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|Real name||Marcellin Cerdan|
|Nickname(s)||Le bombardier marocain (The Moroccan Bomber)
|Born||22 July 1916
Sidi Bel Abbès, French Algeria (now Algeria)
|Died||28 October 1949(1949-10-28) (aged 33)
São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal
|Wins by KO||65|
Marcellin "Marcel" Cerdan (French pronunciation: [maʁsɛl sɛʁdɑ̃]; 22 July 1916 – 28 October 1949) 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.
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.
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.
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, 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. 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 fame
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. 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. Days later, LaMotta lauded Cerdan as a great sportsman. Cerdan was interred in the Cimetière du Sud, Perpignan, Pyrénées- Orientales, France.
Cerdan's record was 110 wins and 4 losses, with 65 wins by knockout.
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 record
|114 fights||110 wins||4 losses|
|114||Loss||110–4||Jake LaMotta||RTD||9 (15)||Jun 16, 1949||Briggs Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Lost NBA, NYSAC, and The Ring middleweight titles|
|113||Win||110–3||Lucien Krawczyk||KO||4 (10)||May 8, 1949||Stade Philip, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|112||Win||109–3||Dick Turpin||KO||7 (10)||Mar 29, 1949||Earls Court Empress Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom|
|111||Win||108–3||Tony Zale||RTD||11 (15)||Sep 21, 1948||Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.||Won NBA, NYSAC, and The Ring middleweight titles|
|110||Win||107–3||Cyrille Delannoit||PTS||15||Jul 10, 1948||Palais des Sports, Brussels, Belgium||Won European middleweight title|
|109||Loss||106–3||Cyrille Delannoit||PTS||15||May 23, 1948||Heizel Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||Lost European middleweight title|
|108||Win||106–2||Lucien Krawczyk||PTS||10||Mar 25, 1948||Palais des Sports, Paris, Paris, France|
|107||Win||105–2||Lavern Roach||TKO||8 (10)||Mar 12, 1948||Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|106||Win||104–2||Jean Walzack||KO||4 (15)||Feb 9, 1948||Palais des Sports, Paris, Paris, France||Retained European middleweight title|
|105||Win||103–2||Giovanni Manca||KO||2 (15)||Jan 26, 1948||Palais des Sports, Paris, Paris, France||Retained European middleweight title|
|104||Win||102–2||Anton Raadik||UD||10||Oct 31, 1947||Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|103||Win||101–2||Billy Walker||TKO||1 (10)||Oct 7, 1947||Forum, Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|102||Win||100–2||Harold Green||TKO||2 (10)||Mar 28, 1947||Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|101||Win||99–2||Bert Gilroy||KO||4 (10)||Feb 11, 1947||Seymour Hall, Marylebone, London, England, United Kingdom|
|100||Win||98–2||Leon Fouquet||KO||1 (15)||Feb 2, 1947||Parc des Expositions, Paris, Paris, France||Won vacant European middleweight title|
|99||Win||97–2||Georgie Abrams||UD||10||Dec 6, 1946||Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|98||Win||96–2||Jean Pankowiak||KO||5 (10)||Oct 20, 1946||Stade de la Croix de Berny, Antony, Hauts-de-Seine, France|
|97||Win||95–2||Holman Williams||PTS||10||Jul 7, 1946||Stade Roland Garros, Paris, Paris, France|
|96||Win||94–2||Robert Charron||PTS||12||May 25, 1946||Parc des Princes, Paris, Paris, France|
|95||Win||93–2||Joe Brun||KO||2 (10)||Apr 14, 1946||Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France|
|94||Win||92–2||Jose Ferrer||KO||4 (10)||Feb 24, 1946||Plaza de Toros Monumental, Barcelona, Cataluña, Spain|
|93||Win||91–2||Edouard Tenet||PTS||12||Jan 18, 1946||Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, Paris, France|
|92||Win||90–2||Agostinho Guedes||KO||1 (10)||Jan 12, 1946||Coliseu dos Recreios, Lisbon, Portugal|
|91||Win||89–2||Victor Buttin||KO||3 (10)||Dec 8, 1945||Saint-Etienne, Loire, France|
|90||Win||88–2||Assane Diouf||KO||3 (12)||Nov 30, 1945||Palais des Sports, Paris, Paris, France|
|89||Win||87–2||Tommy Davies||KO||1 (10)||Oct 19, 1945||Palais des Sports, Paris, Paris, France|
|88||Win||86–2||Edouard Tenet||PTS||10||Jun 23, 1945||Stade de la Croix de Berny, Antony, Hauts-de-Seine, France|
|87||Win||85–2||Oscar Menozzi||KO||3 (10)||Jun 3, 1945||Arènes du Rond-Point du Prado, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France|
|86||Win||84–2||Jean Despeaux||KO||5 (10)||May 13, 1945||Stade de la Croix-de-Bernay, Paris, Paris, France|
|85||Win||83–2||Joe Brun||TKO||7 (10)||Mar 9, 1945||Palais des Sports, Paris, Paris, France|
|84||Win||82–2||Ralph Burnley||TKO||2 (3)||Dec 16, 1944||Brancaccio Theatre, Roma, Lazio, Italy|
|83||Win||81–2||Floyd Gibson||PTS||3||Dec 14, 1944||Brancaccio Theatre, Roma, Lazio, Italy|
|82||Win||80–2||Clint Perry||KO||1 (3)||Dec 12, 1944||Brancaccio Theatre, Roma, Lazio, Italy|
|81||Win||79–2||Bouaya||KO||1 (10)||Oct 21, 1944||Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers, French Algeria|
|80||Win||78–2||Joe DiMartino||TKO||1 (3)||Feb 19, 1944||Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers, French Algeria|
|79||Win||77–2||Sammy Adragna||PTS||3||Feb 17, 1944||Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers, French Algeria|
|78||Win||76–2||Harold Drouhin||KO||1 (3)||Feb 15, 1944||Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers, French Algeria|
|77||Win||75–2||Willie Sampson||KO||2 (10)||Jan 30, 1944||Stade Philip, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|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, French Algeria|
|74||Win||72–2||Bulldog Milano||KO||2 (10)||Oct 30, 1943||Stade Philip, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|73||Win||71–2||Larry Cisneros||KO||6 (10)||Oct 10, 1943||Stade Camp Saint-Philippe, Oran, French Algeria|
|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 8, 1943||Stade Petain, Oran, French Algeria|
|70||Win||68–2||Jose Ferrer||TKO||1 (15)||Sep 30, 1942||Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, Paris, France||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 2, 1942||Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France|
|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, Paris, France|
|65||Win||64–1||Fernand Viez||PTS||10||May 17, 1942||Grand Palais, Paris, Paris, France|
|64||Win||63–1||Gustave Humery||KO||1 (10)||Apr 26, 1942||Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, Paris, France|
|63||Win||62–1||Fred Flury||TKO||7 (10)||Feb 21, 1942||Palais des Fêtes et des Expositions, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France|
|62||Win||61–1||Roby Seidel||TKO||3 (10)||Dec 31, 1941||Grand Casino, Vichy, Allier, France|
|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, French Algeria|
|59||Win||58–1||Francois Blanchard||KO||6 (10)||Jun 22, 1941||Arènes du Rond-Point du Prado, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France|
|58||Win||57–1||Omar Kouidri||RTD||6 (15)||May 5, 1941||Oran, French Algeria||Retained European welterweight title|
|57||Win||56–1||Victor Fortes||RTD||2 (10)||Apr 13, 1941||Oran, French Algeria|
|56||Win||55–1||Victor Janas||PTS||10||Mar 9, 1941||Stade Philip, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|55||Win||54–1||Victor Fortes||RTD||7 (10)||Feb 2, 1941||Foyer Civic, Algiers, French Algeria|
|54||Win||53–1||Young Raymond||RTD||6 (10)||Jan 26, 1941||Stade Philip, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|53||Win||52–1||Young Raymond||KO||1 (10)||Jan 19, 1941||Foyer Civic, Algiers, French Algeria|
|52||Win||51–1||Cleto Locatelli||PTS||10||Jun 16, 1939||Arènes du Rond-Point du Prado, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France|
|51||Win||50–1||Saverio Turiello||PTS||15||Jun 3, 1939||Velodromo Vigorelli, Milan, Lombardia, Italy||Won European welterweight title|
|50||Win||49–1||Roger Cadot||TKO||6 (12)||May 21, 1939||Arènes du Rond-Point du Prado, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France|
|49||Win||48–1||Felix Wouters||PTS||12||Mar 22, 1939||Palais des Sports, Brussels, Bruxelles-Capitale, Belgium|
|48||Win||47–1||Saverio Turiello||PTS||12||Feb 20, 1939||Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, Paris, France|
|47||Win||46–1||Al Baker||TKO||7 (10)||Feb 4, 1939||Palais des Sports, Brussels, Bruxelles-Capitale, Belgium|
|46||Win||45–1||Ercole Buratti||PTS||10||Jan 21, 1939||Automobile Hall, Algiers, French Algeria|
|45||Loss||44–1||Harry Craster||DQ||5 (10)||Jan 9, 1939||Earls Court Empress Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom||Low Blow|
|44||Win||44–0||Omar Kouidri||PTS||12||Nov 24, 1938||Salle Wagram, Paris, Paris, France|
|43||Win||43–0||Alfred Katter||KO||5 (10)||Nov 10, 1938||Salle Wagram, Paris, Paris, France|
|42||Win||42–0||Amedeo Deyana||PTS||10||Oct 27, 1938||Salle Wagram, Paris, Paris, France|
|41||Win||41–0||Al Baker||PTS||10||Sep 15, 1938||Salle Wagram, Paris, Paris, France|
|40||Win||40–0||Victor Deckmyn||PTS||10||Jul 3, 1938||Arenes d'Eckmühl, Oran, French Algeria|
|39||Win||39–0||Jean Morin||PTS||10||Jun 4, 1938||Automobile Hall, Algiers, French Algeria|
|38||Win||38–0||Gustave Humery||KO||6 (12)||May 20, 1938||Palais des Sports, Paris, Paris, France|
|37||Win||37–0||Cleto Locatelli||PTS||12||May 5, 1938||Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, Paris, France|
|36||Win||36–0||Eduard Hrabak||PTS||10||Aug 13, 1938||Palais des Sports, Paris, Paris, France|
|35||Win||35–0||Charles Pernot||PTS||10||Mar 4, 1938||Stade Communal de Saint Eugène, Algiers, French Algeria|
|34||Win||34–0||Omar Kouidri||PTS||12||Feb 21, 1938||Vox, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|33||Win||33–0||Jean Zides||TKO||9 (10)||Jan 20, 1938||Salle Wagram, Paris, Paris, France|
|32||Win||32–0||Eddie Ran||KO||2 (10)||Jan 13, 1938||Salle Wagram, Paris, Paris, France|
|31||Win||31–0||Charles Fedorowich||TKO||2 (10)||Jan 6, 1938||Salle Wagram, Paris, Paris, France|
|30||Win||30–0||Max Ifergane||PTS||10||Dec 18, 1937||Rabat, French Morocco|
|29||Win||29–0||Jean Morin||PTS||10||Oct 21, 1937||Salle Wagram, Paris, Paris, France|
|28||Win||28–0||Louis Jampton||PTS||10||Oct 7, 1937||Salle Wagram, Paris, Paris, France|
|27||Win||27–0||Eduard Hrabak||KO||6 (10)||Sep 13, 1937||Vox, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|26||Win||26–0||Kid Marcel||PTS||10||Aug 22, 1937||Oran, French Algeria|
|25||Win||25–0||Ali Omar||TKO||5 (10)||Jul 3, 1937||Hall de la Foire, Algiers, French Algeria|
|24||Win||24–0||Omar Kouidri||PTS||10||Apr 3, 1937||Salle de l'Agriculture, Algiers, French Algeria|
|23||Win||23–0||Omar Kouidri||PTS||10||Mar 2, 1937||Rabat, French Morocco|
|22||Win||22–0||Maurice Naudin||TKO||3 (10)||Jan 30, 1937||Hall de la Foire, Algiers, French Algeria|
|21||Win||21–0||Aissa Attaff||RTD||8 (10)||Jan 16, 1937||Central Ring, Algiers, French Algeria|
|20||Win||20–0||Jean Debeaumont||PTS||10||Nov 21, 1936||Pavillon Bleu, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|19||Win||19–0||Aissa Attaf||KO||1 (10)||Nov 8, 1936||Salle Mazella, Algiers, French Algeria|
|18||Win||18–0||Primo Rubio||PTS||10||Oct 17, 1936||La Manutention, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|17||Win||17–0||Al Francis||KO||6 (10)||Aug 2, 1936||Arenes d'Eckmühl, Oran, French Algeria|
|16||Win||16–0||Mariano Castillanos||PTS||10||Jun 6, 1936||Pavillon Bleu, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|15||Win||15–0||Kid Abadie||KO||3 (10)||May 27, 1936||Pavillon Bleu, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|14||Win||14–0||M Ricardo||TKO||5 (10)||May 23, 1936||Casablanca, French Morocco|
|13||Win||13–0||Joseph Martinez||TKO||9 (10)||Apr 11, 1936||Taza, French Morocco|
|12||Win||12–0||Max Ifergane||PTS||10||Apr 7, 1936||Pavillon Bleu, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|11||Win||11–0||Antoine Abad||PTS||10||Mar 4, 1936||Pavillon Bleu, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|10||Win||10–0||Mak Perez||PTS||10||Dec 14, 1935||Casablanca, French Morocco|
|9||Win||9–0||Mak Perez||PTS||10||Nov 23, 1935||Salle des Fetes du Maarif, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|8||Win||8–0||Francisco Mestres||PTS||10||Aug 3, 1935||Roland Garros- Marocain, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|7||Win||7–0||Joseph Sarfati||PTS||10||Jul 19, 1935||Roland Garros- Marocain, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|6||Win||6–0||Mak Perez||RTD||2 (10)||Jul 5, 1935||Roland Garros- Marocain, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|5||Win||5–0||Max Privat||RTD||5 (10)||Apr 13, 1935||Cirque Melburn, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|4||Win||4–0||Leon Benazra||PTS||10||Apr 13, 1935||Cirque Melburn, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|3||Win||3–0||Perez III||PTS||10||Feb 6, 1935||Cirque Melburn, Casablanca, French Morocco|
|2||Win||2–0||Leon Benazra||RTD||5 (6)||Nov 12, 1934||Meknes, French Morocco|
|1||Win||1–0||Marcel Bucchianeri||PTS||6||Nov 10, 1934||Meknes, French Morocco|
- "Birth and death certificate". Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2007.
- Systems, eZ. "Les origines familiales de Marcel Cerdan". La revue française de Généalogie (in French). Retrieved 30 October 2018.
- on YouTube
- "The Lineal Middleweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
- on YouTube
- 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.
- Marcel Cerdan's tragic disappearance (1949) Archived 23 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine – Marcel Cerdan Heritage
- LaMotta lauds Cerdan for great sportsmanship. News.google.com (28 October 1949). Retrieved on 6 August 2014.
- Marcel Cerdan official website: Biography – scorecard (French: biographie – son palmarès) Archived 2 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- Marcel Cerdan Official website, created by Nicolas Cerdan, his grandson (in French)
- Marcel Cerdan Heritage – Vintage Sportswear (Eng/Fr), created by Nicolas Cerdan, his grandson
- IBHOF.com International Boxing Hall of Fame Homepage
- Marcel Cerdan at Find a Grave
- Boxing record for Marcel Cerdan from BoxRec
- Here's Looking At You, Casablanca: Marcel Cerdan
- This page is based on the Wikipedia article Marcel Cerdan; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.