingdom Henry Cooper PTS 10 14/10/1958 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Win 41–2–2 United States Pete Rademacher KO 4 25/07/1958 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles Pete knocked out at 1:15 of the fourth round.
Win 40–2–2 United States Art Swiden UD 10 19/05/1958 United States Las Vegas, Nevada 50–43, 46–40, 49–45
Draw 39–2–2 United States Eddie Machen SD 12 09/04/1958 United States Cow Palace, Daly City, California 116–117, 115–115, 117–115
Win 39–2–1 United States Garvin Sawyer UD 10 01/01/1958 United States Capitol Arena, Washington, District of Columbia 100–77, 100–76, 100–76
Win 38–2–1 Argentina Edgardo Romero TKO 4 04/12/1957 United States Albuquerque Civic Auditorium, Albuquerque, New Mexico Referee stopped the bout at 2:35 of the fourth round.
Win 37–2–1 United States Duke Sabedong KO 4 21/11/1957 United States Phoenix, Arizona
Win 36–2–1 United States Monroe Ratliff UD 10 10/09/1957 United States Madison Square Garden, Phoenix, Arizona
Win 35–2–1 Argentina Edgardo Romero TKO 6 05/08/1957 United States Dallas Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, Texas
Win 34–2–1 United States Jeff Dyer UD 10 09/07/1957 United States Phoenix Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona
Win 33–2–1 United States Julius Griffin TKO 4 18/06/1957 United States Madison Square Garden, Phoenix, Arizona Referee stopped the bout at 2:59 of the fourth round.
Win 32–2–1 United States Jimmy Wood KO 2 20/05/1957 United States Sports Center, Tucson, Arizona Wood knocked out at 1:20 of the second round.
Win 31–2–1 United States JD Harvey KO 4 18/04/1957 United States Sports Arena, Yuma, Arizona Harvey knocked out at 2:46 of the fourth round.
Win 30–2–1 United States Johnny Hollins KO 2 12/03/1957 United States Madison Square Garden, Phoenix, Arizona Hollins knocked out at 1:29 of the second round.
Win 29–2–1 United States Howie Turner UD 10 11/02/1957 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York City 6–2, 6–3, 7–3
Win 28–2–1 United States Wayne Bethea SD 10 09/01/1957 United States Syracuse War Memorial Arena, Syracuse, New York 5–4, 5–4, 4–5
Win 27–2–1 United States Wayne Bethea SD 10 03/12/1956 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York City 4–6, 6–5, 6–3
Win 26–2–1 Cuba Nino Valdes UD 10 25/09/1956 United States Softball Park, Phoenix, Arizona
Win 25–2–1 United States Roger Rischer UD 12 15/08/1956 United States Madison Square Garden, Phoenix, Arizona Southwestern Heavyweight Title.
Win 24–2–1 United States Rocky Robinson KO 8 28/05/1956 United States Sports Center, Tucson, Arizona Robinson knocked out at 1:40 of the eighth round.
Win 23–2–1 United States Ponce DeLeon Taylor KO 7 08/05/1956 United States Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix, Arizona de Leon knocked out at 0:03 of the seventh round.
Win 22–2–1 United States Alex Watson Jones KO 3 28/02/1956 United States Phoenix, Arizona Jones knocked out at 2:01 of the third round.
Loss 21–2–1 United States Young Jack Johnson RTD 5 01/12/1955 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles California Heavyweight Title. Folley did not come out for the sixth round due to a broken rib.
Win 21–1–1 United States Reuben Wilson KO 8 24/09/1955 United States Clifton, Arizona
Win 20–1–1 United States Ted Calaman TKO 4 08/09/1955 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles Referee stopped the bout at 1:54 of the fourth round.
Win 19–1–1 United States Jack Jarrod TKO 7 28/07/1955 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles Referee stopped the bout at 1:20 of the seventh round.
Loss 18–1–1 United States Johnny Summerlin RTD 6 23/06/1955 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles Folley did not come out for the seventh round due to a broken jaw.
Win 18–0–1 United States Howard "Honeyboy" King TKO 1 16/05/1955 United States Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, California Referee stopped the bout at 2:57 of the first round.
Win 17–0–1 United States Calvin Brad TKO 7 07/04/1955 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles Referee stopped the bout at 2:50 of the seventh round.
Win 16–0–1 United States Kirby Seals TKO 5 24/02/1955 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles Referee stopped the bout at 2:48 of the fifth round.
Win 15–0–1 United States JD Reed TKO 8 20/01/1955 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles Referee stopped the bout at 1:10 of the eighth round.
Win 14–0–1 Kid Zanzibar KO 7 18/12/1954 United States Clifton, Arizona
Win 13–0–1 United States Jimmy Ingram PTS 10 26/11/1954 United States Madison Square Garden, Phoenix, Arizona
Win 12–0–1 United States Georgie Woods PTS 10 23/10/1954 United States Madison Square Garden, Phoenix, Arizona
Win 11–0–1 United States Sandy McPherson UD 8 01/10/1954 Canada Edmonton Gardens, Edmonton, Alberta
Win 10–0–1 United States Kid Percy KO N/A 28/08/1954 United States Clifton, Arizona
Win 9–0–1 United States Kirby Seals UD 10 13/08/1954 United States San Diego Coliseum, San Diego, California 56.5–53.5, 57.5–52.5, 58–52
Win 8–0–1 United States Frank Buford UD 10 12/07/1954 United States Tucson, Arizona 54–53, 60–50, 54–53
Win 7–0–1 United States Johnny Rebel KO 1 10/06/1954 United States Phoenix, Arizona
Win 6–0–1 United States Joe Sandell TKO 3 13/04/1954 United States Softball Park, Phoenix, Arizona
Win 5–0–1 United States Battling Blackjack KO 1 26/03/1954 United States Clifton, Arizona
Win 4–0–1 United States Howard "Honeyboy" King TKO 7 26/01/1954 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles Referee stopped the bout at 2:35 of the seventh round.
Win 3–0–1 United States Lonnie Malone TKO 2 07/12/1953 United States Arena, South Gate, California
Win 2–0–1 United States Joe Louis Brown KO 8 17/11/1953 United States Phoenix, Arizona
Draw 1–0–1 United States Calvin Chambers PTS 4 29/09/1953 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles
Win 1–0 United States Jimmy Ingram PTS 4 22/09/1953 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dundee, Angelo; Bert Sugar (2009). My View from the Corner: A Life in Boxing. New York: McGraw Hill Books. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-07-162847-1. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=9384&cat=boxer

External links[edit]