Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Author’s Note: With the recent death of Canadian great Yvon Durelle I thought it would be fitting to post this article. Archie’s first fight with Durelle was surely a defining moment in both of their careers.
He was possibly the greatest light heavyweight of all time, The wily “Old Mongoose” Archie Moore. The man who scored 140 knockouts in a career that spanned from 1936 to 1963 never lost his crown in the ring. Although he unsuccessfully challenged twice for the heavyweight title, he did campaign successfully among the “Big Boys” throughout his tenure as a professional boxer. His record reads lie “Who’s Who” of boxing history. In 228 recorded bouts, Archie was only stopped seven times, a testimony to his courage and uncanny defensive ability.
Born on December 13, 1913 (or 1916 according to Archie), Moore boxed for years without due recognition. He fought all over the country. He even traveled to Australia and Argentina in search of fame and fortune. After six years on the circuit, Archie began to make his move toward the big time. In 1942, he knocked out Shorty Hogue in two rounds. Hogue had decisioned Archie no less than three times earlier in his career. He also beat rugged Jack Chase and drew with Ed Booker. In 1943, he won two out of three against Chase. In 1944, Moore lost by a knockout to Booker and also dropped a decision to the great Charley Burley. 1945 was a good year for Archie as he lost only two of fourteen fights. He beat Clevelander Lloyd Marshall twice. He was stopped by another Clevelander, the outstanding Jimmy Bivins. He lost a decision to Holman Williams, but kayoed Holman in a rematch.