It’s the beginning of the 1960s. ABC hosts the fight on national television. It’s a bout for the Welterweight title between Benny “Kid” Paret and Emile Griffith. This is their third fight.
Griffith had insulted by Paret, calling him maricón (meaning “faggot” in Spanish) and taunting that he’s going to get him and his husband. Griffith’s sexual orientation was under fire after alleged activities that could tie him to homosexual tendencies.
During the fight Paret is able to hold his own, until being knocked unconscious on the ropes by a round of blows. There is video of the beating as well as some sports commentary. The famous final scene starts at 2:10 in the video. At least 7 punches are thrown after Paret turns into a ragdoll. Plenty of hits are made before that when is about to lose it.
He never recovers, stays in a coma for 9 days until he dies. After that, Griffith is not charged with anything, but continues fighting. He never goes all out in fear of killing another. In 1992 he is visciously attacked after leaving a gay bar. Today he suffers from pugilistic dementia. Now with the condition, he contradicts himself when asked about his sexual preference, claiming to be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and even none of the above. He has said he has chased men and women, but chooses women over men. Of being at a gay bar, he states…
“I’m not gay! It’s craziness. I go to gay bars to see my friends. What’s the difference? I have my drink and talk to people, same as any bar. Then I finish and go outside. I don’t do anything wrong.”
Sugar Ray Robinson was also mentioned in the youtube video. It’s been said he had a dream that he was going to accidentally kill his next opponent Jimmy Doyle in the ring. A priest and minister had to convince him to fight as he wanted to pull out. He won by knockout, but Doyle hauntingly died from the injuries.