Thomas Peter "Pete" Rademacher (born November 20, 1928) is a retired American heavyweight boxer. A gold medalist at the 1956 Olympics, he became the only person to challenge for the world heavyweight championship in his first professional bout when he faced Floyd Patterson on August 22 1957. Rademacher took up boxing as a form of rehabilitation during his recovery from rheumatic fever, which he contracted in military school.
1 Amateur career
1.1 1956 Olympic results
2 Professional career
3 Personal life
4 Professional boxing record
5 See also
7 External links
In his amateur career, Rademacher won 72 bouts and lost 7. He won a series of tournaments, including the 1949 and 1951–1953 Seattle Golden Gloves (he lost in 1950 to Zora Folley, who was his frequent opponent throughout his boxing career), and the US Amateur Championship as a heavyweight in 1953—avenging his earlier loss to Folley.
He captured the Chicago Golden Gloves, the All-Army championship, and the Service championship in 1956, before qualifying for the Olympic team. At the Olympics he captured a gold medal in the heavyweight division and served as the American flag bearer at the closing ceremony.
1956 Olympic results
Round of 16: bye
Quarterfinal: Defeated Josef Němec KO 2
Semifinal: Defeated Daan Bekker (South Africa) KO 3
Final: Defeated Lev Mukhin (Soviet Union) KO 1 (won gold medal)
Rademacher also attended college, playing offensive line on the football team for Washington State.
Rademacher and Folley in 1958
After winning the gold medal, Rademacher started saying that he would be able to become world heavyweight champion in his first professional fight. He made his belief public and was able to lure world Heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson into defending his crown against the debutant Rademacher. It is the only time to date that a fighter making his professional debut has challenged for the world heavyweight title. The bout was refereed by former lightheavyweight champion Tommy Loughran, who himself had contended for the heavy crown once, vs. Primo Carnera, in 1934. Rademacher dropped Patterson in round two, but Patterson recovered and knocked Rademacher down seven times, defeating him by a knockout in round six.
Rademacher fought Zora Folley, Brian London, George Chuvalo, Buddy Turman, and the former world light heavyweight champion, Archie Moore. He lost to Moore, Folley and London but beat Chuvalo, LaMar Clark, and Turman, among others. His last bout was with former world middleweight champion Carl "Bobo" Olson, whom he beat by decision.
Rademacher has Finnish ancestry; his maternal grandparents were immigrants from Finland. He is married to Margaret and has a daughter Susan (born c. 1954–1955). In addition to boxing, he was a salesman and inventor. He was president of the company Kiefer-McNeil that was started by a fellow Olympian Adolph Kiefer.
Professional boxing record
Professional record summary
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