International Boxing Hall of Fame

Gene Fullmer

"The Cyclone"

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gene Fullmer (born July 21, 1931) is a former American middleweight boxer.

Fullmer was born in West Jordan, Utah and raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). He began his professional career in 1951 and won his first 29 fights, 19 by knockout.

Fullmer won the world middleweight championship on January 2, 1957 when he upset the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson by winning a 15-round decision. On May 1, 1957 they fought a rematch. The fight began as expected, with Fullmer using his strength and awkwardness to bull into Robinson and force him onto his heels. In the fifth round Robinson, while backing up, lashed out with what has been called the perfect left hook. It caught Fullmer flush on the chin and knocked him out.

In 1959, the National Boxing Association withdrew its recognition of Robinson as middleweight champion. Fullmer and fellow former middleweight champion Carmen Basilio fought for the vacant NBA title on August 28, 1959, and Fullmer won the crown when he TKOed Basilio in the 14th round. Meanwhile, Robinson was to lose his version of the middleweight championship to Paul Pender.

Fullmer and Pender never met to settle their claims to the middleweight title, and Pender eventually retired. Meanwhile, Fullmer fought and turned back the challenges of many top contenders, such as Basilio, Spider Webb, Florentino Fernandez, and welterweight champion Benny "Kid" Paret. He narrowly escaped being dethroned when he was held to 15-round draws by Robinson and future titleholder Joey Giardello. In their final meeting, a title bout in 1961, Fullmer beat Robinson by unanimous decision.

Fullmer finally lost the middleweight title to Dick Tiger on October 23, 1962 in a unanimous decision. They fought a rematch on February 23, 1963, which resulted in a draw. Fullmer's attempts to regain the middleweight crown finally ended when he was TKOed in seven rounds by Tiger on August 10, 1963.

Fullmer's final record included 55 wins (24 by KO), 6 losses, and 3 draws.


Fullmer had two brothers who boxed: Don Fullmer, who twice challenged for the World Middleweight Title, and Jay Fullmer, who boxed as a lightweight.

Preceded by
Sugar Ray Robinson
World Middleweight Champion
2 Jan 1957� 1 May 1957
Succeeded by
Sugar Ray Robinson
Preceded by
Sugar Ray Robinson
NBA World Middleweight Champion
WBA Title
28 Aug 1959� 23 Oct 1962
Succeeded by
Dick Tiger