By Jim Amato

One of the toughest and most respected middleweight contenders of the 1940′s  was Pete Mead.The tough and talented Mead began his 56 fight professional career  in 1942. In 1946, he made his first of several appearances at New York’s Madison  Square Garden with a six round decision over Tommy Merrill.

He stepped up his competition beating Vince LaSalva and Jerry  Fiorello. Pete split two bouts with rugged Herbie Kronowitz and then defeated the pride of Niles, Ohio Sonny Horne. Mead then scored a big victory over Fritzie Zivic. In 1947 Pete returned to the Garden and lost a verdict to the  highly regarded Harold Green. In his next match Mead lost a return bout with Horne. Pete rebounded to defeat Horne in their rubber match. Next he scored a tenth round KO victory over Rueben Shank. Mead would then rack up eight more wins including split decisions over the great Cocoa Kid and Kronowitz. Pete would drop an eight rounder to Vinnie Rossano but he roared back to stop tough Joey DeJohn in five rounds.  In 1948 Mead would again outscore Kronowitz but then he lost a split verdict to Al Priest. He would lose another decision to Priest but rallied to outduel Tony Masciarelli on two occasions. On June 14th, Mead would suffer the first KO  loss of his career as the talented contender Walter Cartier knocked him down  three times and stopped him in round three. Mead would return to defeat Charley Zivic and draw with Joe Rindone. He then stopped at the Cleveland Arena long enough to outpoint Mickey Doyle. Mead would then lose a rematch with Rindone.

On February 25, 1949, Mead met Joey DeJohn, again. This time at the Garden.  In what is considered one of the greatest fights to ever take place at the  Garden, Mead got off the floor in rounds three and five to stop a dead game DeJohn in round seven. Many call this bout the bloodiest Garden battle of all  time. It would turn out to be Pete Mead’s last victory. He dropped a ten round duke to French contender Robert Villemain at the Garden. He again met DeJohn  this time in Rochester, New York and DeJohn turned the tables on Mead with a  seventh round stoppage. Mead then traveled to England where he lost on points to Dave Sands and was stopped in four by Randy Turpin. In 1950 Mead returned to  the States but he was knocked out by Rocky Graziano in three rounds thus ending  his fine career.

Mead retired with a respectable 39-16-1 record and the reputation as a real  crowd pleaser. He wrote an outstanding book titled “Blood, Sweat and Cheers.” I  read it not once but twice. If you can ever get a hold of this book, do so. You  will not regret it.                                                                                                                                                                                                       Jim Amato

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