Wednesday, December 10, 2014

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Archie Moore vs Yvon Durelle I (Dec 10, 1958) (Full fight)

According to Archie "The Old Mongoose" Moore, his toughest fight occurred 56 years ago today on December 10, 1958. The fight took place at the Forum in Montreal against a challenger who was French Canadian. His name:  Yvon “The Fighting Fisherman” Durelle. Durelle was 29 years old to Moore's 41! Moore was the Light Heavyweight Champion of 6 years when he fought Durelle.

Surprisingly, Moore's toughest fight was not against Rocky Marciano or Floyd Patterson. Marciano was the only Heavyweight Champion who retired undefeated in his professional career with a record of 49 wins, 0 losses, and 43 KO's! Moore was KO'd in the 9th round by Rocky Marciano in 1955 and again by Floyd Patterson in November 1956. The Old Mongoose described the fight with Floyd Patterson as the low point of his career. Moore was totally ineffective.

OK, back to The Old Mongoose's toughest fight... The championship fight between Moore and Durelle was for the World Light Heavyweight Title. Moore went down three times in the first round and once in the 5th. Moore fought his way back and Durelle went down four times in the rest of the fight and was KO'd at 0:49 of the 11th. With this KO, Moore broke Young Stribling's knockout record of 126!! This fight should be on the short list for Best Comeback in a Fight! It should also be a candidate for Best Fight Ever!

By Moore's own admission, his first fight with Durelle was his toughest. He had this to say in an interview years later:

"The first time he put me down, I hit my head first, then my feet. I was laying there, and I thought, 'Wow, this guy can hit.' They said Marciano was a house wrecker, and he was, but it took him a volley to get the job done. This guy: one punch."

"And as I was laying there, I felt something inside my mouth. And then I tasted blood. My blood. Durelle had torn me inside my mouth, and that had never happened before.”

As Fortune would have it, this fight is preserved on video for fight fans. Enjoy!!

Archie Moore vs Yvon Durelle I (Dec 10, 1958)
Slight quality decrease in round 3 but only for that round as it came from an external source. 

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