Fights to remember in Spanish boxing: Galiana vs. Moore


Julio Gonzalez

On January 27, 1961, Fred Galiana faced one of the most important fights of his career. He had already been champion of Europe and the fight against world featherweight champion Davey Moore, in case of victory, would mean contesting the world title that was not at stake. This fight was one more of the combats that the North American was carrying out in Europe, on a tour organized by his manager, Willlians Ketchum.

The organizer of the evening was the bullfighting businessman Martín Berrocal who started out in boxing as a promoter. The businessman was delighted with the evening he had organized, because three days before the fight everything was sold and the “No Tickets” sign was put up at the doors of the Sports Palace, with seventeen thousand spectators witnessing the fight live. The promoter invited several veteran fighters to the evening: Baltasar Belenguer “Sangchilli”, the first Spanish world champion, to Paulino Uzcudun, already Luis Romero, who stepped into the ring before the start of the stellar match.

Davey Moore came to Madrid, something that was a world event. The American settled in the Torrejón de Ardoz gym where the Americans had their military base. The trainings were public, with the presence of almost six hundred people and the press every day.

As soon as the fight began, the North American champion took control and although he showed his great agility, Galiana was always in front of him, and when the assault ended, the public stood up and cheered the two fighters. In the second round, very even, Galiana makes several dodges that made him famous, which excited the public, but nothing else was seen.

The third round had an exchange of blows that lifted the public from their seats, and in the middle of the round, a left hook from the champion knocked down Galiana, who listened on her knees for the eight seconds that the referee, Mr. Sanz, told her. The assault ended with Galiana affected by the blow.

As soon as the fourth round begins, there is another exchange of blows after which it is noted that Galiana is still affected from the previous round. As soon as the exchange of blows ended, Galiana turned around and went to her corner, raising her hand as a sign of abandonment.

At that time, the public very loudly expressed their discontent with the attitude of the Spaniard. Galiana asked the referee to approach, shouting that at the end of the previous round he had suffered an arm injury and that he could not continue.

The disappointment of the fans was manifest; They had high hopes for this fight, considering Fred Galiana as the best Spanish fighter at the time.

The Spanish Federation made the decision to retain the Galiana bag for unjustified abandonment, 250,000 thousand pesetas; a fortune that there was no athlete in Spain who charged such an amount. In addition, he decided to organize an extraordinary meeting for the following Monday in which the boxer’s suspension for one year would be determined, and the title of lightweight champion of Spain was withdrawn from which he was at that time the holder.

Days later, at the Federation meeting that was made public and which was attended by a large public, it was agreed to sanction Galiana with 200,000 pesetas, because he had already received 50,000 pesetas from his purse that the promoter Martín Berrocal had advanced to him, and the money I would go to Montepío de Boxeadores. His license was not withdrawn.

The EBU announced a few days before that it had named Galiana an official candidate for the European lightweight title, so the federation decided not to sanction him with the withdrawal of the license, but if he was suspended from the national title.

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