Boxing History: April 8, 1961 Davey Moore KO 1 Danny Valdez, Los Angeles.
Retains World Featherweight Title.
Davey Moore fought professionally 1953–1963.
Moore died March 25, 1963, as a result of injuries sustained in a match against Sugar Ramos.
Moore had a lifetime professional record of 59 wins, 7 losses, 1 draw and 1 no contest, with 30 wins by knockout.
In 1960, he had a two-fight tour in Venezuela, winning one by knockout, and then having his winning streak interrupted with a seven round knockout loss at the hands of Carlos Hernández. He fought three times in Mexico that year,and retained his title in Tokyo, beating Kazuo Takayama by a decision in 15.
In 1961, he toured Europe for three fights, visiting Paris, Madrid and Rome. He retained his title with a knockout in one round against Danny Valdez and won three more fights in Mexico before returning to Tokyo to beat Takayama, once again by a 15 round decision, to retain the title in their rematch.
In 1962, he won four bouts, returning to Europe to defend his title versus Olli Mäki, beaten in two rounds in Finland.
Moore had a record of 1-1 in 1963. Following his defeat, in the second bout, Moore died of brain injuries received during the fight (see below).
Moore was scheduled to face Cuban-Mexican Sugar Ramos in July, 1962 at Dodger Stadium but a torrential typhoon-like rainstorm hit Los Angeles on the night of the fight and the fight was postponed until March 21, 1963. It was shown on national television. In the tenth round Ramos staggered Moore with a left and then continued to pummel him with blows until he fell, striking the base of his neck on the bottom rope and injuring his brain stem. Moore got to his feet for the eight-count and, despite Ramos’ continuing attack, somehow managed to finish the round on his feet, but the referee stopped the fight before the eleventh, and Ramos was declared the new WBC/WBA World Featherweight Champion. Moore was able to give a clear-headed interview before he left the ring, but in the dressing room fell into a coma from which he never emerged, dying 75 hours later. There was existing public controversy due to the death of Benny “Kid” Paret one year before, and Moore’s death prompted debate about the dangers of boxing and the possibility of the sport being banned in the United States.
Bob Dylan wrote a song about Davey Moore’s death, posing the question of responsibility. It is titled “Who Killed Davey Moore?” and was also sung by Pete Seeger. Phil Ochs wrote a song titled “Davey Moore” which told the story of Davey Moore’s death and placed the guilt on the managers and the boxing “money men” as well as boxing fans.
The band BoomBox reworked ‘Who Killed Davey Moore” on their 2005 album “Visions of Backbeat” featuring funk and hip-hop rhythm and musical elements vastly different than Dylan’s version.
On September 21, 2013, Moore’s hometown of Springfield, Ohio dedicated a statue in honor of the boxing world champion, in a public green space just south of downtown. The event was attended by nearly 250 people, including Moore’s final opponent, Ultiminio “Sugar” Ramos, who came from his home in Mexico City, to pay respects to Moore and his family, on the 50th anniversary of the historic fight. It was the first time since March 1963 that Ramos and Moore’s widow (Geraldine) had spoken.
The Moore statue is an 8-foot bronze piece, sitting atop a 16,000 lb. boulder, and is placed in proximity to Moore’s high school and near the neighborhood where Moore grew up. The sculpture was created by Urbana, Ohio artist/sculptor Mike Major.
Sugar Ramos, Luis Rodriguez, Roberto Cruz, Battling Torres, Davey Moore & Emile Griffith 21 March 1963 Weigh In Triple Header.