Davey Moore (boxer, born 1933)


Davey Moore (boxer, born 1933) : biography

November 1, 1933 – March 23, 1963

Last fight and death

Moore was scheduled to face Cuban-Mexican Sugar Ramos in July, 1962 at Dodger Stadium but a torrential typhoon-like rainstorm hit Los Angeles on the night of the fight and the fight was postponed until March 21, 1963. It was shown on national television. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric with anticipation. The sound of conga drums filled the air as it was a pro Ramos crowd filled with many Mexicans who had come to root for their fighter. Both fighters were devastating punchers and rocked each other frequently. In the tenth round Ramos landed a powerful right hook to Moore’s head which sent him falling backward into the bottom rope where he struck the base of his neck and injured his brain stem. Moore lost the fight by a knockout but was able to give a clear-headed interview before he left the ring. In the dressing room he fell into a coma from which he never emerged, dying 75 hours later. There was existing public controversy due to the death of Benny "Kid" Paret one year before, and Moore’s death prompted debate about the dangers of boxing and the possibility of the sport being banned in the United States.

Boxing Record

Moore had a lifetime professional record of 59 wins, 7 losses, 1 draw and 1 no contest, with 30 wins by knockout.


In 1960, he had a two-fight tour in Venezuela, winning one by knockout, and then having his winning streak interrupted with a seven round knockout loss at the hands of Carlos Hernández. He fought three times in Mexico that year,and retained his title in Tokyo, beating Kazuo Takayama by a decision in 15.


In 1961, he toured Europe for three fights, visiting Paris, Madrid and Rome. He retained his title with a knockout in one round against Danny Valdez and won three more fights in Mexico before returning to Tokyo to beat Takayama, once again by a 15 round decision, to retain the title in their rematch.


In 1962, he won four bouts, returning to Europe to defend his title versus Olli Mäki, beaten in two rounds in Finland.


Moore had a record of 1-1 in 1963. Following his defeat, in the second bout, Moore died of brain injuries received during the fight (see below).

Career highlights

Moore made his professional debut on May 11, 1953, at the age of 19, beating Willie Reece by a decision in six rounds. He boxed 8 times in 1953, with a total record that year of 6 wins, 1 loss and 1 no contest.

From the beginning of his career through 1956 Moore fought a total of 29 bouts, with a total record of 22-5-1, and 1 no contest. Beginning with his April 10, 1957 fight against Gil Cadilli, Moore had an 18-bout winning streak, ending when he lost to Carlos Morocho Hernández on March 17, 1960 with a TKO. March 14, 1960, won match against Bob Gassey in first round, as a result of the knockout, Gassey lost all but 2 teeth. It was during this period, on March 18, 1959 that Moore won the World Featherweight Title from Hogan "Kid" Bassey. Moore retained the title through the remainder of his career, defending it successfully 5 times, and losing it to Sugar Ramos on March 21, 1963.

Cultural references

Bob Dylan wrote a song about the Davey Moore’s death, posing the question of responsibility. It is titled "Who Killed Davey Moore?" and was also sung by Pete Seeger. Phil Ochs wrote a song titled "Davey Moore" which told the story of Davey Moore’s death and placed the guilt on the managers and the boxing "money men" as well as boxing fans.

New Zealander and French writer and singer Graeme Allwright made a French language cover of Dylan’s song, Qui a tué Davy Moore?

The band BoomBox reworked ‘Who Killed Davey Moore" on their 2005 album "Visions of Backbeat" featuring funk and hip-hop rhythm and musical elements vastly different than Dylan’s version.


A pair of Davey Moore’s boxing gloves are on display in a Finnish restaurant Juttutupa in Helsinki, Finland (Säästöpankinranta 6). They were found during a renovation of a Helsinki boxing gym.