David S. "Davey" Moore (November 1, 1933 – March 25, 1963) was an American featherweight world champion boxer who fought professionally 1953–63. A resident of Springfield, Ohio, Moore was one of two champions to share the name in the second half of the 20th century. The second, Davey Moore (born 1959) boxed during the 1980s.
Moore first gained wide attention from his performance on the 1952 U.S. Olympic boxing team, as a bantamweight amateur.
Moore made his professional debut on May 11, 1953, aged 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.
Moore had a lifetime professional record of 59 wins, seven losses, one draw and one 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.
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 in front of a crowd of 22,000. In the tenth round Ramos staggered Moore with a left and then continued to pummel him with blows until he fell, striking the base of his neck on the bottom rope and injuring his brain stem.
Moore got to his feet for the eight-count and, despite Ramos' continuing attack, managed to finish the round on his feet, but the referee stopped the fight before the eleventh, and Ramos was declared the new World Featherweight Champion. Moore was able to give a clear-headed interview before he left the ring, but in the dressing room fell into a coma from which he never emerged. As Moore fought for life, Pope John XXIII made a statement calling the sport of boxing "barbaric", and "contrary to natural principles". Moore's condition deteriorated, and he died 75 hours after the fight on March 25 at 2:20 a.m. CST in White Memorial Hospital, Los Angeles. His body lay in state at a South Los Angeles funeral home on Tuesday, March 26 for 10 hours; over 10,000 people filed by to pay respects. Moore was buried in Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield, Ohio.
Bob Dylan wrote a song about Davey Moore's death, posing the question of responsibility. It is titled "Who Killed Davey Moore?" and was also sung by Pete Seeger and Graeme Allwright (in French). 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.
On September 21, 2013, the 50th anniversary of Moore's final fight, his hometown of Springfield, Ohio dedicated an 8' bronze statue in his honor. Located in a public green space just south of downtown near the neighborhood where he grew up, its dedication was attended by a crowd of nearly 250. The event was marked by the appearance of Ultiminio "Sugar" Ramos, who came from Mexico City to pay his respects. It was the first time since March 1963 that he and Moore's widow Geraldine had spoken. A pair of 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 local boxing gym.