Best Boxers of All Time From Utah
Gene Fullmer's Best Wins
Sugar Ray Robinson
Gene Fullmer vs. Sugar Ray Robinson
Who is your favorite middleweight boxer of the 1960's?
Gene Fullmer (West Jordan, Utah)
"Cyclone" Gene Fullmer is a two- time middleweight (160 pounds) champion of the world. He beat the legend himself, Sugar Ray Robinson for the title and after losing it to Robinson in the rematch, Fullmer eventually gained the championship again by beating Carmen Basilio by knockout. Before retiring he fought Robinson 4 total times going 2-1-1 in those bouts. Gene Fullmer was a pressure fighter with solid offensive skills especially when infighting. Known for his stamina, chin and style of prizefighting inside the squared circle. He would always stalk forward trying to corner his foes and he would fire away with both fists to body and head from all angles.
Mr. Fullmer amassed a record of 55-6-3 with 24 knockouts to his credit. Among many others Fullmer beat Sugar Ray Robinson, Carmen Basilio, Gil Turner, Spider Webb and Benny Paret. Fullmer had an average defense but his offense was devastating and was his defense for the most part even though his footwork was descent as well. Gene Fullmer could take it as well as dish it out. Several times Fullmer has been to the brink but still came back even stronger to pull out a victory.
Mr. Gene Fullmer was inducted into The Boxing Hall of Fame located in Canastota, NY. This legend defended his crown seven times over the course of his two reigns and he was the epitome of a prizefighter. Although his defense was not special it was his in your face, take what you got style that was overwhelming for many boxers. He tossed punches in bunches for 15 entire rounds without ever seeming to tire. He was dedicated to his craft and it showed and it was against the cream of the cro during his era.
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Dick Tiger vs. Don Fullmer
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Don Fullmer (West Jordan, Utah)
Mr. Fullmer, who was indeed the brother of the great Gene Fullmer, was a top middleweight contender during his prime. His resume reads 54-20-5 with 14 knockout wins on his docket. He stayed in his famous brothers shadow but he was a solid contender who would have held a championship in some eras without a doubt. Don Fullmer, like Gene, took on all comers and never ducked a challenge.
Don Fullmer lost only to the best including Dick Tiger, Emile Griffith and Jose Torres. Don Fullmer had average skills and very average speed which hurt him at the highest level of his chosen profession. He did, however, have tremendous courage, stamina and an unbreakable fighting spirit inside the ropes. Don Fullmer toppled some top 10 contenders including: Billy Marsh, Bobo Olson, Joey Archer, Emile Griffith and Jimmy Ellis just to name a few victories on his ledger.
Rex Layne vs. Bob Satterfield (Video Clips)
Tommy Jackson vs. Rex Layne
Rex Layne (Lewiston, Utah)
Mr. Layne did not have a major amateur career, however, he did win the National AAU Heavyweight Championship in 1949 and the Pacific Armed Forces Heavyweight Championship while serving a stint in the military forces. Layne never won a world title as a professional and he lost by knockout when he challenged heavyweight champion, Rocky Marciano. But, If not for Marciano, Layne could have been a champion. Rex Layne holds victories over Ezzard Charles, Jersey Joe Walcott, Bob Satterfield and Henry Hall, among others. Layne was not really great at any one thing, although he had tremendous power, but he was good at everything inside the squared circle.
Rex Layne was a top heavyweight contender during the 1950s and his final record stands at 50-17-3 with 34 wins coming by way of knockout. Layne showed lots of power in his right hand and his left hook. Combined with his skills that made him a solid boxer Layne was a hard proposition for almost any fighter. Rex Layne's ring nickname was the "Lewiston Larruper".
Birthplace of Ernie Lopez (Fort Duchesne, Utah)
Ernie Lopez Strikes a Fighting Pose
Ernie Lopez (Fort Duchesne, Utah)
"Indian Red" was a top contender in the welterweight (147 pound) division during the 1970s. He fought for the welterweight crown twice but came up short both times in title bouts with the great Jose Napoles. Ernie Lopez did, however, beat some top notch boxers. Lopez fought Hedgemon Lewis 3 times winning twice and one of them by knockout.
Ernie Lopez retired from prizefighting with a resume that stands at 51-10-1 with 6 knockouts. Ernie Lopez lacked a power punch and his defense was porous but he was skilled, fast, accurate and his jab was nice as far as offense goes. Mr. Ernie Lopez was elected to the California Boxing Hall of Fame which is where most of his bouts took place.
Gene Fullmer Tribute (Video)
Jay Lambert (Helper, Utah)
"Mr. Lambert" competed in the 1948 Olympic games and had a short professional career as well. Jay Lambert was a success as an amateur and he won a few regional titles on his way to becoming an Olympian. Known for a fantastic jab and fast footwork.
Jay Lambert fought in the Olympics and in the pro ranks as a heavyweight retiring with a mark reading 8-3-1 with 5 knockouts. A fact about this man is that he never left the sport after hanging up the gloves. For over 40 years Lambert was a physician ringside for more than a thousand professional bouts and hundreds of amateur contests. In 1977 Jay Lambert, who passed in 2012, was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.
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