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Billy Graham

Titles: Never a champion

Record: 102-15-9

Born: September 9, 1922 in New York City, New York (USA)

Years active: 1941-1955

Nickname: None

For years the New York City native was known as "The Uncrowned Champion." 
But before his unfortunate title-fight loss, Graham fought and won his 
way into boxing immortality as one of the top New York City-based fighters 
ever. Graham was considered a fast, talented boxer with a iron chin. Some
claim that as a boy Graham defeated fellow amateur star Sugar Ray Robinson. 
As a amateur Billy was not given permission to box in the New York City 
Golden Gloves tourney because he had a heart murmur. His heart would never 
again be questioned as he carved out a very good career fighting the best 
for over 14 years. In 1941 at age 18, he turned professional. Graham was 
undefeated in his first 58 fights before he lost to tough Tony Pellone and 
fought almost exclusively in the New York City are taking on the best the 
city had to offer. By 1946 Graham was recognized as a top ten fighter by 
most boxing people but it too him another 4 years to earn a title shot. A 
occasional loss to quality fighters like a Tippy Larking or Paddy DeMarco 
would also seem to come at a time when title shots seem to near and set his 
career back. In 1950 Graham was given a non-title shot against Kid Gavilan
and won a 10-round decision win over Gavilan in fine fashion. Shortly after 
Gavilan won a very controversial return bout for the title a poll of 
ringsiders had Graham wining the bout. It is said Graham would not sign a 
contract with the mob and thus could never win the title. Unfortunately 
this would be the peak of form for Graham and a marked decline in his 
fighting took place after this bout. Still he fought on and beat many good 
fighters like Carmen Basilio, Art Aragon and Joey Giardello. But he also 
lost to them in return bouts. Perhaps the greatest statistic about Graham 
is that he was never knocked down in 126 fights against some very tough 
fighters!