April in New York State Boxing History


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On April 2, 1990, at Madison Square Garden, in a battle pitting fellow Puerto Rican pugilists, Juan Nazario knocked out Edwin Rosario in the eighth round to claim the WBA Lightweight Title in front of a packed house. The win avenged a 1987 loss in which Rosario scored an eight round knockout (as well) over Nazario to claim the very same title three years earlier.

On April 9, 1928, Isadore "Corporal Izzy" Schwartz, who was born in New York in 1900, retained his New York State Athletic Commission World Flyweight Title at St. Nicholas Arena by winning a 15-round decision over Routier Parra.Muhammad Ali

On April 14, 2001, in his New York State debut, Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins defeated Keith Holmes via a 12-round unanimous decision at New York’s Madison Square Garden to unify the IBF and WBC Middleweight titles. Earlier this year in 2013, Hopkins scored a 12-round unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud for the IBF Light Heavyweight title in New York’s Barclay’s Center to break his own record (from 2011) of becoming the oldest man in the history of the sport to win a major world boxing title. Hopkins has fought a total of three times in New York and his record stands at 53 wins (32 knockouts), six defeats, two draws and two no contests.

On April 17, 2004, at Madison Square Garden, John Ruiz knocked out challenger Fres Oquendo in the 11th round to retain his WBA World Heavyweight Title.

On April 17, 1967, Italian Nino Benvenuti defeated Emile Griffith by a 15-round unanimous decision in New York’s Madison Square Garden to win the WBA and WBC Middleweight titles in what was named by The Ring magazine as the Fight of the Year for 1967. In a rematch later that year, Griffith went on to defeat Benvenuti at Shea Stadium in a 15-round majority decision to regain the titles. In 1968, these two warriors met yet again with Benvenuti scoring another 15-round unanimous decision over Griffith in the grudge match at The Garden to regain the WBA and WBC Middleweight titles. Benvenuti would go on to finish his career with a record of 82 Wins (35 by knockouts), seven defeats and one draw. In his career, he fought a total of four times in the Empire State.

On April 22, 1969, “Smokin’ Joe Frazier knocked out Dave Zylewicz in the very first round at the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston, TX to retain his New York State Athletic Committee Heavyweight Title.

On April 29, 2000 in Madison Square Garden, Lennox Lewis made the first defense of his Undisputed Heavyweight Championship, which he had claimed the previous November after defeating Evander Holyfield, by knocking out previously undefeated Michael Grant in the second round of their scheduled 12 round championship fight.

On April 9, 1928, Isadore “Corporal Izzy” Schwartz, who was born in New York 1900, retained his New York State Athletic Commission World Flyweight Title at St. Nicholas Arena by winning a 15-round decision over Routier Parra.