ESPN Classic again brings us black and white bouts sponsored by Pabst, and again the contest comes to us from the Chicago Stadium. This is a middleweight contest pitting a then undefeated Chuck Davey in the ring against Rocky Graziano. This is a historically relevant bout for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it would go on to be Graziano's final contest in the ring. While Graziano was a product of the streets of Manhattan, Davey was part of a now largely dead world - an amateur champion for his college, Michigan State University. Davey was still moving his way up the ladder on a collision course with Kid Gavilan, while Graziano's best days and legendary trilogy with Tony Zale was now several years behind him.
As a fight onto itself, it was not exactly thrilling, and was not terribly competitive. Graziano was reduced to a wild swinging brawler, rarely if every jabbing, and never cutting off the ring successfully on Davey. Davey may have very well been a "runner", and with his southpaw stance, he was incredibly difficult to land anything on without having a very impressive modicum of skill. Graziano, in this late stage of his career, simply had nothing in terms of physical ability to get the fight into a mode where he was comfortable, and spent almost the entire fight eating jabs, right hands, and short uppercuts from a constantly mobile Davey. His nose bloodied and his attack neutralized, Graziano showed great heart in the 10th round to try and rally himself to victory, but even with the few clean blows landed that round, Davey was never in any great trouble or threat to be dropped. The scorecards unanimously and widely read for Chuck Davey. While a bout from the golden era of boxing, its not really a "classic" any more than it would be a classic to see the likes of Mosley/Collazo 40 years from now. It's very one sided and not particularly entertaining.