Boxing Simulation All-Time Middleweight Champion Part 3 Fullmer v. Ketchel & Flowers v. Graziano

About a computer simulation ran to determine the all-time middleweight championship boxer of the world, the preliminary round featuring Fullmer v. Ketchel and Flowers v. Graziano.

The All-Time Middleweight Championship of the World

The Preliminaries


Background: Gene Fullmer, the Utah strongboy, was an all around athlete who held the middleweight championship twice. A dock brawler, he charged like a football guard, whirling both fists. His bulling style enabled him to beat Ray Robinson for the title with a decision in 1957. Robinson KO'd him in a rematch. He had given a brutal beating to Kid Paret weeks before the Paret-Griffith fight and many felt that Paret's fatal injuries actually were received in the Fullmer bout.

Stanley Ketchel was a 2-fisted wildman of the 1903-1910 era. He began boxing when he was 16 and his short but fascinating career ended when he was shot by a jealous husband at the age of 24. In that time, he won 49 fights, 46 by a KO, and lost 4. One of Ketchel's managers described his training regimen: He went to look for the fighter and found him in bed smoking opium, with a blonde on one side and a brunette on the other.

Ketchel had the gall in 1909 to challenge the giant Jack Johnson, who outweighed the little Assassin by 25 lbs. for the bout. Johnson had agreed to let Ketchel stay the limit and was toying with him until the 12th, when Stanley decided to smoke. He exploded right under Johnson's ear and the big heavyweight went down. Some say that Johnson faked the knockdown for a laugh. But there was nothing humorous about his mood when he bounced up. Jack laid Ketchel out with a murderous right to the mouth that broke off all of Stanley's front teeth at the gums.

The fight: Gene Fullmer was no match for the Michigan swinger. Ketchel dropped a bomb on Fullmer that put him down for 9 in the 5th round, had him on the canvas again in the 6th and beat him senseless in the 7th, when Referee Ruby Goldstein stopped the fight.

Winner: Ketchel, TKO 7.


Background: Tiger Flowers fought just after W.W. I. A clever boxing southpaw, Flowers lacked a real power punch and suffered from a fragile jaw. In 1924, he won 36 straight bouts. He took the middleweight title from Harry Greb in 1926 in a 15-round decision. The Georgia Deacon died after minor eye surgery in 1927, at the age of 32.

Rocky Graziano was a fighter of the punching bag school. Like his buddy from New York's Lower East Side, Jake LaMotta, he was willing to take a pounding in order to give one. His vicious battles with Tony Zale, in which they traded the middleweight crown in 1946-1948, are still mentioned with awe. Graziano and LaMotta both went into show business after retirement from the ring and Graziano's life story was enacted by Paul Newman in the film Somebody Up There Likes Me.

The Fight: Graziano's raw power was too much for Flowers. Rocky took everything the Tiger could throw and then KO'd him in the 11th.

Winner: Graziano, KO 11.

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