Bruce Woodcoock BATTERED, BRUISED and BLOODY connects with a right cross against Lee Savold (2nd fight) 1950, original black & white 9" x 7" press photo.
6th June 1950, White City Stadium, London.
Lee Savold defeated Britain's Bruce Woodcock in the 4th round of their World Heavyweight championship fight (British/European version). Woodcock had suffered a detached retina in his contest with big Joe Baski in 1947, and was almost blind in his left eye.
Condition fair/good (BATTERED, BRUISED and TORN around the action shot image & copyright stamped and dated with detailed typed attachment on reverse) *Great image if you dispose of the outer edges*
Bruce Woodcock (Born Doncaster 18 January 1921, Died Doncaster 21 December 1997). He was the British and Empire heavyweight champion 1945-1950, and European heavyweight champion 1946-1949. He had a large fanbase, and his participation in a competition often resulted in sellout crowds.
In July 1945, at White Hart Lane, Tottenham, Woodcock defeated the current champion Jack London to take the British and Empire heavyweight tiles. Woodcock won by a knockout in round six after having London down three times in that round.
At Harringay in 1947 Woodcock earned a reputation for bravery when he fought Joe Baksi. He was floored 3 times in the first round and twice in the second and yet tried to come back before the referee stopped it in the seventh.
On June 2, 1949, Woodcock beat Freddie Mills for the vacant British and European and Empire heavyweight titles by a KO in 14/15.
He is perhaps best remembered for the fact that upon the retirement of World heavyweight champion Joe Louis, on June 6, 1950, the British promoter Jack Solomons matched Woodcock with American Lee Savold for the vacant World title at White City before over 50,000 spectators. This was done under the auspices of the British Boxing Board of Control but not recognized elsewhere. In the event, a 15 round contest, Savold opened a cut above Woodcock's left eye, and the fight was stopped in the fourth round.
Woodcock was known for his glass jaw, the fact that his face was vulnerable as the result of re-opened cuts sustained through many bouts, and his weight, which tended to be on the light side for a heavyweight.
Nevertheless, he is fondly remembered as Britain's best and bravest heavyweight hope in the forties and early fifties.
He married in 1947 Nora Speight, with whom he had one son and one daughter.
He ended his days in retirement after running a pub in his home town of Doncaster.
Lee Savold (born Lee Hulver March 22, 1916 – May 14, 1972), a heavyweight who held the British and European (EBU) version of the World Heavyweight championship between 1950 and 1951 and was a leading contender in the forties and early fifties.
Savold was born in Canby, Minnesota (his birth was recorded in the nearby town of Marshall). His parents were farmers and ranchers of Norwegian ancestry. As a youngster, he broke horses and herded cattle on his family ranch.
He fought his first fight at the age of 15 against Wallace Burns, in which he won $25. He later joined a carnival and fought "all comers" at or near his 150 lb weight. His first professional fight was on August 2, 1934. He fought in St Paul against Johnny Marcus, where he won a six-round decision.
He went by the name "Savoldi" early in his career, and generally fought at 190 lbs, though in between fights he reached up to 250 lbs.
At one time or another he was a bouncer, bartender, road labourer, and stockyard worker. In 1943 he joined the merchant marine and took part in several convoys to Murmansk. After retiring from boxing, he worked for Local 825 of the Operating Engineers Union.
On May 25, 1942 he KO'd Lou Nova in the eighth round in a bout which was named the Ring Magazine upset of the year.
On March 19, 1948 Lee Savold set the record for the quickest knockout in a main event bout in Madison Square Garden by knocking out Italy’s Gino Buonvino. He was the underdog, and had been substituted for Joe Baksi, who had injured his ankle, on only 48 hours notice. The record stood until Gerry Cooney tied the record by KO'ing Ken Norton in 1981. It was finally broken on March 10, 2007, when Sultan Ibragimov KO'd Javier Mora in 46 seconds.
On June 6, 1950, he defeated Bruce Woodcock on a fourth round cut eye stoppage to win the EBU version of the World Heavyweight title, Savold had lost on a foul in their first meeting in 1948.
On June 17, 1951 he fought Joe Louis in what was the first professional prizefight carried to theaters on closed circuit TV. He was knocked out in 2 minutes 29 seconds of the sixth round. Although it was a non-title match, after this bout the EBU withdrew recognition of Savold as "World" champion.
In his last fight, he lasted 7 rounds before being TKO'd by legendary boxer Rocky Marciano on February 13, 1952.