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Davey Moore

The name Davey Moore will probably forever be linked to fame, fortune and death in the sport of boxing. There have been two world boxing champions named Davey Moore, and both had tragic endings in different ways. Some boxing fans actually say the name of Davey Moore is cursed.

The first Davey Moore (1933-1963) was born in Lexington, Kentucky and he made his professional debut at the age of 20, beating Willie Reese by a decision in six. He won five more bouts and then lost to Russ Tague by a decision, also in 6. He closed out 1953 with a third round knockout win over Eddie Cooper.

In 1954, he boxed ten times, going 8-1-1 with 6 knockout wins. In 1955, he went 5-2, his two losses coming during a three fight Latin American tour that took him to Panama and Cuba. In 1956, he went 2-1, including a four round knockout over Charlie Slaughter in Montreal.

By 1957 Moore would begin an 18 fight winning streak, which ultimately took him to challenge world Featherweight champion Hogan Kid Bassey. He beat Bassey by a 13 round knockout, and then in a rematch by an 11 round knockout. This was in 1959. He also won a fight in England during that time.

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 Hernandez. 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 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 Ollie Maeke, beaten in two rounds in Finland.

After winning one fight in 1963, Moore's luck ran out: He was faced with Sugar Ramos, in a nationally televised fight. The public, which was just recovering from the horror of seeing Benny the "Kid" Paret being pounded to his death on national television just one year before, had to witness as Moore was pounded against his own corner in the fight against Ramos. Several people, except Ramos of course, who was doing his job, have been blamed for not stopping the fight at a timely manner. He lost the fight officially by a knockout in the tenth, and died two days later while fighting for his life at a medical center in the Los Angeles area.

He had a record of 55 wins, 8 losses and 3 draws, with 30 wins by knockout.

Subsequently, Bob Dylan wrote a song named Who Killed Davey Moore?. It became a number one hit for Dylan, who released it in only 2 weeks after Moore's death. Only one month after the boxer's death, the song had reached the top of the charts. Several books and articles have been since published about the tragic fight between Moore and Ramos.

The second Davey Moore (1962-1988) was born in New York, just at the same time as the first Davey Moore was world Featherweight champion. As a boxer, he rose quickly thru the Jr. Middleweight ranks, perhaps too quick, some boxing critics and writers say. After winning eight professional fights, five by knockout, the WBA named him their number one challenger, and on February of 1982, he travelled to Japan, where he knocked out world Jr Middleweight champion Tadashi Mihara in six to win the WBA's world Jr. Middleweight title.

He defended it against Charlie Weir, knocking him out in five rounds in South Africa, and former world champion Ayub Kalule, knocked out in ten in New Jersey.

Moore started 1983, beating challenger Gary Guiden, again by knockout, in four. Next, he defended against former 2 time world champion Roberto Duran, who became a three time world champ by knocking Moore out in the eight round at the Madison Square Garden. Moore's career took a downward spiral after that. He won two more fights in a row, including one in Monte Carlo over Wilfredo Benitez, but then lost in Paris on a disqualification in nine to Louis Acaries. In 1985, he won one more fight and was in line to challenge Carlos Santos for the IBF world Jr. Middleweigt title. The fight did not come off, and Moore did not win any more bouts in his life, losing two more fights. His last fight was at the Sugar Ray Leonard-Marvin Hagler undercard, and after that, he retired with a record of 16 wins, 4 losses and 12 wins by a knockout.

He was leaving his home on a February 1988 morning, when he went out to open the carway's door. He forgot to turn off the car or put the ignition handle on the parking mode, leaving it on reverse. The car subsequently went backwards, and although Moore tried to get away, he was crushed by his car, dying instantly, and sparking boxing fans to comment that the name of Davey Moore had to carry a curse for boxers.