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On This Day In Boxing History!

1937: Benny Paret Was Born!   

Benny Kid Paret

Birth Name: Bernardo Paret

Birth Place: Santa Clara, Cuba

Residence: Santa Clara, Cuba

Nationality: Cuban

Pro-Debut: April 16th, 1954

Division: Welterweight

Stance: Orthodox

Height: 5′ 7½″          

Bouts: 50

Rounds: 404

Ko’s: 20%

Career: 1954-1962

Record: 35-12-3, 10Ko’s


World Welterweight Champion - 27 May 1960– 1 Apr 1961   

World Welterweight Champion - 30 Sep 1961– 24 Mar 1962 


Known as Benny Paret or Benny "Kid" Paret, was a Cuban welterweight boxer who won the World Welterweight Championship twice in the early 1960s.


Paret's death occurred 10 days after injuries sustained in a March 24, 1962, title defense against Emile Griffith, televised live and seen by millions on ABC's Fight of the Week. Paret had a lifetime record of 35 wins (10 knockouts), 12 losses and 3 draws.


Paret won the welterweight title for the first time on May 27, 1960, by defeating Don Jordan. In his first defense of the title, Emile Griffith knocked him out in the thirteenth round on April 1, 1961.


Paret recaptured the crown on September 30, 1961, in a split-decision over Griffith. Barely two months later, Paret took on middleweight champion Gene Fullmer and was knocked out in the tenth round, being behind on all three judges' scorecards.


Although Paret had been battered in the two fights with Griffith and the fight with Fullmer, he decided that he would defend his title against Griffith three months after the Fullmer fight. Paret–Griffith III was booked for Madison Square Garden on Saturday, March 24, 1962, and was televised live by ABC. In round six, Paret nearly knocked out Griffith with a multi-punch combination, but Griffith was saved by the bell.


In the twelfth round of the fight, Don Dunphy, who was calling the bout for ABC, remarked, "This is probably the tamest round of the entire fight." Seconds later, Griffith backed Paret into the corner before he unleashed a massive flurry of punches to the champion's head.


It quickly became apparent that Paret was dazed by the initial shots and could not defend himself, but referee Ruby Goldstein allowed Griffith to continue his assault. Finally, after 29 consecutive punches, which knocked Paret through the ropes at one point, Goldstein stepped in and called a halt to the bout.


Paret collapsed in the corner from the barrage of punches (initially thought to be from exhaustion), fell into a coma, and died ten days later at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan from massive brain hemorrhaging. Paret was buried at Saint Raymond's Cemetery in the borough of the Bronx in New York City.


The last fight between Paret and Griffith was the subject of many controversies. It is theorized that one of the reasons Paret died was that he was vulnerable due to the beatings he took in his previous three fights, all of which happened within twelve months of each other. New York State boxing authorities were criticized for giving Paret clearance to fight just several months after the Fullmer fight. The actions of Paret at the weigh-in before his final fight have come under scrutiny. It is alleged that Paret taunted Griffith by calling him maricón (Spanish slang for "faggot").


Griffith wanted to fight Paret on the spot but was restrained. Griffith would come out as bisexual in his later years, but in 1962 allegations of homosexuality were considered fatal to an athlete's career and a particularly grievous insult in the culture both fighters came from. The referee Ruby Goldstein, a respected veteran, came under criticism for not stopping the fight sooner. It has been argued that Goldstein hesitated because of Paret's reputation of feigning injury and Griffith's reputation as a poor finisher.


Another theory is that Goldstein was afraid that Paret's supporters would riot. The incident, combined with the death of Davey Moore a year later for a different injury in the ring, would cause debate as to whether boxing should be considered a sport. Boxing would not be televised on a regular basis again until the 1970s.


The fight also marked the end of Goldstein's long and respected career as a referee, as he was unable to find work after that. The fight was the centerpiece of a 2005 documentary entitled Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story. At the end of the documentary, Griffith, who had harbored guilt over the incident over the years, is introduced to Paret's son. The son embraced Griffith and told him he was forgiven.


Benny “Kid” Paret died on April 3rd, 1962, in New York City of injuries received during a world welterweight championship match against Emile Griffith on March 24th.


March 14th

1906: Jack Johnson W15 Joe Jeanette

1911: Owen Moran ND10 Packy McFarland

1924: Jack Delaney KO4 Paul Berlenbach

1927: Mushy Callahan KO2 Andy DiVodi

1937: Benny Paret was born.

1944: Manuel Ortiz W15 Ernesto Aguilar

1946: Jimmy Carter W4 Clifton Bordies

1951: Johnny Batten W15 Charlie Fusari

1956: Johnny Saxton W15 Carmen Basilio

1974: Ben Villaflor D15 Apollo Yoshio

1975: Alfonso Zamora KO4 Soo Hwan Hong

1980: Jim Watt KO4 Charlie Nash

1989: Lyon, Rhône, France 22-year-old, lightweight David Thio passed ten days after being knocked out by Terrence Alli, March 4th, Palais des Sports de Gerland, Lyon, France.                                           

1990: Brian Mitchell W12 JackieBeard   

1991: Elvis Alvares W12 Leopard Tamakuma

1992: Manuel Medina W12 Fabrice Benichou

1998: Keith Mullings KO5 Davide Ciarlante

Vince Phillips KO1 Alfonso Sanchez

2009: Arthur Abraham W12 Lajuan Simon        

Cecilia Braekhus W10 Vinni Skovgaard

Amir Khan TD5 Marco Antonio Barrera  

Roman Martinez TKO4 Nicky Cook         

Ola Afolabi KO9 Enzo Maccarinelli         

Nehomar Cermeno SD12 Cristian Mijares

2015: Sergey Kovalev TKO8 Jean Pascal

Yazmin Rivas W10 Celina Salazar        

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