Never before had a challenger remained so pridefully erect to take so heavy a pounding; never had the moment of the kill seemed so incessantly near and yet so elusive; never in modern times had a 15-round light for the heavyweight championship of the world been more dramatic. That was the first meeting of Ezzard Charles, a superb boxer, and Rocky Marciano, the champion whose style is to absorb all the power his opponent can produce and then return it double. For five rounds Charles maneuvered and boxed and was winning. Then the champion shook his head and began to shoulder forward. Although he missed his mark more often than he hit it, the results of Marciano's blows on the perfectly conditioned body of ex-champion Charles amply proved the power of Marciano's rights and lefts.
When it was all over, a battered Ezzard Charles whispered: "I thought I had it won.... I want him again."
Last week Charles got his wish. Promoter Morris, knowing it was the wish of the fans, too, signed them to fight again. Place: Yankee Stadium, New York. Date: September 15
Mercilessly pounded, his face twisted and puffed, the exhausted Charles sagged against the ropes in the 15th, but remained standing to gain more popularity in defeat than he ever knew as heavyweight champion