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10 September 2000 Susan Hayward vs Debra Paget

Page history last edited by Archer844 9 years ago


RETRO BOUT: (CA. 1954)


Posted by simguy 10-Sep-00



Hayward perhaps underrated by fans and critics in her day, but she is looked back on now as a durable, heavy handed slugger who made up for a lack of overt athletic tools with one of the finest tactical minds to ever grace the squared circle. She also had a red headed mean streak, and many of her bouts featured smallish or less experienced foes such as Debra Paget in this 1954 bout.


Paget had run afoul of Hayward's celebrity temperament during the filming of the swords and sandals classic "Demetrius and the Gladiators" and this fight would take place on the remains of the Romanesque set in the days following the wrap. In this surreal setting, Debra took the ring in a red tank suit, Susan in yellow.


Round 1:

Hayward tested her stocky foe early, stepping to the young brunette and hooking hard off the jab, but Paget would not be intimidated. Standing toe to toe and rocking Hayward with hooks of her own - Debra had Susan Hayward hanging on with both hands pushing on Paget's shoulders. As the round wore on, Debra would press against Susan's outstretched palms, clubbing rights and lefts over top to the face of the redhead as Hayward retreated much of the round.


Rounds 2-3:

Susan Hayward quickly found herself in with a strong, determined foe and the fight was closely contested through three rounds as Paget more than held her own in the exchanges. Hayward's awkward pushing seemed desperate, but effective in blunting Paget's blows to the head as Debra clubbed shots over the outstretched arms. Susan was most effective in the moments before Paget could reach her chest, finding the brunette's head an easy target for the short, rifling jab, often followed by a sudden jerking right hand from the shoulder. Hayward would scrape out both rounds by small margins - but Paget was showing signs of wear and by the end of the third, the larger redhead was walking her back, forcing the issue in the clinches.


Round 4:

Hayward continued to grind her opponent, getting her body on Paget, clinching her tight under the arms and muscling her around the ring. Susan's veteran tricks began to dominate the action - she would control Debra with the left riding the brunette's shoulder, allowing plowing right hands to stroke the jawline in long sequences of holding and hitting. Paget's offense dropped to perfunctory swatting or pawing as Hayward pushed and punched at will. In the dying seconds of the force, Susan sunk a heavy left to the liver, buckling Paget's legs and leaving her open to a short hook on the forehead that drove the brunette back to the ropes in trouble. Hayward's eyes lit up as Debra's discouraged expression after the bell, and the red head was animated in her corner during the break.


Round 5:

All Hayward as she eagerly hunted Paget's chin this round, kissing hard, short right hands straight from the shoulder to Debra's teeth, then nailing the chin with curving hooks to batter Debra around the ring at a plodding pace. Paget's eyes were puffy and vacant as she pushed don't-hurt-me punches back at the dominant red head, but there could be no denying Hayward now. As Debra wilted backwards, a bright eyed Susan Hayward leaned into a pounding right hand on the chin that jerked Debra sideways, then dropped her drunkenly to her backside.

Debra would struggle gamely to her feet, but she was defenseless. For over a minute - Susan Hayward would batter her helpless victim in a corner, relishing every impact as her fists dug into the soft flesh of belly or back, or cracked hard against the drowsy face while Paget hung on to the bell. A badly battered brunette failed to answer the bell for the sixth, and Susan Hayward strutted the ring with a satisfying stoppage.



It was a typical Susan Hayward victory, a bully's performance against the game but inexperienced Paget. Ironically, this performance would ultimately come back to haunt Hayward as a nubile 20 year old by the name of Julie Newmar witnessed the beating and as a result had no qualms about issuing a similar drubbing to Hayward 6 years later. Hayward's disastrous defeats to Newmar would force her retirement, and for years after obscure what had been a decent career up to that point.



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