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Kansas, 92-79 winner over Missouri in Big Seven debut, and idle North Carolina were nation's only unbeaten major teams after holiday tournament spree but biggest news came from West Coast where UCLA and Washington were reinstated by PCC, became threats for title (see page 49).
Boston, safely perched at top of NBA Eastern Division, increased lead over Philadelphia to four games but may have to get along without injured big men Arnie Risen, Jack Nichols and Dick Hemric for a while. In West, Rochester and Fort Wayne continued basket-for-basket struggle but Royals still held �-game edge.
Gene Fullmer, mauling young (25) apprentice welder from West Jordan, Utah, shook off blows which might have damaged less durable fighter, tirelessly charged and punched away at aging (36) but occasionally skillful Sugar Ray Robinson for 15 rounds in New York's Madison Square Garden to win middleweight crown. Squatty Fullmer took big town adulation in modest stride, headed back to celebrating West Jordan neighbors and job in copper mine, while Sugar Ray (who was quickly dropped to No. 3 behind Charlie Humez and Joey Giardello in NBA rankings for January), hanging on to every former champion's dubious hope for better luck next time out, looked ahead to return bout and chance to win title for fourth time (see page 8).
Gaspar (Indian) Ortega, free-punching Mexican welterweight who twice running upset ex-Champion Tony DeMarco, made biggest advance in NBA monthly rankings, soaring to No. 2 and gaining pat on back as December's Boxer of Month. NBA also sounded warning to reluctant Featherweight Champion Sandy Saddler, who last defended Jan. 18, 1956: put title on line or it may be vacated. One commendable omission: California's tarnished Golden Boy, Art Aragon, under suspension in Texas and investigation in home state for trying to fix fight with Dick Goldstein, was dropped from welterweight rankings.