Google+ Badge BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY
Sunday, 21 July 2013
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL BOXER EDWARD MILLS MACHEN, A VERY HANDY AND SKILLFUL BOXER : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS"
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY Edward Mills Machen June 15, 1932 – August 8, 1972 was born in Redding, California, on June 15, 1932. Machen was a convict turned boxer. His 64-bout career began on March 22, 1955, and he went on to win his first 24 bouts. He was highly rated and fought most big names of his era.
Machen often fought at Civic Auditorium or the Cow Palace in San Francisco. His first bout was with fellow first-timer Raul Flores, whom he knocked out in the first round. He had eleven fights in 1955 and the six-feet, 195-pounder won them all, ten by knockout or technical knockout. He had eight more wins in 1956 against better competition. In 1957, he won all five fights he had, including two over former light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim. The Maxim wins made him a ranked contender. He was around this time by some considered the perfect fighting machine.
In April 1958, he met highly-ranked Zora Folley and fought to a draw over 12 rounds. But he was then knocked out in one round by undefeated Ingemar Johansson, a future heavyweight champion, in September. Being hit several times whilst 'down', after being caught flush by an early unexpected big right hand.
On the comeback trail in 1959, Machen posted seven straight wins to return him to contention. In January 1960, he lost a decision to Folley at the Cow Palace. Later that year he met a ring legend and future champion, Sonny Liston, and although lost a 12-round decision fought a sharp hit and move match that many felt Muhammad Ali later studied a lot. Liston was penalized three times for low blows in that match, a sign of desperation.
1961 began with two wins, then a very controversial loss to Harold Johnson by decision. Again, he came back with three very good wins, including a decision over undefeated Doug Jones. In 1962, Machen had two more wins before he had a draw to high-ranked big hitter Cleveland Williams in Houston in July 1962. In 1963 he resumed fighting and scored four straight knockouts to finish the year. He fought just twice in 1964, battling his personal issues. One was a win the other a close 12-round loss to another former heavyweight champion, Floyd Patterson in Sweden in July 1964.
In late 1966 against the young future heavyweight champion Joe Frazier who won by a tenth-round technical knockout. Downed in the first Machen rallied but eventually Frazier's relentless pressure lead to the Ref's intervention in the last round.
In the following year two losses to two then rising propsects Henry Clark and Boone Kirkman made him at age 35 retire.
Machen was admitted to the Napa State Hospital in the fall of 1962 after threatening to commit suicide. Biographies state he suffered from clinical depression. He later filed for bankruptcy in 1966 and retired from boxing in 1967. His final record was 50-11-3, with 27 KOs.
Machen died in San Francisco on August 8, 1972, by falling from an apartment window at the age of 40.