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1950s / Chuck Davey - Boxings First TV Creation
Chuck Davey, a slick left-handed boxer from Detroit who earned two degrees from Michigan State University, was the sport's first "television creation" in the early 1950s. Davey traveled to London as a member of the 1948 U.S. Olympic boxing team as an alternate but never competed in the Games. He turned pro in the late 1940s. At a time when boxing was hugely popular and it was possible to watch live televised pro bouts six nights per week, Chuck Davey fit the bill perfectly. He was good-looking, intelligent, popular enough be be pictured twice on the cover of The Ring magazine, and talented enough to win, but he possessed feather fists so his bouts often went the distance or close to it. (This pleased the networks and their sponsors as all the scheduled commercial breaks would be attained.) Over the years the quality of Davey's opposition has been questioned--and he certainly fought his share of tomato cans--but Davey did beat capable fighters such as Ike Williams, Carmen Basilio, and Rocky Graziano in his ascension up the ladder. After compiling 37 wins and two draws in his first 39 fights, Davey earned a shot at Kid Gavilan's world welterweight crown on February 11, 1953 in Chicago. Gavilan, who entered the ring as a 14-5 betting favorite, realized quickly that Davey had no ability to hurt him, so he just methodically wore Davey down. In the third round a flurry of punches knocked Davey down for the first time in his career. Over the next few rounds Gavilan toyed with Davey, occasionally switching to a southpaw stance just for the fun of it. In the ninth round, Gavilan floored Davey three more times. The fight was stopped by Davey's corner before round 10. Davey was pretty much discredited as a title threat after the bad loss to Gavilan. At one point he lost four out of five fights. He won two bouts in 1955 and then retired with an overall pro record of 42-5-2 with 26 knockouts. In 1998, Davey was paralyzed in a swimming mishap when a large ocean wave violently slammed him onto a beach. Davey died in 2002 at age 77.