NYS Boxing History

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December in New York State Boxing History

On December 11, 1925, New York’s own Paul Berlenbach defended his Light Heavyweight title, defeating challenger and former champ, Jack Delaney, via decision at Madison Square Garden. This was the first time the Garden utilized what would become their permanent and signature boxing ring, which ultimately hosted thousands of fights at the venue for 82 years before finally being retired in 2007 and donated to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY. 
In an exciting contest, Berlenbach – who had won the belt from Mike McTigue seven months prior – was knocked down in the third round and, according to a ringside report, "punched groggy" in the sixth and seventh, but rallied strongly over the second half of the fight to turn back the challenge of Delaney. Berlenbach, known as the “Astoria Assassin,” finished his career with 40 wins (34 by KO), eight defeats and three draws. 

On December 16, 1967, Nigerian-born Dick Tiger won the WBC and WBA Light Heavyweight titles from Puerto Rican-born Jose Torres in a unanimous 15-round decision at Madison Square Garden. Although both men hailed from overseas, both came to call New York State home for a portion of their lives. Torres went on to become the Commissioner of the New York State Athletic Commission from 1984 to 1988.