Eddie Machen Original Signed Photograph
Edward Mills Machen (June 15, 1932 – August 8, 1972) was born in Redding, California, on June 15, 1932. Machen was a convict turned boxer. His 64-bout career began on March 22, 1955, and he went on to win his first 24 bouts. Machen often fought at Civic Auditorium or the Cow Palace in San Francisco. His first bout was with fellow first-timer Raul Flores, whom he knocked out in the first round. He had eleven fights in 1955 and the six-feet, 195-pounder won them all, ten by knockout or technical knockout. He had eight more wins in 1956 against better competition. In 1957, he won all five fights he had, including two over former light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim. The Maxim wins made him a ranked contender. He was around this time by some considered the perfect fighting machine. In April 1958, he met highly-ranked Zora Foley and fought to a draw over 12 rounds. But he was then knocked out in one round by undefeated Ingemar Johansson, a future heavyweight champion, in September. Being hit several times whilst ‘down’. On the comeback trail in 1959, Machen posted seven straight wins to return him to contention. In January 1960, he lost a decision to Foley at the Cow Palace. Later that year he met a ring legend and future champion, Sonny Liston, and although lost a 12-round decision fought a sharp hit and move match that many felt Muhammad Ali later studied a lot. Liston was penalized three times for low blows in that match, a sign of desperation. 1961 began with two wins, then a very controversial loss to Harold Johnson by decision. Again, he came back with three very good wins, including a decision over undefeated Doug Jones. In 1962, Machen had two more wins before he had a draw to high-ranked big hitter Cleveland Williams in Houston in July 1962. In 1963 he resumed fighting and scored four straight knockouts to finish the year. He fought just twice in 1964, battling his personal issues. One was a win the other a close 12-round loss to another former heavyweight champion, Floyd Patterson in Sweden in July 1964. In 1965, Machen nonetheless received his first world title shot when he and 6’6″ Ernie Terrell met for the vacated World Boxing Association title that had been stripped from Muhammad Ali. Terrell won the 15-round decision. In 1966 he lost a decision to German southpaw Karl Mildenberger in Germany, then lost a close split-decision to slugging styled powerful Manuel Ramos. But he closed that year with two wins, one particularly notable over future contender Jerry Quarry, which was Quarry’s first defeat. Machen closed his career with three straight losses, one in late 1966 to future heavyweight champion Joe Frazier by a tenth-round technical knockout. Machen was admitted to the Napa State Hospital in the fall of 1962 after threatening to commit suicide. Biographies state he suffered from clinical depression. He later filed for bankruptcy in 1966 and retired from boxing in 1967. His final record was 50-11-3, with 27 KOs. Machen died in San Francisco on August 8, 1972, by falling from an apartment window at the age of 40.