By Jim Amato

One of the top fighters in the light heavyweight division during the 60’s was Roger Rouse. He twice failed in gallant attempts at winning the world championship. He also represented the Untied States as a middleweight in the 1956 Olympics at Melbourne, Australia. He was eliminated in the quarter final round. Roger turned professional in April of 1958 and went undefeated in his first thirteen bouts. He suffered his first defeat in 1960 to Babe Simmons. He was inactive in 1961 and in his only bout of 1962 he lost to Sid Carter.
Roger got his career back on track in 1963 with two wins over Frank Niblett. He also defeated Chuck Leslie and Sonny Miles. He was stopped in seven rounds by Dean Bogany. He opened 1964 with a loss to Hank Casey. He then rebounded with four straight wins including a one round kayo over Johnny Persol. In 1965 he stepped into the big time. He lost to Henry Hank and Eddie Cotton but he stopped Cotton in a rematch. He went undefeated in 1966 scoring knockouts over Don Turner, Rudolph Bent and Leslie Borden. He finished the year with a decision over Cotton.
In 1967 Roger halted Dave Russell. He then turned the tables on Henry Hank and also beat journeyman Bobby Rascon. He had not lost since April of 1965 and was undefeated in his last ten bouts. He was now matched with the world champion Dick Tiger. They met on November 17, 1967 in Las Vegas. Roger was overmatched and although he put up a game struggle Tiger kayoed him in round twelve. Roger returned to the ring in July of 1968 and drew with rugged Andy Kendall. This led him to a bout with the man who took the crown from Tiger, Bob Foster. They met on September 9, 1968 at Washington D.C. in a non-title fight. Again Roger was game to the core but Foster had too much power and the bout was halted in the fifth round.
Roger would continue his career and would eventually meet Foster for the title. Again he was soundly beaten. He would then fade from the lime light after a distinguished amateur and pro career.

Jim Amato

Filed under: Boxing


Readers Comments (1)

  1. EZ E

    Roger was a key name in the division and his opponents had to be at their best to get by him.

     

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