Marcel Cerdan

Marcellin "Marcel" Cerdan (French pronunciation: ​[maʁsɛl sɛʁdɑ̃]; 22 July 1916 – 28 October 1949)[1] was a French professional boxer and world middleweight champion who was considered by many boxing experts and fans to be France's greatest boxer, and beyond to be one of the best to have learned his craft in Africa. His life was marked by his sporting achievements, social lifestyle and ultimately, tragedy, being killed in an airplane crash.

Marcel Cerdan
Marcel Cerdan.jpg
Cedran in 1948
Statistics
Real nameMarcellin Cerdan
Nickname(s)Le bombardier marocain (The Moroccan Bomber)
Casablanca Clouter
Weight(s)Middleweight
NationalityFrench
Born22 July 1916
Sidi Bel Abbès, French Algeria (now Algeria)
Died28 October 1949(1949-10-28) (aged 33)
São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights114
Wins110
Wins by KO65
Losses4
Draws0
No contests0

Early lifeEdit

Marcellin Cerdan was born at 9:00pm on 22 July 1916 in the "Little Paris" neighbourhood of Sidi Bel Abbès in Algeria. He was the fourth son of Antonio Cerdán (1880–1946), a day labourer, and Asunción Cascales (1886–1942), pied-noirs of Spanish origin.[2]

Boxing careerEdit

 
Marcel Cerdan on a 1969 UAE stamp

Cerdan began boxing professionally on 4 November 1934 in Meknes, Morocco, beating Marcel Bucchianeri by a decision in six rounds. He then ran a streak of 47 wins in a row between that first bout and 4 January 1939, when he lost for the first time, to Harry Craster by a disqualification in five rounds in London. Cerdan campaigned heavily in the French territories of Algeria and Morocco during that part of his career, as well as in metropolitan France. In 1938, he beat Omar Kouidri in a 12-round decision at Casablanca to claim the French welterweight title.

 
Marcel Cerdan (right) in front of Saverio Turiello (left)

After his first loss, Cerdan recorded five consecutive wins, which led him to challenge Saviello Turiello for Europe's welterweight title in Milan, Italy. He won the European title by a decision in 15 rounds to continue his ascent towards the championship (back then, it was considered essential to own at least a Continental title belt to earn a world title shot; nowadays, it is not considered as important).

Cerdan's winning streak eventually reached 23 bouts before he suffered a defeat to Victor Buttin by disqualification for a second time, in eight rounds in Algiers in 1942. They would later re-match in 1945, and Cerdan would avenge the defeat by knocking Buttin out in the third round.

For his next bout after the first fight with Buttin though, Cerdan put his title on the line against José Ferrer (namesake of the Hollywood star). He knocked out Ferrer in one round,[3] and won four more bouts in a row before facing another boxer with a namesake: James Toney, who shared that name with another boxer who would become world Middleweight champion five decades later. Cerdan knocked out Toney in two rounds to keep this new winning streak alive. The new streak would reach 37 wins. In between, he joined the American allies in World War II during 1944, and he won the Inter-Allied Championship.

He also went up in weight to the Middleweight division, and won the French title by beating Assane Douf by a knockout in three rounds. He later claimed the vacant European title by beating Léon Foquet by a knockout in one round. He retained that title a couple of times before losing it to rugged Belgian Cyrille Delannoit by a decision in 15 at Brussels, Belgium. Soon, he went back to Belgium and re-took the title by beating Delannoit, also by decision.

Finally, after the rematch with Delannoit, Cerdan was given a world title opportunity and he travelled to the United States, where he beat World Middleweight champion Tony Zale.[4] Cerdan became a world champion by knocking Zale out in the 12th round in Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, New Jersey on 21 September 1948.

Death and fameEdit

During his short period as a world champion, Cerdan became a popular figure of the Paris scene. Although married with three children, he had an affair with the famous singer Édith Piaf. The affair lasted from summer 1948 until his death in autumn 1949. They were very devoted to each other and Piaf dedicated one of her most famous songs, Hymne à l'amour, to Cerdan.

For his first defense Cerdan returned to the United States, where he fought Jake LaMotta in Detroit. Cerdan was knocked down in round one, his shoulder was dislocated, and he had to give up after the tenth round.[5] It would be the last fight of Cerdan's life. A contract was signed for a rematch and Cerdan went to training camp for it, but before camp began he boarded an Air France flight to visit Piaf in New York, where she was singing. The Lockheed L-749 Constellation crashed into Monte Redondo (São Miguel Island, Azores), killing all 11 crew members and 37 passengers on board, including Cerdan and the famous French violinist Ginette Neveu, while approaching the intermediate stop airport at Santa Maria.[6][7] Days later, LaMotta lauded Cerdan as a great sportsman.[8] Cerdan was interred in the Cimetière du Sud, Perpignan, Pyrénées- Orientales, France.

LegacyEdit

Cerdan's record was 110 wins and 4 losses, with 65 wins by knockout.[9]

He is a member, along with LaMotta and Zale, of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

In 1983, Cerdan and Piaf had their lives turned into a big screen biography by Claude Lelouch. The film, Édith et Marcel, starred Marcel Cerdan, Jr. in the role of his father and Évelyne Bouix as Piaf. He is portrayed by actor Jean-Pierre Martins in the 2007 Piaf biopic La Môme (entitled La Vie en Rose in English-speaking countries).

In 1991, a sports arena, the Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan, was named in his honor.

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
114 fights 110 wins 4 losses
By knockout 65 1
By decision 45 1
By disqualification 0 2
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
114 Loss 110–4   Jake LaMotta RTD 9 (15) Jun 16, 1949   Briggs Stadium, Detroit Lost NBA and The Ring middleweight titles
113 Win 110–3   Lucien Krawczyk KO 4 (10) May 08, 1949   Stade Philip, Casablanca
112 Win 109–3   Dick Turpin KO 7 (10) Mar 29, 1949   Earls Court Empress Hall, Kensington
111 Win 108–3   Tony Zale RTD 11 (15) Sep 21, 1948   Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City Won NBA and The Ring middleweight titles
110 Win 107–3   Cyrille Delannoit PTS 15 Jul 10, 1948   Palais des Sports, Brussels Won European middleweight title
109 Loss 106–3   Cyrille Delannoit PTS 15 May 23, 1948   Heizel Stadium, Brussels Lost European middleweight title
108 Win 106–2   Lucien Krawczyk PTS 10 Mar 25, 1948   Palais des Sports, Paris
107 Win 105–2   Lavern Roach TKO 8 (10) Mar 12, 1948   Madison Square Garden, New York
106 Win 104–2   Jean Walzack KO 4 (15) Feb 09, 1948   Palais des Sports, Paris Retained European middleweight title
105 Win 103–2   Giovanni Manca KO 2 (15) Jan 26, 1948   Palais des Sports, Paris Retained European middleweight title
104 Win 102–2   Anton Raadik UD 10 Oct 31, 1947   Chicago Stadium, Chicago
103 Win 101–2   Billy Walker TKO 1 (10) Oct 07, 1947   Forum, Montreal
102 Win 100–2   Harold Green TKO 2 (10) Mar 28, 1947   Madison Square Garden, New York
101 Win 99–2   Bert Gilroy KO 4 (10) Feb 11, 1947   Seymour Hall, Marylebone
100 Win 98–2   Leon Fouquet KO 1 (15) Feb 02, 1947   Parc des Expositions, Paris Won vacant European middleweight title
99 Win 97–2   Georgie Abrams UD 10 Dec 06, 1946   Madison Square Garden, New York
98 Win 96–2   Jean Pankowiak KO 5 (10) Oct 20, 1946   Stade de la Croix de Berny, Antony
97 Win 95–2   Holman Williams PTS 10 Jul 07, 1946   Stade Roland Garros, Paris
96 Win 94–2   Robert Charron PTS 12 May 25, 1946   Parc des Princes, Paris
95 Win 93–2   Joe Brun KO 2 (10) Apr 14, 1946   Nice
94 Win 92–2   Jose Ferrer KO 4 (10) Feb 24, 1946   Plaza de Toros Monumental, Barcelona
93 Win 91–2   Edouard Tenet PTS 12 Jan 18, 1946   Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris
92 Win 90–2   Agostinho Guedes KO 1 (10) Jan 12, 1946   Coliseu dos Recreios, Lisbon
91 Win 89–2   Victor Buttin KO 3 (10) Dec 08, 1945   Saint-Etienne
90 Win 88–2   Assane Diouf KO 3 (12) Nov 30, 1945   Palais des Sports, Paris
89 Win 87–2   Tommy Davies KO 1 (10) Oct 19, 1945   Palais des Sports, Paris
88 Win 86–2   Edouard Tenet PTS 10 Jun 23, 1945   Stade de la Croix de Berny, Antony
87 Win 85–2   Oscar Menozzi KO 3 (10) Jun 03, 1945   Arènes du Rond-Point du Prado, Marseille
86 Win 84–2   Jean Despeaux KO 5 (10) May 13, 1945   Stade de la Croix-de-Bernay, Paris
85 Win 83–2   Joe Brun TKO 7 (10) Mar 09, 1945   Palais des Sports, Paris
84 Win 82–2   Ralph Burnley TKO 2 (3) Dec 16, 1944   Brancaccio Theatre, Roma
83 Win 81–2   Floyd Gibson PTS 3 Dec 14, 1944   Brancaccio Theatre, Roma
82 Win 80–2   Clint Perry KO 1 (3) Dec 12, 1944   Brancaccio Theatre, Roma
81 Win 79–2   Bouaya KO 1 (10) Oct 21, 1944   Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers
80 Win 78–2   Joe DiMartino TKO 1 (3) Feb 19, 1944   Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers
79 Win 77–2   Sammy Adragna PTS 3 Feb 17, 1944   Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers
78 Win 76–2   Harold Drouhin KO 1 (3) Feb 15, 1944   Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers
77 Win 75–2   Willie Sampson KO 2 (10) Jan 30, 1944   Stade Philip, Casablanca
76 Win 74–2   Larry Cisneros KO 2 (10) Dec 29, 1943   Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers
75 Win 73–2   James Toney TKO 2 (?) Dec 26, 1943   Stade Camp Saint-Philippe, Oran
74 Win 72–2   Bulldog Milano KO 2 (10) Oct 30, 1943   Stade Philip, Casablanca
73 Win 71–2   Larry Cisneros KO 6 (10) Oct 10, 1943   Stade Camp Saint-Philippe, Orans
72 Win 70–2   Omar Kouidri PTS 10 Sep 12, 1943   Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers
71 Win 69–2   John McCoy KO 2 (10) Aug 08, 1943   Stade Petain, Oran
70 Win 68–2   Jose Ferrer TKO 1 (15) Sep 30, 1942   Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris Retained European welterweight title
69 Loss 67–2   Victor Buttin DQ 8 (10) Aug 15, 1942   Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers Cerdan disqualified for low blows
68 Win 67–1   Fernand Frely TKO 3 (10) Aug 02, 1942   Marseille
67 Win 66–1   Victor Jana TKO 2 (10) Jul 25, 1942   Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers
66 Win 65–1   Gaspard Deridder KO 1 (10) Jun 28, 1942   Grand Palais, Paris
65 Win 64–1   Fernand Viez PTS 10 May 17, 1942   Grand Palais, Paris
64 Win 63–1   Gustave Humery KO 1 (10) Apr 26, 1942   Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris
63 Win 62–1   Fred Flury TKO 7 (10) Feb 21, 1942   Palais des Fêtes et des Expositions, Nice
62 Win 61–1   Roby Seidel TKO 3 (10) Dec 31, 1941   Grand Casino, Vichy
61 Win 60–1   Roland Coureau TKO 9 (10) Sep 13, 1941   Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers
60 Win 59–1   Joe Brun TKO 2 (10) Jul 20, 1941   Oran
59 Win 58–1   Francois Blanchard KO 6 (10) Jun 22, 1941   Arènes du Rond-Point du Prado, Marseille
58 Win 57–1   Omar Kouidri RTD 6 (15) May 05, 1941   Oran Retained European welterweight title
57 Win 56–1   Victor Fortes RTD 2 (10) Apr 13, 1941   Oran
56 Win 55–1   Victor Janas PTS 10 Mar 09, 1941   Stade Philip, Casablanca
55 Win 54–1   Victor Fortes RTD 7 (10) Feb 02, 1941   Foyer Civic, Algiers
54 Win 53–1   Young Raymond RTD 6 (10) Jan 26, 1941   Stade Philip, Casablanca
53 Win 52–1   Young Raymond KO 1 (10) Jan 19, 1941   Foyer Civic, Algiers
52 Win 51–1   Cleto Locatelli PTS 10 Jun 16, 1939   Arènes du Rond-Point du Prado, Marseille
51 Win 50–1   Saverio Turiello PTS 15 Jun 03, 1939   Arènes du Rond-Point du Prado, Marseille Won European welterweight title
50 Win 49–1   Roger Cadot TKO 6 (12) May 21, 1939   Arènes du Rond-Point du Prado, Marseille
49 Win 48–1   Felix Wouters PTS 12 Mar 22, 1939   Palais des Sports, Brussels
48 Win 47–1   Saverio Turiello PTS 12 Feb 20, 1939   Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris
47 Win 46–1   Al Baker TKO 7 (10) Feb 04, 1939   Palais des Sports, Brussels
46 Win 45–1   Ercole Buratti PTS 10 Jan 21, 1939   Automobile Hall, Algiers
45 Loss 44–1   Harry Craster DQ 5 (10) Jan 09, 1939   Earls Court Empress Hall, Kensington Low Blow
44 Win 44–0   Omar Kouidri PTS 12 Nov 24, 1938   Salle Wagram, Paris
43 Win 43–0   Alfred Katter KO 5 (10) Nov 10, 1938   Salle Wagram, Paris
42 Win 42–0   Amedeo Deyana PTS 10 Oct 27, 1938   Salle Wagram, Paris
41 Win 41–0   Al Baker PTS 10 Sep 15, 1938   Salle Wagram, Paris
40 Win 40–0   Victor Deckmyn PTS 10 Jul 03, 1938   Arenes d'Eckmühl, Oran
39 Win 39–0   Jean Morin PTS 10 Jun 04, 1938   Automobile Hall, Algiers
38 Win 38–0   Gustave Humery KO 6 (12) May 20, 1938   Palais des Sports, Paris
37 Win 37–0   Cleto Locatelli PTS 12 May 05, 1938   Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris
36 Win 36–0   Eduard Hrabak PTS 10 Aug 13, 1938   Palais des Sports, Paris
35 Win 35–0   Charles Pernot PTS 10 Mar 04, 1938   Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers
34 Win 34–0   Omar Kouidri PTS 12 Feb 21, 1938   Vox, Casablanca
33 Win 33–0   Jean Zides TKO 9 (10) Jan 20, 1938   Salle Wagram, Paris
32 Win 32–0   Eddie Ran KO 2 (10) Jan 13, 1938   Salle Wagram, Paris
31 Win 31–0   Charles Fedorowich TKO 2 (10) Jan 06, 1938   Salle Wagram, Paris
30 Win 30–0   Max Ifergane PTS 10 Dec 18, 1937   Rabat
29 Win 29–0   Jean Morin PTS 10 Oct 21, 1937   Salle Wagram, Paris
28 Win 28–0   Louis Jampton PTS 10 Oct 07, 1937   Salle Wagram, Paris
27 Win 27–0   Eduard Hrabak KO 6 (10) Sep 13, 1937   Vox, Casablanca
26 Win 26–0   Kid Marcel PTS 10 Aug 22, 1937   Oran
25 Win 25–0   Ali Omar TKO 5 (10) Jul 03, 1937   Hall de la Foire, Algiers
24 Win 24–0   Omar Kouidri PTS 10 Apr 03, 1937   Salle de l'Agriculture, Algiers
23 Win 23–0   Omar Kouidri PTS 10 Mar 02, 1937   Rabat
22 Win 22–0   Maurice Naudin TKO 3 (10) Jan 30, 1937   Hall de la Foire, Algiers
21 Win 21–0   Aissa Attaff RTD 8 (10) Jan 16, 1937   Central Ring, Algiers
20 Win 20–0   Jean Debeaumont PTS 10 Nov 21, 1936   Pavillon Bleu, Casablanca
19 Win 19–0   Aissa Attaf KO 1 (10) Nov 08, 1936   Salle Mazella, Algiers
18 Win 18–0   Primo Rubio PTS 10 Oct 17, 1936   La Manutention, Casablanca
17 Win 17–0   Al Francis KO 6 (10) Aug 02, 1936   Arenes d'Eckmühl, Oran
16 Win 16–0   Mariano Castillanos PTS 10 Jun 06, 1936   Pavillon Bleu, Casablanca
15 Win 15–0   Kid Abadie KO 3 (10) May 27, 1936   Pavillon Bleu, Casablanca
14 Win 14–0   M Ricardo TKO 5 (10) May 23, 1936   Casablanca
13 Win 13–0   Joseph Martinez TKO 9 (10) Apr 11, 1936   Taza
12 Win 12–0   Max Ifergane PTS 10 Apr 07, 1936   Pavillon Bleu, Casablanca
11 Win 11–0   Antoine Abad PTS 10 Mar 04, 1936   Pavillon Bleu, Casablanca
10 Win 10–0   Mak Perez PTS 10 Dec 14, 1935   Casablanca
9 Win 9–0   Mak Perez PTS 10 Nov 23, 1935   Salle des Fetes du Maarif, Casablanca
8 Win 8–0   Francisco Mestres PTS 10 Aug 03, 1935   Roland Garros- Marocain, Casablanca
7 Win 7–0   Joseph Sarfati PTS 10 Jul 19, 1935   Roland Garros- Marocain, Casablanca
6 Win 6–0   Mak Perez RTD 2 (10) Jul 05, 1935   Roland Garros- Marocain, Casablanca
5 Win 5–0   Max Privat RTD 5 (10) Apr 13, 1935   Cirque Melburn, Casablanca
4 Win 4–0   Leon Benazra PTS 10 Apr 13, 1935   Cirque Melburn, Casablanca
3 Win 3–0   Perez III PTS 10 Feb 06, 1935   Cirque Melburn, Casablanca
2 Win 2–0   Leon Benazra RTD 5 (6) Nov 12, 1934   Meknes
1 Win 1–0   Marcel Bucchianeri PTS 6 Nov 10, 1934   Meknes

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Birth and death certificate". Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2007.
  2. ^ Systems, eZ. "Les origines familiales de Marcel Cerdan". La revue française de Généalogie (in French). Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  3. ^ Marcel Cerdan vs José Ferrer in 1942 on YouTube
  4. ^ "The Lineal Middleweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  5. ^ Marcel Cerdan vs Jake LaMotta in 1949 on YouTube
  6. ^ Lockheed L-749-79-46 Constellation F-BAZN's accident description and causes (Flight Safety Foundation). Aviation-safety.net (28 October 1949). Retrieved on 6 August 2014.
  7. ^ Marcel Cerdan's tragic disappearance (1949) Archived 23 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine – Marcel Cerdan Heritage
  8. ^ LaMotta lauds Cerdan for great sportsmanship. News.google.com (28 October 1949). Retrieved on 6 August 2014.
  9. ^ Marcel Cerdan official website: Biography – scorecard (French: biographie – son palmarès) Archived 2 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Jupp Besselmann
European Middleweight Champion
February 2, 1947 – May 23, 1948
Succeeded by
Cyrille Dellanoit
Preceded by
Cyrille Dellanoit
European Middleweight Champion
July 10 – September 21, 1948
Won world title
Vacant
Title next held by
Cyrille Dellanoit
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Tony Zale
World Middleweight Champion
21 September 1948 – 16 June 1949
Succeeded by
Jake LaMotta
Status (all weights)
Preceded by
Benny Lynch
Fly
Latest born world champion to die
October 29, 1949 – April 3, 1962
Succeeded by
Benny Paret
Welter
Middleweight status
Preceded by
Tiger Flowers
Latest born world champion to die
October 29, 1949 – December 14, 1971
Succeeded by
Randolph Turpin