Kid Gavilan vs Billy Graham III
Regarded as one of the most controversial decisions of all time. The crowd violently protested the decision. Referee Conn, who had cast the deciding vote in favor of Gavilan, had to leave the ring under police protection. Among critics, opinions were divided sharply over who deserved the decision. Some had Graham a clear winner, while others thought the decision was close enough to go either way.
"The writer scored the battle, nine rounds to six, for Gavilan. The champion was entitled to the first four, eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh and the thirteenth. Graham won the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds, the twelfth and, in a closing burst of brillant [sic] boxing, the fourteenth and fifteenth. ...Graham's superior boxing skill carried him through the rounds he won. In these sessions he outboxed the champion. After taking a drubbing through the first four rounds, Graham stung Gavilan to aimless fury with his clever boxing and sharp hitting through the three succeeding rounds. Repeatedly Graham reached the jaw over this span with sharp right-hand drives. He made Gavilan miss awkwardly with long lefts and rights while getting under the fire with solid rights to the heart or left hooks to the head. With the eighth round the tide of battle turned Gavilan's way. He forced the fighting, swarmed all over Graham, charging in against Billy's best blows and raked the East Sider about the head with rights and lefts. In the twelfth Graham's punches were cleaner and sharper and he grazed the jaw several times with rights. Through the fourteenth and fifteenth rounds Graham, throwing all caution to the winds, reached the champion's jaw repeatedly with grazing rights and left hooks. He frequently beat Gavilan to a left jab to the face. However, the earlier lead accumulated by Gavilan could not be overcome by this closing rush of the challenger." (James P. Dawson, New York Times)
Attendance: 8,137; Gate: $34,419;