Zora Folley

Zora Folley

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Zora Folley

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Zora Folley (27 May 1932–July 9, 1972) was an American heavyweight boxer.

Born in Dallas, Texas, he moved with his family to Chandler, Arizona in 1942, where he grew up playing baseball. Upon joining the U.S. Army in 1948, he entered the boxing ring, and won the 6th Army championship within a year, eventually earning the All-Army and All-Service titles. He fought in the Korean War, earning five battle stars, and was discharged in 1953.

He then signed a professional boxing contract, winning his first pro fight against Jimmy Ingram, then after a draw, won seventeen straight victories until losing to Johnny Summerlin. Despite being considered a top contender, Folley never faced heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson. This was partly due to his loss by decision to Henry Cooper in September 1958 (which was avenged in December 1961 by knock-out.). Folley beat such contenders as Eddie Machen, George Chuvalo, Bob Cleroux (twice), Oscar Bonavena, and Doug Jones. He also had draws with Karl Mildenberger and Eddie Machen (their first fight). Between 1960 and 1962 Folley was knocked out by Sonny Liston, Alejandro Lavorante, and Doug Jones (the rematch).

It wasn't until March 22, 1967, that he faced the world heavyweight champion, who at this point was Muhammad Ali. Folley was knocked out in the 7th round. Folley fought for three more years afterward before being knocked out by Mac Foster in 1970.

Folley served as a member of the Chandler City Council, and raising a family of...
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