Wilford Scypion vs Willie Classen
CONTROVERSY RATING: N/A
The percentage of fan cards that disagree with an official result. Exclusively on EYE ON THE RING.
Friday, November 23, 1979
Classen was knocked down in the third round and took an eight-count in the ninth. When the bell rang for the tenth round, Classen remained on his stool. His handlers lifted him up and pushed out of his corner. The referee stopped the fight twelve seconds into the tenth round after Classen was knocked through the ropes. There was no ambulance on site. After about 30 minutes, a passing ambulance was flagged down and Classen was rushed to Bellevue, the closest hospital equipped for an emergency neurosurgery procedure. Classen underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. Classen died five days after the fight. Classen's death was the first ring fatality in New York City since Benny Paret died after being knocked out by Emile Griffith in 1962. Classen's widow filed a $500 million lawsuit against Madison Square Garden, referee Lew Eskin and four doctors. She settled out of court for a six-figure sum in 1987. In the early 1980s, New York Governor Hugh Carey signed a bill which made it mandatory for a boxing promoter to have an ambulance present during a fight card. Also, a rule was passed stating that a fighter must make it to the center of the ring under his own power at the start of each round. It was called the Classen Rule. In 1983, Scypion fought Marvin Hagler for the Undisputed World Middleweight Championship and was knocked out in four rounds.