Gene Fullmer

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Gene Fullmer
Born
Lawrence Gene Fullmer

(1931-07-21)July 21, 1931
DiedApril 27, 2015(2015-04-27) (aged 83)
West Jordan, Utah, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Other namesCyclone
The "Mormon Mauler"
Statistics
Weight(s)Middleweight
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Reach69 in (175 cm)
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights64
Wins55
Wins by KO24
Losses6
Draws3

Lawrence Gene Fullmer (July 21, 1931 – April 27, 2015) was an American professional boxer and World Middleweight champion. He was known as The Utah Cyclone, The Mormon Mauler, and as "Cyclone" Gene Fullmer.

Professional career

Fullmer began his professional career in 1951 and won his first 29 fights, 19 by knockout. His manager during many years of his career was his mentor, Marv Jenson, who encouraged many youth in West Jordan, Utah, to enter boxing as amateurs.

Middleweight champion

Fullmer won the world middleweight championship on January 2, 1957, when he upset the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson by soundly winning a unanimous 15-round decision. On May 1, 1957 they fought a rematch. The fight began as expected, with Fullmer using his strength and awkwardness to bull into Robinson and really force him onto his heels. In the fifth round Robinson, while backing up, lashed out with what has been called the perfect left hook. It caught Fullmer flush on the chin and knocked him out.

In 1959, the National Boxing Association withdrew its recognition of Robinson as middleweight champion. Fullmer and fellow former middleweight champion Carmen Basilio fought for the vacant NBA title on August 28, 1959, and Fullmer won the crown when he TKOed Basilio in the 14th round. Meanwhile, Robinson was to lose his version of the middleweight championship to Paul Pender.

Fullmer and Pender never met to settle their claims to the middleweight title, and Pender eventually retired. Meanwhile, Fullmer fought and turned back the challenges of many top contenders, such as Basilio, Ellsworth "Spider" Webb, Florentino Fernández, and welterweight champion Benny "Kid" Paret. He narrowly escaped being dethroned when he was held to 15-round draws by Robinson and future titleholder Joey Giardello. The draw against Robinson was widely criticised by almost every ringside observer, who had Robinson winning 11-4 or 10-5 in rounds. In their final meeting, a title bout in 1961, Fullmer beat Robinson by unanimous decision.

Losing the title

Fullmer finally lost the middleweight title to Dick Tiger on October 23, 1962 in a unanimous decision. They fought a rematch on February 23, 1963, which resulted in a draw. Fullmer's attempts to regain the middleweight crown finally ended when he was TKOed in seven rounds by Tiger on August 10, 1963.

Fullmer's final record included 55 wins (24 by KO), 6 losses, and 3 draws.

Professional boxing record

64 fights 55 wins 6 losses
By knockout 24 2
By decision 31 4
Draws 3
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
64 Loss 55–6–3 Dick Tiger RTD 7 (15), 3:00 Aug 10, 1963 Liberty Stadium, Ibadan, Nigeria For WBA and The Ring middleweight titles;
For inaugural WBC middleweight title
63 Draw 55–5–3 Dick Tiger SD 15 Feb 23, 1963 Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, US For WBA and NSYAC middleweight titles
62 Loss 55–5–2 Dick Tiger UD 15 Oct 23, 1962 Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California, US Lost WBA middleweight title
61 Win 55–4–2 Benny Paret KO 10 (15), 2:30 Dec 9, 1961 Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, US Retained NBA middleweight title
60 Win 54–4–2 Florentino Fernández SD 15 Aug 5, 1961 Ogden Stadium, Ogden, Utah, US Retained NBA middleweight title
59 Win 53–4–2 Sugar Ray Robinson UD 15 Mar 4, 1961 Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, US Retained NBA middleweight title
58 Draw 52–4–2 Sugar Ray Robinson SD 15 Dec 3, 1960 Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, US Retained NBA middleweight title
57 Win 52–4–1 Carmen Basilio TKO 12 (15) Jun 29, 1960 Derks Field, Salt Lake City, Utah, US Retained NBA middleweight title
56 Draw 51–4–1 Joey Giardello SD 15 Apr 20, 1960 Montana St. College Fieldhouse, Bozeman, Montana, US Retained NBA middleweight title
55 Win 51–4 Ellsworth Webb UD 15 Dec 4, 1959 George Nelson Field House, Logan, Utah, US Retained NBA middleweight title
54 Win 50–4 Carmen Basilio TKO 14 (15), 0:39 Aug 28, 1959 Cow Palace, Daly City, California, US Won vacant NBA middleweight title
53 Win 49–4 Wilf Greaves MD 10 Feb 20, 1959 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, US
52 Win 48–4 Milo Savage UD 10 Jan 9, 1959 Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas, US
51 Win 47–4 Joe Miceli KO 2 (10), 0:38 Nov 10, 1958 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah, US
50 Win 46–4 Ellsworth Webb UD 10 Sep 11, 1958 Derks Field, Salt Lake City, Utah, US
49 Win 45–4 Jim Hegerle UD 10 Jul 7, 1958 Arena, West Jordan, Utah, US
48 Win 44–4 Milo Savage UD 10 Mar 3, 1958 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah, US
47 Win 43–4 Neal Rivers MD 10 Nov 15, 1957 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, US
46 Win 42–4 Chico Vejar UD 10 Sep 4, 1957 Arena, West Jordan, Utah, US
45 Win 41–4 Ralph 'Tiger' Jones UD 10 Jun 7, 1957 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, US
44 Loss 40–4 Sugar Ray Robinson KO 5 (15), 1:27 May 1, 1957 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, US Lost NYSAC, NBA, and The Ring middleweight titles
43 Win 40–3 Wilf Greaves UD 10 Feb 18, 1957 City Auditorium, Denver, Colorado, US
42 Win 39–3 Wilf Greaves UD 10 Jan 28, 1957 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah, US
41 Win 38–3 Sugar Ray Robinson UD 15 Jan 2, 1957 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, US Won NYSAC, NBA, and The Ring middleweight titles
40 Win 37–3 Moses Ward KO 3 (10) Sep 22, 1956 Arena, West Jordan, Utah, US
39 Win 36–3 Charles Humez UD 10 May 25, 1956 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, US
38 Win 35–3 Ralph 'Tiger' Jones UD 10 Apr 20, 1956 Public Hall, Cleveland, Ohio, US
37 Win 34–3 Gil Turner SD 10 Feb 17, 1956 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, US
36 Win 33–3 Rocky Castellani SD 10 Jan 4, 1956 Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, US
35 Loss 32–3 Eduardo Lausse UD 10 Nov 25, 1955 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, US
34 Loss 32–2 Bobby Boyd UD 10 Sep 28, 1955 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, US
33 Win 32–1 Al Andrews UD 10 Sep 12, 1955 Ogden Stadium, Ogden, Utah, US
32 Win 31–1 Del Flanagan UD 10 Jul 26, 1955 Civic Center, Butte, Montana, US
31 Win 30–1 Gil Turner PTS 10 Jun 20, 1955 West Jordan Park, West Jordan, Utah, US
30 Loss 29–1 Gil Turner UD 10 Apr 4, 1955 Eastern Parkway Arena, New York, New York, US
29 Win 29–0 Govan Small UD 10 Mar 21, 1955 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah, US
28 Win 28–0 Paul Pender UD 10 Feb 14, 1955 Eastern Parkway Arena, New York, New York, US
27 Win 27–0 Marcel Assire UD 10 Jan 31, 1955 Eastern Parkway Arena, New York, New York, US
26 Win 26–0 Peter Müller UD 10 Nov 15, 1954 Eastern Parkway Arena, New York, New York, US
25 Win 25–0 Jackie LaBua UD 10 Nov 8, 1954 Eastern Parkway Arena, New York, New York, US
24 Win 24–0 Dick Wolfe KO 4 (10), 1:27 Aug 16, 1954 West Jordan Park, West Jordan, Utah, US
23 Win 23–0 Reno Abellira UD 10 Jul 29, 1954 Arena, West Jordan, Utah, US
22 Win 22–0 Govan Small PTS 10 Jul 12, 1954 West Jordan, Utah, US
21 Win 21–0 Rio Rico TKO 1 (10) Jun 5, 1954 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah, US
20 Win 20–0 Andy Anderson RTD 7 (10) May 17, 1954 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah, US
19 Win 19–0 Charley Cato KO 1 (10), 1:43 Apr 26, 1954 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah, US
18 Win 18–0 Kid Leon KO 1 (10) Feb 6, 1954 West Jordan Junior High, West Jordan, Utah, US
17 Win 17–0 Armando Cotero UD 6 Sep 20, 1952 Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, US
16 Win 16–0 Mickey Rhodes KO 6 (?) Aug 8, 1952 Ogden Stadium, Ogden, Utah, US
15 Win 15–0 Baby Ray KO 1 (?) Oct 17, 1951 Vernal, Utah, US
14 Win 14–0 Rudy Zadell PTS 6 Oct 10, 1951 Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
13 Win 13–0 Gary Hanley KO 1 (?) Oct 3, 1951 West Jordan, Utah, US
12 Win 12–0 Garth Panther MD 10 Sep 25, 1951 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah, US
11 Win 11–0 Sam Healy TKO 4 (6) Sep 14, 1951 Uintah High School Gym, Vernal, Utah, US
10 Win 10–0 Charley Cato KO 4 (10) Sep 7, 1951 West Jordan, Utah, US
9 Win 9–0 Buddy Sloan KO 2 (?) Aug 25, 1951 Hurricane, Utah, US
8 Win 8–0 Sam Healy KO 1 (?) Aug 24, 1951 Hurricane, Utah, US
7 Win 7–0 Carlos Martinez TKO 1 (4) Aug 1, 1951 Cow Palace, Daly City, California, US
6 Win 6–0 Lamar Peterson KO 1 (?) Jul 16, 1951 West Jordan, Utah, US
5 Win 5–0 Eddie Duffy KO 2 (4) Jul 9, 1951 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Salt Lake City, Utah, US
4 Win 4–0 Eddie Duffy KO 1 (?) Jul 2, 1951 Vernal, Utah, US
3 Win 3–0 Gary Carr KO 3 (?) Jun 23, 1951 Midvale, Utah, US
2 Win 2–0 Andy Jackson KO 1 (?) Jun 16, 1951 West Jordan, Utah, US
1 Win 1–0 Glen Peck KO 1 (4), 1:52 Jun 9, 1951 George Nelson Field House, Logan, Utah, US

Personal life

Fullmer graduated from Jordan High School and worked at Kennecott Copper Mine for several years, he also served in the Korean War. He married Dolores Holt on October 13, 1955 in the Salt Lake Temple. They raised 2 daughters and 2 sons.

Fullmer had two younger brothers who boxed: Don Fullmer (February 21, 1939 - January 28, 2012), who twice challenged for the World Middleweight Title, and Jay Fullmer (March 9, 1937 - April 22, 2015), who boxed as a lightweight.

Fullmer was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and his living the tenets of his religion, especially the Word of Wisdom, was heavily covered in the press. It was also frequently mentioned that he was a father and that he paid tithing on his boxing winnings.

Fullmer appeared in a cameo role in the 1968 film The Devil's Brigade as a Montana bartender.

Fullmer is featured on the cover of the album Greatest Hits by Alice in Chains.

On January 21, 1962, Fullmer appeared on What's My Line? but not as a mystery guest. His line was that he was a mink rancher.

His fight with Dick Tiger appears prominently in the music video for the Iggy Pop song 'American Valhalla'.

On April 27, 2015, five days after younger brother Jay's death, Gene died at the age of 83 in his home surrounded by friends and family.

Filmography

See also

References

  1. ^ "Brad Rock: The Mormon Mauler Couldn't be Anything But Himself". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. April 28, 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  2. ^ Carbert, Mike (10 August 2023). "Gene Fullmer". The Fight City.
  3. ^ "The Lineal Middleweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  4. ^ a b "Former middleweight world champion boxer Gene Fullmer dead at 83". The Salt Lake Tribune. April 30, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  5. ^ Haws, J. B. (2013). The Mormon Image in the American Mind. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 29–30. ISBN 978-0-1998-9764-3.
  6. ^ Donaldson, Amy (April 27, 2015). "Former world middleweight champion Gene Fullmer dies at 83". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
Achievements
Preceded by World Middleweight Champion
2 January 1957– 1 May 1957
Succeeded by
Preceded by NBA World Middleweight Champion
Later WBA Title

28 August 1959– 23 October 1962
Succeeded by

External links