SI Vault
 
BIOPERSE: PETE RADEMACHER
Martin Kane
August 19, 1957
Thomas Peter Rademacher, the somewhat different heavyweight challenger, was born 28 years ago in the tiny town of Tieton, in Washington's Yakima Valley. He was sent to Castle Heights Military Academy, Lebanon, Tenn. for prep work. There he began boxing, winning the light-heavyweight title in a tournament staged by Tennessee's military academies. In 1948 he entered Washington State College, where he played defensive guard on the football team and earned a B.S. in animal husbandry. Meantime, he continued boxing, winning the Northwest Golden Gloves heavyweight title in 1949. He lost it the next year, then won it three years running. In 1953 he also won the national AAU title. That same year he married Margaret Sutton and quit boxing, since his bride did not approve. In 1954 Rademacher, an ROTC trainee, began his two-year hitch at Fort Benning, Ga. He was urged to go into training for the Olympics. At first he demurred, due to his wife's feelings, finally began training in secret. Three months later she overheard another officer's wife talking about it at a cocktail party. "After two weeks of real combat, she said O.K.," he recalls. He arrived in San Francisco for the Olympic trials with a badly bruised right arm. Nevertheless, he won three decisions and a trip to Melbourne, then spent 12 days in a hospital getting the arm repaired. In Australia he TKOed his first two opponents in the second and third rounds respectively, and was belting away at Russian Lev Moukhine in the first round of the finals when the referee stopped it with Moukhine helpless against the ropes. He wanted to challenge Patterson then and there, but waited until after his March Army discharge and appointment as vice-president of Youth Unlimited. The championship match will be but the third professional fight he has ever seen.—R.S.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
August 19, 1957

Bioperse: Pete Rademacher

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Thomas Peter Rademacher, the somewhat different heavyweight challenger, was born 28 years ago in the tiny town of Tieton, in Washington's Yakima Valley. He was sent to Castle Heights Military Academy, Lebanon, Tenn. for prep work. There he began boxing, winning the light-heavyweight title in a tournament staged by Tennessee's military academies. In 1948 he entered Washington State College, where he played defensive guard on the football team and earned a B.S. in animal husbandry. Meantime, he continued boxing, winning the Northwest Golden Gloves heavyweight title in 1949. He lost it the next year, then won it three years running. In 1953 he also won the national AAU title. That same year he married Margaret Sutton and quit boxing, since his bride did not approve. In 1954 Rademacher, an ROTC trainee, began his two-year hitch at Fort Benning, Ga. He was urged to go into training for the Olympics. At first he demurred, due to his wife's feelings, finally began training in secret. Three months later she overheard another officer's wife talking about it at a cocktail party. "After two weeks of real combat, she said O.K.," he recalls. He arrived in San Francisco for the Olympic trials with a badly bruised right arm. Nevertheless, he won three decisions and a trip to Melbourne, then spent 12 days in a hospital getting the arm repaired. In Australia he TKOed his first two opponents in the second and third rounds respectively, and was belting away at Russian Lev Moukhine in the first round of the finals when the referee stopped it with Moukhine helpless against the ropes. He wanted to challenge Patterson then and there, but waited until after his March Army discharge and appointment as vice-president of Youth Unlimited. The championship match will be but the third professional fight he has ever seen.—R.S.

1